in the UK
How did the end of Empire affect a family steeped in British imperial traditions for more than four generations? Shiela Bevan's story begins when the British Empire still seemed in its heyday of world dominion, when the vast increase in territorial extent and political and economic power masked the forces of irrevocable change which would transform the face of the Empire within a single lifetime. Her grandfather had served in India. Her father was born there, fought in the Boer War and stayed to farm in South Africa and as a member of the comfortable white English-speaking Society, witnessed the apartheid state first-hand experiencing protest groups like the 'Torch Commandoes' and Black Sash. She married Trevor Bevan, a colonial police officer who had served in the British Southern African Police in Southern Rhodesia and was to join the administration of Eritrea and Somaliland after Mussolini's defeat, where he forged close relations with the Danakil and other peoples of the Red Sea coast. Their married life together was different but no less adventurous - Singapore, Nyasaland (Malawi), the United Arab Emirates and finally Yemen. This is the history of a family full of incident, shrewd comment and deep understanding of the problems of the regions where they served, all in the context of the twilight years of empire.
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