The title of the British South Africa Police, the police force of Rhodesia, stems from that of its predecessor, the British South Africa Company Police.
Almost immediately upon the granting by Queen Victoria in 1889 of a Royal Charter to Cecil John Rhodes’s British South Africa Company to open up Mashonaland, recruiting began in Kimberley in the Cape Colony (now the Cape Province of South Africa) for a police force to accompany and protect the pioneer column which was to occupy the new territory.
The first African members of the Force were recruited from the remnants of Lobengula’s scattered Matabele regiments after the war of 1893, but were disbanded on the outbreak of the Matabele Rebellion of 1896.
Although no complete records remain to tell us the full story of the early Police Bands in Rhodesia, it is known that in 1887 the force was able to provide a band to play at the celebration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in both Salisbury and Bulawayo (now Zimbabwe).
The history of Police Bands continues well into the 1960’s.
Here is a selection of African styled fanfare tracks from the album ‘Kum-A-Kye’ recorded probably around 1955. The record contains a 15 minutes version of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ by Gershwin, but unfortunately the condition of that song is too bad for reproduction on these pages.
excerpts from the original liner notes of “Kum-A-Kye”
The Band Of The British South African Police
Brigadiers Records BR/R4 South Africa