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Thread: Percy Snell

  1. #1

    Percy Snell

    I just been looking at TP`s topic on George V tiger hunt and it remided me of some pictures my mother in law showed me.
    It was 3 albums of her father, Percy Snell, all the pics were taken of his hunts in Africa back in the 1920`s, and when he was working as a Game warden for the Tanganykan Govt.
    There some amazing pictures of Lions, Elephants, Leopards.... the list goes on and on, the cars in the pics had the running boards strewn with skins and trophies.
    I wish I`d scanned them and put some on this forum before I came over here, as I doubt I will ever see the pics again
    He is supposed to have been the 2nd man down into the Orangoro crater, a German was first ( I expect he left his beach towel )
    There was another English bloke who said he was 2nd down there, but my mother in law is adament her dad was 2nd, and no way am I disagreeing with her even though I`m 12,000 miles away.
    If any of you technophobes can dig up anyhting on Percy Snell on this internet thingy, I`d be interested in hearing about it, or if "Shakari" knows anything about him.
    thanks if anybody knows anything, doesn`t have to be just the good bits either, he may have been a drunken womaniser,poacher or whatever. ( me and him would have got on like a house on fire )
    I always said I was born a hundred years too late.

  2. #2
    Hmmm, the name rings a faint bell with me somewhere and I stress I'm doing this from memory........ But I don't think he could have been the second whitey to get to the crater...... a very early one perhaps, but I doubt the second. I get an idea he was somehow tied up with, or mentioned in at least one of the books by JA Hunter........ JA was one of the first white men to visit the Ngorogoro Crater and when he got there, he found a guy called Capt George(?) Hurst MC living there. For some reason George wasn't approved of by the Govt of th day, and was refused when he applied for ownership of the area Which was then offered to JA. - Ol' JA admits he made a big mistake in that he was offered something like a 99 year lease on the crater for a peppercorn rent and he turned it down because he thought it was too remote to get anyone interested in visiting it........... he was right, it was a big mistake...... in fact, probably one of the biggest mistakes in the history of hunting! - Even now, the place is a true paradise.

    FWIW, I believe that another of the very early whities to get into the rough area could well have been the poet Brian Brooke who wrote such great work. - The problem with early African (exploration) history is that it's full of claims and counter claims and in fact, if you work out the dates, it could well be that BB was in the area earlier than JA or most of the others. - Whether he got to the Crater or not is another matter as he was in what was then known as British East Africa (now Kenya) and the Crater was in what is now Tanzania, and before that Tanganyika....... but it's not a tremendous distance between the two and I guess it's not impossible that BB or someone else might have gotten there at some time.....

    I can't find my copies of the Hunter books at the moment, but if anyone has a copy of 'Hunter', 'Hunter's Tracks', 'White Hunter or 'Tales of the African Frontier' by JA Hunter, they might find something in there.

    Incidentally, 'Hunter' by Hunter was the second book I ever read about African hunting when I was about 10 or 11 years old and it fuelled the fires lit by my reading 'Hunting in Africa' by Frank C Hibben.

  3. #3
    I am unable to locate any reference to Percy Snell at the moment although the name is familiar. Should I find it I will post on here.
    I must correct 'Shikari' on Capt Hurst.
    Hunter was on safari with two American clients and arrived at Ngorongoro about ten days after Hurst had been killed by an elephant. When he returned to Nairobi with Capt Hurst's effects, he sent them to the Captain's brother who was living there. He contacted Hunter a few days later, having found a 99 year lease to the Crater in the Captains belongings. He offered it to Hunter for a rent of 45 rupees per annum. Hunter declined - big mistake, to say the least!
    Obviously, Capt Hurst was the leaseholder.
    Hunter employed a Dutch hunter called Fourrie, who had been to the Crater previously, to guide him on this safari.

  4. #4

    I seem to remember that's what it says in 'Hunter' by Hunter and I'll be a gentleman by not suggesting that you may well be old enough to remember meeting Hunter personally........ (sorry mate, couldn't resist that one!)

    But when I checked Wickipedia, it claims that Hunter met Hurst on his first visit to the Crater etc......

    I guess it goes back to what I said about claim and counter claim in African history..........

    Damn, I'm still crying with laughter!!!!!!!!!

  5. #5
    Oh, dear, I'll need to correct that Shikari again. Now that he's reached the ripe old age of 81, his memory is going - poor old fella.
    Hunter could not have met Hurst, according to "Hunter", Hurst was killed 10 days before Hunter reached the Crater on his first visit. Indeed, it was Hunter's first safari as a Professional. If Wikiwonkey says that Hunter met Hurst in the Crater then it needs to be corrected.
    As for claim and counterclaim - the book "Hunter" is in front of me as I write.
    On my copy the info is on pages 43-46.
    Whilst I have not reached the venerable age of Shikari, I will admit to being old enough to have met JA - if I had lived in Kenya. I would have liked to have met him, he seemed to be a decent no-nonsense sort and obviously a fine hunter. I would also liked to have met Selous, who was a splendid fellow and also a fine hunter. 8)

  6. #6
    - I'm crying with laughter as I write this!!!!!!

    I can't find my hunter books but I thought he said he'd met Hurst. - I guess one of us had better go correct Wickipedia...........

    Thanks for making me laugh yet again buddy!

    I gotta tell you guys, one of the main pleasures of hunting with Pete is that he's always got a smile on his face and always keeps everyone laughing!

  7. #7
    Right Kim has just given me a few facts she got off her mum, Percy was in the second group to go down into the crater, not solo ,my mistake there, apparentley there was a problem with the livestock in the area and as a govt vet inspector he was asked to go and assess the problem.

    In the 1960`s there was a programme on telly about the crater and 2 germans said they were the first and Kim`s granddad saw the prgramme and was adament they weren`t the first there, an Englishman was there when they got there? or an Englishman had been there before them.

    From looking at the posts and from what I got from the outlaws, could hunter have taken Snell down there?

  8. #8
    The vet thing also rings a bell with me and again, I get an idea that it's mentioned in the same book...... perhaps Pete can shed some light on that........ his library is obviously a lot better organised than mine is.

    It also makes sense that the Englishman you mention would be Hurst.

    Sounds to me that Percy would have been about the 5th man into the crater after Hurst, Hunter and the two Germans. Either way, I'd have loved to be the next man in after Percy!

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