My initial interest in Jomo Kenyatta, first President of Kenya, was inspired by his links with my family during the Second World War. I knew he had spent most of the war years working as a farm labourer at our family business in West Sussex. I remember my grandfather telling me many years ago that he had Kenyatta over to lunch when they discussed politics, among other things. I don’t expect they always agreed on everything, but my grandfather had obviously found him to be an interesting and intelligent man, and he was intrigued enough to find out what he had to say for himself. In fact, Kenyatta gave him a book he had recently written, called ‘My People of Kikuyu’ and he wrote inside the front cover: ‘To AG Linfield. With best wishes, Jomo Kenyatta. 17-4-42’ (Fig.1). The fact that my grandfather kept this book for over 30 years, before passing it on to me, surely indicates a certain respect for this man and his views, even though Kenyatta’s opinion of the British Empire was undoubtedly quite different to his own. I regret now not asking him what he thought about the ‘Mau Mau’ rebellion and Kenyatta’s role during this colonial crisis. Continue reading
I have written a previous article about this branch of the Linfield family which first appeared in ‘Longshot’ in the issue of May 2010. This can now be read on the website (see ‘The Isle of Wight Linfields’). In an earlier edition, we also printed an article by Roger Partridge about his memories of Kate Hilda Linfield, who came from this branch.
I had always regretted that we had very few photographs of this family – there was a grainy picture of Charles Ashover Linfield taken from a magazine article in Canada and some others showing his various stores in Medicine Hat, Alberta. We also had a couple of photos of Kate Linfield, courtesy of Roger Partridge, who remembered her with affection as his ‘Auntie Katie’ when during his childhood she was a great friend and companion to his grandparents.
Luckily, though, in 2016 we recruited a new member to the Group who not only descends from the Isle of Wight branch but has also inherited a fantastic album of old family photographs from her late mother. This was an exciting discovery and I was delighted that, at last, we would have more photos of this branch.