Edmund Henry Allott

Edmund Henry Allott

(1881-1964)

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.

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