Not All Uniforms and Parades

Babs Stoneham camp c.1931

Surprising Snippets 5: Snippets found in Frontiersmen magazines. 

Charles Stoneham had served as a sergeant in the 25th Bn. Royal Fusiliers (Frontiersmen) in East Africa and was the author of a number of books on life in Kenya. This is from the November 1931 Frontiersmen magazine:

Life in a quiet little Kentish town is too dangerous and too strenuous for Mrs. C.T. Stoneham, the wife of a big-game hunter. Dodging motor cars in rural byways has got on her nerves. She cannot sleep because of the incessant honk of their horns. So she is quitting it all for a tent in the East African jungle, where man-eating beasts will be her neighbours and their roaring her nightly serenade. Mrs. Stoneham has lived a life that many a woman of spirit must envy. She once had for a pet a man-eating lion that killed 360 people. She met unarmed a lion face to face at a 10ft. range, and has been charged by angry buffaloes and truculent rhinoceroses…

Quite an awesome lady to have as your wife on the frontiers of civilisation! The photograph of Mrs “Babs” Stoneham is from C.T. Stoneham’s 1932 book “Wanderings in Wild Africa.” In this book, and in several of his others, there are interesting chapters about his experiences with the Frontiersmen in East Africa during the First War.

J. Anderson Neary, who for many years was the lynch-pin of the Frontiersmen in Egypt and who regularly contributed tales to the magazines, wrote this, which was published in May 1929:

Two real old men have recently been discovered in Egypt. One is 120 and the other 155. The latter remembers Napoleon when in Egypt, has a son aged 70, has had two wives, eats two pounds of meat or a whole chicken at one meal and is fond of smoking.

The late 1920s and the early 1930s were hard times, and the Legion of Frontiersmen did its best to find jobs for the many unemployed Frontiersmen. Although not applicable to those currently seeking work, out of interest the March 1929 magazine published an extract from an un-named farmers’ magazine of Victorian times:

Wanted, for a sober family, a man of light weight, who fears the Lord and can drive a pair of horses. He must occasionally wait at table, join household prayers, look after the horses, read a chapter of the Bible. He must, God willing, rise at seven in the morning, and obey his master and mistress in all lawful commands. If he can dress hair, sing Psalms, and play at cribbage, the more agreeable. N.B. – He must not be familiar with the maid servants, lest the flesh should rebel against the spirit, and he should be induced to walk in the thorny paths of the wicked. Wages, fifteen guineas a year.

Even in the fifty or so years between this advertisement being placed and the depression years around 1929, requirements for staff had changed remarkably.

© Copyright Geoffrey A. Pocock. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced in any form, in part or in full, without prior permission.

About Roger Pocock

Co-writer on Author of Editor of
This entry was posted in East Africa Frontiersmen, Frontiersmen, History, Legion of Frontiersmen, Surprising Snippets, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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