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G.B. Kettle collection on East Africa 1921-1935

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y30468O

Scope and Contents

Three albums containing 638 photographs mostly taken by G.B. Kettle. The photographs are capable amateur work, mostly in good condition, and most have substantial descriptive captions.

Album 1, 1921-1923 (plates 1-247) shows scenes at Lake Magadi including aspects of the soda factory, and also visits to other parts of East Africa.

Album 2, 1923-1931 (plates 248-513) consists of an unused 1929 diary with photographs stuck in. There are a few (248-251) of Magadi, but most relate to Uganda, including scenery, wildlife, and Africans. There are also photographs of road building, some of formal occasions. A few relate to Kenya.

Album 3, 1931-1935 (plates 513-638) which is not full, contains similar material, with a few photographs of other parts of Africa, presumably taken on leave, and finishes with Kettle's marriage to Betty Kilgallon at Palma de Mallorca on 7 March 1935.


  • Creation: 1921 - 1935


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Geoffrey Bernard Kettle was born on 31 May 1897 and served in the Royal Air Force. At the end of 1920 he went to East Africa as an engineer with the Magadi Soda Company, Kenya. After three years he moved to Uganda and appears to have engaged in various occupations until his appointment as a road foreman under the Uganda Government on 3 April 1928. He was a road overseer in 1948, but nothing is known of his subsequent career.


638 item(s) (638 images)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented to The Royal Empire Society by G.B. Kettle's father Bernard Kettle (former Librarian of the Guildhall Library) in February 1949.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Africa, fiche numbers 100-110.


This collection level description was entered by WS using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Kettle, Geoffrey Bernard, b 1897, engineer

Includes index.
2006-08-15 15:09:04+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom