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Name: HOPKINS, William John (Capt.)

Birth Date: 3.5.1898 Athboy, Leinster

Death Date: 15.2.1980 Teignmouth

First Date: 1925

Profession: Farmer, goldminer

Area: Tinga Tinga Estate, Magadi Junction, 1930 Kisigulu, Konza, Box 1639 Nairobi

Married: In Islington 1922 Doris Maureen V. McCombie b. 1900 Dublin, d. 27 Apr 1959 Nairobi

Children: Michael John (9.8.1927 Kenya-14.9.2015 Teignmouth, Devon)

Book Reference: Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Legion, Red 22, Childhood

War Service: Captain, then Major, 20th Royal Deccan Horse, 1916-22, joined Kenya British Legion in 1932

School: Portora Royal Sch, Enniskillen

General Information:

Red 22 - W.J. Hopkins, Zanzibar
Childhood - Michael Hopkins - "My father spent his early years in rural Athboy, north of Dublin, was educated at Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, and grew up in the midst of World War 1. Joining the Army straight from school he became a cavalry officer with the Indian Army and engaged in Allenby's campaign against the Turks in Mesopotamia and Palestine. He remained as a regular in the XXth Deccan Horse, but tired of this life and resigned in 1922. However, employment prospects for ex-Officers were then at a low ebb, and he must have decided to apply for the Soldier Settlement Scheme in the new Colony of Kenya. At the time he was getting married and no doubt going out to start a new farm in the highlands of East Africa seemed an adventurous and romantic prospect to them both. In due course they set sail on a ship of the Union Castle Mail Service bound for Mombasa via the Cape of Good Hope, (the long way round). The allocated land proved to be at Konza, just the Mombasa side of the railway station, which at that time was known as Magadi Junction …………… These were the days, in the early 30s, of the Great Depression, and things were not going well for agriculture anywhere in the world, least of all in Konza, and so it came about that my father snatched at the apparent opportunity to join in the Kenya Gold Rush. ……….. Father, who worked very hard trying to make his fortune, and suffered terrible jungle sores. …………………… Eventually, having found sufficient gold to cover the bottom of a small aspirin bottle, it was time to give up and go back to the farm, which had been left in the hands of a Mr Starling who was paid £5 a month to manage it. Apparently he was not a success, either.

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