The dead man’s finger was sliced off and Mungai was forced to kiss it as part of his initiation ritual.
Former colonial civil servant Terence Gavaghan, 89, was awarded the MBE for his work in Kenya, but now has Alzheimer’s.
The four ageing claimants against him — who say they were tortured — are being represented by British lawyers on a no-win no-fee basis.
Particularly at risk were the families of those who joined a 25,000-strong ‘Home Guard’ of Africans set up by the authorities.
Ninety women and children died when a Mau Mau gang descended on a village in the dead of night, sealed the people inside their homes, threw petrol on the thatch of the roof and set it alight.
If they are victorious, they could set a precedent for an avalanche of other claims from Kenyans which might cost British taxpayers millions. Atrocities committed by the British against Kenyans are to be condemned.
This was not a pretty war by any means and most definitely not Britain’s finest hour, any more than the concentration camps of the Boer War spoke well of British justice.
The British crackdown was brutal and almost certainly what today would be termed a disproportionate response.
Thousands of Kenyans died in the guerrilla fighting.
We will never know if he was still asleep or if the noise had woken him, in which case he must have lain in terror as the intruders sought him out.