This book is an autobiographical account of the author's earlier life. He writes
in a stimulating and entertaining way, and one gets much pleasure in reading
his varied reminiscences.
Harry Brun was born in South Africa, but he does not give the date of his birth - in
fact he gives few, if any, dates in his book. The first chapter describes in some
detail his interesting and unusual family background. Both his parents were British,
notwithstanding the fact that his father "was born in Japan, his father in
Madagascar and his grandfather in India". His mother was English, and "her family
included distinguished and blue-blooded persons of all sorts".
We have a description of his early days from kindergarten through to the end of his
schooldays. Aged nineteen he joined the Royal Halberdiers in England as one of
"the first post-war batch". A sizeable portion of the book describes his time with the
Halberdiers and their association with the navy.
It is not until we are halfway through that we arrive in Nigeria, Brun having
succeeded in being selected for the Colonial Police Service. His first posting was to
the Railway Police. In carrying out his duties he travelled in style. He had the use
of an Inspection Coach. "It was a complete railway coach fully fitted out as a
travelling home and office. It had a balcony, lounge, dining room, kitchen,
bathroom and servant quarters. A box wagon was coupled behind to carry the
officer's car." This lifestyle was too good to last, and he was transferred to Enugu,
the HQ of the Eastern Region. After a leave he was posted to Calabar. From there
he was sent on detachment to Uyo Division to deal with a very serious outbreak of
Ju-Ju and killings by Leopard Society members. I found this the most interesting
part of his book. It ends with a description of life and work in Port Harcourt, and his
final job in Nigeria - as Bulk Distribution Supervisor for an oil consortium.
During his years in Nigeria, Brun had a vast number of amusing, grim and
frightening experiences, which he describes very vividly. While he was concerned
by the ever increasing evidence of bribery and corruption as the country was
approaching self-government, he recorded the fact "that no case of corruption or
wrongdoing was ever alleged, let alone proven, against a British Police Officer in