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 »

November 2023

Thank you to all who participated in the recent GWAA conference. We had a lovely day talking all things WW1 Africa. We trialled a small-scale hybrid system which seemed to work – the outcome of which is that our 2024 conference will be a slightly bigger hybrid event. I’m not sure of the date yet, but will announce it early in the new year. In the meantime, if you would like to contribute a paper to the next There Came a Time which will include the papers presented at the conference, please get in touch for details – expected deadline for article submission is April 2024.

Apologies for bombarding your inbox recently with new books – it was not my intention, I pressed the wrong button. However, it does provide an opportunity to let you know that GWAA is making some of its books available electronically. For a one-off fee a title can be accessed online as though you’re reading a book (the book can’t be downloaded). I’m hoping this will be an easier option than an ebook for following through on references etc. More important though, I hope it will allow researchers in Africa to access material as getting books into the various countries is proving a nightmare (and very expensive).
New books include: Oliver Schulten, A humanitarian assessment of the First World War in Africa; Melvin E Page & T Cullen Young, Nyasaland Operations during the World War, 1914-1918 and Ludwig Boell’s The Operations in East Africa.

For a statistical comparative of German colonial forces at the outbreak of war: Kolonialismus has a section on German South West Africa during the 1914-1918 war and before
Archive listings for GSWA in the German archives (schutztruppe)
Imperial Schutztruppe collections for GSWA
Schutztruppe personnel files in the German archives
GSWA administrative bodies
There are also files for Cameroon etc.
In case you’re wondering, I came across these whilst trying to answer an obscure question for someone…

CFP Health care and the Second World War seeks to highlight research that raises new questions about Medical History and Southern Africans during the First and Second World Wars in the African theatre of war. Deadline for submission of abstracts: 8 January 2024

November 2023 Read More »

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