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Name: NESTOR, Thomas Ray L'Estrange
Nee: nephew of Jim Corbett the Indian hunter, son of Richard L'Estrange Nestor
Birth Date: 29 Oct 1889 Naini Tal, India
Death Date: 1989 Uckfield, Sussex, cremated 12 June
First Date: 1912
Last Date: 1949
Profession: Surveyor, artist. 1938 farmer, Kipkarren
Area: Turbo. Nairobi, 1930 Land Dept., Nairobi
Married: Dorothy Helen b. 20.4.1904, d. 19.12.2003 Crowborough
Author: 'An African Sketchbook'
Book Reference: Sahib, Hut, Nicholls, Dominion, Mills, Web, Gazette, KAD, Red 25, Red 31, Red 22,
War Service: Wounded at Battle of the Somme
School: London Univ.
Sahib - Ray Nestor, who had been one of the two Nestor children Mary Corbett had raised, wanted to be an engineer but WW1 intervened. Ray Nestor signed up for military service but had to buy his own uniform: Jim gave his father £50 with which to buy it. Later when Ray went to live in Kenya Jim gave him a Churchill shotgun, one of the best makes available. As a child he had also given Ray his little guitar. In 1947 the Nestors had a 640 acre coffee farm near Kipkarren and they specially built a detached cottage for Jim Corbett and Maggie to live in. ........ Ray Nestor sold his farm in 1949 and retired to England.
Nicholls - Muthaiga Club - In the 1920s its walls were hung with the impressive pencil portraits of legendary Kenya characters by Ray Nestor. He had arrived in Kenya in 1912 to work in the Survey dept. and when he died aged 100 in 1989 he left a remarkable pictorial record of the country in drawings and watercolours, published as 'An African Sketchbook'.
Nicholls - T.R.L. Nestor of the Survey Department in Nairobi, described how his theodolite was stolen and his survey beacon pulled out as he was cutting through African bean shambas while surveying for soldier-settler land in the Ithanga area.
Dominion - Public Works Department - Survey & Registration Dept. - Computer - 1930
Mills - Ray Nestor, the nephew of the great Indian tiger hunter Jim Corbett was born in India on 27th October 1889 and raised by Maggie Corbett, Jim Corbett's sister. In 1912 he arrived in what was then called the British East Africa Protectorate to work as a government surveyor. After touring the country for a time Nestor returned to Britain on leave in 1914 and resigned from the Colonial Service to join the Royal Engineers, bound for France. Jim Corbett lent him £50 to buy his military uniform. The next year he was badly wounded at the first battle of the Somme and repatriated, returning to Kenya. After the Great War, while working for the Survey Department in Nairobi, he bought a 640 acre coffee farm 6,000 ft. up in the Nandi hills near Eldoret. On leaving the Civil Service in 1932, he went to live at Kipkarren, where he farmed with limited success, until retiring to England in 1950. ……………………… Ray Nestor lived on his farm until 1939, but sold it at the outbreak of the 1939-45 war to pay off debts. Recurring pain from his Somme wounds obliged him to spend 2 years at the Coast though he continued his sketching and sold many pictures to the Royal Navy in Mombasa. ………………… In 1944 Nestor built his own house again at Kipkarren, with help from Italian prisoners of war. He ran a small dairy farm, built a dam and spent much of his time drawing Nandi women, listening to the calls of the wild. Here he was joined in 1947 by Jim and Maggie Corbett who had decided to leave India and resettle in Kenya in a detached cottage specially built for them on the grounds of Kipkarren. At the age of 62 in 1950, after 35 years in Kenya, he decided to leave the country for good and retired with his wife, Dorothy, to Crowborough in Sussex.
Gazette 15/12/1912 - Arrived on 1st Appointment - Draughtsman, Survey - 13/11/1912
Gazette 16/4/1919 - Arrived on 1st Appointment - Computer - 4/4/1919
Gazette - 12/11/1919 - Register of Voters - Nairobi, South Area - Thomas Ray L'Estrange Nestor - Survey Department - Nairobi Club
Telegraph - 13/6/1989 - Obituary
KAD 1922 - Computer, Computing Office, Survey Dept.
Gazette 6 Dec 1938 Uasin Gishu Voters Roll
Janet Durbin: At the age of 62 in 1950, after 35 years in Kenya, he decided to leave the country for good and retired with his wife, Dorothy, to Crowborough in Sussex. Ray continued to paint and draw with the scenes now being from London city life, the countryside, portraits and horse racing.
″An African Sketchbook″ demonstrated watercolors and drawings of Kenya’s landscape, animals and people made during Nestor’s years in Kenya when he farmed in the Nandi hills. His pictures were accompanied by extracts from his memoirs and those of his wife, Dorothy. Elspeth Huxley, the novelist and writer on Africa who knew Nestor wrote in The Independent newspaper that his drawings depicted an Africa ″that has gone forever.″
Nestor was an early conservationist, banning shooting, terracing his land to prevent erosion and protecting his trees.
Ray Nestor's modesty as a printer stood between him and the wider recognition of his work. He never courted publicity, being content to record his impressions of a fascinating country and its diverse peoples for his own satisfaction and that of his friends. Ray Nestor's paintings in Margaret Thatcher Library, Moi University, Eldoret, Kenya, were donated by Mrs. Dorothy Nestor to the Michael Blundell Universities Trust to be loaned to Moi University as a memorial to her husband Thomas Ray L'strange Nestor.
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