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TOPIC: Philip (Chimpeni)Selby F.R.G.S. A Northern Rhodesia Pioneer

Philip (Chimpeni)Selby F.R.G.S. A Northern Rhodesia Pioneer 1 month 1 day ago #57180

  • David Grant
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Philip Hamilton Selby (Chimpeni) F.R.G.S.
British South African Company Police



British South Africa Company bar Mashonaland 1890 (465) Trooper Selby, P.H. B.S.A.C.P
.
1870 Born in Camberwell, Surrey and living at the time of the 1871 census at St Mary Newinton, London and baptised on the 28th May 1871, Father Philip Kamerson Selby, a merchant’s clerk, mother Anne Selby, St Dunstan and all Saints Stepney


By the time of the 1881 census he was living with his mother Anne in Long Ditton 78, Prospect Place

Describe by No. 527 “Jock” Carruthers-Smith as English and a good fellow Selby attested on the 3rd April 1890 with the British South Africa Police. He served in D Troop which was stationed at Fort Tuli at the time of the occupation in September, 1890. On the march from Fort Tuli to Fort Charter later in the year, it is reported that Selby was frightened by the roaring of lions in the low country.

He became a corporal in C Troop on 19th August 1891 and was promoted Lance-Sergeant on the same day. On the 1st November 1891 ne became orderly room Q.M. sergeant on the staff, and was discharged from C Troop on the 31st December 1891.

In his application for the 1890 Medal he said that he joined the BSACP at Kimberley, was sent to Mafeking, and then to Macloutsie where he was posted to “D” Troop. From there he went to Fort Tuli for a while, then to Fort Charter. Next he was transferred to Salisbury, to “B” Troop; and soon afterwards “went down – barefoot like most others – to Umtali. I soon returned to Salisbury in charge of a prisoner named Martin Luther (taken during the trouble with the Portuguese at Massi Kessi) to Salisbury where I was promoted to ORQMS…”

Selby was a member of the D Troop Syndicate, which dabbled in gold prospecting and mining, but like most of the others he appears never to have benefited financially from this. He dabbled in gold prospecting in his own right, acquiring prospector’s licence no. 1200 from the Mining Commissioner at Salisbury on 20 March 1891 (Archives ref. M 9/13/1). Using this, he later – 24 September 1891 - registered a block of ten claims in the Lomagundi District, as did his friend Frank Hutchinson (also ex “D” Troop who left an archive of material on Selby in Harare). They named the claims “North Surprise” but these were later recorded as “Forfeited”, meaning that Selby and Hutchinson neither developed them into a mine nor sold them nor re-registered them. (Archives ref. M 9/1/19).

Selby left the BSACP on 31 December 1891, and then appears to have joined the BSA Company as a civil servant. In a letter to his mother in England, dated 30 March 1892 from Salisbury, Hutchinson gave some account of Selby, including that he’d “received a letter…saying his mother [in England] was very ill, and in spite of all we could do he threw up everything – including a splendid billet under the Company and set off down country the next day…”
The next day Hutchinson wrote to his mother again with useful background information on Selby, as he would be staying at Surbiton, London and Hutchinson hoped that his mother – at Cheltenham – would entertain Selby. Among other things he spoke of Selby’s narrow squeaks: swimming the flooded Lundi River many times a day, being in the fight at Massikesi, and “once while riding a post his horse was killed by a lion…” He said Selby was brought up to be a naval chaplain; and gave his age as 21 .

In England, Selby evidently did make contact with Mrs Hutchinson, and corresponded with her for some time thereafter. He returned to Africa, and on 16 July 1892 wrote a letter to Mrs Hutchinson on the letterhead of the Beach Hotel, Durban. He mentioned “I am a little undecided as to whether I shall go to Salisbury or Beira at present but shall know in about a week.” He evidently decided upon Beira, where he intended to work on the railway being built from there to Umtali.
However when he next wrote to Mrs Hutchinson, 7 January 1893, it was from British Central Africa [later Nyasaland]. He said that “When on my way to Beira I met a gentleman who offered me a post to take charge of one of his coffee plantations up here and I accepted, naturally preferring a steady billet to camping out along the Beira railway in the wet season…I had a tedious journey of a month’s duration up the Zambesi before arriving at the point of debarkation for Blantyre…After staying a few days at Blantyre I came out to take charge of the plantation…It is a lovely place about 28 miles SE of Blantyre, among the Tsholo mountains…”
He wrote again on 20 May 1893, saying he was glad he didn’t stay in Mashonaland; he was more optimistic about coffee in BCA than about gold and speculation in Mashonaland. Life was however lonely: “I seldom see a white man oftener than once in 2 months.”
The next day he wrote to Frank Hutchinson in Salisbury, noting that he’d written to him from Beira on 9 October 1892 and from Blantyre on about 16 December 1892 but had had no replies. It appears that those letters never reached Frank.

In his 1890 Medal application Selby said that after some years on the coffee plantation “Major PW Forbes…my old commanding officer of B Troop, who was then in charge of the BSA & ATT Coy’s affairs came to Blantyre & asked me to organise transport of telegraph material for the latter Coy from Chinde on the East Coast, up to, & along, Lake Nyasa. After about a year of this, during which the wire was taken to Karonga on the north end of Nyasa, the Administration of North Eastern Rhodesia was undertaken by the late Mr Robert Codrington (1898) &, on his invitation, I joined the new Admn., & established Fort Jameson.”

On 1st June 1897 he was in charge of transport north of the Zambezi for the African Trans-Continental Telegraph Company, and was appointed Collector in North-eastern Rhodesia on 1/7/1898. In the same year Col. (then Capt.) Colin Harding received orders to recruit native police, who were eventually sent for service in Southern Rhodesia, amongst the Angoni of North-eastern Rhodesia. He was successful and pays tribute to Selby reporting: “All this time and in all stages of my work I had the friendship and consistent help of the Chartered Company’s District Commissioner.”

Stations that Selby served at include Fort Patrick 1898, Fort Jameson 1899-1900
On 1st August 1900 he was appointed Civil Commissioner and Magistrate and in 1905 was serving in that capacity for the district of West Luangwa, Kafue, and Zumbo.

A notice appears in the London Times

9th December 1905 SELBY-BASTOW-On the 25th ult., at St. George's Hanover Square, W., Philip Hamilton Selby, of North-Western Rhodesia, to Edith, youngest daughter of the late T. W. Bastow, of Plymouth.

A mention in The Northern Rhodesian Journal “The Golf Club was informally opened in May 1908. Mrs Selby (the magistrate's wife) provided tea and refreshments.”

Livingstone Golf Club


He was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society for his work in Northern Rhodesia.

Selby was a member of the Northern Rhodesia Legislative Council, and the Archives have a photograph captioned as depicting members of the 1924 Council (Archives ref. negative no. 2552) also reproduced in the Northern Rhodesia Journal.
Back row, left to right: HL Goodheart; PF Ellis: W Doull; Leopold Moore
Middle row: EN Carlton; J Smith; HA Baldock; FJ Clarke; [unknown]; Col. HM Stennett; PH Selbey [sic]
Front row: CH Dobree; R Goode; Sir Herbert Stanley; GD Clough; ES Taggart; Dr A May.

Downing Street,
23rd June, 1924.
The KING has been pleased to confirm the appointment of the following gentlemen to be Nominated Official Members of the Legislative Council of Northern Rhodesia: —
Philip Hamilton Selby, Esq. (Acting Secretary for Mines and Agriculture),

This appointment was short lived he retired from the Northern Rhodesia administration in April 1925.


On 21 December 1925 Selby applied from Marazion, Cornwall for his 1890 Medal, and giving background information on his career as noted above. He noted that his BSACP Discharge Certificate, “with many other papers, was stolen by a native in Nyasaland.” Hugh Marshall Hole, however, vouched for Selby’s being a member of the 1890 Column. After some correspondence, Selby finally received his Medal on 15 January 1927, when he was living at Lyme Regis in Dorset. (Archives ref. S 881/499/2/2).

Finally a notice appeared in the “Times”

Selby Philip Hamilton of Far End Headswell Avenue Red Hill Bournemouth died 17 November 1938. Probate London 6th January to Edith Selby widow Effects 3676 0s 3d and buried Kinson Dorset 21/11/1938

References
1871 Census
1881 Census NA RG 11/839
Hickman Col.A.S. Men Who Made Rhodesia
Sampson R. They Came to Northern Rhodesia 1956
British South Africa Company. Reports 1897-1902
Stevenson, Chirupula Tales 1937
Harding, Far Bugles 1933
Forsyth D.R. British South Africa Company Medal Roll
Selby, P.H., 1902, III Journey to the Kafue and Zumbo Districts (in Travel and trade routes in North-Eastern Rhodesia and Adjacent Parts of East Central Africa): The Geographical Journal, v. 5, p. 605–7
Selby, P. H. : Journey to Kafue and Zumbo districts, XIX. 605 visit to Moir's lake, XV. 180
Selby P. H., XIX. 605 Kafue and its headwaters.

With acknowledgement of Ian Johnstone esq. of Harare, Zimbabwe for the Archival research

For those who have visited the Victoria Falls and flown over (some of us have a certificate from British Central African Airways) some trivia for you:

Early Birds in Central Africa
[/u]
An account of flying activities in the Rhodesias during the years 1920 to 1922
by J. McAdam

On the afternoon of their arrival at Livingstone, Tuesday, the 20th, the airmen received a message from the Administrator, Sir Lawrence Wallace, requesting them "to call in for a drink on their way back to the Hotel". His Excellency then expressed a wish to be flown over the Victoria Falls "as low as possible, as he wished to photograph the rock formation."
Next morning, after Mr. Thompson had granted His Excellency's wish, the usual aerial joyrides took place, the first fare-paying air passengers in Northern Rhodesia being "Miss Ely and Mr. Brooker, followed by Mr. and Mrs. Selby, then Mr. Hartley and Miss Fisher."
On Tuesday, 27th July, "Rhodesia", flown by Mr. Thompson, left Livingstone for Broken Hill, via Kalomo, carrying Mr. and Mrs. Werner. Mr. Werner, says Thompson, "was associated with Mr. King in a large mealie farm at Mazabuka, and he had crossed the Kafue in the first ox-wagon, also had been in the first train to cross the Kafue Bridge, and now wished to be the first to fly across it."
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Philip (Chimpeni)Selby F.R.G.S. A Northern Rhodesia Pioneer 1 month 1 day ago #57182

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A cracker of a medal David and, dare I say, a departure from your norm?

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Philip (Chimpeni)Selby F.R.G.S. A Northern Rhodesia Pioneer 1 month 15 hours ago #57191

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I have a few - mainly Northern Rhodesia Pioneers. I posted in response to the recent discussion on the 1890 medal and the archives in Harare. Always in the market for more especially North-Eastern Rhodesia

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Philip (Chimpeni)Selby F.R.G.S. A Northern Rhodesia Pioneer 4 weeks 1 day ago #57213

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DNW has a two bar. 1890 and I think 1893.

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