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Name: THOMPSON, William S.

Nationality: British

First Date: 1892

Profession: Smith, Mackenzie & Co. arr. Zanzibar from Europe 16/3/1892; working for IBEA Co. at Kikuyu as an asst. to James Martin Oct. 1892; Kikuyu at 12/12/1892; dep. Kampala for coast, ill Feb 1893; Member of proposed EA Volunteer Force 9/10/1896, Mombasa

Book Reference: North, UJ

General Information:

North - Appt. Overseer for Uganda Railway, Construction Div. 13/8/1897
Uganda Journal Vol 22, p. 189 - Letter from A.T. Matson - The strange relationship of Eugen Wolf and Sir Gerald Portal which is referred to in UJ, 21 (1957), 222 is further illustrated by a personal letter from Wolf to Portal, dated Kampala, 12 December 1892, which was found among Portal's papers after his death. It appears in Foreign Office reprints for 1894 and throws some additional light on Thompson. Wolf told Portal that he had arrived at Kampala on 6 December 1892 in company with James Martin and Thompson of the IBEA Company and formerly of Smith, Mackenzie. All were well except Thompson who had failed to look after his health on the march. An attack of dysentery had so weakened him that he had to be carried during the last fortnight. It was at first intended to send Thompson back to the coast when Martin left Kampala on 12th (after only 5 days' stay) together with Bagge and a consignment of ivory. Unfortunately Thompson committed a further imprudence and it was decided that he should travel with that part of Bishop Tucker's caravan which was to return soon after the Bishop's arrival later in the month. Matters were eventually so arranged as is noted in UJ, 21 (1957), 233.
Uganda Journal - The Wilsons of Early Uganda - .….….……
'Another European assistant' who reached Kampala with Capt. Eric Smith and James Martin on 6 December 1892 is thus not J.P. Wilson, who was already in the country; and he may with some certainty be identified as one Thompson or Thomson. Of him little is known, for though he was an employee of the Company he does not appear in the staff list printed by McDermott (British East Africa, 2nd ed. 1895) But there are a few unpublished references to him.
Towards the end of August 1892 Lugard, who was hurrying down to the coast, mentions in his diary meeting Martin's caravan. With Martin was his clerk Thompson as well as the German journalist Wolf. Ernest Gedge (diary) when he arrived at Kampala on 31 January 1893 mentions that he 'had tiffin with Grant, Wilson and Thompson, who has got over his dysentery'; and a letter dated Kampala, 18 February 1893, from Captain W.H. Williams which is now in the Zanzibar Archives, states that he was sending Thomson, invalided out of the service, down to the Coast under the escort of Mr G.C. Leith. The latter, also a Company man, had reached Kampala as caravan leader of Bishop Tucker's party at the end of December. On the return journey to the Coast Leith's caravan must have passed Sir Gerald Portal's mission on its way up country. It is on record that this caravan acted high-handedly at Wakoli's and at Sakwa's (Kavirondo); and this was apparently the end of Leith's employment with the Company.

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