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    The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Civil) Officer’s 1st type breast badge, silver-gilt, hallmarks for London 1919; British South Africa Company’s Medal 1890-97, reverse Rhodesia 1896, no bar Lieut. H. M. G. Jackson, Gifford’s Horse. 

    C.M.G. London Gazette 3 June 1930. 
    O.B.E. London Gazette 3 June 1924. 
    Hugh Marrison Gower Jackson was born in Natal in September 1870, the son of John Otter Jackson, a J.P. and Regional Magistrate, and was educated at Ardingly College, Sussex.


    Returning to South Africa, he joined the Natal Native Department, becoming conversant with the language and cultural 
    customs of the Zulu nation and earning himself the nickname “Matshayisikoba” - The Owl Slayer.


    In 1895, at the invitation of the newly appointed Chief Native Commissioner in Rhodesia, Jackson became Assistant Native Commissioner at Umzingwane in Matabeleland, making his way to Bulawayo via Port Shepstone and Pretoria in the famous “Zeederburg Coach”.

    Soon after his arrival in Matabeleland, he was warned by a former warrior, Sikwaba, a survivor of the Imbizo Regiment, which body had been corporately sentenced to death for disobedience by King Lobengula, that he had had a vision in which the latter unleashed ‘supernatural forces’ on the European settlers - a vision that found credence by way of the rebellion that erupted a few months later.


    Jackson and a small party were cut off deep in the Matabele stronghold, the Matopos Hills, when the rebellion broke out, and, in the absence of any news, it was reported that he had been killed - luckily, as it transpired, he made good his escape and reached Bulawayo. 

    Quickly enlisting in Gifford’s Horse, he 
    was appointed a Lieutenant in “B” Troop, 
    commanded by Captain H. P. Flynn, a 
    fellow Native Commissioner, and boasting among its number a future Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia, Howard Moffat. The unit had been raised by the Rt. Hon. Captain (afterwards LieutenantColonel) Maurice Gifford, who was severely wounded in the action at Fonseca’s Farm on 6 April 1896, wounds that resulted in the amputation of his right arm. Nonetheless, Gifford’s Horse 
    continued to lend valuable service with 
    regular patrol work until a peace settlement was negotiated by Cecil Rhodes that August. 

    Having in 1900 been appointed a J.P.,
    Jackson enjoyed a spate of appointments 
    over the coming years, among them 
    Assistant Magistrate for the Bulawayo 
    District, as Superintendent of Gwelo,  Selukwe, Insiza and Belingwe, and, in 1908, as a Native Commissioner and Additional Magistrate at Gwelo. Then in 1913, he became Native Commissioner and Superintendent of Natives for Bulawayo District, while in 1921 he was appointed Acting Chief Native Commissioner in Salisbury. 

    Awarded the O.B.E. in 1924, in which year he was advanced to Assistant Chief Native Commissioner, Jackson was given the portfolio of Chief Native Commissioner and Head of the Southern Rhodesia Native Department in 1928, on the retirement of Sir Herbert Taylor. In 1930, the year of his own 
    retirement, he also served as Chairman of the Native Affairs Committee and as Government Representative on the Board of the Native Labour Bureau. He was appointed C.M.G. 

    Jackson, who retained the ‘keenest interest in all matters affecting natives and native welfare’, and who was blessed with a ‘fantastic sense of humour’, died at his residence in Borrowdale in November 

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