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Not Without Incident

Reminiscences of a BSAP Trooper of the early days in Southern Rhodesia

ByWilliam Henry 'Bunny' Rabbetts

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This is a previously unpublished memoir by one of the early members of the British South Africa Police. In an incident-filled life, ‘Bunny’ Rabbetts ran away to sea at the age of twelve and later saw action in the Boer War and Natal Rebellion of 1906. He first joined the BSAP in 1902, serving under such well known figures as RSM Blatherwick and Colonels Bodle and Flint. He paints a vivid picture of life as a trooper in those days. After his contract of service expired, he joined the Johannesburg Fire Brigade, leaving this to serve in the Natal Rebellion of 1906 in a unit formed by Sir Abe Bailey, the mining magnate. He also found time to be a diamond prospector. Following that he went to Bulawayo hoping to join the Fire Brigade but a chance meeting led him to rejoin the BSAP. This period of service from 1906 to 1911 took him to District stations like Wankie and Victoria Falls. He describes the characters he met, including the notorious ex-trooper Joe Phelan, the main suspect in the Killarney Mine Gold Robbery. Still restless, he left the Police in 1911 and managed the West Nicholson Hotel while also carrying on business as a transport contractor for the giant Liebig’s Ranch. The area was teeming with lions and one of the people he met was ‘Yank’ Allen, the legendary lion hunter. He then describes his life as a prospector in Southern and Northern Rhodesia and Barotseland. He returned to uniform in both World Wars with the Southern Rhodesia forces. His life can truly be said to have been ‘not without incident’.


Publication Date
Aug 12, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): William Henry 'Bunny' Rabbetts


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
A5 (5.83 x 8.27 in / 148 x 210 mm)

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