Stephen Howard Powles was born on the 27 July 1900 in Newmarket, Suffolk, England. He was educated at Uppingham, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery in July 1919. His unit was posted to the Army of Occupation of the Rhine in January 1920, and later spent a year in Upper Silesia.
In the autumn of 1924 Powles' cousin, Lord Howard de Walden, suggested that he should go to Kenya where he himself was about to buy farming land in the Trans Nzoia, saying that later he might give Powles a small farm. Powles arrived in Kitale, Kenya, in December 1924 and worked as Estates Manager to the Howard de Waldens, father and son, until 1963. During World War II Powles served in the Army (1939-1944).
Powles served on many Committees and Boards between 1934 and 1963 including the Agricultural Production and Settlement Board, the Council of Kenya National Farmers' Union, and the Maize Marketing Board. Public companies of which he was Director (1934-1967) included the East African Standard, Mombasa Times, Tanganyika Standard, Uganda Argus (from 1954), and the Upper Nairobi Township & Estate Company of which he became Chairman.
Diaries written by Powles whilst in Kenya, mainly covering his time as Estates Manager for the Howard de Waldens. During Powles' Army service (1939-1944) his wife Barbara stood in for him at Kitale and continued the diaries. The later volumes are of particular interest because Powles was in contact with most of the leading figures in public affairs in Kenya during the post-war years.
Deposited with the Oxford Colonial Records Project.Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was transferred to the library from the Oxford Colonial Records Project.Access Conditions
Bodleian reader's ticket required.Reproduction Restrictions
No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.
The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.
Listed as no. 251 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968) and as no. 113 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, Supplement, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1971).
Powles | Stephen Howard | b 1900 | African Farmer