[ Tanganyika Territory in the nineteen-thirties; Big Game Hunting ] Six long Autograph Letters Signed from Hugo Meynell to his father F. H. Lindley Meynell, including a sixteen-page letter describing a safari in the Serengeti.

Hugo Meynell (1909-1960), son of Francis Hugo Lindley Meynell (1880-1941) of Hoar Cross, Burton-on-Trent [ Tanganyika Territory in the nineteen-thirties; big game hunting in Africa; African Safari]
Publication details: 
Four of the letters on letterheads of Mtotohovu, Tanga, Tanganyika Territory; one on letterhead of Union-Castle Line SS 'Durham Castle', and another from Thaba Bosigo, Fouriesburg Rail, Orange Free State. Between 1 September 1932 and 4 January 1933.
SKU: 17891

A total of 46pp., mostly on 4to Mtotohovu letterheads. In fair condition, aged and worn. From the Meynell family papers. In the first letter he describes his preparations for an elephant shoot on the Serengeti: 'I a taking a 400 elephant gun a 300 high velocity gun, and a shot gun. My escort consists of a gun bearer, cook, tent boy lorry driver & skinner.' Of the participants in the '"Ngoma" native dance games' he writes: 'they really were awful, covered in red & yellow clay or mud - they really did look maniacs & I am sure are more than half Savages'. In the second letter, which is sixteen pages long, he gives a journal account, dated from 3 to 19 September 1932, of his 'adventures on safari'. This is preceded by a description of each of his six main servants, the first being 'John A German Swahili half cast my gun bearer guide & interpreter - a very fine specimen immensely strong, very willing to do his duty & work with no <?> about it'. The entry for 12 September is typical: 'Nothing was seen in the morning from 6-12. Started again at 3 to a high hill which we scaled & found on the top a park like country - trees & grass much greener, here having startled an old Rhino from his bed, we saw a magnificent Kudu on a ridge next to ours, being divided from it by a dry <?> full of thorns & creepers & thick bushes. I knew he had seen us so I shot at him, the bullet passing between his horns & hitting the tank behind him. I lowed the 300 sight & hit him next shot - he hunched up & slowly sank to the ground got up only to fall again. I thought he was done but after leaving a boy to watch, we charged through the thicket to find him gone, the boy shouting that he was on the further hill, so we dashed there - no sign of him, nor could we find his spoor or blood. We hunted till dark & were up there by dawn next morning to see if the vultures could find him - alas no! He is theh best trophy of all, owing to his scarceness hardiness & keen sight & smell. So you can imagine how disappointed I was & still am.' At the end of the safari his 'bag' includes a lion, a zebra, an Eland bull and a wildebeest. The third letter describes his activities in Orange Free State. The fourth letter, written from on board ship, reports that he is 'going to Kenya again taking Aunt Molly up there to see her niece'; he discusses South African politics ('Smuts brilliant as he is, is no politician tho' possibly the best Statesman in the World, while Hertzog is a very able party man'). With the fifth letter he is back in Mtotohovu, going on a trip 'up into the hills' with 'Tommy'. In the last letter he gives an account of the trip, which begins with a stay with 'Major & Mrs Lead at Magindi', and then to Usambana. He ends by expressing the desire to return to Shamba to 'slay' what he regards as his buffalo: 'Alas I cannot get a Rhino which I really want as I can't get another licence for a year having had one already'.