Update April 2014

Greetings all,

Some new and interesting info on the Great War in Africa has come to light in the past few weeks.

Firstly, don’t forget about the next conference in Lisbon on 14 and 15 July. Details are here. Please do get in touch if you will be joining us or let me know if you can’t make it but would value getting together later in the year (October/November) in London.

The Imperial War Museum has recently discovered what it holds on the African campaigns. They are also in the process of making available an exciting new source on the East African campaign, thanks to Gerald Rilling who recently announced on Facebook:

Well after over thirty years, I finally will have the translations & photos of the nearly 20 WaKamba World War One veterans I interview just before I left East Africa completed. Thank you internet – that is where I found my translators & Dr. Anne Samson of the Great War in Africa Association who put me on the right track. The interviews are now being used in the Imperial War Museum in London. Some very interesting stories from a voice very seldom heard.

Having worked with Jerry on these interviews, they offer a welcome first-hand account of the lives of porters and some KAR soldiers. One common thread running through the interviews is the story of the German woman sniper who hid in a baobab tree. They all vary in detail as do all the accounts I’ve heard, so I’ve started a discussion link on the forum for you to add your version and hopefully we’ll be able to get to the bottom of it.

The British Library featured an article on Untold Lives featuring Richard Meinertzhagen. As many know there is much discussion around Meinertzhagen’s accounts but, for potential legal reasons, no more will be said on this issue here.

Gordon from Naval History has kindly posted on the ships which were involved in the East Africa theatre. You can either scroll down to read the article, or click here

In response to a number of queries I’ve had, I wrote the following on sourcing SAffer military records. This will be followed next week on SAffers as Imperial Service troops during WW1.

The In Memory and Book lists have been updated.

Since posting the Book list, notification of Francesco Correale’s La Grande Guerre des trafiquants: le front colonial de l’Occident maghrebin has come to light. You can see more at here.
Ricardo Marques has also published on 1914 Portugal no ano da Grande Guerra

Don’t forget to let me know if you have a book to sell on the African campaigns or better still, add it to the Book Sale section on the Forum.

Until next time,
Kindest regards

Newsletter 7

Habari and Greetings

The latest Commonwealth War Grave Commission MANAGEMENT REPORT – OCT TO DEC 12-1 for work in Southern Africa is attached. There is nothing specific regarding East Africa in this edition but there is a piece on what is happening/being planned around the centenary and I thought it would be good to share as a number of men who fought in the Anglo-Boer War saw service in either GSWA and/or EA. There are also various men who saw service in EA who are buried in SA so I will continue to post updates from the South African CWGC as I get them.

As usual, we have some new queries on the site – Ion is looking for travel information from 1914 Hamburg to Dar for starters and Guy Ellis is looking for images on 26 Squadron for a publication. The various lists, In Memory and Books, articles etc have been updated including a book placing the war in the context of Tanganyika’s development by Gordon Dyus and two books on postal aspects by Regis Hoffman.

The following sources have been found which may be of interest to some:
Military advances made during war in general – an interesting article: http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/357783/Military-advances

The Royal Logistics Corps covering the ASC and other service groups during World War 1:

HMS Astrea‘s log – link on ‘In Memory’ under Naval vessels


For those of you interested in numbers:
Membership is 116 at 4 Feb 2013
In Memory = 7510 names recorded
Books identified mentioning or about the campaign = 389
Articles on the campaign = 134
Novels involving the campaign = 19
Twitter followers = 77
These lists are not yet complete, if you are aware of anything/one missing, please let me know.

Harry Fecitt is talking in the US in March. If you are aware of any other relevant talks and publications, please let me know.

Until next time,

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 [peter.ayre@btinternet.com] 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 www.GuerrillasofTsavo.com

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