May 2021

It’s been a quiet month, relatively speaking…

In case you haven’t seen the CWGC report into the Inequalities of Commemoration, this was released on 23 April. If you’ve only read the press reports on the issue, it is worth reading the report and especially the CWGC response regarding future action. The report shows the diversity of Africa and decisions made at the time and is grounded on documentary evidence.

Natal military sites of interest – some cover World War 1

Where are the guns?
This question seems to be doing the rounds again. Here is some a posting on a Konigsberg gun (there’s more in April 2019), The May Jackson, a screw-gun in Northern Rhodesia (The Northern Rhodesia Journal has an article and Tim Wright has also written about it – you can sign up for a free account if you don’t have one. There are numerous articles available on the First World War in Africa.) the May Jackson’s current location in Zambia needs confirming. If you have an idea please let us know.

The team in Tsavo are doing more trips. Dates are: The dates are as follows (all Fri, Sat and Sun):
• June (25th, 26th and 27th).
• July (23rd, 24th & 25th)
• Aug (27th, 28th & 29th) -provisional.
For further details, contact Tom Lawrence or James Willson.

The list of names of people involved in WW1 in Africa has been tidied up and renamed to better reflect its contents. It now contains over 38,500 names from all theatres with more being added. Belgian and German details still need to be finalised while Portuguese names are starting to feature. A couple of legacy sheets remain under In Memory – these names are slowly being added to the main database which covers the whole of Africa.
If you have names which are not on the list and are happy to share the info, please email me.
Similarly regarding the Bibliography of books, articles, chapters etc. These lists are in the process of being checked and tidied still.

April 2021

For German readers, there is now a biography on Heinrich Schnee available. It was published in 2017.
The Bundesarchiv has an online catalogue of material relevant to the war and Schnee. An English version can be found here.

The casualty list amongst other correspondence regarding the 1914 Battle of Sandfontein .

In case you haven’t yet seen this – a postal history of the war in Africa: GSWA by ASLC Leiden

The Armchair Historian has a 15 minute animated video of the campaigns in Africa. Be warned, there is an irritating promotion for the sponsor of the video (about 30secs) and factual inaccuracies.

There’s an article by an RAMC officer in East Africa (pgs5-8). He travels via Galippoli.

A KTN Kenya News documentary on the First World War in Tsavo and also a link to the setting up of a local museum collection.

Mel Page has recently published his Chiwaya War Voices through GWAA if you didn’t spot this in last month’s bookshop selection. He has also had an article published comparing African and American farmers and the war.

March 2021

The HMAS Pioneer podcast was clearly of interest based on the emails I received. The podcast was not completely accurate and hopefully in time those with other information will add this to the posting to enable future researchers/interested parties to get a more accurate picture of the events.

John East has a paper Under Three Governors which looks at the life of Wilhelm Methner in GEA between 1902 and 1917. It’s on if the link fails. Although not World War 1, he has also published the translated memoirs of Tom von Prince on Academia.

The CWGC has an article on GA Murray who died on the Western Front, the return of a wooden cross to his family and his reburial in a I/CWGC cemetery

The war years are covered in the Archival records from Preserving Malawi endangered historical District Notebooks: 1891-1964 (EAP920)

Lucy London drew my attention to mentions of Africa in the Female Poets of the First World War collection (includes mention of brothers etc who lost their lives).

There has been an interesting discovery about the first print of Marching on Tanga by Francis Brett Young.

Andrew Kerr tells the story of his grandfather’s service with the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles

SA War graves in the news (might only be available to LinkedIn members) A similar article can be found here.

James Willson and Tom Lawrence are visiting the Tsavo Battlefields on a regular basis:
• Fri 23rd, Sat 24th and Sun 25th April
• May is fully reserved
• Fri 25th, Sat 26th and sun 27th June
For more info, contact Tom Lawrence atomlaw50[@] or James Willson james[@]