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Name: NICHOLSON, George Elliott Lambton

Nee: bro of William Hubert Nicholson

Birth Date: 1907 East Lothian

Death Date: 23 Feb 1985 Watamu

First Date: 1930

Profession: Farmer

Area: 1947 'Pembeni' Hoey's Bridge, Trans Nzoia

Married: In Northumberland 23 July 1938 Margaret Elizabeth Wood

Children: Jane (1940); Ralph Lambton (1942 Kitale); Alison (1945); Helen (1950)

Book Reference: Nicholson Memoirs, Hut, Stud

War Service: WW2 with Supply Corps, KAR - mentioned in despatches

General Information:

Gazette 2 Aug 1985 - probate
Nicholson - In 1930 George Nicholson and his sister Margaret (Tilly), joined Hubert and Olive in Kenya, having given up the lease of Anick Grange after their parents' death. They sailed on the Llangibby Castle, approximately 200-300 passengers, travelling first class for £40. ...... Ralph Bancroft, a friend of Hubert's, was in Mombasa on holiday and met them in a huge Oakland car. They went to the Tudor Hotel for a drink and waited until the luggage was unloaded and spent a very hot day seeing things through Customs.
The upcountry train came right down to the boat - tickets and berth were all booked from the ship - most efficient and well organised. ....... They were met at Hoey's Bridge station by Hubert whose first remark was "You're late!" The car ran out of petrol on the way home! ...... Hubert had hastily built a guest house of two rooms of mud and wattle. The mud was so wet that it was falling off the walls. .....…..
George and Tilly managed Hubert's farm while they were in Ireland [1931]. A bad swarm of locusts finished off nearly all the maize in a night - they harvested only 600 bags when it should have been more like 6000 bags.. ...... When Hubert and Olive returned from leave George and Tilly went to work for Claude Wright for 150/- a month with no transport provided. They lived in a house called 'the slums' at Natwana built by Ralph Bancroft. It was built on the hillside and when it rained water flowed in at the back and out of the front. ...... Tilly got bad veldt sores and she was bored and unhappy. They lived on buck meat and there were no vegetables ....... [the slump] ......
Once a month George and Tilly went to Eldoret - a distance of 30 miles, in the two-seater A Model Ford bought secondhand for £35 from Hughes in Eldoret. It did 35-45 mph. .....…..
In 1936 George stopped managing for Claude Wright and leased 1000 acres from him on a share cropping basis and called the farm 'Anick'. George had to pay a percentage on maize sold to the KFA to Claude as payment of rent. 200 bags were kept for feeding the labour force. In 1932 he built a brick house for £80 - the bricks were made on the farm - the walls were plastered with mud and whitewashed. The roof was thatched with grass. .......... In 1935 George went to England by boat - £35 for the round trip second class. While there, George visited friends and relatives - saw Margaret Wood at picnics etc. ......... He bought a Ford V8, 2 seater coupe, for £235 which he used for his leave and then shipped to Mombasa. He drove it to Nairobi via Moshi, approximately 600 miles, as that was the only road in those days. It took 24 hours. He stayed at the Stanley Hotel, parking the car where the New Stanley Grillroom was later situated. ...…
He returned to the farm ... as one of the few in the district who had any background in farming and he was one of the first to try growing pyrethrum which was imported from Albania. He experimented with potatoes and beans and edible lupins but they were a poor price. George and Margaret [Wood] wrote to each other ....... and proposed in a letter. Tilly [Evans] went to UK early in 1938 with Ruth and helped Margaret to buy things for Kenya. George and Jack [Evans] went in May by boat. The wedding was on 23rd July 1938 at Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, with 200 guests to a reception at Dalton House. ......... Returned to Kenya just before WW2 .......
George and Margaret arrived at Hoey's Bridge in October 1938. ....... The farm was mostly growing maize but also strips of lupins for nitrogen for the soil and 20 acres of pyrethrum. Work oxen did all the ploughing, cultivating and transport - there were 4 wagons and 2 Scotch carts. ......... At this time (1938) a farm over the Nzoia 'Pembeni' was for sale. It had been badly farmed and was considered poor land. George decided with good ploughing it could do well and bought it for 14/- an acre with savings and a Land Bank loan. .....…..
WW2 George called up - to Supply and Transport Group for the 22nd Brigade of the KAR. They started teaching Africans to drive and to maintain lorries and deal with stores - posted to Nanyuki where a camp had been set up for supplies to be sent to Moyale on the Northern Frontier. ............ George got very bad sciatica in Madagascar and was sent to a French Hospital and then back to Kenya. After some time in hospital he was given a clerical job and application was made by the Manpower Committee for him to get back to farming as food was a priority. He was given charge of 'Drummore' - Col. Strain's farm and Ralph Bancroft's farm on Elgon as well as his own. ....... George's sciatica continued to give trouble - manipulation was tried and eventually an operation (very risky in those days). An old rugby football injury had damaged a disc in the spine which caused all the trouble. .......... In 1940 Margaret was asked to be the Guide Commissioner at Kitale, having had some experience in England. There was a Brownie and Cub pack at Mrs Le Breton's school and also at Kitale School.
EA Stud Book 1954 - Pigs - Large Whites - G.E.L. Nicholson, Hoey's Bridge
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Uasin Gishu Voters Roll

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