Falkirk forever linked with former president of Zambia

When the funeral of the first president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda takes place today there will be few mourners who will know the connection he had with the Falkirk area.

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 2:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 2:35 pm

Aileen Brown, from Denny, contacted The Falkirk Herald to give details about her husband Stuart’s family connection Dr Kaunda – one of Africa’s founding father and the president of Zambia from 1964 to 1991 – who died at the age of 97 last month.

Stuart’s grandfather, David McCulloch Brown, who died in 1947, was a Church Of Scotland missionary who spent over 20 years in Africa, in Lubwa, Zambia, where he would develop a close friendship with the famous Dr Kaunda’s family.

Born in John Street, Falkirk, Mr Brown moved to Lanarkshire when he was an infant.

First president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda had a link to the Falkirk area
First president of Zambia Kenneth Kaunda had a link to the Falkirk area

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He started his working life as a bricklayer in Motherwell, then went to Canada and funded himself through university, graduating as a medical doctor in 1910.

Mr Brown returned to Scotland and became a minister and was a R.A.M.C. captain in the First World War, serving in Italy.

He went to Africa in 1921 as a missionary doctor and spent the rest of his life there.

While in the country, Mr Brown used his construction skills to supervise, and take part in, the building of schools, hospitals and churches.

Kenneth Kaunda was an important figure in the liberation struggles of Africa – in particular Rhodesia and South Africa – and when he was a child the Brown and Kaunda families got to know each other well

In fact Kenneth Kaunda's father, David, a Lubwa clergyman, is actually buried next to David Brown.

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