May 2020

A Zimbabwean in Palestine during WW1 – Biawa Makalaga. A letter permitting Biawa to enlist with the Northamptonshire Regiment was posted on the 1914-18 Forum. This discovery now brings the number of African black men who served in British regiments during the war to 5.

Some background to Spicer-Simson of the Lake Tanganyika Expedition. All the known primary documents concerning 1914-1915 have been collated chronologically in The Lake Tanganyika Expedition 1914-1917: A primary source chronology vol 1. Vol 2 should hopefully be out later this year.

From the Away from the Western Front website, short stories and a poem written by young people in 2018 on the East Africa campaign: Heat by Constance Cottrell; Welcome to East Africa by Charlotte Lee.

The Endangered Archive programme has digitised two collections which may hold information of interest:
Mengo Hospital in Uganda has patient records (names redacted) covering the war years, although these appear to be records of civilian patients.
Nairobi Railway photographs – no specific war collection but some of the catalogue covers the war years.

It’s the 70th anniversary of Jan Smuts’ death. Here’s some background for those interested.

An earlier Endangered Archive project concerned the digitisation of letters from Nigeria about the war offering financial assistance.

It might be helpful to know that the Botswana archive does not seem to hold material on WW1 Africa. If anyone knows different, please share…

The National Archives has a guide to colonial documents in UK archives.

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