The Last Rhodesian: The West Family, After The Terror Comes British Betrayal
“…Even more sinister, why did the British government intentionally un-document Rhodesian children trying to leave with their parents?”
The White Rhodesian ‘Chicken Run‘
Leaving Rhodesia in the 1970’s was called The Chicken Run. Later some called it the Wise Owl Run. The Tour Of ‘Liberated’ Africa, written in 1976, illustrates what many Rhodesians, both white and black, feared would become of Rhodesia under Marxist majority rule. Predictably, they were proven correct. While the world cheered for ‘liberated’ Zimbabwe Ruins, the ruling party ZANUPF liberated 20,000 – 40,0000 Matabele people of their lives in the early 1980s. Eventually Zimbabwe Ruins also ‘liberated’ itself of its white farmers and now begs for international food aid while maintaining a one-party state gorging on Rhodesia’s carcass.
‘The Last Rhodesian’ series will present first hand accounts, exclusive to Reclaiming Rhodesia, of white African families who left before and after 1980. It is a testimony to the spirit of Rhodesians who, despite the odds and the global hostility, endured and found ways to make new homes in foreign nations as productive, law abiding citizens. It is astounding to observe today those white Western nations, so scornful of the dehumanized white Rhodesian, opening their borders to millions of undocumented young men of fighting age simply because they are not white.
The tragic death of a child who’s parents were illegally entering Europe, becomes an international front page news story. The emotional response to a child’s death is understandable.
The question is, where was this emotional response to the blatant murder of 6 month-old Natasha bayoneted to death by 20 “freedom-fighters” in 1977? Or 6 week old Pamela bashed to death while reaching out for her mother in 1978? Even more sinister, why did the British government intentionally un-document Rhodesian children trying to leave with their parents?
Rhodesia had been intensely loyal to Britain, her young men readily volunteered to fight for her in greater pro-rata numbers than most Commonwealth nations, and many of her newer immigrants were WWII veterans from Britain. Rhodesia also had the most deaths pro rata among the allies. Most Rhodesians were eligible, like the rest of the Commonwealth, to a British passport. It is to the shame of the British Home Office that they sought to persecute the children and grandchildren of those men.
The West Family – Illegally Undocumented By Britain
Certain details have been altered for privacy concerns. The West family are named so because they headed westward of Rhodesia.
In early 1976 the West family left Rhodesia for South America, it was a difficult decision especially for Mrs West who wanted to remain near her widowed mother. The patriarch of her family had been part of the first column into Rhodesia in 1890, so there was a rich family history and pride in the development of the nation from virgin bush and the chaos of tribal warfare. However, with three children under the age of 15 years, it was decided they needed a future.
The eldest child had been born in Northern Rhodesia, which became Zambia in October 1964. Having witnessed Northern Rhodesia descend into basket case Zambia, they knew the destructiveness of de-colonization first hand. They knew how the ‘liberation’ of the Congo, Angola, Mozambique and Tanzania led to an indescribably blood-thirsty and genocidal attack on white families. The massacres were clearly intended to exterminate the whites. The few white refugees that made it to Rhodesia had the clothing they stood up in and often little else, other than terrifying experiences to tell.
However, the real impetus to leave occurred after two terrorist attacks in two weeks hit the family hard. Living in rural Rhodesia, some 50 Km from a rural town and near a Tribal Trust Lands boundary, the family and farming community were vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Villagers in the Tribal Trust Lands in Rhodesia were routinely terrorized and brutalized into hiding and aiding terrorist cells, while the whites of the Western world funded them and called them ‘freedom-fighters’.
The first attack was on the neighbor of the West family, a farmer. The farmer was with an employee and his small dog, opening the farm gate when the terrorists ambushed and killed them. That the employee was black and yet still murdered was typical. Mr West was with two of his children, when they found the victims. He went to raise the alert and the Grey’s Scouts found and engaged the terrorists, excelling as usual.
The second terrorist attack targeted Mr West himself while driving in an ordinary passenger vehicle with his children. A bullet barely missed Mr West and hit the windscreen, the sound of AK47’s being fired at the family followed. Mr West pulled over and shot back into the kopje (hill) with his rifle. He aimed at the highest rocks to create a downward ricochet spray of rock chips and bullets on the terrorists hiding below. He managed to scare the terrorists long enough to smash the severely fractured windscreen with his rifle butt so he could drive his kids to safety. As was typical, the ‘freedom-fighter’ gangs ambushed ordinary civilians and their children, then ran away. The West’s decided it was time to leave, but where to?
Although Mr West had a British passport and had voluntarily joined and served in the British Army during WWII, he was rejected by Australia. At the very same time Australia was continuing its post-WWII “10 Pound Poms” immigration scheme to attract white immigrants, usually WWII veterans! Also well under way was a significant influx of non-white “refugees” being more than welcomed into the country, including Vietnamese who, like Rhodesians, were fighting against Communism. Mr Wests WWII service, his natural ability to speak English, his opposition to Marxist terrorists and his exceptional skills and experience (suited to mining and construction projects) should have made him a highly preferred immigrant.
Convinced South Africa would eventually be next in line for trouble, the West family chose to head to South America with barely the ability to say “Hola!” and just an old Atlas! (No internet in those days!)
The first task was to secure travel documents for the whole family, what unfolded was absolutely incomprehensible for any man who had loyally served for ‘Queen and Country’!
The British Embassy
The West family had an array of birth certificates, not uncommon in those days. For example, one of the children was born in Northern Rhodesia, one in Rhodesia and one in South Africa. The trouble was and is, when Northern Rhodesia and Rhodesia ceased to exist, they also became dysfunctional and antagonist to white citizens and even each other. This became incredibly difficult for the Wests and many other families.
Mr West arrived at the British Embassy in Pretoria to secure travel documents for his family, something he assumed would be straight forward. However, the British Embassy decided to not add his children as dependents in his passport correctly. They decided to add them on a loose piece of paper stapled to his passport stating that upon arrival in South America Mr West must present his passport to the nearest British Embassy. Mr West, rather trustingly, complied. The British Embassy in South America merely tore the piece of paper out and handed back the passport to Mr West. His children were now undocumented.
Fortunately, upon arrival into their new home nation in South America, Mr and Mrs West had already obtained the maximum 5 year visa available for them, and the maximum 1 year visa available for their dependent children. With these visas, the entire family was able to acquire an ID card that did not expire for ten years. Then the intent of the illegal actions of the two British Embassies in their treatment of Mr Wests passport became clear, persecution of the father through the child.
Ten Years Later
Ten years later, the West children are now adults and fully assimilated into their new nation. A couple had already married (to local nationals) and started having children of their own. Then, overnight, all three children became illegal aliens. Their ID cards had expired. They did not have the documents necessary to renew them. They could not prove they had arrived on their father’s British passport.
Immigration laws during the ten years had been made stricter and far more formal. The one child with a South African birth certificate was able to apply to South Africa via their embassy for South African citizenship. With formal SA citizenship granted it was possible to provide the necessary documents to apply for permanent residency. The other children were not so lucky.
Being born in Rhodesia or Northern Rhodesia is, for all practical purposes as so many of us know, like being born on the moon! When the British Embassy deceived Mr West, a British war veteran, by not formally typing his children as dependents onto the pages marked for “Dependents” they knew they were rejecting his children. When the next British Embassy tore the stapled piece of paper out of Mr Wests’ passport, they knew they were “un-documenting” his children while in a foreign nation.
Since the West family did not go to Guyana, the only British colony in South America, it was surprising that the local British Embassy was so vindictive. That they continued to be uncooperative with the two children, now adults, is reprehensible. They are impressive individuals, productive, highly intelligent and a wonderful addition to any society. They are guilty of no crime other than being born white in Rhodesia.
Image by Red4tribe at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Next in The Last Rhodesian series: The North Family… into the lion’s den!