Skip to content ↓

View entry

Back to search results

Name: REECE, Gerald KCMG, CBE, Sir

image of individualimage of individual

Birth Date: 10 Jan 1897 Christchurch, New Zealand

Death Date: 14 Oct 1985 Haddington, East Lothian

First Date: 1925

Profession: PC

Area: Marsabit, 1925 N. Kavirondo, 1930 Moyale

Married: 20 Mar 1936 Alys Isabel Wingfield Tracy b. 13 Mar 1912 Bury St Edmunds, d. 18 Jan 1995

Children: Sarah Rose Tracy (Tennant) (1937); Caroline Ann Tracy (1940), Andrew Edward Mackintosh (1945); Alastair Hugh (1949)

Book Reference: Last Chance, Staff 39, Bwana, Lillibullero, Reece, Cass, Debrett, Red 25, Red 31, Hut, Colonial, Dominion, Foster

War Service: Served on Western Front, Sherwood Foresters

School: Rugby School, trained as a solicitor

General Information:

Last Chance - 'Reece had begun to study Law after the 1914-18 War; then finding office life insupportable, had come out to Africa, drawn, almost as if by compass, to the wastes and deserts of the northern frontier, where, off and on, except when he had been the British Consul in Abyssinia, he had been the last 20 years.'   
Bwana - a born leader with a fine record in WW1 ......... devoted to the Northern Province and to its peoples ... To his juniors he was always known as 'Uncle'. We were at first a little in awe of him but he had the happy gift of putting people at their ease - even after reprimands.   
Lillibullero - ....... in charge at Moyale ...... Gerald Reece ...... reliable: a good, douce, reliable person (Glenday) ......... a tireless letter writer ...... he believed absolutely that a married man in these parts was tied to his partner and could not get about the country, with the value of his work in consequence reduced, as he estimated, by 25%. So it was that married officers were seldom permitted in the N.F. country, and female visitors never. While he ruled, that was the Law of the North. Other times have brought other ways; and report even says that Uncle Reece is now married, the proud father of 2 bouncing daughters.   
Reece - Gerald belonged to the Kenya Administration. He was something of a desert specialist and most of his service had been in the wilder outposts. Some time before, however, he had been seconded to the F.O. for duty on the other side of Kenya's Northern Frontier at Mega, where he rejoiced in the title of HBM's Consul for S. Ethiopia. This post was in fact as romantic as it sounded, but it was almost unbearably lonely. In those days the consul lived inside a strong palisade where he led a somewhat feudal existence. He had a tiny private army and was self-sufficient to the extent of having his own saddler, carpenter and tailor, keeping his own cows, mules and camels, and so on. The consulate was on high ground, with splendid views when it was not shrouded in mist, but there was no one to talk to in his own language nearer than Moyale, 3 days march away on the Kenya frontier. He was not provided with motor transport and at that time there was nothing more than a rough track. As might be expected, there was little normal consular work; the post was rather that of political agent, like those on the N.W. Frontier in India. ....... In May 1936 he flew back to duty in Mega after his wedding, wound up affairs at the Consulate and took over at Marsabit. ...... became PC of Northern Frontier in 1939 ........... In 1948 he handed over to Richard Turnbull and became Governor of British Somaliland   
Debrett - admitted a Solicitor 1921; appointed H.B.M.'s Consul for S. Abyssinia 1934, Officer-in-Charge of N. Frontier, Kenya 1939, Senior Political Officer, Borana Province of Ethiopia 1941, Provincial Commr., Kenya 1945, and Gov. and Com.-in-Ch. Somaliland Protectorate 1948; retired 1953; European War 1915-18 as Lieut. Sherwood Foresters (thrice wounded) Dominion - District Officer - 1930
Gazette - 1/4/1925 - Arrived on 1st Appointment - Cadet, ADC - G. Reece
Last Chance (1948) Story of safari in NFD (pp.271 on). Appointed as an Admin. Cadet in 1925. DO in 1937.
Bwana - 1938 - Admin. Officer in charge of Northern Province.
Reece - 'so tall and had a highly individual stance'

Back to search results