Old Cambrian Society

  OC Society
  OC Alumni
  OC News
  Events Diary
  Register Here
  Impala Project
  Where are they?
  Contact us

   Obituary - David O.L. Drummond, GM, CPMG


David Oswald Lamond Drummond, GM, CPMG

House: Clive/Grigg
Years: 1947-1950

Dave's widow, Hilary, phoned Webmaster on 20th February 2007 to let him know that Dave had passed away on the 19th February.

Note from Webmaster:
Dave's funeral took place at 1.15pm on Wed 28th February 2007 at the Crematorium, St. Helier, Jersey and was attended by 100+ family and friends. Two Old Cambrians, who are resident in Jersey, attended the funeral - Webmaster, Steve Le Feuvre (Clive 1970-5) represented the Old Cambrian Society, and Mac Spence (Hawke 1948-53) the Kenya Regiment. These are two of the many organisations that Dave took great pride in being a member of.

Obituary published in the Telegraph on 12th June 2007:
( Click here for on-line version, or read text below)

    Dave Drummond, who has died aged 74, was awarded the George Medal for hunting down some 40 Mau Mau terrorists in Kenya in 1955; 30 years later the BBC made a film about him raising a family of orphaned cheetahs in the wild.

    After being called up by the police reserve in 1952, Drummond was posted to Happy Valley, 7,000 ft up in the Aberdare mountains, where he was able to make use of the fluent Swahili and bushcraft he had learned as a boy from a Kikuyu hunter. He soon discovered how Africans were coerced into taking the terrorists' gruesome secret oaths, having started to make progress when an African grocer offered to become an informer.

    On his first operation Drummond was taken to a terrorist hideout, where he hoped to track down a gang leader called Harun. At the time the hideout was unguarded because the sentry was being beaten on his bare backside. When the sentry returned and raised his gun, Drummond opened fire, hitting him in the legs, then threw himself to the ground as he heard something heavy land in the bushes nearby; it was a grenade which had become caught in a branch above his head.

    advertisementDrummond advanced to one of the huts, where he encountered the gang leader. But as Drummond drew his gun, Harun struck him in the face and disappeared into the forest shouting: "Bloody swine! I know you, Bwana Drum!"

    A month later Drummond was carrying his bride over the threshold of his cottage when he found the following note: "You have married a nice white girl but you will not enjoy her for very long. I am going to castrate you."

    Drummond tried challenging Harun to single combat, but had more luck when he formed a unit of "pseudo-Mau Mau", made up of captured gangsters who had been "turned" in jail. Drummond disguised himself in ragged African dress, and stained his skin medium-brown, using a weaker solution to turn the whites of his eyes brown-yellow; and he trained himself to scratch like a Kikuyu. On operations he also subjected himself so thoroughly to the "jungle code" that he was once beaten by his own men for a lapse in security.

    His unit had become so convincing that it was invited to consider amalgamating with Harun's gang. A meeting came to nothing, but it eventually led to the capture of both Harun and another rebel, known as Captain Jimmy.

    Such successes were a personal triumph for Drummond, who was singled out for his gallantry in the citations for the George Medal, the Colonial Police Medal and a mention in dispatches. But the effects of his lifestyle began to tell on him. While he was flattered by the five rows of notches carved on the stock of his Beretta by one of his men, he became increasingly conscious of the brutality of his work. He then suffered severe burns to his face in a plane crash, and had to be treated by the burns unit at East Grinstead before recovering to win the McQueen international sniping competition at Bisley.

    On his return to duty Drummond was promoted to assistant superintendent. He retired in 1962 as the colony's independence loomed.

    The son of Scottish settlers, David Oswald Lamond Drummond was born in Nairobi on April 30 1932 and went to Prince of Wales School. After considering becoming a professional hunter, he entered a surveyor's office, and was then appointed an assistant engineer on a building project.

    After retiring from the Kenya force Drummond spent some time in the troublespots of Aden and the Yemen, then became security officer for East African Airways and the National Parks of Kenya, and a safari tour operator.

    In 1985 the BBC made a film about his friendship with a cheetah called Petal, who let him walk, hunt and sleep alongside her, as well as teach her cubs survival techniques when she was absent. It became the basis of his touching book Queen of the Mara (2005).

    Dave Drummond married, first, Mary Allen, with whom he had a son and two daughters, one of whom predeceased him; after they divorced he married, secondly, Hilary Ebsworth.

    Increasingly uneasy about security in Kenya, he decided to move in 2004 to Jersey, where he took up clay pigeon shooting.

The following was Dave's's entry in the Alumni section of this web site prior to his death:

David O.L. Drummond, GM, CPMG

Nickname: "Bulldog"
House: Clive/Grigg
Years: 1947-1950

Clive House - 1947
Grigg House - 1948 to 1950
House Prefect - Grigg
School Colours for Cricket and Rugby

Memories of School:
These can be found in two of my books - "Queen of the Mara" and "Bwana Drum"

After leaving School:
  • Police call-up 1951
  • Kenya Police Special Branch - trained in UK and Wales Special Forces 1952
  • Uniform Branch 1958-1962 - Harbour Police Administration
  • Retired Police P/Acting Assistant Superintendent - Administration
  • Chief of East African Airways Airline Security covering all airports in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
  • IATA Fraud Prevention 1973-1974
  • Air Kenya Commercial Airline Pilot 1975-1981
  • Security representative for Kenya Association of Tour Operators, country-wide, with Anti-Poaching intelligence portfolio
  • Tour Operator - Kenya Photographic Tours and Safaris and 'Out of Africa' Camp.
  • Retired from the tourism scene, sold all and moved to the Channel Islands 2004

    Decoration for Service:
  • George Medal; Colonial Police Medal (G)
  • 6 Commissioner's Commendations
  • Queen's Commendation for Distinguished Service
  • Saw service in Aden and Yemen

  • Police Revolver Champion 1962
  • International Target Rifle shooting (8 caps for Kenya)
  • International Clay Pigeon shooting (3 caps for Jersey)
  • International Gold Cup Sniper Champion 1962
  • Participated in World Championships Rifle
  • Surrey Veterans Champion 1991 Clay Pigeon Shooting
  • Channel Islands Super Shot Bronze Medal 2005

    Living in Jersey, Channel Islands - since 2004

    (Registered - 19 March 2006)