Dr Margaret Mitchell started her career as a doctor in the casualty department at Coventry and Warwickshire hospital and became a renowned specialist in the treatment of eye diseases.
Dr Mitchell’s interesting life started at the age of 22 when she was awarded the Croix de Guerre for her services as a volunteer with the Red Cross in France in the World War 1. In the 1920’s she answered a call for medical missionaries in India and took up a post in the Himalayan Kingdom of Kashmir when it was under British Crown.
Before the start of World War 2, she went to Persia to take charge of a mission hospital. She returned to Allesley and established a first aid post in the village. As President of the Women’s British Legion she organised the local Poppy Appeal for more than 40 years. She took a particular interest in the Christian Medical Hospital at Vellore in Southern India and for years helped raise funds to support it.
Frances “Lois” Jessop was born in Chadwell, England March 1913. She came to the United States in 1929. After graduating from the Chicago Evangelistic Institute she enrolled at Asbury College, but interrupted her studies to service as a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church’s Old Umtali Mission in Southern Rhodesia beginning 1937. There she taught in the Bible Institute, edited a journal for the mission and assisted the mission director. After three years she returned to Asbury to finish her degree.
In 1941, she married Maurice E. Persons whom she had met as a fellow student at Chicago Evangelistic Institute and who had also been in Southern Rhodesia. A year later, the Persons returned to Africa as Methodist missionaries where Mr. Persons served in a number of capacities between 1947 and 1968 in Liberia and the Congo.
Mrs. Person served as a high school teacher, conducted classes for the development of African women and taught Swahili to new missionaries. They return returned to the Congo in 1977 where they served until retirement in Phoenix, Arizona in 1980. Mrs. Person died June 2003. Mr. Persons died 2004.
William Rausch was born in Cape Colony, South Africa in 1862. Eventually he made his way to Bulawayo where established himself as a photographer. His earliest photos date from 1895. He is one of four photographers listed in Matabeleland during this time: C. Hines, C. H. Newberry, J. Parkin, and W. Rausch.
The Rhodesia Scientific Association (1899) lists Rausch as having won a prize for his Rhodesian photographs.
He died of pneumonia at Memorial Hospital on 24 September, 1900. H A de Beers was appointed as executor and his estate was finalised 24 January 1901.
James Hay Upcher (7 January 1854 – 17 March 1931) was Archdeacon of Mashonaland from 1925 until his death.
Upcher was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge was ordained deacon in 1877 and Priest in 1878. After curacies in Halesworth, Sudbourne, Barnham Broom and Bury St Edmunds he held incumbencies at Sprowston, and Sculthorpe. In July 1892, Upcher arrived in Pretoria with Alfred Dykes Sylvester and travelled up to Rhodesia. Sylvester went to Fort Victoria while Upcher travelled to Salisbury, arriving in September the same year.
In Salisbury, the diocese of Mashonaland was in disarray. Upon Upcher’s arrival, he established a site for a new church and organised for the erection of a brick building, the Church of All Saints, dedicated in January 1893. Upcher was well received in Salisbury and congregations to services grew. He also began a service for the Mashona. He and his assistant, N.C. Panilod, started the first school in Salisbury in 1894.
In the same year he started the first school, Salisbury needed a new Bishop. Upcher was offered the position but wanted to focus on Missionary work. He was a missionary at St Bernard’s Mission, Selukwe from 1923 to 1925; and Priest in charge of St Mary, Huyani from 1927 until his death.
Edmund Henry Allott was born 15 October 1881 in Walton, Warwickshire the son of Henry Hepworth Allott, a Curate with the Church of England and his wife Alicia Georgina.
At the the age of 19, Edmund was employed as a Land Agent’s Assistant. On 25 June 1901 Edmund Henry Allott joined the Boer War an was appointed as a Second Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. For his efforts he was awarded the Queens Medal with clasps Cape Colony and South Africa 1902.
Having returned to England on 12 September 1902 after the cessation of hostilities, Allott continued on in the Volunteer force being Gazetted a full Lieutenant with effect from August 1902. He commenced studying and undertook a voyage to the United States from London in 1904, with his final destination Kamloop in British Columbia (Canada). When he returned to England, he devoted his energies to farming for his own account and the next event of any import in his life was on 25 January 1907 when he resigned his commission and was made an Honorary Lieutenant.
When the Great War erupted in 1914 Allott put his hand up for the war effort and was appointed into the 19th Divisional Supply Company of the Army Service Corps. But before he was to see any military action, he married Miss Olive Millicent Brooks. He was posted to France on 14 July 1915 where he was deployed to a variety of front line positions and was promoted to Captain.
Post-war, he tried to settle down as a Farmer, however the venture wasn’t a long lasting one and he began to turn his attention towards Africa. On 21 February 1929 he departed from London aboard the “Dunluce Castle” bound for Cape Town and eventually Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia (on advice of his cousin Bill Hanmer).
The Allott’s lived for 6 months at Fairview in an enormous rondavel which served as bedroom, living room and kitchen, and when the Hanmer’s went away the Allott’s were entrusted with the care of the farm and the job of making a new road to Heathfield. After leaving Fairview the Allott’s camped on Welgelegen, a farm they were tempted to buy, but settled in the end for Belmont and Belmont Valley where they went raised horses and cattle. By 1934 Allott had turned his hand to growing coffee achieving 100% success with seedbeds of Caffea Arabica planting over 1000 trees.
In 1932 Allott bought the Melsetter Hotel, hoping to provide more attractive accommodation for tourists, boost the district, and provide an outlet for the fresh produce from his farm Belmont. In 1935 Allott decided to run the hotel himself, despite having had no experience “he won a good reputation”, installing electricity and erecting 10 prefab bedrooms to which a swimming pool was added in 1938. With the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 Allott and his wife were left to try and carry on with the hotel as best they could with a drastically depleted staff and very little business. They both volunteered for service but were turned down, the hotel was deemed to be an essential business and had to be carried on. Local Air Force chaps were the only visitors and they were put up for free.
Emerging relatively unscathed from the war Allott continued on with the hotel until he reached the age where he couldn’t carry on. He passed away at the age of 83 at his farm, Belmont Valley in Melsetter on 12 November 1964 and was survived by his wife and daughters Rosemary Joan Owen and Olivia Josephine Webb.
The Smart Set Entertainers started in 1892. Previously known as the Light Opera Singers and The Follies, Walter George brought the Smart Set Entertainers to Australia via South Africa and America in 1912.
The 10-member troupe disbanded in 1915 when he and partner Georgie Martin joined Edward Branscombe’s Dandies. They reformed the Smart Set in 1917, touring Australia and New Zealand through until 1920, at which time George and Martin established the Sunshine Players.
The original line-up included Emily Kroll, Edward Elliot, Sunshine James, Mona Thomas, Tristram Greene and Edgar Holland (piano).
Prof John Mitchell Watt was a 20th-century South African physician and pharmacologist. He served in both World Wars and made extensive catalogues of traditional African medicines.
He was born in Port Elizabeth in South Africa on 1 December 1892 and was educated at the Grey Institute High School in Port Elizabeth. His family moved to Scotland and he completed his education at Stirling High School. He studied Medicine at Edinburgh University graduating in 1916. He then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps.
In 1921 he became Professor of Pharmacology at University College, Johannesburg. In 1933 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In the Second World War he was in charge of medical supplies for the South African Defence Headquarters for the entire war. In 1957 he joined the South African Institute for Medical Research.
In 1965 he moved back to Britain to teach at the Plymouth College of Technology before moving into semi-retirement in 1965, also locating to Australia where he was a part-time Demonstrator in Physiology at the University of Queensland.
In 1972 the Rand Afrikaans University awarded him an honorary doctorate (LLD) for his academic writing
Joseph Lazarus first arrived in Barberton, South Africa during the gold boom from Britain and established J & M Lazarus, with his brother Marucie, in Lourenço Marques, Portuguese East Africa in 1899. Their last advertisement appears in 1907, although their box number is still listed in the 1909 edition. They sold their studio to Sidney Hocking.
Joseph appears to have settled in Bulawayo, Rhodesia. A number of philatelic covers exist bearing his name.
Dale Evans was born Lucille Wood Smith on October 31, 1912 in Uvalde, Texas. She had a tumultuous early life. Her name was changed to Frances Octavia Smith while she was still an infant and spent a lot of time living with her uncle. At age 14, she eloped with and married Thomas F. Fox, with whom she had one son, Thomas F. Fox, Jr., when she was 15.
A year later, abandoned by her husband, she found herself in Memphis, Tennessee, a single parent, pursuing a career in music. She landed a job with local radio stations (WMC and WREC), singing and playing piano. Divorced in 1929, she took the name Dale Evans in the early 1930’s to promote her singing career.
After beginning her career singing at the radio station where she was employed as a secretary, Evans had a productive career as a jazz, swing, and big band singer that led to a screen test and contract with 20th Century Fox studios. During her time at 20th Century Fox, the studio promoted her as the unmarried supporter of her teenage “brother” Tommy (actually her son Tom Fox, Jr.). This deception continued through her divorce from Butts in 1946 and her development as a cowgirl co-star to Roy Rogers at Republic Studios.
Evans married Roy Rogers on New Year’s Eve 1947 at the Flying L Ranch where they had earlier filmed the movie Home in Oklahoma. The marriage was Rogers’ third and Evans’ fourth but was successful; the two were a team on- and off-screen from 1946 until Rogers’ death in 1998.
Shortly after the wedding, Evans ended the deception regarding her son, Tommy. Roy had an adopted child, Cheryl, and two biological children, Linda and Roy (Dusty) Jr., from his second marriage. Together they had one child, Robin Elizabeth, who died of complications of Down syndrome. Evans and Rogers adopted four other children: Mimi, Dodie, Sandy, and Debbie.
Evans was very influential in changing public perceptions of children with developmental disabilities and served as a role model for many parents after she wrote Angel Unaware. Evans went on to write a number of religious and inspirational books. Roy and Dale appeared many times with Billy Graham in Crusades all over the country, singing gospel songs and giving their testimony.
From 1951-57, Evans and Rogers starred in the highly successful television series The Roy Rogers Show. In late 1962, the couple co-hosted a comedy-western-variety program, The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Show, which was cancelled after three months.
In the 1970s, Evans recorded several solo albums of religious music. During the 1980s, the couple introduced their films weekly on the former The Nashville Network. In the 1990s, Evans hosted her own religious television program.
Evans died of congestive heart failure on February 7, 2001 in Apple Valley, California.
John Simco Warren was born in England in 1869. He was a chemist who worked in Bulawayo. In 1907, he married Frances ‘Fanny’ Garrod.
Garrod had arrived with her first first husband, John Knox, from Port Elizabeth by ox wagon. She was a qualified nurse and was in the Bulawayo laager during the ’96 rebellion. In 1907, many years after the death of Mr Knox, she married Warren.