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July 2022

With the centenary of the First World War receding into history, there is less being posted on the events in Africa. However, there does seem to be a growing interest in research into the war on the continent. So to assist researchers and consolidate what is on the GWAA site, I’ve started putting together some themed posts. The first are below. (Hopefully subscribers don’t get bombarded with too many inbox notifications).
Please feel free to comment/provide additional information on the post or email me.

Archival sources – https://gweaa.com/archive-sources/
British Empire Medal Rolls and Medal Cards – https://gweaa.com/british-empire-medal-rolls-and-medal-cards
Planes and Africa in World War 1 – https://gweaa.com/planes-and-africa-in-1914-1918

The British Overseas Railways Historical Trust has been updating its African Reference Sources. There is some coverage of the 1914-1918 years if you look carefully.

In the news, a statue of John Chilembwe is to be placed on the 4th plinth on Trafalgar Square (2021 announcement; TimeOut)

There have also been some updates on the CWGC Enquiry into Non-Commemoration (scroll down to the end of the page for the latest news).

Planes and Africa in 1914-1918

Planes feature in all the main theatres of the Great War in Africa. They were used in South West Africa (Namibia) and East Africa, as well as in Egypt. In West Africa, along with other African territories, donations were made to buy planes for use by the Royal Flying Corps.

Aerodrome Forum:
http://www.theaerodrome.com

Cross and Cockade:
https://www.crossandcockade.com/

German Colonial Uniforms
http://s400910952.websitehome.co.uk/germancolonialuniforms/hist%20aircraft.htm

History Journal:
https://www.historyjournal.co.uk/home/26-squadron-rfc

South African Military History Society:
http://samilitaryhistory.org search on planes or flight and war year

Archives
RAF Hendon
UK National Archives – AIR series

Publications including memoirs See the Bibliographic listing for more details and further publications.
WA Raleigh – The war in the air (official history)
Margaret Hall- The Imperial Aircraft Flotilla: The Worldwide Fundraising Campaign for the British Flying Services in the First World War
WG Moore – Early Bird
Frederick Lane – A Great Adventure in East Africa
Kenneth van der Spuy – Chasing the Wind
Cherry Kearton – My dog Simba
Leo Wolmseley – Flying and Sport in East Africa
AW Furniss – in Peter Dye’s articles in Cross and Cockade

Novels
2014 – Maya Alexandri, The Celebration Husband
2012 – Owen P Hall Jnr, Flight into the Abyss: Zeppelin operations in Africa 1917-1918
2009 – Wilbur Smith, Assegai
1980 – William Stevenson, The Ghosts of Africa
1964/8 – Wilbur Smith, Shout at the Devil
Other books by Wilbur Smith such at The Burning Shore feature South Africans and planes in Europe during the war.
1958 – Januz Meissner, L-59 (Polish)

Something missing?
If you know of a resource others might find useful on this topic, please add it to the comments or let Anne know.

Archive sources

Sourcing information on those involved in World War 1 Africa can cover numerous countries depending on where people were born, where resident and employed before the war, which force they enlisted with, where they resided after the war and where they died.
Below are some links to archives (alphabetical by country) which might potentially be helpful.
It is also worth bearing in mind that some archive material has over the years been destroyed by fire and other disasters. These include:

UK Burnt docs (and info on destroyed documents)
Cameroon – German documents smuggled to Fernando Po, then Spain to Hamburg and Berlin in Germany where they were destroyed in 1945 in a bombing raid. (Schulten, p234) Britain took some files from Yaunde to Lagos. These are now in the National Archive in Buea. Some records remain in the archive in Yaunde while others are in the UK National Archive.
Kenya fire in 1925 destroyed some archive material but material on World War 1 is kept in Nairobi (see Hodge’s bibliography)
Malawi while the old secretariat burned in 1919, the fire did not destroy all or even most of the First World War records. See Mel Page’s The Chiwaya War, p.236 (first edition) and pp.262-263 (second edition).

Online archival sources
Photos
The National Archives, UK on Flickr

Digitised archival collections – general
https://core.ac.uk/ eg includes 1916 German East Africa newspaper (Deutsch Ostafrika Zeitung)

Belgium
Belgian archives

Germany
Colonial archive (Archivfuhrer)

Tanzania
Moshi Evangelical Lutheran Church

British Empire Medal Rolls and Medal Cards

The National Archives in London has the Medal Rolls for the following, they can be accessed online through Ancestry. (see here for the difference between the Medal Rolls and Medal Cards). Indian and West Indian rolls are also available but have not been included as they are not split into theatres where served. Many of those with medal cards are already listed on the GWAA Names of those who survived and died. The others are being added as time allows (or others kindly provide information).
For awards – monetary and medal, take a look at the General Routine Orders (some are already collated on tab 2 of the GWAA Names list, and are at WO 123/288 and WO 123/289) and in the Gazettes – London, Kenya, South Africa (Union and High Commission).

UnitReference
2nd Rhodesia Regiment: medal rolls COL/119B; COL/119B1; COL/119B2 (Pages 1-145). COL/147B (Pages 1-140). British War...WO 329/2337
British South Africa Police miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/6/6 (pages 1-32); COL/6/9 (page 1). 1914-15 Star...WO 329/2937
British South Africa Police: medal rolls COL/118B; COL/118B1; COL/118B2 (Pages 1-100). COL/146B; COL/146B1; COL/146B2; COL/146B3;...WO 329/2336
Calcutta Volunteer Battery, East Africa miscellaneous: medal rolls. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
Chaplains Department, East Africa miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/62. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
Chaplains Department, Uganda miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/35; COL/5/36. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Customs Preventive Service, West Africa miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/1/1. Page 1-17. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2934
Customs Preventive Service, West Africa: medal rolls COL/124B; COL/124B1; COL/124B2. Pages 1-18. British War Medal...WO 329/2330
East Africa and Uganda Protectorate Forces: medal rolls EAFR/107; EAFR/107/1; EAFR/107/2; EAFR/107/3. Pages 1-150. British...WO 329/2364
East Africa Expeditionary Force: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2342
East Africa Maxims: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Medical Service: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Miscellaneous Units: medal rolls COL/136; COL/136B; COL/136B2; COL/136B3; COL/136B4; COL/136B5; COL/136B6. Pages 1-244....WO 329/2343
East Africa Miscellaneous Units: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2344
East Africa Mounted Rifles: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Ordnance Department: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Pioneer Corps: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Police: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East Africa Railway Transport Department: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units]....WO 329/2343
East Africa Regiment miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/2. Pages 1-19. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East Africa Transport Corps: medal rolls. British War Medal and Victory Medal [Colonial Units].WO 329/2343
East African Field Telegraph and Royal Engineer Volunteers miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/20. Pages 1-3. 1914-15...WO 329/2939
East African Force Ammunition Column miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/73. Pages 1-2. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Intelligence Department miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/24. Pages 1-8. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Local Forces: medal rolls.WO 329/2365
East African Mechanical Transport Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/9. Pages 1-16. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Medical Service officers: medal rolls. OFF/239 (page 1); OFF 255 (page 5). 1914-15...WO 329/2956
East African Medical Services miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/21. Pages 1-13. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Military Audit Department miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/11. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Military Labour Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/3. Pages 1-7. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Mounted Rifles miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/1. Pages 1-65. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Natives (Kenya and Uganda local issues): medal rolls EAFR/101 (Pages 1-18). EAFR/102 (Pages...WO 329/2366
East African Natives (Tanganyika local issues): medal rolls 23-109. Pages EAFR/106/2. British War Medal and...WO 329/2363
East African Natives: medal rolls EAFR/107/3; EAFR/107/4. Pages 151-400. British War Medal and Victory Medal....WO 329/2365
East African Nursing Service miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/22. pages 1-7. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Ordnance Department miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/23. Pages 1-3. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Pay Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/12. Pages 1-3. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Pioneer Company miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/4. Pages 1-13. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Police Military Service Battalion miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/66. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Police miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/57. Pages 1-8. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Prison Guards miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/18. Pages 1-2. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Railway Transport miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/64. Pages 1-3. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Somali Scouts miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/65. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Supply Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/8. Pages 1-11. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Supply Corps, Indian element miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/8. Pages 1-11. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Transport Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/7. Pages 1-19. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Transport Corps, Indian element miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/7. Pages 1-19. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African unattached and miscellaneous lists miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/6. Pages 1-9. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Units: returned medals and issues to Europeans: medal rolls COVER. Pages 71A. British...WO 329/2367
East African Veterinary Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/5. Pages 1-10. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
East African Volunteer Artillery miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/17. Pages 1-2. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2939
Gambia Company, West African Frontier Force miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/4/5. Pages 1-17. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2934
Gambia Company, West African Frontier Force: medal rolls COL/108B. Pages 1-40. British War Medal and...WO 329/2329
Gambia Coy (Weet African Frontier Force) officers: medal rolls OFF/249. Pages 1-3. British War Medal...WO 329/2305
Indian Army, miscellaneous units miscellaneous: medal rolls. INDIA 1B-2. Pages 1-227; OFF/235A. Pages 1-25. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Indian Expeditionary Force B, Zanzibar Section miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/25/2. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Inland Water Transport, West African Contingent Royal Engineers: medal rolls COL/169B. Pages 1-73. British War...WO 329/2330
Kings African Rifles miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/60; COL/5/61; COL/5/62; COL/5/63; COL/5/64; COL/5/65; COL/5/66; COL/5/67; COL/5/68;...WO 329/2938
King's African Rifles officers: medal rolls OFF/248. Pages 1-; 7-9; 22-32; 32-52; 52-63; 63-102; 102-104....WO 329/2305
Kings African Rifles officers: medal rolls. OFF/248. Page 4. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2956
King's African Rifles: medal rolls COL/128B (Pages 1-128). COL/129 (Pages 1-71). British War Medal and...WO 329/2360
King's African Rifles: medal rolls COL/128B; COL/128B1; COL/128B2; COL/128B3; COL/128B4; COL/128B5 (Pages 1-46). COL/155B; COL/155B2;...WO 329/2341
King's African Rifles: medal rolls COL/155B4; COL/155B5; COL/155B6; COL/155B7 (Pages 244-450). COL130B; COL130B2; COL130B3 (Page...WO 329/2342
King's African Rifles: medal rolls.WO 329/2363
King's African Rifles: medal rolls.WO 329/2364
King's African Rifles: medal rolls.WO 329/2365
Mombasa Indian Volunteer Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/67. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Mombasa Marine Defence Regiment miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/19. Pages 1-4. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Mombasa Town Guard miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/70. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Native Interpreters, Machine Gun Porters, Scouts and Stretcher Bearers - Northern Rhodesia Forces: medal rolls...WO 329/2359
Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force: medal rolls NIG/101A2 (Pages 1A-10A). COL/163A; COL/163A2; COL/163A3 (Pages...WO 329/2359
Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force: medal rolls NIG/101A2 (Pages 1A-10A). COL/163A; COL/163A2; COL/163A3 (Pages...WO 329/2935
Nigerian Regiment, West African Frontier Force: medal rolls NIG/101A2 (Pages 1A-10A). COL/163A; COL/163A2; COL/163A3 (Pages...WO 329/2936
Northern Rhodesia Medical Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/6/4. Pages 1-90. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2937
Northern Rhodesia Medical Corps: medal rolls COL/121B. Pages 1-2. British War Medal and Victory Medal...WO 329/2339
Northern Rhodesia Police miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/6/8. Pages 1-90. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2937
Northern Rhodesia Rifles miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/6/7; COL6/11; COL 6/12. Pages 1-16. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2937
Northern Rhodesia Rifles: medal rolls COL/120B; COL/120B1; COL/120B2. Pages 1-25. British War Medal and Victory...WO 329/2336
Rhodesia Native Regiment: medal rolls COL/122B (Pages 1-26). COL/148B (Pages 1-25). COL/154B; COL/154B1; COL/154B2; COL/154B3;...WO 329/2339
Rhodesia Regiment miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL 6/5. Pages 1-75. 1914-15 Star. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2937
Seychelles Labour Corps: medal rolls C310. Pages 1-20, 50-53 British War Medal (Bronze). Gold Coast...WO 329/2309
Sierra Leone Battalion, West Africa Frontier Force miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/4/4. Pages 1-70. 1914-15 Star...WO 329/2934
Sierra Leone Battalion, West African Frontier Force: medal rolls COL/107B (Pages 1-70). COL/107B2 (Pages 1-2)....WO 329/2329
South Africa Mounted Rifles officers: medal rolls. OFF/246. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2956
South Africa Officers list SA Off 1-3. Silver War BadgeWO 329/3255
South Africa Other Ranks list SA 1-54. Silver War BadgeWO 329/3255
South African Defence Force officers: medal rolls OFF/301. Pages 1-4. British War Medal and Victory...WO 329/2303
South African Heavy Artillery officers: medal rolls OFF/296. Pages 1B. British War Medal and Victory...WO 329/2303
South African Infantry officers: medal rolls OFF/257. Pages 7-15. British War Medal and Victory Medal....WO 329/2303
South African Medical Services officers: medal rolls OFF/269. Pages 1. British War Medal and Victory...WO 329/2303
South African Military Nursing Service nurses: medal rolls NURSES/17. Pages 1. British War Medal and...WO 329/2303
South African Military Nursing Service officers: medal rolls. NURSES/17. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2956
South African Native Labour Corps (Basutoland): medal rolls COL/185A2. Pages 1A-147A. British War Medal and...WO 329/2372
South African Native Labour Corps (Bechuanaland): medal rolls COL/185A3. Pages 1A-31A. British War Medal and...WO 329/2368
South African Native Labour Corps: medal rolls COL/185A. Pages 1A-3A. British War Medal and Victory...WO 329/2359
Southern Rifles, South Africa miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/6/4. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2937
Uganda Intelligence Detachment miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/33. Pages 1-5. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Medical Service miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/28. Pages 1-7. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda miscellaneous lists miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/34. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Police Service Battalion miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/31. Pages 1-2. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Railway Volunteers miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/10. Pages 1-4. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Railways miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/74. Pages 1-8. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Transport Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/26. Pages 1-4. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Veterinary Corps miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/59. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
Uganda Volunteer Reserve miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/5/51. Pages 1-13. 1914-15 Star WO 329/2940
West African Expeditionary Force miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/4/6. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2934
West African Frontier Force officers: medal rolls OFF/173. Pages 7, 15-16; 27. British War Medal...WO 329/2305
West African Frontier Force officers: medal rolls. OFF/173. Pages 3, 4, 9, 10. 1914-15 Star...WO 329/2956
West African Medical and Nursing Staff, Victoria Hospital, Bathurst miscellaneous: medal rolls. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2934
West African Medical Service officers: medal rolls. COL/6/1 (pages 1-2); OFF/191 (page 4). 1914-15 Star...WO 329/2956
West African Medical Services officers: medal rolls OFF/191. Pages 3-; 15-. British War Medal and...WO 329/2305
West African Regiment miscellaneous: medal rolls. COL/4/1. Pages 1-143. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2934
West African Regiment officers: medal rolls OFF/221. Pages 1; 3; 7-8; 15-16. British War Medal...WO 329/2299
West African Regiment officers: medal rolls. OFF/221. Page 1. 1914-15 StarWO 329/2955
West African Regiment: medal rolls COL/159B; COL/159B1; COL/159B2; COL/159B3 (Pages 1-114). COL/177B (Page 1). British...WO 329/2329