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Name: DUNSTAN ADAMS, Alfred OBE, MC, TD (Col.)
Birth Date: 19 Oct 1893 Tulbagh, Cape Province
Death Date: 27 July 1978 Seavington St Mary, Somerset
First Date: 1925
Last Date: 1973
Profession: Founder and first Commanding Officer of the Kenya Regt. in 1937. Also an accountant in Nairobi and a Director of Companies. Partner in firm of Dunstan Adams & May. Hon. Col. Kenya Regt.
Area: Nairobi, 1930 Box 612, Nairobi
Married: 1. In Wynberg, Cape Province 17 Feb 1921 Mary Geraldine Taylor b. 1894 Cape Province, d. 1 May 1922 Wynberg, puerperal eclampsia; 2.1925 Eileen Margaret Thornton (d. 1978)
Children: Myles (d. 15.11.1994); Kathleen Mary (Dobson) (10 June 1926 Nairobi-Mar 2013 Seavington, Somerset); another dau.
Book Reference: Sitrep 1, Who's Who, Red 31, Aero
War Service: Ger. SW Africa, Western Desert, France & Flanders in WW1, Abyssinia & Madagascar in WW2
School: Wynberg BHS, SACS and Lond. University
Sitrep 1 - 'Alfred changed his surname to Dunstan Adams in 1924 when he first went to Kenya. This was to distinguish himself from the many Adamses he found there, some of whom were shenzis [of poor quality]. In his youth he was a boxer and rugby player of some renown, and a scratch golfer who really used to burn-up Royal Nairobi in later years. Qualified as an accountant before the First World War, he joined the SA Forces in 1914 and saw action in German South West Africa. In 1915 he went to Britain to join the Army, specifically the regiment of his grandfather's county - The Devonshire Light Infantry. But he was seconded to the Border Regiment, whose accent he never did get to understand in spite of seeing action with them in Mesopotamia against the Turks and Arabs, and a further three years on the Western Front. He was a Battalion CO with the Borders and ended the war as a Brevet Lt.-Col. with 2 MCs. As he was a junior officer when he won them, it can be assumed that they were good gongs. In 1919 he entered Bart's Hospital in London to study Medicine. In 1922, however, he unfortunately went down with TB. This, combined with the gassing he got at Ypres, put paid to his ambitions of becoming a 'mganga' [doctor]. He spent a year in Morocco on doctor's orders (his quack's prognosis was a bit adrift, as DA did another six years in the Army during the Second World War and lived well into his eighties), married my Mum on his return to England and they went out to Kenya in 1924. At first in Kenya they tried farming - they had a shamba somewhere between Ol Donyo Sabuk and the Mua Hills, a 1000 acres of arid, useless, Athi-like plains. They tried wheat and mealies for three years of locusts, drought and locusts, in that order. Years later, just before the Second World War, DA settled a displaced European on that very same shamba. At that time DA was Chairman of Plough Settlement, a philanthropic organisation that assisted people who were in trouble from Mr Hitler. .…
DA gave up the farming idea after the first three disastrous years, and set up an Accountancy practice in Nairobi, where he became a Chartered Accountant. Back in the profession of his early twenties, he and his partner's offices were above Whiteaways in Delamere Avenue, next to the EA Standard. The partnership folded when DA joined up in September 1939. Incidentally, the Kenreg was at camp at '64' when war broke out and, as I understand it, the whole lot joined up en masse. DA remained CO of the Regiment until the Abyssinian Campaign, when he became Area Commander, Nanyuki and North. Gen. Cunningham, GOC in C EA, was aware the Commander in that area had to deal with all the Major-Generals and Brigadiers staging the campaign, and offered DA an unpaid promotion to the acting rank of Brigadier. DA told the General he would wear the rank he was paid at, and all the big shots would have to like it or lump it. At the end of the War he was given the substantive rank of Full Colonel - I believe, at the time, the only Territorial Officer ever to achieve that rank. ........... He was appointed Military Governor of Madagascar, during which time he was Mentioned in Despatches. On his return to Kenya he was Sub-Area Commander Nairobi for a while, to allow Col Grogan a well-earned ruksa. [leave]......... DA was next appointed Director of Prisoners of War for East and Central Africa to organise the thousands of Italians and a number of Germans captured in Abyssinia and North Africa. He ended the War as Director of Pioneers and Labour and was demobbed in June 1945, having been Mentioned in Despatches again, and awarded the Military OBE. Picking up the remains of his Accountancy practice, DA set up office in Corner House on Hardinge St., where he was soon joined by Dennis May and then John Story. They moved to Pearl House and were still there when DA finally left Kenya in 1973 ....... His services to Kenya were indeed formidable. .....(Founding of the Kenya Regt.) .....
Mum and DA first lived in the old Salisbury Hotel, before renting a mbati house in Parklands. They later moved to a house at the end of Gordon Road on the Kilimani Plains; I remember the many years we lived in that bungalow opposite Kenreg HQ. Then they built a home up past the Prince of Wales, and finally lived in the house I built on Lavington Estate. DA was a man of absolute honesty and integrity. Deeply religious in his own way, he once told me, "You don't have to go to church to pray." He was a born leader of men ..... (more) .... (Source: Dr. Myles Dunstan Adams, his son)
Obituary - Col. A. Dunstan-Adams, who has died aged 83, at Seavington St. Mary, Somerset, was a Kenya pioneer known throughout the country as 'DA'. He knew Kenya before the 1914-18 War, and left in the early 1970s. A chartered accountant, he raised and commanded the Kenya Defence Force, and was a leading figure in Kenya territorial circles for more than 30 years. He served with great distinction in the 1914-18 War, and was awarded the Military Cross and Bar. The Kenya Defence Force, later the Kenya Regiment (Territorial Force), proved an effective fighting machine during the Mau Mau operations of 1952-56, and owed much to his wise counsel and calm determination. He commanded the Kenya Regt. until after its mobilisation for the 1939-45 War, and was honorary colonel from 1951 until its suspension just before Kenyan Independence in 1963. In the difficult days before independence, he was a member of many Government commissions and institutions. His wife Eileen, died 10 days before him. Aero - Mr A. Dunstan Adams acting Clerk to the Committee of the Aero Club became Wilson Airways' first Company Secretary.
Gazette - Voters List 1936 - Alfred Dunstan Adams, Incorporated Accountant, Ngong Rd., Box 612, Nbi and Eileen Margaret Adams, Married woman, Ngong Rd., Box 612, Nbi.
He left Kenya in 1973.
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