The Homemade Pistol

Mau Mau Pistol

This homemade pistol was captured by a solider from a Light Infantry regiment during their deployment in Kenya (1955-1957) to quell the Mau Mau rebellion.

Mau Mau Pistol
The ‘Mau Mau Homemade Pistol’

Preferring to go by the military title of Kenya Land and Freedom Army, The KLFA wanted to lead an independent Kenya and regain their land from the British colonial forces.

Formally declared a colony in 1920, colonial presence in Kenya had begun in 1895 when Kenya was claimed as a British Protectorate. The land in Kenya having ‘some of the richest agricultural soils in the world’ was very attractive to the British Empire.

Warfare was scattered when the Mau Mau fled to the forests and set up platoons or forest gangs armed with homemade weapons, and so with inferior artillery, the rebels resorted to guerrilla warfare and terrorism. The British responded with one of the most brutal counter-campaigns in recent history, using torture and excessive violence eventually defeating the Mau Mau in 1956, four years after warfare broke out.

Armoury at Bodmin Keep