Newsletter 5 – November

It’s been a little while since the last newsletter and as you can imagine there’s been quite a bit going on.

I spent Rememberance Sunday in South Africa where red poppies were not as prominent as they are in the UK and was surprised at the number of people who did not know what the poppies stood for. Unfortunately, there also seems to be a divide amongst the population regarding the poppy as it’s now seen as a ‘colonial’ emblem. This is a huge pity given the number of lives of all colour which were lost in East Africa (let alone the rest of the war). I’m not sure how members in other countries see the poppy -please do let me know – but I see it in the same way as the origin of the minute’s silence – for all those who were affected. It was the South African Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (of Jock of the Bushveld fame) who suggested a two-minute silence. Apparently in South Africa, across the country a three-minute silence was held every day of the 1914-1918 war. Although Fitzpatrick lost his son Nugent on the Western Front, his other son Alan, commanded the 4th South African Horse in East Africa and survived the horrors of war.

The 100th membership milestone was achieved during the first weeks of November – in fact as I write, there are 102 of us registered on the site and I know of a fair few who haven’t (yet) but who are interested and investigating aspects of the EA campaign. Our membership spans the world – only Asia is not yet represented!

There have been a few books published on the East Africa campaign which might be of interest:

James Willson’s Guerillas of Tsavo can be obtained in the UK from UK from Peter J Ayre [] who is a specialist East African book seller based in Somerset. He is selling a limited number at ₤32 INCLUSIVE of p&p. There is also a PayPal account for orders placed through

Richard Pullen has published the memoirs of Sergeant Harold Downs of the 11th Hull Battery of the Royal Garrison Artillery. Details can be found on the Forum under Sales/Books

Peter Charlton’s Cinderella’s Soldiers: The Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve is available from Peter directly. He’s on the Membership Only contact list for those of you registered for that, otherwise let me know and I’ll put you in touch.

Finally, Gerald Rilling has had Lettow-Vorbeck’s My Life translated into English. This can be purchased from Gerald through Abebooks.

Also on the Forum, under tours, are details of a Kilimanjaro climb Peter Baxter is organising. If you have any related tours, please do let others know of them on the Forum.

Steve Eeles has launched his website on the 25th Royal Fusiliers. You can also find it on the Related Groups section of the GWEAA.

During my travels I have met and discussed some centenary events with different people and organisations. I’ll be putting the details up on the ‘In Memory’ section. Please let me know of any you know of so that these can be added too. The same goes for any names to be added to the Names list which is now around the 4,000 mark including some carriers, women and children prisoners of war.

We’ve also had some new queries on the site – if anyone can help with information, it would be greatly appreciated.

As usual, any questions etc, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Until next time
Best wishes

Newsletter 4 – August 2012


It’s been a month since our first conference and I’d hoped to be in touch sooner. However, having now achieved the deadlines I’d set myself, here we are. Hopefully, you will have received a notification into your email account that there is a new post on the website. I thought this happened automatically, but clearly not. Rest assured, I will not be bombarding your email account with correspondence – only when there’s a new newsletter or something significant.

Our first conference was a great success – many thanks to all our speakers and others who attended. Thanks are also due to Hugh Phillips of the British South Africa Police Association for suggesting the conference and to Christopher Hill of Dix Noonan Webb for sponsorship. As agreed with those who presented and attended, the audio files are now available whilst publication of the proceedings is explored. You will require a password to access these – this will have been emailed to you if you are a member who attended the conference.

For members who have consented, there is now a page with members’ email addresses so you can contact each other directly. Again, this is password protected and as above, this will have been emailed to you. If you haven’t yet given permission for your email details to be shared with other members, please do let me know so I can add these to the list and let you have the password. Also, if you haven’t yet provided a profile to add to the ‘open’ membership page, please do so as this helps to link people working on similar areas. You can change/update this at any time by emailing me.

Some of you may have noticed some more changes to the website – please do let me have your comments. The lists of books and articles have been updated and continues to be. If you have a publication which does not yet feature, please let me know (including how copies can be obtained). In addition, there is now an ‘In memory’ section which contains the names of men and women who were involved in the East Africa campaign – this has now reached 1,000 names and is in a searchable spreadsheet with references of where the names featured. Again, please let me have the details of those you come across or if you can fill in some of the gaps in the current list. Further, if you know of any museums or locations where the campaign features, please let me know. This includes any planned centenary events you may know of. The Forum has been restructured and includes reviews and new publications. A number of members have asked some questions – please have a look and see if you can assist.

As usual, ideas, comments and contributions are more than welcome.
Until next time, kindest regards

Welcome to the Great War in East Africa Association

Newsletter 3 – 18 February 2012


Much has happened in the last little while.

Most significantly, the conference I have been talking about on the Great War in East Africa has been confirmed for 14 July 2012 to be held at The National Archives, Kew, London. See the Call for Papers/Participation. As mentioned there will be a charge for the conference (maximum £75) unless we can find some sponsorship. Please contact me if you are able to help/suggest possible sponsors. Given the increasing interest regarding commemoration events and the need to co-ordinate these, I am considering having a special session at the conference to discuss this. It would be helpful to know if you would be interested in attending this meeting – I will be informing the relevant High Commissions of the Conference and the meeting in the hope that a representative can join us. If you aren’t able to join us in person but would like to be represented at the meeting, again, please let me know so that I can work out how best to manage this.

The website has had a make-over and has widened its remit. Please use the site to advertise your tours and services around the East Africa campaign. The aim is for the site to be the central hub of information relating to the campaign – rather than duplicating existing information, we’ll link. This means that the site is only as effective/helpful as the information on it.

Under the section on books and other sources, you’ll see links to Amazon. Buying your book through these links will help pay for the management of this site.

On a personal note, the email links to individuals have been removed from the membership section (unless they are in the profile you initially submitted). If you are wanting your contact details on the site for others to contact, please add them under the relevant discussion forum and/or contact us.

In changing the web, we have had to reset member passwords. These have/will be emailed to the address registered with GWEAA. You can change your password to something of your own choice, by  going to Edit Profile.

Please check your profile under the membership area and advise us of any changes you want made. If we don’t have a profile for you, please share one to help link people working on similar areas.

You can follow the Association on Twitter @GWEAA.

As usual, comments and suggestions (especially on the site changes) are welcomed.

Kind regards