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Name: WARD, Hamilton Frederick 'Freddie' (Major)
Nee: son of Lieut. Robert Frederick Ward, related to Viscount Bangor
Birth Date: 3 Sep 1880 London
Death Date: 1971 South Africa
First Date: 1904
Last Date: 1967
Profession: Managing Agent. Had an Estate Agent's business in Nairobi and for some years an elected Member of LegCo for Nbi. North.
Area: Nairobi, 1930 Kabazi Canners Sabukia, 1930 Muthaiga Club, Nbi., 1914 Nakuru
Married: In London 27 May 1913 Violet Enid Jane Belfield b. 1893 Straits Settlements, Malaya, d.1972 S. Africa (dau. of Governor of EA Sir Henry Belfield)
Children: John Frederick (3 June 1923 Nairobi-May 1979, m. 1950 Pamela Swinton Home of Soy); Sheila Maria Jane (Reynard) (26 Oct 1914 Nairobi)
Author: Further Bookref: Rift Valley, Red Book 1912
Book Reference: Gillett, HBEA, Cuckoo, Golf, Cranworth, Today, Rhodora, Roosevelt, White Man, Debrett, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, North, Playne, Macmillan, Drumkey, Red 22, Into Africa, Gazette, Nicholls, Burke, Peerage, Foster, Eton, EAHB 1907, Mills, Leader14
War Service: Ex. Irish Guards; served Boer War 1900-01, WW1 and WW2
Cuckoo - A partner with Jack Riddell in the Boma Trading Company.
Cuckoo - 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. Freddie Ward built a handsome residence in Parklands, where he entertained most hospitably.
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.
Golf - in 1913, engaged a professional for Muthaiga Golf Course in England, Mr Stephens, on behalf of the Proprietor - Major J.A. Morrison. ... At the end of WW1 Major Ward, the Owner's representative took over the Club buildings and what had been and still was in some places a Golf Course. ' ........ One of his [J.J. Toogood, Standard Bank] first customers was Major H.F. Ward who, following a shooting trip in Kenya, had left the Army and had established himself as an Estate Agent. One of his friends was J.A. Morrison, a wealthy Army officer, who was also in Kenya on a shooting trip. Morrison was convinced that considerable potential existed for a suburb of Nairobi founded on a Club with sporting facilities. They found what they wanted and arranged to purchase the "farm" that later became Muthaiga.
Freddie Ward and Morrison, having worked out what would be needed for the purchase, subsequent survey, club etc went off to the Bank to see Toogood. Morrison who was giving Ward a Power of Attorney said that he wanted to arrange for the necessary funds to be available and would Toogood accept a cheque on London. Toogood replied That he would be only too pleased and nearly fell out of his chair when Morrison produced a cheque book and wrote him out a cheque for £60,000. In those days a £60,000 credit at a Branch recently opened was manna from Heaven. ....... ' extract from a letter from R.G. Ridley - 1995
Cranworth - '......... we had the greatest fun with the 'Daily Leader', beginning with the night before our first issue, which Freddie Ward, a very close friend and coadjutor, spent in pasting our posters on the top of those advertising the 'Standard'. ....... formerly of the Irish Guards and seconded to the KAR, was a most congenial collaborator in many enterprises. Freddie, attracted to the Protectorate first by the promise of sport, took a more and more prominent part in its political and economic development as the years went by. He became a Legislative Councillor, representing Nairobi in more than one Parliament, and right well he served her. He married a daughter of Sir Henry Belfield, who soon became as enthusiastic a Colonist as himself. It is good to know that they still reside in their charming house at Muthaiga, near the Club which he did so much to create.
Cranworth - Muthaiga [Country Club] owed its initiation to Berkeley Cole, who in an unusual outburst of respectability said that he was sick of being treated like a pig and that he yearned for a club of a refined nature where, when you wanted a drink, you rang the bell and it was brought you on a spotless tray. He received a considerable measure of support. The more so since the old Club buildings showed ominous signs of falling down. I do not think, however, that it would have been more than an airy aspiration had it not been for the practical initiative of Major Freddie Ward and the generous enterprise of Major J.A. Morrison. The latter found the money and the former did the work, and Muthaiga rose from its foundations. D. of course was the first president and Charles Bowring and I [Lord Cranworth] had the honour of being the first vice-presidents. The original clubhouse added to since over and over again, was very charming. It did not carry out all Cole's aspirations, in that a very attractive bar was one of its main features, nor did Berkeley show any particular disposition to avoid it; but admirable and spotlessly clean meals were a feature from the start. .... (more) ...…
Roosevelt - Mr F.A. Ward, who had served as a Captain in the SA War and was now one of the heads of the Boma Trading Co. (had been mauled by a lion).
White Man - delegate to Delamere's unofficial Federation conference at Tukuyu in 1925
Debrett - Major late Irish Guards; S. Africa 1900-1901, European War 1914-19, European War 1940; a MLC of Kenya Colony 1922-31 ......... daughter Sheila Marie Jane married in 1939 Alexander Frederick Reynard of Mkungi, N. Kinankop and has children - Anthony (1945), John William (1947), Monica Marie (1942), Residence 'Kihurie', Nakuru. KAD 1922 - Elected Member for Nairobi North
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. .....…..…
Red 22 - Executive, Convention of Associations
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
Gazette - 26/8/1914 - Appt. - H.F. Ward, Chief Staff Officer, Volunteer Forces, East Africa Regiment, to be Captain, to date August 5th 1914
Nicholls - WW1 - As news of the outbreak of war reached the EAP, so farmers flocked to Nairobi to join up. Freddie Ward, an ex-Guards officer, was in charge of recruiting at Nairobi House.
Burke - MLC Kenya Colony 1922-31
Mills - Early in 1946, Major H.F. (Freddie) Ward resigned from the Muthaiga Country Club Committee, on which he had served without a break since 1912, as he was going to live up-country in Kenya and did not want to make the journey to Nairobi for monthly committee meetings. He was asked to become a vice-president, but for some reason he would not accept the office, though ……. He later became president.
Mills - Boma Trading Co. - Ethiopia ….. Bought Abyssinian horses for £2 and drove them, some 800 miles, back to Nairobi and sold them for a handsome profit at £30. On one occasion Freddie Ward arrived back in Nairobi so ill with dysentery and so close to death that even the local newspapers proceeded to carry advertisements of the sale of the contents of his well-furnished house! Advised by his doctors to leave the country and return to England for the sake of his health, he ignored their advice, subsequently recovered and stayed for the next 50 years. In 1909 Freddie set up and equipped the Crown Agents' consulting engineers who assessed the cost of exploiting Lake Magadi for its soda. He was responsible for obtaining the samples for the preliminary analysis at the laboratories in England.
A generous man, Ward once extended his kindness to Abraham Lazarus Block, on an occasion when Block had little money and nowhere to live, by offering him a room in his house. Little did Freddie Ward know that Block would become a prominent Nairobi businessman in years to come. By 1912, Freddie Ward was already recognised as one of Nairobi's best entrepreneurs when his land agency pulled off a big property deal by selling part of Guy Sandbach-Baker's 1,600 acre dairy estate, situated 3 miles from Nairobi at Muthaiga, to Major James Archibald Morrison, an extremely rich visitor from England on safari in the Protectorate. Together Morrison and Ward planned a fashionable private estate included a residential estate, 9 hole golf course and an exclusive country club. ………..
In 1913 Freddie Ward climbed a station lamp post to get a better look at those alighting from the boat train at Nairobi railway station as the new Governor, Sir Henry Belfield, stepped on to the platform with his 2 daughters. At the sight of Violet Belfield, the eldest of the Governor's daughters, Ward remarked to his pioneer friend, Donald Seth-Smith, "One day I'm going to marry her." And within a few months they were man and wife. ………..
But Freddie Ward will best be remembered as the agent of Morrison Estates, the firm that founded Muthaiga Country Club, as a long-serving Muthaiga Committee member, and also as Managing Director of Morrison Estates Ltd., who also built the first multi-storey stone building in Nairobi known as 'Nairobi House'. In 1946 Freddie Ward retired, firstly to his farm in the Rift Valley area of Subukia and then, after 60 years living in Kenya, to South Africa in 1967 where he died in 1971 aged 91 years.
Rift Valley - Member of the Rift Valley Sports Club - Jan 1929 - Elected - 15 May 1920 - Capt. H.F. Ward
Red Book 1912 - H.F. Ward - Nairobi
Web - the following account by Freddie Ward, recorded many years later by Titus Oates, a fellow Muthaiga Committee Member, of what transpired. "I had not the slightest idea that Archie was interested in anything else but big game, until after breakfast one day just before he started off on his last safari. He then said quite suddenly that he would like, amongst other things, to develop a modern residential suburb with a Club and a nine-hole golf course. Would I act for him, and if so, would I have concrete proposals on his return from his safari so that he could settle details before leaving for England? I was frankly astonished! In order to secure the best that offered, I took an option on all the building land round the boundary of Nairobi Municipal Council’s area, and a mile in depth. Homestead Farm proved to be the only suitable property, as only that property was it possible to obtain water from the town mains.
When Archie came in after his last shoot, just before going off to England I took him round Nairobi and included the close look at Homestead Farm. One afternoon we drove down, in Ali Khan’s barouche, the winding path that led through the property. Archie approved of my proposals, and next morning asked to be taken to a bank so that he might make suitable financial arrangements. The Standard Bank had just opened a Nairobi branch under John James (Jack) Toogood. This was situated in a small part of Lyall the Jeweller and consisted of a chair for Jack Toogood, a table, two chairs for clients and a large safe. Archie explained what he intended to do, took out his cheque book, wrote a cheque and handed it to Jack, saying that he would be back in five weeks time. He never came back. The cheque gave Jack a shock for it was for a large amount, £60,000 (today worth over £3,600,000) made out to me personally and Toogood stated that he hoped we didn’t want to cash it because there wasn’t that amount of cash available in the whole Protectorate never mind at his bank!
Archie Morrison left for England and I had to get busy. Homestead belonged to the Sandbach-Baker family, who were granted the freehold property without payment in order to maintain the milk supply for Nairobi. So we took an option on 750 acres from the Sandbach-Bakers in the name of Morrison Estates Limited at their asking price. When I exercised the option, I got a proper dressing down from Mrs. Sandbach-Baker for not agreeing to pay also for the trees on the property!" So began the development of the Country Club and its exclusive residential estate.
Gazette - 12/11/1919 - Register of Voters - Nairobi, North Area - Hamilton Frederick Ward - Managing Agent, Muthaiga and Mrs Violet Enid Jane Ward - Muthaiga
Muthaiga - One of the 7 original subscribers to Muthaiga Country Club in 1935
HBEA 1912 - Treasurer, Landholders' Association and Sec. & Treasurer of EA Turf Club.
Today - Chairman of EAP&L
Old Africa - 19-9-16 - Christine Nicholls - The name Freddie or Freddy Ward crops up so repeatedly in the early land dealings of East African settlers that it is worth finding out about the man behind the name. Like many of the early white settlers, Hamilton Frederick Ward fought in the Boer War (in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and the Irish Guards, where he reached the rank of Major) straight after he left Eton, and developed a love for Africa. He came from a military family – his grandfather was Vice-Admiral James Hamilton Ward, from Viscount Bangor’s family, and his father Robert Frederick Ward was a lieutenant in the Royal Navy who died young, when Freddy was eleven (he was born on 3 September 1880). His mother Rose was left to care for Freddy and his younger sister Mabel, and in 1891 we find them living in a hotel in Bournemouth.
As soon as the Boer War was over, Freddy Ward organised a shooting party to travel to East Africa in 1904. He made a second trip in 1905, and fell in love with the country. He managed to get himself seconded to the King’s African Rifles in April 1906, as a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, from which he resigned in 1908. We first really hear of him in 1905 when he joined other colonists to protest against the death sentence of a white man for murder – Max Wehner, who had shot and killed a man he had hired as his guide to a hotel in Nakuru. Eventually the sentence was overturned by the Privy Council.
Ward tired of the KAR and resigned to occupy himself with business. He joined with Captain Jack Riddell and Marquis Ralph Hornyold in investing in the Boma Trading Company. The Company’s object was to develop trade through the barren northern area to Abyssinia and a trading post was set up in Marsabit in 1907. The government was not averse to this, because it might open up the remote north at someone else’s expense. Ward left for London to bombard the Colonial Office with letters about the Company in 1908. Certain conditions were required of the Company, should they trade with Abyssinia, and eventually Ward came to an agreement with the Colonial Office. Ward then went to Abyssinia with Riddell to get permits from the leader Menelik. These they obtained and set up trading posts at Dolo, Laisamis and Moyale. Trade was conducted in Abyssinian horses, boran cattle and sheep in return for beeswax and beads. Thus the new colonists could obtain stock hardened to African conditions, and cross-breed them with European and Australian sheep and cattle. Eventually the government set up its own administrative posts in what became known as the Northern Frontier District and the Boma Trading Company had to pursue its interests elsewhere.
By now Freddy Ward was established in Nairobi as a land and business agent. New colonists were directed to him to purchase land. It was thus that he met Archie Morrison in 1912, when the rich financier was staying at Chiromo with Ewart Grogan. Morrison committed himself to investments worth hundreds of thousands of pounds, but insisted that a proper club be built. Thus the Sandbach Baker dairy farm at Muthaiga was bought in 1912, divided into lots and sold, and Muthaiga Club was built with a cheque made out to Freddy Ward for £60,000. Ward was interested in encouraging settlers to East Africa, and to this purpose in 1912 he and John Williamson Milligan compiled a Handbook of British East Africa 1912-13, designed for ‘settlers, traders and sportsmen … to introduce the visitor to a most alluring country, to the big-game hunter the finest hunting-ground, and to the prospective settler a land of great opportunity.’
On the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Freddy Ward was put in charge of recruitment in Nairobi. The previous year, on 27 May 1913, he had married Violet Enid Jane Belfield, the daughter of Sir Henry Belfield, the Governor of the East Africa Protectorate. In the war’s medal list Ward is described as ‘served E. Af., unattached’ to a regiment. Two months after the outbreak of war Ward and his wife had a daughter, Sheila Marie Jane. Nine years later they had a son, John Frederick, who became a captain in the Irish Guards.
After the war Ward concentrated on his estate agent business, HF Ward & Co., in Nairobi. Then he decided to stand as an unofficial member of the Legislative Council, holding his seat for Nairobi North throughout the 1920s. He co-operated with Lord Delamere and Lord Francis Scott, who was a good friend, and spoke in many debates. He found time to be Chairman of Parklands Sports Club in 1924. A later Legco member, Michael Blundell, said he was widely known as ‘Freddy Fraud.’ Later the Wards moved to Kihurie, Nakuru, and in 1967 to South Africa. Freddy Ward died in 1971 and his wife Violet in 1972. His son continued to live in Kenya till his death in May 1979 (he is buried in St Paul’s church cemetery, Kiambu), but his daughter had moved previously to Pretoria, South Africa. Ward was one of the enterprising pioneers who opened up Kenya.
Gazette - Voters List 1936 - Hamilton Frederick Ward, Managing Agent, Muthaiga Estate and Violet Enid Jane Ward, Muthaiga Estate
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