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Search the Kenya 1952-1960 British Military Deaths

The Mau Mau Uprising, a revolt against colonial rule in Kenya, lasted from 1952 through 1960 and helped to hasten Kenya's independence. During the eight-year uprising, 32 white settlers and about 200 British police and army soldiers were killed. The Military deaths only are listed here and number slightly more than the statistics quoted below.

Database contains 96 records - 6 July, 2023

From The Illustrated London News - 15 August 1953:

LEAVING KENYA ON MINDEN DAY : THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS, LED BY THE BAND OF THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES, MARCHING TO THE RAILWAY STATION IN NAIROBI.

On August 1, the anniversary of one of the Regiment's proudest memories—the Battle of Minden--men of the 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers left Nairobi to return to England. The battalion, who has waged a ten-months campaign against Mau Mau terrorists, is being replaced by the 1st Battalion The Black Watch.

Extract from Londonderry Sentinel - Thursday 21 October 1954, page 3:

6,608 Kenya terriorists killed, 11,524 captured

IN the House of Commons yesterday, Mr. Alan Lennox Boyd, Colonial Secretary, gave casualty figures for the Kenya emergency from its beginning up to September 25.

He said 6,608 terrorists had been killed and 11,524 captured, of whom 727 were wounded. The casualties among the Security-Forces were 476 killed, of ,whom twenty-eight were Europeans, two Asiatics and 446 Africans.

There were 426 wounded, of whom fifty-five were Europeans, twelve Asiatics and 359 Africans. In addition, twenty-five Europeans, eighteen Asiatics and 1,234 African; civilians were murdered, and twenty-four Europeans, twentyseven Asiatics and 703 African civilians were wounded by Mau Mau terrorists.

The Colonial Secretary told another questioner that at the end of September 48,000 people were detained in Kenya.

This figure included persons held for screening as a result of the Nairobi operations, as well as persons temporarily in police custody for interrogation.

Of 17,435 people against whom detention orders had been made, 724 had appealed to the Advisory Committee on detainees; 642 cases had been heard in Kenya.

The Colonial Secretary told Mr. Brockway that the surrender offer of August last remained. It was open to individual terrorists to surrender.

The Kenya Government had always been ready to end the fighting and consider any approach for mass surrender from gang leaders able to influence large numbers of terrorists into surrender.

Map of Kenya at that time

Surname:
Forenames:
Regiment or Branch of Service:
Buried or Commemorated:
 

Extract from Nottingham Journal - Thursday 30 April 1953, page 1:

New troops to attack

All-out drive on Mau Mau soon

NAIROBI, Wednesday.

TROOPS fighting the Mau Mau are to be secretly re-deployed the near future for offensive action, it was announced tonight. The Director of Operations, Major-General Hinde, issued this order after a meeting of Kenya Colony’s Joint Operations

The first battalions of the Devonshires and the Buffs will be fully operational, and will go into full-scale action within a few days, it was learned last night.

The anti-Mau Mau offensive is to te intensified now that their acclimatisation and their training in jungle warfare are completed.

It will mean an all-out drive against marauding terrorist gangs in the Aberdare Mountains and the White Highlands.”—Reuter.

The Colonial Secretary. Mr. Oliver Lyttelton, replying to questions in the Commons yesterday about how many casualties and arrests there had been in Kenya said:

“Up to April 14 270 members of the Security Forces and civilians have been murdered (255 Africans, three Asians, and 12 Europeans), and 166 wounded (153 Africans, four Asians and nine Europeans).

“Since the beginning of the emergency. 82.840 persons have been arrested 8 975 released at once, 38,947 screened and released and 28,912 screened and tried, 6,006 persons are now in custody awaiting trial of whom 2.549 are in police custody, 2,116 in prison custody, and 1.291 in remand homes. Four hundred and thirty persons have been shot while resisting arrest or after being challenged to stop.”

Mr. Lyttelton in a later statement announced that he proposed to pay an early visit to Kenya to “consult with the Governor and again view the situation at first hand.”

 

Governor's Inspection, Nairobi October 1952

From The Illustrated London News - 15 August 1953:

REPLACING THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS : THE I ST BATTALION THE BLACK WATCH MARCHING FROM NAIROBI RAILWAY STATION ON THEIR ARRIVAL. IN KENYA:

The 1st Battalion the Black Watch arrived in Kenya from Korea in the troopship Empire Falvey on August 1, having recently completed their twelve-month tour with the 1st Commonwealth Division in Korea. During their year in Korea the battalion suffered 'casu,altieS of 58 killed and 280 wounded.

Extract from Northern Whig - Monday 22 February 1954, page 2:

Confusion over Kenya

THE WEEK END BATTLE in Kenya in which the security forces achieved their greatest success yet over the Mau Mau terrorists may be regarded with satisfaction, although it will only be a limited satisfaction. With the capture of the personality known as "General China" recently and the capture at the week-end of another known as "General Cargo", said to be the Mau Mau chief recruiting officer, together with the heavy casualties inflicted, this may prove to be possibly a decisive action in the emergency.

That at least must be a general hope, for there can be no gainsaying the uneasiness with which events in the colony have been watched over the past eighteen months. Although the unrest among the natives is said only to exist among the Kikuyu, who are but one of several peoples in Kenya, there seems to be no certain knowledge of the strength of the terrorist movement. Periods of calm, when it was suggested that control had been secured, have been succeeded by new outbreaks of barbarism. Fresh measures have been introduced, sometimes followed by an appearance of success, but the restoration of order is still not in sight.

Mr. Lyttelton’s visit

NOR DOES it seem possible to say that either the local government or the Colonial Office have any clear ideas about how the emergency is to be ended or what developments are take place in the future if the present military measures succeed in stamping out the Mau Mau movement. General Sir George Erskine, who was appointed to command the forces in Kenya, has worked energetically and seen some success follow, but he himself has declared that the ultimate solution must be political, not military.

This week the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Oliver Lyttelton, will visit Kenya, accompanied by General Sir John Harding, Chief the Imperial General Staff, and while this trip was arranged before the recent Parliamentary delegation returned from the colony he will have the advantage of having seen the lengthy report they have prepared. By all accounts, the delegation were seriously disturbed by what they saw during their journey and it may be that this report, together with what he learns for himself, will help to bring an end to the confusion.

If he finds that drastic political action, including constitutional changes, are required to unite the whole colony against the terrorist campaign he should not hesitate to take it, for it is only if the whole community can be brought to act together against the Man Mau that peace and order will be restored.

The following statistics from
"MAU MAU REBELLION THE EMERGENCY IN KENYA 1952-1956"
by Nick Van Der Bijl
ISBN 1473864577

Naval & Military Press

Casualties

SECURITY FORCES CASUALTIES
European
African
Asian
Killed
Wounded
Killed
Wounded
Killed
Wounded
63
102
524
465
3
12

 

ARMY
Officers
Other Ranks
Total
3rd King's Own Hussars
1
 
1
Royal Engineers
1
2
3
Royal Signals
 
1
1
Royal Scots
 
1
1
Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Royal Regiment
 
1
1
Buffs (Royal East Kent) Regiment
 
4
4
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers
 
3
3
Royal Warwickshire Regiment
1
 
1
Devonshire Regiment
1
10
11
Lancashire Fusiliers
 
1
1
Royal Welsh Fusiliers
1
 
1
1 Inniskilling Fusiliers
1
2
3
1 Gloucestershire Regiment
3
3
6
1 Black Watch
1
3
4
1 Sherwood Foresters
 
1
1
1 Royal Irish Fusiliers
 
2
2
1 Berkshires
 
1
1
Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment
 
 
1
1 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
 
1
1
1 King's Shropshire Light Infantry
1
2
3
1 Middlesex Regiment
 
1
1
Rifle Brigade
 
4
4
Royal Army Service Co (RASC)
 
2
2
Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC)
 
1
1
Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC)
 
1
1
Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME)
 
4
4
Royal Military Police IR MP)
 
1
1
Royal Army Pay Corps (RAPC)
 
1
1
Royal Army Education Corps (RAFC I
 
1
1
Army Catering Corps (ACC)
 
2
2
Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAMC)
 
1
1
Total
12
55
69
 
 
 
 
ROYAL AIR FORCE
 
 
 
Eastleigh, Kenya
2
5
7
Luqa, Malta
2
5
7
Upwood, UK
3
3
6
Wittering UK
3
2
5
Total
10
15
25
GRAND TOTAL
12
68
94

 

 
1952
1953
1954
1955
1956
Army
2
21
25
14
7
RAF
18
7

 

Statistics of other casualties vary. The figures provided by Anthony Clayton provide a decent benchmark:
CIVILIAN CASUALTIES
European
African
Asian
Killed
Wounded
Killed
Wounded
Killed
Wounded
32
26
819
916
26
36

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