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Name: RIDDELL, George Hutton 'Jack' MVO (Major)

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Nee: related to Earl of Craven; son of Capt. George William Hutton Riddell of Bragborough Hall, Rugby

Birth Date: 22 July 1878 Rugby, bapt 16 Aug

Death Date: Apr 1953 Kitale

First Date: 1905

Profession: Farmer. Joint MFH with Elkington. Cousin of Johnnie Van der Weyer

Area: Karen, Escarpment

Married: In Chelsea 1928 Kathleen Dorothy Rolph b. 22 June 1907 Stamford, Lincs.,

Children: Evelyn Craven (1931)

Book Reference: Hut, Debrett, Drumkey, Wallace, Eton, Leader14, Chandler, Red Book 1912, HBEA, Cuckoo, Best, Midday Sun, KFA, Gethin, Empire, Adventurers, Cranworth, Vulture, Playne, EA & Rhodesia, Pioneers, Into Africa, SKP

War Service: Lieut. Warwickshire Militia; Lieut. 16th Lancers, Field Force, S. Africa

School: Eton 1892-96

General Information:

Debrett - son of the late Capt. George William Hutton-Riddell [E. Craven]; b. 1878; ed. at Eton; entered 16th Lancers 1899, and became Capt. 1904; retired 1906; served in S. Africa 1900-02 (Queen's medal with 2 clasps, King's medal with 2 clasps) and during European War 1915-16 as Major Yeo. (despatches); is a Staff Capt.; commanded escort at Lismore, on occasion of H.M.'s visit to Ireland 1904 (MVO)
Playne - The Boma Trading Company Ltd. - Holding a permit to cross the border of the Protectorate and trade within the borders of South Abyssinia, this company has practically a monopoly there. It was established in 1907, and brings live-stock, hides, skins, beeswax, and feathers between Harrar in Abyssinia and down the Juba River to Kismayu. The trade is worked by a series of depots, all of which are in charge of Europeans. This part of the country was pioneered in 1905 by Captain G.H. Riddell, MVO, and he is now general manager of the company. Among others employed by the firm is H.F. Ward, late of the Irish Guards. Safari outfitting is a speciality, and also dealing in all sorts of native curios. Ammunition etc. is also stocked. ........... Captain Riddell's knowledge of the haunts of big game and his wide experience of sport, as well as his thorough acquaintance with all parts of the country, make him invaluable to shooting parties. ..…
Drumkey 1909 - Directory of Residents - Capt. G. Riddell, Boma Trading Co., Nairobi
Wallace - "I should like here to give a word of thanks to Captain Riddell, MVO, who fitted us out. No sportsman going on a shooting trip in East Africa could do better than place himself in his hands. He will have the satisfaction of knowing that his safari has been organised by one who has had great personal experience in nearly every kind of sport, and at the same time his monthly expenditure is limited to a given figure. Thus he will be able to calculate within a few pounds exactly what his expenses for the trip will be, a great convenience.
Red Book 1912 - Master - Masara Hunt Club
Gazette - 29/12/1934 - List of voters - George Hutton Riddell, Tavern Keeper, 1160. Nairobi and his wife Kathleen Dorothy Riddell
HBEA 1912 - Joint Master of the Masara Hunt
Cuckoo - Partner in the Boma Trading Company. Their stone premises were next to the Norfolk Hotel. At a later date trees were planted in front of the store by Col. Theodore Roosevelt and his Royal Highness Prince Arthur of Connaught in commemoration of their visits to Nbi. The trees still thrive (1936), being surrounded by a small fence and suitably inscribed.   
Midday Sun - 'He had been one of three partners in a most adventurous little enterprise called the Boma Trading Company, whose object had been to open up trade between Abyssinia and the EA Protectorate across the 350 miles or so of the desert that was to become the NFD. This was a bold idea in 1907 when the company was formed with £1000 of capital, and with Winston Churchill's blessing. The moving spirit was Captain Jack Riddell, who had done some surveying in this dangerous borderland not as yet in the grip of Pax Britannica, and totally without roads, towns or even villages, where wells and water-holes were few and far between.' ............... (more) Other partners were Billy Sewell and Freddie Ward.                                  
KFA - Original shareholder in Unga Ltd 1908. ............. a more flamboyant character than is generally to be found on a board of millers. An aquaintance with Delamere had brought him to the Protectorate soon after the South African War and he took up land in the Kedong valley. But Jack Riddell was not a man to sit still and farm. He became one of the first of the white hunters and formed a small company with the object of trading into Abyssinia. - story of the Boma Trading Co. (pp. 21/23)    
Gethin - 1919 - when sovereigns were worth 35-40 rupees in Zanzibar he smuggled some in. 'He came on board the ship carrying a bag of golf clubs on his shoulder, including four wooden clubs with steel plates. He had scooped out the head of the clubs filled them with sovereigns, and replaced the plates. On arrival at Zanzibar Jack went ashore with his clubs to play golf, but he only got as far as the town, where he sold the gold to some Indian. He told me later it was a most successful game of golf and he had won easily!'
Empire - The best known pack had their kennels a few miles from Nairobi and were hunted for some years by Capt. Riddell and Major Elkington with a draft of hounds from Lord Leconfield's hunt. The club was called the Masara Hunt, and had their hunt uniforms and everything just as at home.
Playne ' ....... A very good class Arab, by name Governor, the winner of scores of races in India is standing at stud at Mr Elkington's place. Several mares are now in foal to him. He is the property of Captain Riddell and the only pity is that this high-class pony is now well advanced in years. ..... ..... Seven and a half couple of fox-hounds, chiefly from Lord Leconfield's pack in Sussex, were presented to Mr J.L.M. Elkington, the owner of Masara farm by Mr G.H. Goldfinch, of Nakuru. Hunting for jackal and duiker takes place on Sundays and Wednesdays, and on occasional bye-days. Captain G.H. Riddell and Mr Elkington are joint masters of the Hunt. There are no subscriptions as the Hunt is entirely private, but every one is made welcome, notices of meets being posted weekly. More couples of hounds, presented to Mr Elkington are on their way from England at the time of writing. The kennels (presented by Captain Riddell) are of stone, well ventilated and dry. ...…
Playne - Director of Unga Ltd.
East Africa & Rhodesia - 23/4/53 - Major J. Riddell, who has died in Kenya after 49 years in East Africa, was a pioneer of the old school. One of Kenya's oldest settlers, his main interests had been cattle and big game hunting; and he conducted the safari of the late Duke of Connaught. The Northern Frontier Province had a special attraction for him, and few men had a more intimate knowledge of the local tribes. He was an intelligence officer in the 1914-18 war, and was at one time an honorary British ADC to the King of Spain. He had served as a non-official member of the Legislative Council. He leaves a widow and two daughters.
Red 22 - Member, Nairobi Municipal Council - J. Riddell
Into Africa - Riddell formed a raffish outfit with two other men for the risky but profitable business of running ponies down from Abyssinia. '1908 witnessed the arrival, at Diredawa Railhead of three accredited representatives of the Boma Trading Company, Major H.F. Ward, Mr W. Sewall, and [Jack Riddell]'. Boma turned Riddell's individual management of safaris into part of a larger business. 'Captain Riddell, MVO, an experienced sportsman …… has charge of [this line of business]'. ……….. For much of Boma's short life, however, Riddell preferred running ponies while Sewall and Ward set up outposts at Moyale, Marsabit, and Dolo, which became government stations when, in 1910, Geoffrey Archer ….. Was sent 'to take over from the Company their camps, military equipment, and rifles'. Riddell said much later that this takeover ended his connection with the company, but a 1913 advertisement still connected his name with it. That year saw about the end, however, of Boma Trading; its 'buccaneering flavour' may have been too gamey for the new safari clientele.
Into Africa - Jack Riddell - Captain Riddell, MVO, then Major Riddell in the Second World War - is best remembered as one of the founders of the raffish Boma Trading Company, but he was the most widely advertised of independent white hunters in 1907. How many clients he actually took out is uncertain, but he appears to have been white hunter for the Duke of Connaught's safari. He apparently left East Africa when war came.
SKP - 1938 - Society of Kenya Pioneers - over 30 years in Colony - arrived 1906 - Ngong
Barnes - Kitale Cemetery - Jack Riddell - born 1878, died April 1953
Best - a soldier turned ivory poacher, liked to ride his horse into the dining room of the Norfolk and jump clean over a table without disturbing the crockery.
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Kiambu Voters Roll

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