February 2018

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission spent 2017 making some changes in Africa as recorded in their report and 2018 promises to be just as busy.
You can follow Juan Maree on Twitter to see what is happening in Southern Africa.

The inspirational FC Selous (Legion of Frontiersmen)

Blockading German East Africa – an Australian link See more under Naval

Recent books and discovered publications including Africa and World War 1
Sideshows of the Indian Army in World War 1 by Harry Fecitt – The paperback version was released in January 2018.

The Unknown Fallen: The Global Allied Muslim Contribution in the First World War by 1914-18 Forgotten Heroes was also published in January. It is an introduction to Muslim involvement in the war without the politics. There are three sections on Africa and as with Harry’s book, it opens up aspects of the global war little considered before (US, China, Russia).

Thanks to Ann Crichton-Harris for bringing After the First World War by Quentin Holbert (History Today, Jan 2018) to attention. Ann is the author of 17 Letters to Tatham available from GWAA.

MA Dissertation on the expansion of the KAR 1914-1918 (1966)

Anyone looking for UK Cabinet Papers concerning World War 1 in Africa can access them online through the History Lab (has other correspondence too USA and UK including WW2)

With a British Library user card/log-in you can now access some African newspapers online. Papers covering the war years include: Gold Coast Leader (1914-1918); Gold Coast Nation (1914-1918), Gold Coast Independent (June 1918- ), East African Standard ( – Oct 1915), Leselinyana La Lesutho (1914-1918), Nyasaland Times (1914-1918), Beira News and East Coast Chronicle (Sep 1917 – ), Beira Post ( – Aug 1917), O Africano (1914-1918), Luderitzbuchter Zeitung (1914-1918), Swakopmunder Zeitung (1914-1918), Lagos Standard (1914-1918), Lagos Weekly Record (1914-1918), Nigerian Chronicle ( – Mar 1915), Nigerian Pioneer (1914-1918), Nigerian Times (1914-1918), Colony and Provincial Reporter (1914-1918), Sierra Leone Guardian and Foreign Mails (1914-1918), Sierra Leone Weekly News (1914-1918), Ilanga Lase Natal (1914-1918), Imvo Zabantsundu (1914-1918), Indian Opinion (1914-1918), International (Sep 1915 – ), Izindaba Zabantu (1914-1918), Mafeking Mail and Protectorate Guardian (1914-1918), South African Outlook (1914-1918), Tsala Ea Batho ( – Jul 1915), Uganda Herald (1914-1918), Livingstone Mail (Jan 1916 – ), Buluwayo Chronicle (1914-1918), Rhodesia Herald (1914-1918)

January 2018

To start the new year off, Happy New Year.

The National Archives in London, one of the best sources for info on WW1 Africa, is looking for some feedback on its new advanced ordering system – if you have a couple of free minutes before 15 Jan, please can you help:
As part of some research into advance orders, our webteam have established a Treejack survey to try and better understand where people would look for the service and information. It involves 2 tasks and a few questions so should be quite quick to do. It does not matter how familiar people are with TNA or whether they have used the advance orders service.
The link is https://National-Archives.optimalworkshop.com/treejack/f7w2d503

A sad report on a memorial in South Africa
And another sad story of a soldier who lost his life helping save someone in the Thames. Thanks to Peter Dickinson for this one.

Not all uniforms and parades – Charles Stoneham, Legion of Frontiersmen

Quarterly Army Lists (1913-1919) have been scanned by the National Library of Scotland
Quarterly Naval Lists (1913-1921) have also been scanned by the National Library of Scotland
Both lists have been added to the bibliography

On curating a World War 1 Africa exhibition by Yewande Okuleye

The story of Jackie, the baboon

Oliver Schulten has updated his Bibliography which can be found along with other sources of info under Resources.

There is a new coffee table book out at the end of the month looking at Allied Muslim involvement in World War 1. The aim is to introduce new audiences to the war and its global nature. It tells the story of those who served – no politics. Little known theatres such as Africa, China and Russia are included.

This is looking to be an exciting year on the publication front for GWAA. Providing all goes to plan, the last of the chronology of The Lake Tanganyika Expedition should be out – the last stray documents have been transcribed and double checking is underway.

William Endley’s book South Africa at War: The Union Defence Force in World War 1 should be out by April. This tells the story of the South African units using William’s personal collection as the basis. This book has special significance as it is being published whilst William is in captivity in Sudan. Publication is at his request. Some will have seen snippets on Facebook which he posted at intervals. And I can say from editing the publication, that it’s going to be a very useful resource for a variety of researchers.

A commemorative book is in production for the end of the war in Africa. If you have any contributions, please send them to me by April – the publication will include a chronology of the last days (11 November through to 25 November and the Germans leaving in early 1918) as well as a contribution by the King’s African Rifles and East African Forces Association.
For people wanting to join in the commemorative events in Zambia in November, please contact Claire who can advise on itineraries which fit in with the big event on 25 November.

And finally, the long-awaited conference publication should be making its appearance: a bumper edition.

For regular visitors, you will have noticed that the tabs at the top of the page have changed. Hopefully this makes it easier to find things. Information will be added as it is available – please send in contributions and any feedback you might have. This is a resource for all interested in aspects of World War 1 in Africa.

November 2017

Apologies if you receive this as an email more than once – I’m trying a new mailout system.

For readers of German, Michael Pesek has some new blog postings. German militarism in Africa

Thanks to Enika Ngongo for the notification and link to the Belgian Register of war dead. There are currently 1,654 Belgian Force Publique names captured and more will be added as they are discovered. The names with links to the Belgian site (more detail) are included on the GWAA in memory list. There’s also an overview of Belgian involvement.

I was asked recently about the format of the In Memory lists – the information is in a simple spreadsheet to maximum access and to enable those wanting to do comparative studies to do so by downloading the file(s) to sort, delete etc as relevant to them. This does not affect the integrity of the file on the system. Where names are found in primary and secondary source material the references are included. If you know of names not included or sources for names which are on the list, please send the info in to be added to the spreadsheet.

The CWGC has launched its new website. You can search the archive for histories of the cemeteries and memorials.

The log book of HMS Challenger can be found online.
Naval History has published various diaries of naval ships during World War 1.

Languages and the First World War is a fascinating blog looking at non-military aspects of the war including some articles on Africa: body (and) language and Goodbye Tipperary for starters

For books written on the Egyptian Expeditionary Force during World War 1, Stuart Hadaway has a few, also extending into Palestine. Follow the link at the bottom to his booklets available on e-bay.

North Africans feature in this short piece by ITV. Forgotten Heroes are working on a truly global publication introducing the extent of Muslim involvement in the Allied forces of World War 1. There have been some fascinating discoveries concerning Africa – watch this space for further info.

NeverSuchInnocence has included aspects of Africa in their fourth edition.
Other current projects covering Africa:
The Unknown Fallen by Forgotten Heroes 1914-1918 Foundation
Away From the Western Front – using GWAA’s Medical information
Diversity House – Breaking the Myths There are two more events planned for 2018

Cape Corps remembered in Richmond Park, London

The GWAA website is undergoing a transformation to with a move towards themes such as the Medical one recently launched. Please let me know if there are any objections. Other themes include: Military Aspects, Naval Activity, Organisation (logistics; administration), Land Transport, Planes, Intelligence, Home Fronts and Legacy as well as Resources. Each of the theatres will feature in the themes. It is evidence of the material coming to light that this move can be made and hopefully more people will be inspired to research further.
As part of this revamp, the forum will be closed down as there are various very active discussion forums which meet the need: Great War Forum, Axis History Forum and others listed on the Sources of Info and Links page. The info on the discussion boards will be moved into relevant sections so the info isn’t lost. Where queries come in, the enquirer is invariably redirected to specific individuals I know or suspect can assist which further negates the need for the forum.
This also means the membership registration aspect of the site will disappear reducing the number of spam attacks. This will be replaced by signing up to the newsletter which is sent out each time an update is posted on the site. The need for registered membership is superfluous as no membership fee is charged and most information is freely accessible. There are some articles which require password access to protect copyright and anyone wanting access, can email me for the password. This should save members a lot of hassle – no longer having to renew passwords etc.