The Great War in East Africa under discussion
Possibly for the first time since 1929, a gathering took place in London to commemorate and remember the Great War in East Africa. Just over thirty specialists on the campaign came together on 14 July 2012 at The National Archives in Kew, London to share their knowledge of the little side-show which involved over twenty-eight countries, lasted longer than any fighting in Europe (5 August 1914-25 November 1918) and saw action on water, air and on land. In addition to the 250,000 odd troops, around one million carriers are estimated to have been involved as well as untold draft animals.
Talks covered most aspects of the campaign – Indian, Belgian and Danish involvement as well as Nyasaland, the Rhodesias, German mobilisation and prisoners of war/internees. Aspects of researching the campaign were also addressed – what The National Archives holds, Belgian archival sources at the Royal Military Museum and how to use medal citations. The map and document exhibition by The National Archives, enhanced with memorabilia from the Northern Rhodesia Police Association, and salvaged Pegasus and Konigsberg items stimulated much discussion over lunch and tea.
The plan is to have the papers presented at the Conference published. In the meantime, to enable attendees to access to the papers in the sessions they were not able to attend, audio copies were made and are available here (password required). You may find it easier to download the files before listening (they are quite large).