'one man in his time plays many parts' - "As You Like It." This full and engaging memoir covers Fitzgerald's eventful life from his birth during the First World War to shortly before his death at the beginning of the next millennium. Some of his earliest memories are of his childhood in Africa and he maintained a lifelong fascination with the continent, despite interludes in Britain. He served with the Royal Engineers in the Second World War, travelling extensively in Africa and the Middle East, and subsequently returned to Africa, first as a soldier and then as an engineer, living and working in many different countries. This entertaining autobiography of civilian life in Africa is full of vivid portraits of the author's family and friends and a world and a time which has changed forever.
Desmond John Otho FitzGerald was born in Nairobi on 1 February 1917 and died in Nairobi Hospital on 12 September 2002. After leaving school in England July 1935 he joined the Royal Military Accademy, Woolwich. He went on to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and graduated with BA in Civil Engineering in 1939. He served with the Royal Engineers throughout the second world war, earning a DSO for bravery during a battle at Weiteran in Belgium. Desmond retired from the army in 1956 and became a partner in a firm of consulting engineers in Kenya. He worked on numerous civil engineering projects in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Lesotho and as far afield as Antigua. He became a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 1986 and worked as an arbitrator and expert witness until his death in 2002.