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Name: KERSLAKE-THOMAS, John Robert

Nee: son of John Thomas of West Teignmouth, Devon

Birth Date: 28 Feb 1879 Byfleet, Surrey

Death Date: 3.5.1923 at sea

First Date: 1905

Profession: Joined Royal Navy 1901. Mechanical engineer 1917. Arrived in EA to explore and later took up ostrich farming

Area: Homeleigh Farm, Nairobi

Married: 1894 Emily 'Emma' Jane Garlick b. 1870, d. 1949 Nairobi

Children: Gladys Sarah (1895-1900), Elsie Garlick (9.11.1897); Netta Irma Garlick (9.7.1907 Nairobi); Doris Garlick (15.9.1910 Nairobi) (Edwards)

Book Reference: Gillett, Pioneers, Gazette, North, SKP, SE, HBEA, Hut, John Phalp, Barnes

War Service: WW1 with EA Forces

General Information:

Gazette - 4/11/1914 - Appt. - Carrier Corps - To be Lieutenant - J. Kerslake Thomas
North - Said to have been at various locations in up-country Uganda c. 1903/4
North - Resident at Nairobi when daughter, Elsie G. joined Uganda Railway School, Nairobi 22/8/1905
SKP - 1938 - Society of Kenya Pioneers - over 30 years in Colony - Mrs Kerslake Thomas and Miss Kerslake Thomas arrived Aug 1904
Pioneers has Mrs Kerslake Thomas and Miss Kerslake Thomas, Nairobi, arrived August 1904
SE - J.K. Thomas - Homeleigh Farm - July 1907
John Phalp - " …. Jim  … had emigrated to South Africa with his wife Emma a native of Fairford near Cirencester, her parents being bakers and confectioners carried on chiefly by the medium of horse-drawn vans. …. Jim (ex-Brixham orphanage) had secured a job with this baker - I don't know his name - and eventually fell in love with the boss's daughter and they were married, having 2 daughters, very young when he emigrated to South Africa. Being of an adventurous turn of mind he secured a caravan and they trekked northward, eventually arriving at what is now known as Kenya. In those far off days the title was British East Africa. He found the countryside had an abundance of bird life. He therefore turned his energies, together with a stack of natives, to the capture of ostriches. It was rather a cruel industry, because …. The object being to chase these poor birds down hills, drive them to the top of a hill, like the Grand Old Duke of York and drive them down. The formation of their feet is such that they can make very little progress. They were therefore lassoed, tied up, trussed, and their feathers - their wing feathers were extracted and their tail feathers. Then they were liberated. Society ladies at that time created a great demand for ostrich feathers fans and other forms of ornaments and these were sent to Britain ……….
Barnes - Nairobi City Park Cemetery - Emily Jane Kerslake Thomas, died 24 Sep 1949 aged 80
UK Foreign and Overseas Register says his 1st forename was James, when recoding birth of Doris Garlick

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