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Name: NICHOLAS, Laetitia Jean Beatrice, Mrs

Nee: Brittlebank

Birth Date: 1899

Death Date: 29 Mar 1975 Nairobi

First Date: 1912 arrived to visit uncles, the brothers Brittlebank

Profession: After her husband's death she managed Belvedere Estate, Kikuyu which had developed into a large dairy farm

Area: Kikuyu, retired to the coast

Married: Gerald Basil Nicholas (1899-1943)

Children: Lulu (1925); Wendy (1926); Peter Gerald (b. 8 July 1927 Nairobi, awarded the George Medal for courage during Mau Mau, d. 2002 Kenya)

Book Reference: Gillett, Pioneers

General Information:

Pioneers - Belvedere Estate - A. Laetitia Nicholas - This farm, only 13 miles from Nairobi, was carved out of the bush in about 1927 by my husband, Wing Commander G.B. Nicholas DFC, who was killed on active service in 1943 in North Africa. The house consisted of several large rooms on the first floor and nothing below except some rather eerie godowns and vast archways. This was soon converted into a comfortable farmhouse with up-to-date conveniences. The downstairs was filled in, walls and windows put in place, and now it resembles an old hall with its plain stone walls, huge beams and heavy imported furniture.
I wanted some fresh and reliable milk for my 3 children and so we bought a few cows, all good foundation Friesian stock. A cattle dip then became essential and, as this cost several hundred pounds, it warranted more than just a few house-cows. So we bought some pure-bred Friesians from Major Pirie of Karirana Farm, Limuru. This started off the dairy with some 30 gallons a day. Gradually it grew; more cowstalls, a small milking shed with a three-unit Alfa 10-volt milking machine, then a dairy with a small cooler, etc.
On the outbreak of the Second World War my husband rejoined the RAF and I took over the farm. With the help of a Goan manager, Mr Antonio Pereira, we managed not only to carry on but gradually to expand and improve. …..

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