The grave of one of Kenya’s most famous mzungu womanisers in Kiambu has been spruced up in readiness for the 75th anniversary of his death, this at the cost of the British government.
Lord Errol, after whom The Lord Erroll Restaurant in Nairobi’s Runda estate is named, was murdered in January 1941. Lord Erroll (Jossyln Victor Hay) was buried at the St Paul’s Anglican Church in Kiambu. He was the poster boy of what has gone down as the ‘Happy Valley’ set whose binge drinking, wife swapping and unbridled sexual escapades has been well documented, even though today, the story of Lord Erroll would get eyes rolling in settler quarters.
It is also not lost on historians that Lord Erroll represented Kiambu in the Legislative Council in 1938, besides serving as Captain of the Kenya Regiment and Military Secretary for East Africa during World War II. The Church Vicar Reverend Sospeter Mbogo says the 105-year-old Anglican church in Kiambu was handed over to locals 30 years after Lord Erroll was buried there.
“It is among the over 2.5 million war veteran graves under our care,” says Lazarus Momanyi, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Regional Management Accountant for East and West Africa. “Perhaps his family members had a say on where to bury him.”
A divorced Lord Erroll was killed along Ngong Road near his home. He was cavorting with Diana Broughton, a seductress and wife of Sir Jock Broughton, a British aristocrat who was the chief suspect in Erroll’s murder. He later committed suicide after being acquitted.
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Njuguna wa Kamanda, a church leader said,“However questionable the grave is, we can’t change anything.” The church caretaker says his grave and that of Edith Maude have attracted several foreigner researchers.