Leo and Colleen, two sons, two grandchildren
Leo Frederick Ronald Tapscott was born in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, the son of Lionel Rawlings Tapscott and Winifred Fisher. After he had completed his National Service he joined the local Police Force but he was really looking for adventure. With that in mind, he applied for several other jobs including one on a whaling station in South Georgia, as an uncertificated teacher in the Falkland Islands (which he didn't get because he couldn't ride a horse) and as a police officer in the Colonial Police, serving in Bermuda, Cyprus or Africa.
Africa beckoned and it was the Colonial Police which found him serving in Zomba, Nyasaland by the mid 1950s. He enjoyed the life in Africa and took well to the authority given him, became fluent in several African languages and rose through the ranks.
Road up Zomba Mountain KAR Memorial, Zomba Mountain
In 1964 Nyasaland gained her independence and became Malawi. By then Leo was head of the Special Branch and organised the country's security for the Independence Day celebrations which Prince Philip attended.
Colleen Mary Kennington was born in Durban, South Africa, daughter of Kenneth William Kennington and Delia Bridget Hogan, lived her youth in Nyasaland and was educated at boarding school in Rhodesia. After school she was working in a bank when she met Leo, who had been transferred to her home town, Lilongwe.
The road north from Mzimba Police HQ Mzuzu
Leo and Colleen married in the 1950s and had two sons, Leo and Jeremy. They were stationed for most of their time in the remote Northern Province where facilities were few and the all-dirt roads became impassable during the rains.
Jeremy and Leo
Colleen was flown out by a two-seater Beaver aircraft when her first child was due, no hospitals or doctors being available in the north. Shortly after their second son arrived they were posted to Blantyre and in the mid 1960s they returned to England where the children were educated. In time, Jeremy married Theresa and they had two children, Sarah and Michael.
Airport building, Mzuzu Aircraft arrivals