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Name: WROE, James Donald

Birth Date: 19 Feb 1901 Oldham, Lancs.

Death Date: 8 June 1966 Nairobi

First Date: 1935

Last Date: 1966

Profession: Income Tax - started with the Income Tax Office when they opened in Nairobi in 1937. Clerk, Inland Revenue Dept. in 1939, appointed 1937

Area: Nairobi, 1960 Olive Estate, Kiambu

Married: In Nairobi 5 June 1943 Janet 'Jean' Carmichael McKinlay b. 3 Dec 1919 Nairobi, d. 2 Oct 2014 Laidley, Churchill, Queensland, Australia (dau of John Jones and Coila McKinlay)

Children: John Kenneth (1944); Joan Muriel; Margaret Bertha

Book Reference: EAWL, Staff 39, Hut, EA & Rhodesia, Old Africa, Childhood

War Service: Reserved Occupation

School: England

General Information:

Source: Mrs Janet Tomes
EA & Rhodesia - 26/2/59 - Mr James D. Wroe, one of the original members of the East African Income Tax Department, which was started in 1936 with a staff of 10, is about to retire to his coffee estate near Kiambu. During the last war he was posted to Tanganyika, from which territory he returned to Nairobi in 1945.
Old Africa 19 - My father, James Donald Wroe, set out in a 1929 Chevy 6 cylinder, registration T485, from Nairobi on Sunday June 4 1939, headed for Moshi, Tanganyika, on what was then the main road to the coast. Employed by the Inland Revenue Department, my father expected to spend that night in Moshi with friends before departing for Voi the next day. He never arrived in Moshi. My father had promised to wire some friends in Nairobi when he reached Voi. On Monday when his friends didn't hear from him, they became anxious. They guessed he had mistakenly taken the little-used Loitokitok road - more of a track - which was more or less deserted during this time of year. Spotter aircraft were sent out in a desperate search for a man who had only carried enough food for a few days.
For a week there was no news of my father. He had disappeared. My father had indeed wandered onto the Loitokitok road and into tall elephant grass. The grassseeds clogged the radiator and the Chevy boiled and lost its water. To make matters worse he had also fractured the sump on some hard object as he drove through the tall grass. He had no choice but to carry what provisions he could and set off on foot. At night he lit a fire to keep the wild animals at bay. For 5 days my father wandered around in the African bush - three of those days without food or water.
On Saturday June 10th a party - only the second one since the advent of the long rains - set out from Namanga Camp under Captain Gethin on a game safari to Rhino Camp. My father, lips swollen, completely exhausted and maybe not far from death, had just been found by some Maasai. They fed my father with water one precious drop at a time through his raw sunburnt lips. Captain Gethin and his party came across my father and carried him back to Namanga as quickly as possible. There was no regular mail service from Namanga Camp but a car arrived in Nairobi on Sunday June 11th from Namanga to inform everyone that my father was safe and sound recovering in Namanga. - John Wroe
Barnes Langata cem Nairobi in loving memory / of / James Donald / Wroe / who died on the / 8th june 1968 beloved husband of / Janet "Jean" / & devoted father of / John Kenneth / Joan Muriel / & / Margaret Bertha
Gazette 28 June 1966 probate

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