November 2022

update 4 November: Apologies for the faulty map link. It has hopefully now been resolved. Thanks to all who alerted me.
The re-post also allows me to share the website link for the SA World War 1 project which has now gone live:

Western Front Association has some podcasts on campaigns in Africa.

The last Consul General of the Ottoman Empire and South Africa

CWGC on remembrance in Sierra Leone
And discoveries in Kenya – Karungu and Kisii

There is going to be a Remembrance Service in Taita-Taveta at the end of November 2022.

In Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on 11 November – the launch of a South Africa World War 1 exhibition

Noel Donagh has kindly made the following map available for use. If you do use it, please let Noel know (or let me and I’ll pass on the message). Similarly, if you would like to further develop maps with Noel, get in touch.
click on the map to access legible version.

Noel’s accompanying explanation for how the map was composed:
At the turn of the 1900’s mapping in Africa was at 1:5,000,000 to 1:500,000. Little in the latter scale.
I came across 4 maps surveyed in 1911 and published in Germany in 1913.
The composite map in the link dropbox is made from two maps,
The lower 2/3 is the 1911/1913 German map @ 1:100,000 scale.
Not having a BEA map at that scale I imported the 1:500,000 BEA map and made it to a 1:100,000 scale.
They are maps from different surveys and the upper 1/3 because of its scale will have less detail.
They are not a perfect match but if you examine the area and detail where they meet each other they are a fair match and allow one to use the lower part where there is more detail with the upper BEA area.

Incidentally putting the German 1:100,000 map on top of a modern accurate map it was a good representation. Especially considering the technology available then.

The other point I see with this map set. (There are four maps – the bottom 2/3 is the top left of the four.
Tanga is on the to its left & the remaining 2 maps below these two.)

If one compares the 1911 survey of Tanga it is clear that many maps in various published documents are because of the additional road network are based (unknowingly) on later surveys.
That’s assuming there was no building boom at Tanga between the 1911 survey and 1914.

Planes and Africa in 1914-1918

Planes feature in all the main theatres of the Great War in Africa. They were used in South West Africa (Namibia) and East Africa, as well as in Egypt. In West Africa, along with other African territories, donations were made to buy planes for use by the Royal Flying Corps.

Aerodrome Forum:

Cross and Cockade:

German Colonial Uniforms

History Journal:

South African Military History Society: search on planes or flight and war year

RAF Hendon
UK National Archives – AIR series

Publications including memoirs See the Bibliographic listing for more details and further publications.
WA Raleigh – The war in the air (official history)
Margaret Hall- The Imperial Aircraft Flotilla: The Worldwide Fundraising Campaign for the British Flying Services in the First World War
WG Moore – Early Bird
Frederick Lane – A Great Adventure in East Africa
Kenneth van der Spuy – Chasing the Wind
Cherry Kearton – My dog Simba
Leo Wolmseley – Flying and Sport in East Africa
AW Furniss – in Peter Dye’s articles in Cross and Cockade

2014 – Maya Alexandri, The Celebration Husband
2012 – Owen P Hall Jnr, Flight into the Abyss: Zeppelin operations in Africa 1917-1918
2009 – Wilbur Smith, Assegai
1980 – William Stevenson, The Ghosts of Africa
1964/8 – Wilbur Smith, Shout at the Devil
Other books by Wilbur Smith such at The Burning Shore feature South Africans and planes in Europe during the war.
1958 – Januz Meissner, L-59 (Polish)

Something missing?
If you know of a resource others might find useful on this topic, please add it to the comments or let Anne know.

Archive sources

Sourcing information on those involved in World War 1 Africa can cover numerous countries depending on where people were born, where resident and employed before the war, which force they enlisted with, where they resided after the war and where they died.
Below are some links to archives (alphabetical by country) which might potentially be helpful.
It is also worth bearing in mind that some archive material has over the years been destroyed by fire and other disasters. These include:

UK Burnt docs (and info on destroyed documents)
Cameroon – German documents smuggled to Fernando Po, then Spain to Hamburg and Berlin in Germany where they were destroyed in 1945 in a bombing raid. (Schulten, p234) Britain took some files from Yaunde to Lagos. These are now in the National Archive in Buea. Some records remain in the archive in Yaunde while others are in the UK National Archive.
Kenya fire in 1925 destroyed some archive material but material on World War 1 is kept in Nairobi (see Hodge’s bibliography)
Malawi while the old secretariat burned in 1919, the fire did not destroy all or even most of the First World War records. See Mel Page’s The Chiwaya War, p.236 (first edition) and pp.262-263 (second edition).

Online archival sources
The National Archives, UK on Flickr

Digitised archival collections – general eg includes 1916 German East Africa newspaper (Deutsch Ostafrika Zeitung)

Belgian archives

Colonial archive (Archivfuhrer)
Colonial sources

Moshi Evangelical Lutheran Church

War dead
Britain and the Commonwealth – Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Germany – Denkmalprojek – East Africa GSWA (all). Note: this is only the German army, not local forces