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Name: McNAB, James Arthur (Lieut.)

image of individual

Photo Source: Sitrep June 2009

Nee: son of Keith Ramsay McNab

Birth Date: 3 Dec 1926 Kenya

Death Date: 10 Nov 1955 killed by Mau Mau

Last Date: 1955

Profession: Intelligence officer killed by Mau Mau. Kenya Regiment

Area: Kericho

Married: Jill Diana Burns b. 1924 Wandsworth, d. 2 Apr 2014 Australia

Children: Neil Keith; Penelope Shirley

Book Reference: Hut, Gazette, KR

General Information:

Hut - British Empire Medal, Kenya Regiment No. 3907, Queen's Police Medal
Gazette 22/5/1956 - Gazette Notice No. 1531 - Posthumous Award of the Queen's Medal for Gallantry. His Excellency the Acting Governor is pleased to announce that information has been received from the Secretary of State that her Majesty the Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the Queen's Police Medal for Gallantry to - James Arthur McNab for gallantry of an extremely high order. This officer was attached to Special Branch, Rift Valley Province, on his appointment as a Field Intelligence officer on 1st September 1954.
He operated in the Molo area where, through his diligent efforts and thoughtful planning, an extremely efficient operational intelligence machine was built up. Mr McNab, in conjunction with his fellow officers, accounted for no fewer than 40 terrorists and for the recovery of arms and ammunition during the period from April to September 1955. Mr McNab was present and played a leading part in all the operations connected with these successes. These were always extremely hazardous and their success was in no small way assured by his intelligent planning, organizing ability and outstanding courage.
On all occasions he displayed a complete disregard for his own safety and continually risked his own life to attain his objective. Subsequent to the acts recorded above, information was received during October 1955 that a desperate gang of terrorists, estimated to number about 30 persons and armed with precision weapons had been located in the Naivasha district, and it was accordingly decided to employ a Special Force of Police and Military officers to locate this gang and bring them to action. Amongst the officers specially selected for this task was FIO McNab.
On the evening of the 9th November 1955, this party was conducted to a place near where the gang was encamped. The party remained in hiding until dawn, when it moved forward in extended order with FIO McNab in the centre, and it was his responsibility to guide the security forces to the scene of action. While the party was advancing FIO McNab saw a tent which was part of the terrorists' camp, and he then sprang forward, firing as he went. The gang returned the fire of the security forces with an automatic weapon.
Within a short space of time the action was over, 7 terrorists having been killed and 2 wounded and captured. In the course of the action FIO McNab was fatally wounded and died almost instantaneously. FIO McNab's conduct was largely responsible for the success achieved, and it is believed that the majority of the terrorists was accounted for by his fire. Throughout the operation he displayed outstanding courage as he was fully aware that the party would encounter determined resistance from a well-armed and resolute enemy.
Gazette 26/1/1973 - Notice of Loss of Policies - South African Mutual Life Assurance Society - Policies for Shs 29,080/28,760 dated 14/5/1954 and 1/1/1956 on the lives of Neil Keith McNab and Penelope Shirley McNab respectively and the property of Jill Diana McNab.
Holy Trinity Church Kericho  J A McNab B.E.M. / Queen's Police Medal / for gallantry / Kenya Regiment TF / 10th Nov 1955 age 26

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