ANDERSON, Keith Arthole, Brig.
- Born: Nov 25, 1917, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
- Marriage: STARBUCK, Gwenyth on Jun 19, 1948 in London, England
- Died: May 13, 2006, Birmingham England aged 88
- Buried: May 19, 2006, King's Norton Cemetery, Birmingham England
1. Occupation. He was employed as a Salvation Army corps officer in the London area from 1947 to 1953.
1953-85 in Southern Africa. Keith with his wife Gwenyth were sent as missionaries to the then Rhodesias and held the following appointments for the Salvation Army:-
1953-5 Training College, Howard Institute near Glendale north of Harare
1955-60 Divisional Commander, Lomagundi District, Sinoia (Chinhoyi), Zimbabwe
1960-2 Divisional Commander, Mazabuka, Zambia.
1962-5 Principal, Training College, Howard Institute.
1965-70 Regional Commander, Matabeleland, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
1970-2 Officer Commanding, Zambia Command.
1972-80 Field Secretary, South Africa Territorial Headquarters, Johannesburg.
1980-85 Postal Secretary, International H.Q. London UK
He also served twice on St. Helena during this time the last being in 1985.
2. Obituary. 1 Brigadier Keith Arthole Anderson was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) on 25 November 1917, Keith was the second of a family of eight children born to Sheila and Rev. William W. Anderson. His father was a fourth generation missionary of the London Missionary Society stationed at Shangani Mission in Matabeleland. Keith went to school in Bulawayo and in his final year was Head Boy of Milton High School. He was an avid sportsman, being captain of both the 1st XV rugby team and the 1st XI cricket team. He also swam and boxed for the school and played tennis. His love for sport did not mesh well with his studies and unlike this three brothers, he did not go to university. After school he worked as a bookkeeper at Rhodesia Railways and played rugby for Matabeleland. During the meetings in Bulawayo of an Australian evangelist, Lionel Fletcher, he gave his life to Christ and became a committed member of the Main Street Methodist Church. With the outbreak of war in 1939 Keith was called up for military service. As a conscientious objector he joined the Southern Rhodesia Medical Corps where he became a medical orderly, rising to the rank of staff sergeant and serving in Burma, India and Kenya.
While in Kenya, he joined the Salvation Army, and felt a call from God to full-time service. On being discharged, in 1946 he travelled to Britain to train at the International Training College for Officers in London. There he was billeted with Colonel and Mrs Thomas and Lily Starbuck, then Chancellor (financial secretary) at NHQ and former director of the Red Shield services. As God would have it, Keith fell in love with their only daughter, Captain Gwenyth (Gwen) Starbuck, who was secretary to the Chief of Staff at International Headquarters, Commissioner John J. Allan. Captain and Mrs Anderson were married in June 1948 and had two children, Allan (a Christian minister and now professor in the theology department at the University of Birmingham) and Carol (now a nurse manager in Fort Myers, Florida). They now have three grandchildren (Janine, Matthew and Tami) and one great-granddaughter, Samantha.
Keith and Gwen served as Salvation Army officers for the rest of their active lives. They intended to go to the Rhodesia Territory as missionaries as soon as possible, but in 1950 Gwen's father Colonel Starbuck died, leaving Mrs Colonel Lily Starbuck a widow for the next 35 years. Gwen's only brother moved to Canada. For five years Keith and Gwen were corps officers in the North London division, serving in East Finchley, High Barnet and Stotfold corps. In December 1953 they arrived in southern Africa for their service in Rhodesia (1953-70), Zambia (1970-72, as Officers Commanding) and South Africa (Field Secretary, 1973-1982). He was fluent in Zulu and Sindebele (the language he grew up with) and on his appointment in Mashonaland he was able to hold his own in Shona also. Soon after retirement they moved back to the UK in 1983 for two years to look after Gwen's ailing mother, where Keith became Postal Officer at IHQ; but after Mrs Colonel Starbuck's death in 1985 they took up an appointment on the island of St Helena in the Atlantic Ocean. Later that year they moved to Pretoria where they lived with Allan and Olwen. They were asked to take a second temporary appointment at St Helena in 1988, after which they moved with Allan and Olwen to start a new interdenominational Christian education institution on a farm outside Pretoria, Tshwane Christian Ministries, where Allan was director and principal of a theological college. There Keith used his bookkeeping skills and looked after the finances, while Gwen used her shorthand and typing skills as her son's secretary. They were full-time grandparents to Matthew, who was 2-4 years old during this time on the "farm".
In 1990 they decided to retire properly, and moved to Doonside near Durban where they lived in a Salvation Army retirement cottage. There they enjoyed daily walks to the lovely Indian Ocean beach and soldiered at Durban City Corps, a really happy time of their lives. Regular visits from their two grandchildren coming with their parents for a free holiday on the Natal South Coast made this time very special for the family. Nine years later ill-health led to their decision to move near their family in the UK, where Allan and Olwen had been since 1995, and they settled in a flat in Birmingham. They became soldiers at Birmingham Citadel Corps and also regularly attended church with Allan and Olwen at Northfield Christian Fellowship and South Birmingham Vineyard. When Gwen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2002 and placed in a residential care home, Keith did not want to be separated from her after 54 years of marriage, and moved in with her, until he was diagnosed with Parkinson's and given support for residential care.
The last five years of his life, most of which have been at the Ivyhouse Nursing and Residential Home, have been most traumatic, as he has had to care for Gwen and watch his beloved long-time companion and helper retreating into her locked-in Alzheimer's world, while at the same time he was struggling with his own serious illness and increasing dementia, even then wearing his Army tunic daily, indicating his commitment to his life calling. He became confused, isolated, and sometimes uncooperative with carers, but until the end he maintained his sense of humour and (on good days) his willingness to help others whenever he could. As a family we know that his release from this life means entrance to a much better and eternal life. His earthly life has been lived in service to God and to the Salvation Army in Africa in particular, but his experience and background have made him a servant of the universal Christian church. He used the talents God gave him to the best of his ability, never seeking greatness, power or authority for himself, always faithful and obedient to those placed over him, even when their decisions were hard to understand. He was a gifted evangelistic preacher, a diligent administrator, a loving and generous father and grandfather, and a faithful and caring husband. In his new, heavenly life he hears the welcoming Lord:
Well done, good and faithful servant…
You have been faithful…
Enter into the joy of your reward.
3. Genealogy. Further Data on the Starbuck side can be found on Ancestry UK. com
Keith married Gwenyth STARBUCK, daughter of Col. Thomas William Charles STARBUCK and Lily PIGGOT, on Jun 19, 1948 in London, England. (Gwenyth STARBUCK was born on Apr 14, 1916 in Sheffield UK,2 died on Dec 10, 2006 in Birmingham England and was buried on Dec 20, 2006 in Kings Norton Cemetery, Birmingham England.)