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Name: PERCIVAL, Arthur Blayney FZS, MBOU

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Nee: elder brother of Philip Hope Percival and Walter Gilbey Percival

Birth Date: 7.3.1875 Newcastle-on-Tyne

Death Date: 20.1.1941 Mamandu, Machakos

Nationality: British

First Date: 1900

Last Date: 1940

Profession: Naturalist and ornithologist, he arrived from Arabia where he had been in charge of a British Museum expedition. He was first an Asst. Collector and in 1901 was appointed Ranger of Game Reserves, later Chief Game Warden for many years (1915-1923)

Area: Nairobi, 'Mamandu', Machakos where he farmed, 1930 Mumandu, Konza

Married: 1. Short marriage to 'Dolly' Edwards, an invalid, who d. 1919. 2. In Send, Surrey 9 Dec 1920 Mrs Nellie Winifred Jacqueline 'Jacky' Breckenridge (widow) née Routledge b. 1887 Lambeth, d. 8 June 1858 Athi River

Children: John Donald Thomas 'Punch' Breckenridge, James Breckenridge (stepchildren); Margaret D. (Kummerfeldt) (1922); Peter Blayney ('Buster') (1924-1940 drowned on SS Khedive Ismail torpedoed)

Author: 'A Game Ranger's Note-Book' 1924, 'A Game Ranger on Safari' 1928. Further Bookref: EAHB 1904, EAHB 1907, Leader14, Colonial, Chandler, Red 19

Book Reference: Gillett, EAWL, HBEA, Cuckoo, Police, Binks, Cranworth, Kenya Diary, Rundgren, Vulture, Roosevelt, Land, EAHB 1905, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, EAS, Hut, North, Playne, EA Diary 1, Drumkey, Red 22, Web, EAHB 1906, Gazette, Barnes, Medals, PercivalP, EA Diary 1902

War Service: Captain in WW1

School: Bluecoat School & Durham College of Science

General Information:

Source: Mrs M. Kummerfeldt  1912 - Senior Assistant Game Warden.  
Cuckoo - A man of adventurous life before coming to BEA to hunt big game. He found a task eminently suited to his capabilities. One could always appeal to him for positive information about the habits of wild game and the hunting possibilities in various outlying regions.  
Kenya Diary - Apr. 1904 - I have made great friends with Blaney Percival [sic], the game ranger. He is not only very knowledgeable about big game but is madly keen on birds and has a large collection. I like him ...…   
Land Grant 1905? - A.B. Percival - Building, 10 acres - Kikuyu Road - Jan 13 - Leasehold  
EAHB 1905 - Asst. Collector, EAP, June 14th 1900; Ranger of Game Preserves, May 10th 1901.
KAD 1922 - Game Warden. - Vice-President - EA and Uganda Natural History Society   
Red 25 - Senior Assistant Game Ranger 1907-15, Game Warden 1915-23; President, Kenya Angling Association; Vice-President, EA and Uganda Natural History Society
The African Standard - 26-2-1903 - Invited to the wedding of H.R. Phelips & Miss Jacquette Edith Lambe in Mombasa North - Appt. 3rd Asst. District Officer EAP; Appt. Ranger of Game Preserves 10-5-1901 & moved from Wasin to Nairobi; 'Percival as a Ranger is not brilliant' (F.J. Jackson, FO 2); 'Useless as a Game Ranger' (Ainsworth, FO 2)
Playne - Mr Percival, who is the author of the article on fauna in this volume, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1875 (March 7th). He was educated at the Bluecoat School and Durham College of Science, and arrived in EA in August, 1900, from Southern Arabia, having been appointed the previous June as Asst. Collector. In April, 1901, he became Game Ranger. His present position is that of Acting Game Warden. Mr Percival was formerly Naturalist and Collector in the Transvaal and British Central Africa. He was in charge of the British Museum Expedition into South-West Arabia in 1899.
Playne - Photo p. 346
Drumkey - Cattle Brand - B1B
Drumkey 1909 - Game Dept. - Senior Assistant
Red 22 - Vice-President, East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society, Nairobi
Web - Obituary - East African Standard, Jan. 21 1941 - The death of Mr Arthur Blayney Percival, who for twenty-two years was connected with the Kenya Game Department, occurred in the early hours of yesterday morning on his farm, Mamandu Estate, Machakos. He had been ill for some time.
The late Mr Percival was 65 years of age, having been born in Newcastle on Tyne, England, in March 1875. In early manhood he took a keen interest in natural history, and prior to coming to East Africa, conducted an ornithological safari in Arabia and was for some time in South Africa. His active association with Kenya then the British East Africa Protectorate, began.
Arthur Blayney Percival was appointed an Assistant Collector - then the equivalent of the present Asst. District Commissioner - on June 14, 1900. It was not long, however, before he became actively concerned in his real life's work, the preservation and study of big game; for on May 1 1901, when Sir Charles Eliot had become High Commissioner, he was appointed Ranger for Game Preservation. From then on until he retired in 1923, he was occupied in this work. He was largely instrumental in the creation of the two big game reserves, and the proper control and preservation of game. It was as a result of his own intimate knowledge and experience that the first properly codified game laws the East African Game Ordinance of 1906 - were drafted and passed into law.
It was not until 1907, however, that the Game Department was constituted as a separate unit of the Colonial Service. Mr Percival served as Senior Game Ranger under the first Chief Game Ranger, Col. J.H. de B. Patterson. He also served as Senior Assistant Ranger under the next head of department, the late Mr R.B. Woosnam. In 1909, he was one of the founders of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History society, where he encouraged the study of the principal and lesser known East African fauna groups, and himself made substantial contributions to the present sum total of knowledge on the subject. Birds and mammals were his particular study, and a very large number of bird and some of the fauna, were named after him. The present Coryndon Memorial Collection is based largely on the late Percival's collection of mammals.
In 1915 Mr Percival took over control of the Game Department being its first head to carry the title of Game Warden. It was to him more than a mere job it was his life interest. To it he gave more than his working hours, and he was widely recognized as a first class field naturalist. He was always ready to share his expert knowledge with bona fide hunters and expeditions from the various museums and scientific societies of Europe and the United States, and his wide knowledge of East Africa and its fauna rendered his advice invaluable. He was also instrumental in the early introduction and acclimatization of brown and rainbow trout into Kenya rivers …..
Even after his retirement from the post of Game Warden in 1923, he continued to maintain his keen interest in natural history, and his own land at Machakos was a game and bird sanctuary of unique character. … He also rendered much valuable assistance to many other American visitors, including the late Theodore Roosevelt ….
Arthur married an invalid Dolly Edwards, and nursed her until she died in 1919.
Gazette - 11-8-1915 - Appt. - Intelligence Department - To be Captain - Mr Arthur Blayney Percival
Nairobi Forest Road Cemetery - Dolly Percival, British, age ?, died 5-7-19
Medals - East African Intelligence Department - Lieutenant Percival P - My brother Blayney, who had been in BEA for some years, was the sole game warden at the time [1905]. He shared a bungalow in Parklands with a dear old gentleman of independent means called Goldfinch. The day after I reached Nairobi was a Sunday and in the morning there was a meet of the Nairobi Hounds. The pack consisted of 6 couple from the Quorn. Goldfinch hunted them and my brother whipped in to him. We had a grand morning's sport. Of course there were no fences, but ant bear holes provided plenty of thrills.
Breckenridge - " .. In 1924 a retired Guards Officer was appointed Senior Game Warden over his [Blaney's] head. Blaney Percival was a qualified zoologist and his successor was not. This led to a violent row and he resigned. He was awarded a small pension which was hardly adequate to keep a family and so decided to try farming his land. …. Life was hard and tempers frayed. How mother put up with it I do not know. She left England expecting to be the wife of a successful Civil Servant and instead ended up in a state of poverty. She tried very hard, loved her flowers and worked hard in the vegetable garden and I must say was usually cheerful. I did not realise how much my stepfather drank at that time, but it must have been very difficult for her. … " " .. [James Breckenridge] - On arriving home from school my twitch was observed, and my stepfather thought he would cure me by beating me every evening before we went to bed. I used to lie there, trembling, waiting for his footsteps coming down the passage. Mother tried to stop him but to no avail, he was sure that he had the answer. I hated school and didn't relish coming home for the holidays. …"
Breckenridge - "Stepfather's family had lived in Berrow Manor in Somerset, and as he was the eldest he inherited most of the property. I know nothing about the sale but do know that a very large consignment of antique furniture, trophies, silver, linen and a quantity of household goods were shipped on the 'SS Egypt'. An Aunt, who had made all the arrangements, valued the property worth several thousand pounds, for 50 pounds to save on insurance. The 'Egypt' was carrying a large consignment of gold bullion to Spain. Guess what! She sank in the Bay of Biscay losing everything …….. It was a terrible loss at a time when stepfather could least afford it. He was paid out 50 pounds by the insurance company."
EA Diary 1902 - Listed as Assistant District Officer
EA Diary 1903 - Asst. Collector June 14 1900; Ranger of Game Preserves May 10 1901
Trish Heather-Hayes - It is alleged he had a sideline business in selling baby cheetah to Saudi Arabia!
Leader14 - Senior Assistant, Game Dept.
Colonial 1912 - Game Dept. - Senior Assistant Ranger
Gazette 15/10/1919 - Probate and Administration in respect of the estate of Dolly Percival late of Nairobi who died at Nairobi on 5/7/1919. Applied for by Arthur Blayney Percival of Nairobi.
Gazette - 12/11/1919 - Register of Voters - Nairobi, North Area - Arthur Blayney Percival - Game Warden, EAP, Sclater Road
Red Book 1919 - Game Department - Acting Game Warden - A. Blayney Percival

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