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 [firstname.lastname@example.org] 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