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Name: O'SHEA, Desmond Patrick
Nee: second son of Thomas J. O'Shea
Birth Date: 1914 - Dublin
Death Date: 1998?
First Date: 1923
Profession: Accountant, Eldoret 1938
Area: Eldoret, Nairobi
Married: 1942 - Gladys Shorman
Children: Virginia, Patricia, Judy (Payne)
Book Reference: Sitrep 2, Irish, Hut, Colonial, The Link 18
War Service: Military service 1939-43, Lieut.
School: Clongowes College, Ireland
One of the original '500' men in the Kenya Regt. in 1937. (KR 93).
Irish - Desmond is Hon. Auditor of the Kenya Irish Society and has been a stalwart member of both the EA Irish Society and of the Kenya Irish Society.
Irish - After his birth he was left in Dublin in the care of an Aunt - Des thinks he was supposed to be a delicate child and life in Kenya was harsh in those early days. In 1920, while on another leave, his parents left his elder brother in Dublin and they were both sent as boarders to St. Enda's College in Rathfarnham (founded by Padraig Pearce the great Irish poet and patriot who had been shot in 1916 after the Easter Rising). St. Enda's College carried on, run by Padraig Pearce's mother and sister, and there Des received very special treatment as he was so much younger than the other boys, being placated and spoilt with copious slices of bread and jam by the school staff.
In 1923 life was to change again as his brother and himself were brought back to Kenya by an uncle and aunt to be reunited with a family he hardly knew. 5 years at the Government school in Eldoret followed, but 1928 brought yet another upheaval - Desmond was sent back to Ireland with two younger brothers to go to Clongowes Wood College, (the great bastion of the Jesuit order), a school renowned and famous for its discipline, games and academic achievements.
All three boys returned to Kenya in 1931 during the grim time of the recession when Desmond's father realised that keeping 3 boys at studies overseas was impossible. Fortunately Des had completed Secondary School by then and was articled to a Chartered Accountant in Eldoret. On 17th March 1937 Desmond started a new job in Nairobi with the Railway and Harbours Administration, General Manager's office. That night he celebrated at the EA Irish Society's St. Patrick's Ball at the New Stanley Hotel - his first Nairobi dance. He was to continue to work for the Railways for the next 40 years with only a short break during 1966/67. In fact in 1966 Desmond resigned from the Railways and went to work in England. During 1967 he returned to Kenya for his daughter's marriage and during his stay was requested to re-join the Railways and Harbours Administration. The call of Africa was strong so the offer was immediately accepted, and from then on he remained with the Railways until his retirement in 1977.
Desmond met Gladys in 1940, she was a friend of his sister, and was working in the Old Mutual Insurance Company standing-in for an executive who was on active service during WW2. Desmond and Gladys got married in 1942 and had 3 daughters who were all educated at Loreto Convent, Msongari. All 3 girls later lived in North America and between them presented Gladys and Des with 9 grandchildren. Desmond recalled that an Nzoia Branch of the EA Irish Society was formed in 1934 at the instigation of his father and other Irish in the area. .....…..
After Desmond came to work in Nairobi he joined the EA Irish Society in November 1938 - and, on his return from WW2 service, he was elected to the Committee in February 1945. In 1962 he was elected Hon. Auditor and in 1965 was elected as Vice President of the Society. Being absent from Kenya in 1966/67 he did not go on to become President but on his return he was re-elected as Hon. Auditor, and was made an Hon. Life Member of the Society in 1970. ..........
Desmond was a shy, unassuming and retiring personality, never wanting to take the limelight, but throughout his long association with the Irish Society from 1938-1991 he gave a great deal of his time and energy towards the welfare of the Irish community in Kenya. His knowledge of Accountancy, Law and Administration has been an invaluable guide to all the various committees over the years.
In 1967 Desmond was awarded the MBE, an award justly gained not only for his long service to the Railways and Harbours Administration, but also for his charitable work for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and similar organisations.
Colonial - Clk. KUR&H 1937; Estab. Officer EAR&H 1953; SEnior 1960-62
The Link 18 - Des O'Shea was born in Dublin in 1914 while his parents were on leave from Kenya, and he was left with an aunt when his parents returned to Kenya. He was educated in Dublin and in 1923 he travelled to Kenya with an aunt and uncle to be reunited with a family he hardly knew. After further education he started a new job in the General Manager's office of the KUR&H and continued to work for the Railways for 40 years with only a short break during 1966/67. In fact, in 1966 Des resigned from the EAR&H and went to work in England. In 1967 he returned to Kenya to attend his daughter's wedding, and during his stay he was requested to rejoin the EAR&H. He remained at work until his retirement in 1977.
Des met Gladys in 1940 and they married in 1942. They had 3 daughters, who were all educated at Loreto Convent, and who presented their parents with 9 grandchildren. Des always played a big part in the EA Irish Society and held various senior offices. Des had a shy, unassuming and retiring personality, never wanting to take the limelight. In 1967 he was awarded the MBE, an award justly gained not only for his long service to the Railways and Harbours Administration, but also to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and similar organisations.
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Uasin Gishu Voters Roll expunged
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