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Collection Level Description: Memoirs of Jon Wainwright

Reference: GB 0162 MSS. Brit. Emp. s. 548
Title: Memoirs of Jon Wainwright
Dates of Creation: c1991
Extent: 61 ff.

Language of Material: English

Administrative/Biographical History

Jon Wainwright (1916-1991) was educated at Marlborough, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining a commission in the 27th Field Brigade of the Royal Artillery, [c1932]. In 1936 he was transferred to the Indian Army, and then to the Hampshire Regiment in India. His battalion was later ordered to Palestine, but he remained in Delhi with the 19th Lancers. He was stationed at the Staff College, Quetta, Baluchistan, [1942?], and then in Bengal and Bihar working with C.I.D. tracking down enemy infiltrators and speaking at student meetings. He then served as Deputy Adjutant General at GHQ, Delhi for several months before making a brief return to London.

He rejoined the 19th Lancers first in India, and then in Malaya, where he was appointed Military Assistant to General Sir Frank Messervy, Military Governor of Malaya, after the territory's reoccupation. He was later promoted to Lieut.-Colonel and made Assistant Military Secretary to General Messervy (then Army Commander of Northern Command in India). During this period he married Suzanne Marshall.

After Indian independence, he joined the 7th Indian Division, commanding a temporarily organised mobile brigade at the time of the India/Pakistan partition. He was then made Private Secretary to the Commander-in-Chief before moving to Kenya, where his wife had been residing, to take up farming. He studied at the Egerton College of Agriculture at Njoro, then moved to Sotik. After a year, he returned to Pakistan, working in West Punjab as Military Secretary to the Governor until the assassination of Liaqat Ali Khan, the country's Prime Minister.

Travelling back to Kenya, he took up farming again, then organised a small private cavalry section in 1953 to pursue local Mau Mau gangs. He was later summoned to co-ordinate the provincial administration [of] Police and Army in [Sotik?] district before applying for a permanent position in the Administration. He was posted to Embu district, where he continued to take action against the Mau Mau, then to Gatundu, [c1959?], and finally to Malindi, 1960, where he was involved with relieving those affected by the flooding of the Tana and Sabaki rivers and with the construction in 1962 of a road from Malindi to Tsavo National Park. After Kenyan independence in 1963, he left Government service, and bought a hotel with three associates, until he was offered the Colonial Office post of Administrator of Ascension Island.

Scope and Content

Typescript memoirs, c1991.

Administrative Information

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated to the library by M.J. Macoun on 12th February 1992.

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.

Further Information

Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room.

Access Points

Wainwright | Jon | 1916-1991 | Kenyan settler Indian Army cavalry officer

India | Description and travel

Kenya | Description and travel

Pakistan | History | 20th century

Kenya | History | 1895-1963

Kenya | History | Mau Mau Emergency, 1952-1960

Ascension Island (Atlantic Ocean)

Great Britain | Colonies | Administration

India-Pakistan Conflict, 1947-1949

World War, 1939-1945 | India

Transformation from XML to HTML by Lawrence Mielniczuk
16 March 2012