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Name: OULTON, John Thomas 'Tom' MC (Capt.)

Birth Date: 1875 Stoke on Trent

Death Date: 16 Dec 1945 Nairobi

Nationality: British

First Date: 1899 January

Profession: Arrived Mombasa to work on original telegraph line from coast to Kampala. Acquired dairy farm at Ngong in 1902, later sold to Baron von Blixen, estate later being known as Karen. Then bought 40,000 acres at Thika

Area: Ngong, Thika, HBEA 1912 - Chania Bridge. Red 25 - J.T. Ritchie, Magogoni, Chania Bridge, Honorary Permit Issuer

Married: 1900 Kate Rawlings b. 1874 Trowbridge, Wiltshire. SRN and cheesemaker, killed by a hit and run driver Ngong, arrived in Kenya Sept. 1900, d. 4 Aug 1950 Ngong

Children: Harry; Jack (12.4.1903, Nairobi-1979); Kathleen (Frisby and Barnes) (16.4.1904, Kikuyu-1980); Molly (Dolan)

Book Reference: Gillett, SE, HBEA, Staff 39, Bwana, EAHB 1905, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, North, Playne, Pioneers, Drumkey, Red 22, Land, Advertiser, EAS, EAHB 1906, Gazette, Globe, Medals, EAHB 1904, EAHB 1907, SKP, Barnes, Leader14, Chandler, Red Book 1912

War Service: Served in German EA in WW1 and awarded MC

General Information:

SE - J.T. Oulton - Apr 1908
At Thika added coffee and sisal to Kate's thriving dairy business. In 1920 he became a Professional Hunter, conducting many safaris throughout EA until 1930, being one of first true conservationists of wild life in Kenya. He finally joined the Game Dept. where he remained until he died of leukaemia at the end of WW2.
Staff 39 - Game and Vermin Control Officer in 1939, appointed 1929.  
Bwana - 1936 - Kerio River - came on the camp of a Game Warden. Tom Oulton was a character. He had come to Kenya at the turn of the century and was now in his 60s. He was an enthusiastic British Israelite and believed implicitly in the 'pyramid prophecies'. He explained to me how certain experts, after making careful and complicated measurements of the Egyptian pyramids, had reached the theory that these represent a map of the past and the future of the world. Oulton also had odd dietary fancies, one of which precluded him from any form of immature food, such as lamb, unfertilised eggs. Another of his fads was that the head of his bed must always point to the north, regardless of the shape or situation of the room, or tent, he might be sleeping in ....... he advised George Adamson to join the Game Dept.  
EAHB 1905 - Mbagathi River, Dagoretti                                                   Red 25 - JP, Kikuyu
North - Former L/Cpl Telegraph Engineer, RE; working on line from coast to Kampala; Ravine 3/3/1900; 8/8/1900; Ravine May 1901; at Eldama Ravine accused of 'gross impertinence to a Collector' 4/8/1901; resigned from EAP 22/8/1901; Land Grant application 11/7/1902, Nairobi; Dairy farming at Ngong; Land Grant application 29/5/1903, Mbagathi River
Playne - Ngongo Dairy - The opportunities offered by BEA in the way of stock raising and in dairy produce are well exemplified at the Ngongo dairy. Mr J.T. Oulton, to whose enterprise the dairy is due, came out in 1899 from Staffordshire, in connection with the Railway Telegraph Dept. and in 1902 took up his present farm of 2500 acres, from which 600 acres have been sold. This farm contains about 600 acres of timber, and is well watered by a spring near the house and a river running through the property. The land is good for cattle but too wet for sheep, and after the rains a mass of clover is to be seen. The house, containing 10 rooms, is built of lava stone, and is plastered inside and out, whilst the roof is of iron. The dairy and cheese-room is built of stone. There are large sheds and bomas strongly built of wattle, with thatched roofs. At present there are about 55 cattle, but in 1907 from 60 to 70 head were lost owing to an outbreak of East Coast fever, whilst several head have since been sold. Mr Oulton imported the second pure-bred bull ever brought into the country. There are about 100 Yorkshire and Berkshire pigs, all doing well, whilst poultry, consisting of Buff Orpingtons and White Leghorns, have thrived since being kept in a stone house. Mr Oulton has 3000 acres of land on the Thika River, well timbered, and with very good facilities for irrigation. About 20 acres of wheat and 50 acres of sisal are under cultivation. The proposed railway to Fort Hall runs through a corner of the land and the prospects on this property are considered very good. [later Playne refers to the VC Dairy Farm owned by Lord Cardross and J.B. Van der Weyer, as having been bought from J.T. Oulton ?? also that Lord Cardross and Van der Weyer were, 'until lately' in partnership ??]
Red 22 - Honorary Permit Issuer - J.T. Oulton, Magagoni, Chania Bridge
Land - 1909 - J.T. Oulton - Agricultural and grazing, 500 acres, Thika River, 15-9-06, Registered 28-5-09
Land - 1909 - J.T. Oulton - Agricultural and grazing, 2500 acres, Thika River, 15-9-06, Registered 28-5-09
Advertiser - Friday April 30, 1909 - Court Case - J.T. Oulton vs J.B. Van de Weyer - Case to settle the boundaries of a piece of land sold by Mr Oulton to Lord Cardross and Mr Van de Weyer
Land 1909 - J.T. Oulton - Agricultural and grazing, 1376 acres - Ngong - 1/3/04 - Leasehold for 99 years from 1/11/09 - Registered 17/1/10
EAS - 15/1/1903 - Mr & Mrs Oulton in the Bagaty [Mbagathi] district are striving to make the butter industry a success …..
Advertiser - 4/9/1908 - Subscribers for St. Andrew's Church Building Fund - J.T. Oulton - Rs. 150
Gazette - 11/8/1915 - Appt. - EA Pioneer Company - To be Lieutenant - Mr John Thomas Oulton
The Globe Trotter - 6/3/07 - Article by J.T. Oulton entitled 'The Wanandi and the Wire' about the early days of the telegraph line. " …..I was connected with the Uganda Telegraph Dept. during 1899, 1900 and 1901 having been sent out by the War Office together with three others for the purpose of working the instruments known as "Vibrators" specially designed  for use on badly insulated lines and the manipulations of which was not then understood outside of the Telegraph Battalion of the Royal Engineers. The Telegraph line beyond railhead was the most weird, unshapely, creation imaginable being composed simply of thin poles with no pretensions to straightness, rather the reverse, and cut haphazard from the nearest timber patch, stuck a foot or so into the ground and with No. 14 copper wire tied to the top with spun yarn. Despite its crudeness it answered remarkably well. The only draw back was the frequent breakdowns mostly caused by hartebeest and zebra but occasionally by elephant or rhino rushing against the low sagging wire. At first the terminal station was at Eldama Ravine entirely off the intended railway route but on the Sclater Road to Uganda. Telegrams to and from Uganda were forwarded and received by native runners. Reuter's telegrams were arranged for by Sir Harry Johnston on his arrival and news of the Boer War invariably reached us the day after the event. On the completion of the line to Kisumu I was sent to Fort Ternan but after a few short weeks had to return to the Ravine owing to the outbreak of trouble with the Wanandi. They made away with over 50 miles of wire in one night and numberless coils were found later on in their village by the troops. ………{more}".
Medals - EA Pioneer Company - John T. Oulton, EA Royal Engineer Volunteers, Captain
EAHB 1904 - Masai-Land District Residents - Oulton, J.T. - Bagathi, Kikuyu
SKP - 1938 - Society of Kenya Pioneers - over 30 years in Colony - arrived Jan 1899
Barnes - Nairobi City Park Cemetery - John Thomas Oulton, died 16 dec 1945 aged 70 AND Kate Oulton, died 4 Aug 1950 aged 75, buried in next grave
Chandler - Capt. Tom Oulten [sic] arrived in East Africa in 1899 as a telegraph linesman. He was assigned to the Kenya Game Department in the 1920s and 1930s, while in his 50s and 60s. A year later he and his wife started a dairy farm near Ngong. The birth of their son Harry was the first registered at Nairobi. Oulten was an interesting man, a gifted storyteller with a lot of odd beliefs. For instance, he held to the theory that the dimensions of the pyramids can predict the future. He also wouldn't eat lamb or unfertilized eggs, and always slept with his head pointed north. Despite these quirks, he was a brave and efficient game warden. Oulten was the man who persuaded Adamson to apply for a job at the game department in 1936. He was also Justice of the Peace for Kiambu.
Red Book 1912 - J.T. Oulton - Nairobi
Considine - New European School Nairobi - Kathleen Oulton - b. 12/8/1904 - 12/9/1910 Govt. Rd.
Gazette 5/4/1938 - Honorary Game Warden
Gazette - 29/10/1919 - Register of Voters - Ukamba Area - John Thomas Oulton - Coffee Planter, Magogoni, Thika
Gazette - 4/5/1921 - Presentation of Honours by Governor - Capt J T Oulton - MC
Gazette - Voters List 1936 - John Thomas Oulton, Govt. Servant, Game Dept., Nbi and Kate Oulton, Married woman, Poste Restante, Nbi

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