My Memoirs of the British South Africa Police, 1966–1981

… and a Colonial Upbringing in Northern Rhodesia

John Shaw

Date Published :
August 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
80 b/w photos, 2 maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781910294987
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Throughout the author's life in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) his father was a member of the Northern Rhodesia Police and the author sets about recording various incidents in the life of a youngster growing up in the numerous towns and police stations at which his father served. The family moved to Southern Rhodesia in 1964. Finalizing his secondary schooling at Chaplin School, Gwelo, Rhodesia, in 1965, the author joined the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in March 1966 and elected to go into the district branch of the Force. The author traces his career from a young patrol officer, through the various ranks and district police stations on which he served, to his retirement in August 1981 as a superintendent, in what was then Zimbabwe.

He highlights the typical lifestyle associated with a district 'copper', including anecdotes from the Bush War that was raging. Apart from the lighter side of the book- hitting an elephant at Makuti at 1 a.m. in a Mini Moke; realizing five minutes before presenting his men on parade to the Officer Commanding, at an annual inspection, that he had left his trousers at home; attending an internal disciplinary hearing as the accused for being drunk off duty where the presiding officer commented that the author's main defense witness appeared more drunk than the author and dismissed the case-there are some more serious chapters involving terrorist incidents, some of which are captured on an original station Incident Log which the author has included in the book.


“This is a fascinating book that is of interest primarily to those who are seeking to know more about the role of the police more broadly in colonial Rhodesia.”

- Miniature Wargames, May 2017

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