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Alfred James Tomlinson (1870 - 1961)

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Alfred James Tomlinson
Born in Indiamap
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in St John's Church, Bulawayo, Rhodesiamap
[children unknown]
Died in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesiamap
Profile last modified | Created 22 Jun 2018 | Last significant change: 20 Nov 2018
14:21: Andrew Field edited the Biography for Alfred James Tomlinson (1870-1961). [Thank Andrew for this]
This page has been accessed 81 times.

Categories: Commissioners, British South Africa Police | Prominent Persons, Rhodesia | Salisbury, Mashonaland, Southern Rhodesia.


Birth & Upbringing: Born India 27 June 1870 and educated at Whitgift Grammar School, Croydon. He was the son of Thomas Tomlinson and Margaret Sturge [1].
Family: Albert Tomlinson married Etheldreda Neame and together they raised two sons, Raymond and Denis [2].
Military Service: Tomlinson returned to India [3] and applied for and received his commission in the Malabar Volunteer Rifles in 1892. Tomlinson appears to have been appointed an Assistant Inspector in the Salt, Akbari and Customs Department of the Madras Government, presumed a excise policing function.
Tomlinson later travelled to Africa in 1893 and took up a position with the Bechuanaland Border Police and a year later attested into the Mashonaland Mounted Police as a trooper. He was commissioned in 1895. Tomlinson was also drawn into the Jameson Raid debacle, suffered capture at Doornkop in January 1896 and was shipped to England.
He returned to Africa and joined Plumer with the Matabele Relief Force during the Matabele Rebellion. He rejoined the British South Africa Police and later fought in the Boer War and was present at the Relief of Mafeking. Tomlinson commanded the BSA Police contingent sent to London on the occasion of the Coronation of HRH King George V. He was seconded to the Rhodesia Native Regiment, with the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel, in July 1916 and commanded operations in German East Africa. Here he suffered injury and subsequent sickness before returning to Rhodesia in 1917 to resume his police career as an Assistant Commissioner. When Capell retired, Tomlinson was appointed Acting Commissioner, but does not appear to have been made substantive Commissioner. Tomlinson retired from the force in May 1926.
Following his service in the police, Tomlinson took up a position with the Automobile Association of Rhodesia, where he remained for 10 years. He took over the duties of Sergeant at Arms of the Rhodesian Parliament in 1937 and remained as such until 1946.
Honours and Awards: Queens Medal with clasps (Rhodesia, Relief of Mafeking, Transvaal); Great War 1914-18; Victory Medal 1914-18; War Medal 1939-45.[4].
Demise: Alfred Tomlinson died in Salisbury, Rhodesia on 27 June 1961 on his 91st birthday.[5][6] [7].


  1. "Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred James Tomlinson: Memoirs of a Rhodesian Pioneer" compiled by Trish Jackson - ISBN-13: 978-1456500726
  2. "Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred James Tomlinson: Memoirs of a Rhodesian Pioneer" compiled by Trish Jackson - ISBN-13: 978-1456500726
  3. Passenger Lists Leaving UK" Database with images. SS Golconda Departure Southampton destined to Colombo, Madras, Calcutta
  4. Obituary Notice Outpost 8/1961 Outpost Magazine: Journal of the BSA Police
  5. Zimbabwe Death Notices 1904-1976 Database with images. as cited by National Archives, Harare
  6. Obituary Notice Outpost 8/1961 Outpost Magazine: Journal of the BSA Police
  7. Andrew Field: BSA Police Commissioners BSAP Website
  • "Zimbabwe Death notices, 1904-1976," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 21 December 2017), Alfred James Tomlinson, 27 Jun 1961; citing Death, Salisbury, Zimbabwe, National Archives, Harare; FHL microfilm 1,206,511.

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