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Letters written

Gervas was not a great writer of letters, and his handwriting is pretty difficult to read.  He was a "hunt-and-peck" typist - but quite fast !

From 1930 to 1936, as a bachelor, Gervas wrote a letter home almost every week.  Volume 1 of these may be found in the here;  Volume 2 has not yet appeared, but the others are being posted >here< as text.

Part of a letter from Gervas to a Northern Rhodesian friend then on leave in England, 1962:-

Barotseland is much the same as usual, except for vicious attacks being made on the Paramount Chief by some of his enemies in the United National Independence Party.

Anyone who saw the local gutter press would believe that Barotseland was on the verge of revolution, but this is all an attack from the outside, and within we are still very peaceful.

The younger generation are unhappy about the demand for  secession [of Barotseland from Zambia] because they think that there would be no money for their pay and they would be under a rather reactionary government for ever, but I doubt rather if the Paramount Chief and his Indunas really believe they will get it. They are certainly frightened of U.N.I.P. and the way things seem to be going, and would prefer a "white" Government to "black" nationalism.

They are always asking why Kaunda and Co. are given V.I.P. treatment by the British Government when everyone knows they live and get their support by thuggery and intimidation.

It certainly seems to pay to be naughty if you are African, and one wonders how much longer the Barotse Government will continue to be good and loyal when they see what happens to those who are the reverse.

Mwanawina and his party will be going to England in March for talks in April. I wonder if they will be invited to Chequers?? ...


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