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Jenny Braunegg(Dickenson)

Brother Chis was just ten years old and a very new boarder at St Mary's School.

Chris passed away in 2015, as did her sister, Elizabeth. Jenny and her sister went to Valley Road Loreto but Elizabeth also went to Msngari in 1958-9.

Her dad went out to Kenya as a small boy(7-10) returned  to UK until he was 17, then returned to Kenya working for EAR&H until he and mum left Kenya when Uhuru came along. He was an engine driver initially, eventually became a mechanical engineer and worked on the Western Ugandan Railway extension from Kampala, Entebee to Kasese, when we were stationed at Jinja. His last years were spent in Nairobi in the EAR&H main Control Office.

Her mum went out from London to Kenya as a very young Governess with a very well to do family in the coffee and tea plantation business in the White Highlands in 1939, as it was then. It was also at the time of the famous murder of Lord Erroll in 1941. The plantation and houses still exist, now as The Aberdare Country Club.

Jenny is in the process of writing their story along with gathering much research work about their life and times in Nyeri at that time. The book White Mischief....very interesting about the London socialites expats of the time who found life in London at the time extremely dull!



Jenny mentioned above about the plantation pioneer farming family that her mum was a Governess to their young son David Adam. The family was (Samuel) Norman and Margot Turner. His history goes back to the asbestos magnate Samuel Turner his father, ....the company was Turner and Newall.  

The other socialite couples were, Doris(Dot) Heap Lyons (nee Turner, first cousin to Norman Turner) and her husband Robert Spencer Lyons from London. 

The other couple was another couple from the London set (Lord Carbery....had name changed by deedpole as he detested England)....quite an unsavoury character by all accounts... John Carberry and June Carberry(nee Mosley). They were signatories on her parents’ wedding certificate.  John Carberry’s first wife Maia died in an air crash in Kenya ...she was piloting her own aircraft when it came down over the game park. There was a daughter from the first marriage... her name was Juanita Carberry. She published her autobiography ....”A Child Of Happy Valley”...an interesting read too.

Norman Turner was also a pilot. He divorced Margot Turner in 1951 and went to live at his property at Kilife called ‘Pirates Retreat’....which we visited and stayed at whilst we lived in Mombasa. 

There is also the book by James Fox .... ‘White Mischief’  which also describes the shenanigans of these folks that lived in Happy Valley.

The histories behind these families is quite startling and an eye opener to life and times of these folks at the outbreak of WW2. Also a certain Idina Sackville was in the mix as well as the Broughtons, and the Delamere family.

John Carberry and Norman Turner were instrumental in the financial backing of the fledging East African Airways at Wilson Airport. John Carberry also had his own personal aircraft called ‘Miss Kenya’  which he used to fly from Nairobi to Nyeri and other surrounding places. Drugs would be flown in to the area supplied by a ‘drug baron’ in Nairobi!

Then there was the link with Lord Errol who was mysteriously murdered in 1941. 

And to think that her mum was amongst all this going on having come, at just nineteen, from a naive close knit demure, family of five young girls, with no exposure at all to the outside world. Very daunting for sure. 

As a family we had no idea about those early days of her mother’s arrival in Kenya and now there’s only Jenny to understand the story behind her life. Her dad was John Liversage Dickenson and her mum was Joan Grace Dickenson (nee Kinsey).

By the time her brother was born 1943 and they had moved to a house in Nakuru, they were away from the goings on at Steep and Seremai and the other areas, they settled down to a ‘normal’ family life. Her sister Elizabeth was born 1945 in Nakuru and Jenny too in Nakuru in 1948.

After that it was Moshi, Mombasa, Jinja and Nairobi.

There are no records for Jenny to trace in Nairobi. All records for European families were torched at the time of Uhuru. Not even at Kew where the archives were supposed  to be kept. 


Jenny now lives in Australia with her husband and children and grandchildren(6).