Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: ELLSON, Peter James Robert

Nee: son of Alfred James Ellson

Birth Date: 21 Apr 1929 Nairobi

Death Date: 3 Sep 1997 Pietermaritzburg, Natal, murdered in his home

First Date: 1929

Profession: Customs & Excise

Area: Nairobi, Kampala, Kapatagat, Mombasa

Married: In Mombasa 1949 Anne Russell d. 1997 Pietermaritzburg

Children: Kathleen; Keith; Eva

Book Reference: mini-SITREP XI

School: Nairobi Primary, Prince of Wales School

General Information:

mini-SITREP XI - a Tribute by Spike Bulley - ' ..... even by the standards of those days Peter's early life was unusual. When he was about a year old his father was killed in an accident at the railway crossing near the old Scots Church. Peter's mother then joined up with her parents, and the family moved to Uganda where they farmed coffee outside Kampala. Times were not easy in the early 1930s and Peter's grandfather, in addition to managing the coffee farm, worked tin mining concessions near the Kagera River in SW Uganda. This was the real Africa, which, Peter the boy, loved, a love which was to stay with him all his life. Peter went to school at the Nairobi Primary, and later to the Prince of Wales .... at Kabete.
Getting to school from Uganda was an adventure in itself - two days and a night on the train, and sometimes, depending on where his grandfather was working, part of the journey by lake steamer. At the POW Peter was in Rhodes House. He was younger than I and I remember him as being very fair haired and wearing a red sports shirt on the playing fields.
On leaving the POW Peter joined the EA Customs and Excise and saw duty in both Kampala and Mombasa. It was in Mombasa that Peter met Anne, where they married late in 1949. Kathleen was born the next year and Keith followed a couple of years later.
Peter joined the Kenya Regt. in 1952 and his military service began with a 6 month infantry training course at the British Army Training Centre in S. Rhodesia. He was a member of the Regimental hockey side that won the senior league competition in Salisbury and was subsequently selected to play hockey for Rhodesia. This he was unable to do, however, due to the Regiment's recruits having to return to Kenya. I recall Peter telling me that part of his Regimental service was spotting for Mau Mau gangs and hideouts from a light aircraft. The plane was also used to drop supplies to security force patrols in the Aberdare forests.
In the mid-fifties Peter and his family moved to Kipkabus in the Uasin Gishu, where he bought a farm and developed a small beef herd. Farming didn't work out for them. Peter told me they were undercapitalised, and with the approach of Independence for Kenya they moved to Britain. Peter was unhappy in England and never really settled. The call of Africa was too strong, and some 3 years later, in the early 60s, he joined Rainbow Chickens, and the family moved once again, this time to Natal ......… (more)
KR 4048
Bruce Rooken-Smith They were attacked in their home just outside Pietermaritzburg by possible accomplices of their domestic, but no one was ever charged. Peter died of his wounds and his wife Anne succumbed a few days later.

Back to search results