Monday, 6 May 2013

Compensation for crimes of the British Empire?

There was an interesting story in the Guardian yesterday about the possibility of thousands of Kenyans being paid compensation from the UK for apparent torture against them during the Mau Mau insurgency in the 1950s, as the British Empire collapsed. If successful, it could open the doors to similar claims from other parts of the former empire, and would be the first time that the UK made such a payment for official crimes committed during British imperial rule.

For the compensation story visit - for an earlier story on the efforts to hide relevant FCO documentation which might "embarrass HMG or other government", see

Shocking as it is, there is tragically likely to be a family history element to this - who committed or sanctioned the apparent torture? Sometimes the past can be more uncomfortable than we may dare hope for...


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the Old Parish Registers, starts May 15th - see Time to smash a few brick walls...!

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