Late February 2024

I very seldom post more than one newsletter a month… this is one of the rare occasions where I do as a few things have come to light with February or early March deadlines.

Wednesday 28 February 11am (PST, USA) Michelle Moyd is discussing German askari and Abdulzarak Gurnah’s novel Afterlives – see

In case you have missed this call for contributions to an Africa WW1 and WW2 edited collection (Fighting With the Empire: African Societies in the First and Second World Wars) – deadline is 10 March 2024.

Determining whether an image is under copyright or not is an issue many of us have to deal with. Here’s an opinion on the current state of UK image copyright.

Another topical issue which you have until 23 February 2024 to comment on is the UK Government’s proposal to destroy paper Wills. Whilst this isn’t a direct WW1 Africa issue, it will be of interest to those creating family histories and potentially to medal collectors. Tom Harford’s article was highly recommended to me last week for the research he undertook to compile it, whilst the Law Society provides a short overview of the government’s proposals.

Late February 2024 Read More »

February 2024

Time just seems to be disappearing at the moment…however, I can now confirm that the 2024 Great War in Africa conference will be on Saturday 2 November 2024 at The Africa Centre in Southwark, London. Please book the date and if you would like to contribute a talk/paper, please let me know. Further details will be sent out in due course.

GWAA is currently seeking contributions for There Came a Time 3… in addition to the conference papers which will be published. If you have an article or something you would like to submit, please email me.
Regarding the publication Literature as Memory which Sergio Netto and I are editing, the deadline for contributions has been moved to mid-May 2024 for various reasons. Please submit your contribution as soon as it’s ready – this is proving to be a wide-ranging and exciting way of looking at the role of literature in remembering the First World War in Africa.

There is an opportunity with CWGC and University of Greenwich (Gavin Rand) to do a PhD looking at Indian (Punjab) World War 1 service registers. Whilst this doesn’t directly feature Africa, a large number of Indians served in the theatre and thus might be of interest.

For some background on Tim Lukin who commanded the South Africans in Europe during the First World War after starting his career in Africa in the Zulu War, see the 14 minute video Redcoat History.

For anyone interested in the Legion of Frontiersmen and who does not subscribe to the newsletter service, you can now download/read back copies at

Sadly, Colin Carlin died 25 November 2023. His knowledge and love of Zambian history, particularly around the Abercorn/Mbala area will be missed. He contributed a battlefield piece to There Came a Time 2, and assisted Malcolm Alexander in his writing of Claude Oldfield’s biography, a summary of which also appears in There Came a Time 2.

Over the past few months the GWAA has received a number of new members. Welcome!
If there is anything you think the GWAA should be doing more of etc, please let me know.
for example, would it be helpful to have a list of members and their specific Great War Africa interest publicly available (no contact details included)? If so, please confirm by email including what you would like listed next to your name.
You might have noticed the books for sale section has expanded to include some 1899-1902 SA war books as well as WW2 and that the lists are being developed too. While more information will be appearing on the African condlicts pre- and post WW1, this will not detract from the main focus which is World War 1. This development is the result of a growing number of queries outside of the Great War and the limited information generally available. Comments, thoughts etc and volunteers to assist with making information accessible is always welcome.
Finally, there have been a number of enquiries as to how to become a member – simply sign up for the newsletter.

February 2024 Read More »

Film footage – Africa at war 1914-1945

Links are to the Colonial Film website which contains a good synopsis and other details of each film.

1915 – Outposts Of Empire: British East African Troops Entraining On An Expedition Against German Territory (footage held by BFI: ID: 512962)
1916 – Operations of the British Expeditionary Forces in East Africa – Cherry Kearton (25th Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen) footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: IWM 84)
1928 – Safari in East Africa featuring the 5th Battalion King’s East African Rifles returning from a route march (footage held by BFI: ID: 457935)
1930 – King’s African Rifles on parade (footage held by BFI: ID: 603060)
1940 – Men of Africa – no mention of the war despite being released during the conflict: synopsis states: Development programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika illustrate that “even in the midst of war, Great Britain does not shirk her responsibilities to her colonies.” – contrast with 1945 Father and Son (footage held by BFI: ID: 13340 and Imperial War Museum: ID: CCE 200)
1941 – War Came to Kenya (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: CCE 202)
1942 – Showing Natives Of East Africa Being Taught And Trained To Become Effective Units Of A Water Transport Company (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 832)
1944 – Lt. Gen. Stone Presents B.E.M. To East African Private Valentino Owori of the East African Pioneer Corps (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 754)
1944 – Road to Victory – South African Army at war (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: COI 839)
1944 – East Africa Army Exhibition in Nairobi in September 1944 (footage at Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 809)
1944 – An East African Army Field Bakery (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 1171)
1944 – An East African Entertainment Unit (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 1172)
1945 – Father and Son British Navy, generation/cultural topics – watch online
1945 = East African Chiefs in Colombo – heads of tribes represented in 11th East African Division fighting in Burma (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 271)
1945 – African Home Life – recruiting for King’s African Rifles (footage held by BFI: ID: 3003)
1945 – Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese visits 11th East African Division – Leese was commander Allied Land Forces South East Asia (ALFSEA) (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 260)
1945 – No 1 East African Entertainment Unit (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 259)
1945 – Colonial Cinemagazine No.3 – rehabilitation of African soldiers in East Africa and a victory parade in Nairobi (footage held by BFI: ID: 4625)
1946 – Colonial troops in England for the Victory Parade on 8 June 1946 (footage held by BFI: ID: 21304)

Info on watching films at BFI

Film footage – Africa at war 1914-1945 Read More »

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