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Southern African Collections : Occupation of Mashonaland

Fry, William Ellerton, 1846-1930

Southern African Collections

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Album of carbon prints, originally belonging to Sir Leander Starr Jameson and has his signature. The album contains the results of William Ellerton Fry's work documenting the British South Africa Company's occupation of Mashonaland [later Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe]. It is not known how many copies of this album were produced; fewer than twenty are known to survive. The photographs were reproduced in smaller format but with some introductory matter, by Books of Zimbabwe, Bulawayo in 1982. It may be noted that this gives further variants to the identifications noted under plates 2 and 3. <b>The captions have been used as titles and may contain offensive, inappropriate or outdated terms. They have been retained to reflect the context of their creation.</b></p><p style='text-align: justify;'>The photographs include group photographs of the key participants (Ellerton Fry is pictured in <a href='/view/MS-RCS-Y-03052-A/9'> Y3052A/2</a>), and the route of the column from Macloutsie in Bechuanaland [Botswana], crossing the river Tuli in Matabeleland, the establishment of Fort Tuli [Thuli], crossing the Umzingwane [Mzingwane], Nuanetsi [Mwenezi] and Lundi [Lunde] rivers towards Great Zimbabwe, the establishment of Fort Victoria [Masvingo], the establishment of Fort Charter in Mashonaland, crossing the Hunyani River and the establishment of Fort Salisbury [Harare].</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>William Ellerton Fry was born in 1846 and left England for South Africa in 1872 and though he returned briefly to England and married, he soon resumed his career in South Africa, his only settled appointment being as Secretary to the Meteorological Commission in Cape Town. In1890 he left this post on the invitation of Frederick Courteney Selous to join the British South Africa Company's pioneer expedition to occupy Mashonaland. He had the rank of lieutenant and the duties of intelligence officer and also official photographer. He then resumed an unsettled life in East and South Africa, finally retiring to Cape Town. He died in 1930.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Immediate source of acquisition: Presented to the Royal Empire Society [now the Royal Commonwealth Society] by V.W. Hiller, Archivist of Southern Rhodesia, in 1947.</p>

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