March 2019

WW1 South African flying ace was a baker.

Walter Giddy on capture of Delville Wood.

South Africans and Folkestone during World War 1.

For those interested in postal history.

Flechette from HMS Manica – briefing by Kevin Patience.

This Konigsberg gun is looking a little worse for wear:

Away from the Western Front report on Egypt, Palestine and Syria
East Africa medical project.

National Army Museum overview of the East Africa campaign (video 4.14mins).

Zambian journalist, Francis Lungu, wins accolade for reporting on WW1 in Africa.

Africa is due to feature in “In the Centennial Footsteps of the Great War” which is scheduled for release in English on 28 June 2019. It is the brain-child of Attila Szalay-Berzeviczy – a Hungarian photographer. More details will follow as they become available. More can be seen on Facebook in the meantime.

A documentary which has some footage (25 mins) of the centenary commemorations in Zambia and discusses WW2 veterans in the main. It has elicited some strong feelings so please can I ask that if you feel the need to express your views about the documentary you do not post them on this site which aims to be a hub of info and a neutral platform, but rather email me privately – this represents one view of a very complex issue. It is posted here as a record of WW1 in Africa commemoration.

If you know of anyone who is a regular user of The National Archives in Kew, there is a vacancy for an on-site representative to take my place. I used the opportunity to promote greater access for people (particularly from Africa) who are unable to get to London to access material especially on WW1 in Africa. If you are, or know someone who might be, interested, details are here. Closing date is 15 March 2019.

(Details on calendar entries)
9 March in Derby – On the Sidelines will be exploring photos and how they tell the story of WW1 in Africa

Wednesday 13 March there will be a book reading of Untold Friendships and on Friday 15 March, Luc Ferrier will be speaking on Muslim involvement in WW1, incluing Africa, in Forgotten Heroes, Untold Friendships at King’s College London. Book on (Free)

GWAA will be at the Britania Medal fair on 17 March, there will be copies of the various books on sale, or just pop past to say hello if you’re in the neighbourhood.

Legacies of WW1 will feature some talks/workshops on Africa between 22-23 March in Birmingham

February 2019

A drum given to Louis Botha by a chief in 1916 was sold on auction in 2013.

For those interested in mail of the campaign, here are two items which were up for auction in 2010.

Olive Schriener’s letters have been put online. There are a few dealing with her thoughts of South Africa in the war (see topic SA changes 1914-1920).

More on the Battle for Saisi

Some photos of 1 Rhodesian Regiment in 1914.
Another photo – this one of 1916 Armoured vehicle with spare bicycle tyre

A couple of men who served in Africa during WW1 are mentioned in this Legion of Frontiersmen article
A very short diary extract (video) on Cameroon 1916

The sad reality of so many African memorials. If anyone has a photograph or list of names on the Bez Valley memorial, please send it in so the names can be recorded on the In Memory lists. And perhaps a photo of it in its heyday for the Memorial page?

Iringa Boma has information on
– Schutztruppe and Askaris in Iringa
– German and British WW 1 memorial and graves at the commonwealth graveyard
– History of Max Poppe, Hauptmann in the Lettow-Vorbeck troop and grandfather of Zacharia and Caesar
– British seizure of Iringa in 1916
as well as related topics:
– Everything about the Hehe-German wars
– Battles of Lugalo and Kalenga in details
– Tom von Prince in Iringa
– Maji Maji in Iringa
visits can be arranged to the local war graves cemetery.
If you know of any other similar places, please let me know so they can be added to the list to assist others wanting to visit.

If anyone is interested in pursuing some research into Chinese involvement in East Africa during World War 1, I recently extrapolated the basics from two War Diaries as a starting point.

And the Forgotten Heroes exhibition, Singularity of Peace, continues at Manbre Wharf Hammersmith until 29 March 2019. To view the exhibition which contains photos of Africa in World War One, you need to book by email.

This month’s added books:

January 2019

A VC never awarded – Colour Sergeant George Williams 1/3 KAR

Thanks to John Bannon for sharing this Youtube video on the Battle of Saisi, 1915 (13mins)

This looks a fascinating programme – trace a World War 1 ship. Astrea popped up when I loaded the webpage…

The CWGC December newsletter contains a piece on East Africa.

Tony Jewell spoke to Away from the Western Front about a doctor in the East Africa campaign. You can see/listen.

Two new articles from Harry Fecitt have been posted to the website: one on Tanga and the other on Jasin.

From 2014, some videos commenting on the war in Africa and empire participation; and the Guardian‘s ‘Global Guide‘ the First World War

A 1986 summary of the East Africa campaign by S Bourquin.

Apparently, the last British square was used in East Africa at the battle of Narunyu, near Lindi in 1917 by the 25th Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen).

A link into the West African campaigns. Germany invades Nigeria at Gurin, 1915

An article on the ‘Disposal of Mesopotamia and German East Africa‘ features in this overview of publications on the campaign in Mesopotamia.

Kingston Aviation records the Kingston aviation contribution to World War 1 – includes East Africa

Thanks to Dominic Hoole in South Africa for kindly supplying the names of all those featured on the Gunners Memorial in Potchefstroom. These have all been added to the Southern Africa In Memory list. For those interested, the list includes the names of the ‘Native Drivers’
Dominic has also drawn attention to the memoirs of Dan Fewster, a Hull Sergeant’s war diary
and that of Frances Lister, 4 South African Horse, in German East Africa.

And thanks, too, to John Webb for supplying the names of Royal Engineer – Signallers in East Africa. These have been added to the relevant In Memory list for anyone who wants to see. He writes: “The main source of these names is the War Diary of Lieut-General H.C Hawtrey (Deputy Director of Army Signals) which can be found in the WO 95/5303 series. It is hard not to be amazed and sometimes amused at the trials faced by the RE-Signals GHQ. There is a particular section of the War Diary dealing with the Nigeria Regiment who are using coded transmissions to order Whisky and Razor Blades. This explains the Nigerian entries in my list. Not surprisingly, the names in the War Diary are those of the Officer Corp. Where I have identified Sappers, it is from on-line diaries and the diary of my Grandfather-in-law.”

Another thanks to Tim Avery for completing the listing of EANLC Deaths. He has transcribed the data from registers copied at the SANDF Doc Centre. The lists for Desertions and Discharge are currently being catalogued by Tim. Please note that there are a few gaps in the records which still need to be verified/corrected due to poor handwriting, unusual abbreviations etc. These will be updated as soon as possible.

Lucy London has been discovering South African nurses who served both in East Africa and Europe during World War 1. Their names are being included on the GWAA In Memory lists but you can also read about them on Lucy’s blog and Facebook page.
A new memorial was dedicated in June 2018 to the nurses who served in World War 1 and 2. It includes those of the South African Military Nursing Service.

Habari, the Friends of East Africa is available online. Worth a search: 2014 has an article on Arnoldi (in Afrikaans).

And finally, the GWAA now has a bookshop. Other books will be added in due course.