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Name: RUCK, Roger Edwin George

Birth Date: 1912 Taunton

Death Date: 24 Jan 1953 Kinangop, killed by Mau Mau

Last Date: 1953

Profession: Farmer

Area: North Kinangop

Married: Dr Esme Adeline De Smidt b. 1920 Chesterton, Cambs., d. 24 Jan 1953 north Kinangop

Children: Michael, 6 yr. old son murdered by Mau Mau 24 Jan 1953

Book Reference: Best, Campbell, Precarious, Verandah, Ione, Frampton, Hut, KGF, Nicholls, Barnes

General Information:

Best - A family named Ruck was wiped out on the Kinangop in particularly appalling circumstances. Mbogo the syce and Gitahi the tractor driver lured 38 year old Roger Ruck out of his house on a pretext and then butchered him in the darkness. Esme, his young doctor wife, suffered the same fate when she ran to his aid. After hacking the two bodies to shreds, and that of a Kikuyu gardener who tried to intervene, the gang stormed into the drawing room in search of firearms and money. Half crazed with bloodlust, Gitahi began to hammer the keys of the piano while Mbogo and the others trooped upstairs and chopped through a locked door to get at 6 year-old Michael Ruck, cowering shrunkenly underneath his bed.
Jack the Ripper had nothing on the way the gang left Michael that night. Perhaps it was the killing of the child, perhaps it was the knowledge that Esme Ruck had devoted her life to running a medical clinic for the local African population, but something about the Ruck atrocity woke up Kenya's settler population to the fact that Mau Mau was not simply a piece of lunacy that happened only to other people.
The Rucks were the very last people to invite such an attack. Plain, honest, hard-working folk, they represented everything that was good in Kenya Europeans. They were fond of their African servants and inspired affection in return.
Campbell - Roger Ruck. He was a farmer and a neighbour of Bowyer. "Bowyer was slashed to bits," said Roger Ruck, who had a black stubble of beard, and whose lips were pale. "All the fingers of one hand were gone. After they killed him they disembowelled him. When we tried to lift the body out of the bath, bits of his bowels began to slide down the drain." His face worked. "Bloody Kukes". Ruck told us there were about 20 farmers with their wives and children living on the plateau. ..…..
Mrs Ruck drove up. She was a pretty, fair-haired girl, with a lovely complexion. Ruck introduced us to his wife. "She's been nursing Kukes," he said bitterly. "She's a qualified doctor. She looks after their children, and hands out medicines to the sick." "Not any more," said Mrs Ruck. "After Bowyer, I'd rather tend animals." ..... "I'll tell you one thing." Ruck said, "and you can print it. These bastards won't get me the way they got Bowyer. From now on, so far as I'm concerned a dead Kuke is a safe Kuke." He repeated: "They'll never get me." ........... Weeks later, when I was back in Johannesburg, I read that the Mau Mau had killed not only Ruck, but his wife and child as well. One night a servant of the Ruck's knocked on the farmhouse door. He told Roger that a Mau Mau oath taker was hiding in one of the huts on the farm. Roger got his gun and went out. It was a trap, and he was slashed to pieces on his lawn, before he could fire a shot. Mrs Ruck ran to her husband's aid and was also murdered. The killers then entered the farmhouse, where the Ruck's child lay asleep. They broke down the door of the room and cut the child's throat.  
Precarious - Roger Ruck, 38 and his wife Esme, a doctor. A very popular pair, they lived about 4 miles from where Bowyer was done to death, but 2 miles from the forest edge and were well alive to their danger. .….   
Verandah - Esme was a childhood friend of Suzanne Fisher neé Allen - Esme and I continued friends till long after I left Limuru to go to England. After she trained as a doctor she came back to Kenya, married and lived on a farm where she ran a dispensary for the Africans for miles around. She and her husband and small son were brutally murdered by their own houseboys during Mau Mau.   
Ione - Roger Ruck and his wife lived on a farm on the Kinangop, an area which had already been the scene of 2 Mau Mau murders; their home was near the farm where Eric Bowyer had been killed and not far distant from Thomson's Falls where 3 weeks earlier, Charles Fergusson and Richard Bingley had met their horrible death. The Rucks were not unaware of the dangers which surrounded them ......... they lived in a state of tension, armed night and day. The fact that they had a small child, Michael, who was 6, added considerably to their anxiety. Roger Ruck, tall and athletic, hunted, played a good game of polo, and had a reputation as an oarsman. His wife, who was Kenya born, had qualified as a doctor in S. Africa. She treated the natives free of charge for miles around. They had been living with a neighbour for some time, so that Ruck could perform his KPR duties at night knowing that his wife and child were not on the farm alone, but a few days before Christmas they returned to their home for the harvesting. Before she left her neighbour's house, Mrs Ruck said: "If anybody attacks me, I hope they will leave my son alone." He would have been 7 the following June and was due to go to school ............ Major Reynard's farm ........ Inside the house sat Ruck with his pistol to hand, his wife with a shotgun on her knees. It was their usual routine. At 6 o'clock Michael had had his supper at his own small table beside the fireplace and had been taken up to bed. They had finished their dinner; the servants had gone to their huts, and they were in the house alone. Suddenly they heard the syce outside calling, and Ruck went out on the verandah and asked what he wanted. Mbogo repeated the story that they had concocted about arresting a man on the farm. Ruck asked who the man was, and Mbogo said he did not know, but they had him outside by the lorry. Ruck enquired how many men had caught him, and Mbogo replied that he and the driver alone had caught him.
In spite of all the precautions that he had taken for weeks, Roger Ruck now walked out of the house and into the dark grounds. Near the lorry he stopped and flashed his torch. As he did so Mbogo caught his arms from behind; at the same time 4 men jumped out at him from behind the lorry. A brutal slashing with pangas and simis began. The others who had been hiding behind the fence, came out and joined in the game. ...... Ruck was attacked on all sides. He shouted to warn his wife, and she came running out of the house with her shotgun but before she had time to use it the gang seized her. Ruck, freed for a moment by the onslaught on his wife, tried to get back to the house, but the men caught him again, hammering blows on his head till it was battered to pulp. Mrs Ruck was killed at the same time. They were murdered within sight of each other .....…..
Michael was lying in his cot surrounded by his toys when the men broke open the door and burst in. They battered him to death.
?? Roger Edwin George - KR 3324 ??
Nicholls - On 24 January 1953 the colony was shocked by the brutal murder of Roger Ruck and his family at their home in north Kinangop; Esmé Ruck died as her unborn child was ripped from her womb. Photographs of the bodies were widely available to settlers.
Barnes - Nairobi City Park Cemetery - Roger E.G. Ruck, died 24 Jan 1953 aged 38, AND Esme Ruck, died 24 Jan 1953 aged 32, AND Michael Ruck, died 24 Jan 1953 aged 6
Frampton - Tom Banks nearly bought the Ruck farm in 1939 - he and Peggy picniced under the fig tree where the Rucks were killed

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