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Name: ROOKEN-SMITH, William Harold

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Birth Date: 2 Aug 1912 Bloomfield Farm, Cape, S. Africa

Death Date: 25 Aug 1974 Salisbury, Rhodesia - car accident

Area: Olemsogai Turbo, Kipkabus, Soy

Married: In Naivasha 7 Sep 1934 Marjorie Aggett Eeles (dau. of Frederick Harry Eeles; she later m. Frederick Nye-Chart 1902-1978) b. 25 Sep 1915 Nairobi, d. 21 Aug 2013 Pietermaritzburg, S. Africa

Children: Donald Weir (1936); William Bruce Weir (3 June 1938 Nakuru); Robert Harold (19 Dec 1943 Nakuru); Janet Alice (Reed) (24 Sep 1945 Eldoret-2 Oct 2006 Howick, S Africa)

Book Reference: Sitrep 2, RS, Hut, Gillett

General Information:

Pre-war volunteer to the Kenya Regiment (KR 750)
RS - William Harold was registered as Robert Harald Smith, but after
William Aggett Smith's death at Longido, his name was changed to William Harold, though not legally. Neither Marjorie nor Harold realised this until they wanted to apply for new passports and had to send to S. Africa for Harold's birth certificate. They had to legally adopt the William Harold in 1945. Donald was one of the original pupils at the Duke of York School which was initially at Government House.
Donald represented Kenya when the polo team toured Ethiopia, Rhodesia and India - he also played for Kenya against touring teams from Rhodesia, Ethiopia and S. Africa. He played in England for Lord Cowdray in 1964. He emigrated with his family to Brazil and later to Florida.
During the Mau Mau Emergency he was attached to the Gloucesters and when the Queen Mother visited Kenya he carried the colours in the Kenya Regiment March Past. Donald, Bruce and Robert all attended Nakuru Primary School prior to the Duke of York, where Donald captained Hockey and Bruce Rugby. All attended the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester where Donald got his rugby colours, Bruce his hockey and Rob his water polo, and all did their Army training at the Kenya Regiment Training Centre at Lanet, a few miles outside Nakuru, with Bruce appointed parade commander on the final passing-out parade. Both Donald and Bruce played polo for Young Kenya against the Rhodesians.
Bruce joined the 17th/21st Lancers on completion of the Officer Cadet Course at Mons Officer Cadet Training Unit in Aldershot - served in Hong Kong, Aden, Bahrain, BAOR and at the Royal Armoured Corps Driving and Maintenance School in Bovington. After his divorce he joined the Royal Rhodesian Light Infantry in the rank of Captain in March 1968. In 1970 he was posted to Army HQ and was then tasked to start from scratch, the Rhodesian Armoured Car Regiment. In 1978 he was posted to HQ Special Forces as A/G/QSO 2. This new HQ was initially tasked to co-ordinate the Selous Scouts and the SAS. ....….
He was posted to the Directorate of Army Training in 1983 as GSO1(Trg). His position became untenable and he resigned in June 1983 prior to emigrating to S. Africa. On leaving Cirencester Robert went out to Australia where he worked for 3 years and then returned to help on the ranch at Lalapanzi in Rhodesia. After his marriage he emigrated to Angola - the capitulation of the Portuguese put paid to any ideas of a future in that country and he and Trish returned to Rhodesia and bought a dairy farm in the Lower Gwelo area. After his divorce he sold the farm and repped for Tinto Industries before emigrating to S. Africa where he now works for a firm specialising in security fencing. Janet attended High School in Eldoret before training at Addington Hospital. She worked in Johannesburg in a private hospital having completed her midwifery in Natal. She was considering a career in Rhodesia but decided to return to S. Africa, and later married Ted Reed.

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