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Name: RAPER, Fred
Birth Date: 1878
Death Date: 28 May 1956 Nairobi
First Date: 1911 Landed at Mombasa from Diamond Rush
Last Date: 1956
Profession: Travelled through to the Northern Congo to hunt and establish a Trading Post. After WW1 he managed first the Londiani & then Kisumu Hotels. Later established a business in Nairobi, first as auctioneer and cattle buyer then saddlery
Area: Nairobi & all over. Saddlery business with Pringle. At one time on Nairobi Town Council, 1930 Box 541, Nairobi, 1914 Masindi
Married: Letitia Emma Burleigh Glover b. 1875, d. 1949 Nairobi
Children: Brenda Madeline (1907-2002) (Pedler); Tassie May (1909-2002); Mary Kathleen (1913); Stanley (1914)
Author: 'Klondyke to Kenya'
Book Reference: Gillett, Klondyke, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Red 22, Ian Stewart-Koster, Barnes, Leader14
War Service: Served with Belgian Forces, after capture of Tabora joined British Forces.
He had a life full of incidents. Stowing away in Liverpool, he landed in Montreal, worked his way across Canada, took part in the Klondyke gold rush of 1898 & spent three years in the Arctic. He then sailed round the Horn, served with the Canadians during the Boer War, and, after several years in Rhodesia, went to Katanga in 1907 spending most of his time mining and hunting and later joining the diamond rush.
Klondyke - Boer War - Canadian Scouts - 'My regiment was made up of the residue of Canadian and Australian troops who had arrived at the beginning of the war. The Australians were one and all hardened soldiers and I felt at home with them at once. ...... Major Ross, our O.C., treated us all as pals. No drill or anything of the kind was allowed. On one occasion an adjutant from Remington's column was sent over to lick us into shape. Major Ross heard early morning orders of 'Form fours! Flanks of fours prove!' He came out of his tent and shouted at the top of his voice : "Say, cut it out. These aren't gaddam tin soldiers!" He was an utterly fearless man, due to his wild upbringing in the backwoods of Australia and Canada. One day he borrowed fifty shillings from me. Years later I reminded him of the debt when we met at the horse-market in Johannesburg. "Quite right," said he, taking the money from his pocket. "But as you're in a good job and our friend here is not, we'll give it to him." And with that he handed it to Jim, who had been a trooper in our old regiment.
On arrival in Kenya he worked as manager of a mixed farm a few miles outside Nairobi. Soon got fed up with it and headed for the Congo to join a friend and traded between Kenya and the Congo. They were doing very well when WW1 broke out. ...... story of his service in War ........... after war he 'rented the Londiani Hotel, a pretty cedarwood house with long verandas, lovely gardens, green lawns, and rambler-rose archways. It was quite close to the station to which everyone had to come from the outlying farms and bigger district of Eldoret. The station and post office were the only other public buildings in the township, and travellers who had come in over the awful tracks with mostly ox-waggons were jolly glad to have the hotel to refresh themselves in.' ..... sent for his wife and 3 children who were in SA. ...…
stories of rough houses in hotel ....... he stuck it for 6 months 'then a difference of opinion with my landlord clenched my decision to quit. I sent my family down to Nairobi and went off cattle trading. Working oxen and stock in general were in great demand on the farms newly acquired by the soldier settlers, and I thought I would make a nice profit by buying up stock in the native districts and trekking them to the various farming ones.. ............. Then in April of the following year I got wind of a gold strike on the Northern Frontier.' ....... off he went ...... useless, so returned and ...... 'I then decided to have another shot at hotel-keeping and headed for Kisumu. The population of Kisumu, however, wasn't big enough for any one to make a living out of an hotel. I only stuck it for 3 months, when I quitted and returned to cattle trading,' ........... then came the currency change and ....... 'within six months of the currency change I found myself tramping the streets of Nairobi looking for a job, broke to the world.
Fortunately, I got one right away with an auctioneer, at a topping salary. Two years later I had saved enough to start a business of my own. The business I started was on the lines of cattle-dealer and general agency.' ....... 'Apart from attending cattle sales I ran my general agency, which somehow grew (with a working partner) into the principal saddler's shop in Nairobi.' ........ Later appointed general manager of the Kenya Stockbreeder's Co-operative Society, a job which in 1936 brought me into touch with the Italian campaign in Abyssinia.
Hut - 1920 Londiani Hotel
Red 22 - Kenya Trading Corporation, Nairobi
Ian Stewart-Koster - "he must have been a difficult man to live with - he would go out hunting/trading/journeying etc. for months on end, return home to get his wife pregnant, and disappear off again for ages. She ran the house almost singlehandedly, and pretty alone. He'd return to say they were selling and moving to somewhere else, and leave her to pack & organise the shift, and he'd reappear in time to perhaps get her pregnant again … etc.!" [CONF]
Barnes - Nairobi City Park Cemetery - Fred Raper, died 28 May 1956 aged 78 AND Letitia Emma Burleigh Raper, died 10 Jun 1949 aged 71
Gazette - Voters List 1936 - Fred Raper, Auctioneer's Clerk, Parklands and Mrs Letitia Raper, Parklands
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