Irish Wolfhound Times
(Irish Wolfhound Database and Breed information Exchange)
Mrs Beynon, H M Durand
Bournstream Irish Wolfhounds
By Steve Tillotson, Feb 2013)
One of the interesting partnerships in Irish Wolfhound kennels is that of Bournstream, the kennel of Mary Beynon who at one time went into partnership with Colonel Henry Marion Durand. The early reports of Bournstrdeam mention Mrs Beynon's return from Kenya. This IWT author is interested in the people as well as the dogs and likes to explore the people history. So we have had a brief research excursion into Kenya..
Colonel Henry Marion Durand, Esq., D.S.O. (late 9th Lancers) comes from a family with quite a history legacy. Colonel Durands father was Sir H Mortimer Durand. The name "Durand" is synonymous with India. From my other breed (Afghan Hound) the name Durand also has a particular historic signifigance. England occupied both India and Afghanistan in the 1880's and was involved in two Anglo-Afghanistan wars. Durand was the English Foreign Secretary of British India in 1893 and responsible for defining the border between India and Afghanistan (which Afghan has never accepted to this day). This border became known as the "Durand Line". In essence it was a line drawn north/south along the north west frontier which separated India and Afghanistan. Later, England granted Independence to India and the new state The Islamic Republic Of Pakistan was born. The lands of the North West Frontier east of the Durand Line were decreed by England to be part of the new Pakistan. So in terms of Afghan Hound breed history, many of our early references to places such as Quetta in Afghanistan now relate to Pakistan. Anyway, thats where this author first picked up the name of Durand.
As mentioned in the origins section, this IWT author also likes to have a knowledge of the country of origin as this helps with researching and understanding a breeds origin. With Afghan hounds, we again encounter a "Durand", this time Colonel Algernon Durand (British agent at Gilgit 1889-1894 ) who published a book - "The Making of a Frontier (1899)", excellent book which includes details reports on living in and travelling across Afghanistan.
It was somewhat surprising to encounter the name "Durand" yet again, this time in respect of Irish Wolfhounds, and this IWT author was intrigued about that occurance. Well it transpires that the Durand of Irish Wolfhounds is in fact a son of Sir H Mortimer Durand of India fame. OK so we have two generations/three family members of Durand involved in the early days of dogs (Afghans and Irish Wolfhounds), but I wanted to know more about our Irish Wolfhound Durand - Colonel Henry Marion Durand and of his Kenya connection with Bournstream Irish Wolfhounds.
Apparently, in the early 1900s there was quite a movement by some European nations to settle the lands of East Africa. Enclycopadeia.com tells us that "Most of the European settlers quickly joined the armed forces; they left their farms to be looked after by their wives, or else the farms were abandoned. An attempt was made immediately after the war to revive the settler sector by introducing a “soldier settler” scheme, but the hopes of prosperity encouraged by the postwar demand for agricultural produce received a severe setback in the early 1920s when a worldwide economic recession brought bankruptcy to many of those who had started out with inadequate capital or had relied on credit from the banks. Stability was further delayed by the replacement of the rupee currency with East African shillings. By the mid-1920s Kenya’s economy had wholly revived, although the Great Depression of the 1930s brought further economic difficulties to East Africa."
So, we have a connection of family Durand in two dog breeds. We have a connection with the “soldier settler” scheme causing Durand to appear in East Africa. We have also become aware that Mrs Beynon and Col Durand were cousins.
I found a book "Out In The Midday Sun" written by By Elspeth Huxley in 2011 who is famous for other books she wrote "Memories of an African childhood" and "The Flame Trees of Thika" and The Mottled Lizard. In this final volume of her trilogy she tells the story of her adult life in Africa, in which the vigorously evoked personalities - from pioneer Lord Delamere and Baroness Blixen to Jomo Kenyatta - blend with her superb description of the social, cultural and political upheavals of the time.
In the Midday Sun book, Ms Huxley writes - "As a child I stayed in a district north of Nyeri where the shoulders of the mountain begin to flatten into the plain. All this land had been surveyed and "opened up" under the Soldier-Settler scheme launched in 1919, so most of the scattered white community were Captains, Majors, Colonels and even Generals, with an occasional Commander or two, and their wives. My hosts were General Beynon and his wife, who had a permanent red-bearded guest, with the highest (ie best) polo handicap in the country, Colonel Durand. The reason for my intrusion with my pony into this military stronghold was the Beynons daughter Kate, a few years older than I and assumed to yearn for the company of other children. This was not the case, she was perfectly content with a life centred round the care of a large pack of very large Irish Wolfhounds, which constantly barged about with lolling tongues and lashing tails knocking things over, and defeating Mrs Beynon's half-hearted attempts to keep the rondavels which made up the homestead in some sort of order. However, the wolfhounds turned out to be a blessing, as they needed great quantities of meat supplied by wild animals, anything from zebras to the waggle-tailed tommies of the nearby plain. I was going through a horibly bloodthirsty phase, and was delighted to act as a self-appointed hunter.
Ms Huxley mentions that the Colonel and General were avid polo players and spent much of their spare time in a wire case mounted on a wooden horse and bashing polo balls about;. (Upon his return to England some years later, Colonel Durand set up a polo training school in Chichester).
We find in the September 29, 1923 edition of "The Official Gazette, Electoral Area No 9 Kenya" page 779 the Beynons are listed as follows -
Brig General Henry Lawrence Norman Beynon "Farmer, P.O. Rumuruti.
Mrs Beynon listed as "Married Woman, Nyeri"
Colonel Duran listed as "Settler, P.O. Nyeri".
So from all of the above I am inclined to conclude that many military officers having completed their tour of duty in east central Asia and having "retired" sought some new exciting things to do. And apparently as alluded to by Ms Huxley decided to settle in East Africa. To that end it appears that Colonel H M Durand was associated with General Beynon's settlement in Nyeri, Kenya. That presumably is where Colonel Durand encountered and became attracted to the Irish Wolfhound. Eventually the Beynons returned to England where they established their Bournstream Irish Wolfhound kennel. At various times Colonel Durand was listed as a partner in the Bournstream Irish Wolfhound kennel, at other times his name was included, so we have some more research to do to more fully understand the partnership. But at least we have the beginning of the Durand/Beynon Bournstream story.
We will develop this article to include the hounds, so just consider this a starter page on Bournstream for now
Steve Tillotson, February 2013
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