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.

December 2018

As might be expected the centenary of the end of the war dominates in the links below. Compared with coverage of events in 2004, it is clear the war in Africa has become more widely known across the globe. The next challenge is dispelling many of the myths which stil seem to be reproduced on a regular basis…

Exhibition in Klerksdorp, South Africa

Articles on the war in Africa
Al Jazeera on the untold history of World War 1 in Africa.

East Africa and Egypt feature in passing in this article on Indian contributions to WW1. Thanks to Richard Jewell for bringing it to attention.

Three articles recently appeared on the South African Heritage Portal concerning South Africa in World War 1, the end of the war in Africa and German graves in Kakamas.

Andrew Kerr shares some info on the Jammu Kashmir Rifles for the London Dogra Community (video)

Peter Dickinson on the history of South African representation at the London Cenotaph

The Nigerian Regiment was the focus of an article in the Nigerian Leadership Newspaper on 18 November 2018, while The Times of Zambia featured the war in Zambia. The Kenyan Standard carried at least two articles: Where are the Africans and How the Standard covered the war. The Herald in Zimbabwe looked at the popular myth-perpetuating exhibitions of the African campaigns – better than nothing… For those who subscribe to the UK Times there is a subscription article on the war in Africa. And the BBC mentioned Kenya.
Tom Lawrence let the Independent know about the war in Africa in a letter
Die Welt also carried an article (note: the date of the first photo is incorrect; are the askari in the second photo WW1 or WW2? can someone verify photo 3 being the laying down of arms? It looks pre-war to me)

James Willson was interviewed on the display and commemorations in Tsavo.

HHR White, 25th Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen)

A slightly different take on the war in Africa

And for a brief mention of World War 1 in Malawi, Mel Page shares his experiences of a 1991 visit to the country which features in his The Chiwaya War: Malawians and the First World War (Westview, 2000)

Thank you
A huge thank you to John Webb for supplying the names of the 100 men of the RGA 134 (Cornwall) unit which served in East Africa. These have all been added to the In Memory list

For sale and Recent publications
A couple of paintings by Sue Casson (http://www.artnet.com/artists/sue-casson/ and http://www.themajlisgallery.com/2012/06/sue-casson/) of motor vehicles in East Africa are available for purchase from someone in East Africa. If you are interested, please email Anne

Contributors to the publications, please contact Anne to ensure you get your author/contributor discount.

Zambia – the end of the war in Africa, 25 November 1918-25 November 2018

There came a time: Essays on the Great War in Africa – edited collection

Cinderella’s Soldiers: The Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve – Peter Charlton

Breaking the Myths: We Remember World War 1 in Africa – Diversity House


November 2018

On 2 November at 4pm Professor Alexander Balezin, Doctor of Historical Science, Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences will be speaking on World War 1 in East Africa at the Dar-es-Salaam Russian-Tanzanian Cultural Center, Seaview Road 2043/3 (near Aga Khan Hospital), tel. 225222136578, email: rtcctanzania@gmail. web: http://tza.rs.gov.ru/en

Around 11 November, BBC Northern Ireland will be broadcasting a 10-minute interview with John Bannon whose Grandather, John (Jack) Bannon was at the surrender in Abercorn on 25 November 1918.
There are various special commemorations taking place in Africa: 11 November in Tanga, 25 November in Mbala and in Tsavo. Other main centres are, by all accounts, following the usual 11 November practice and I understand in Zimbabwe there will be a special remembrance lunch. Please feel free to share your centenary remembrance experiences and thoughts. The centenary marks a special occasion especially as we have none around who were involved in the 1914-1918 war and new generations are discoving the sacrifice so many made in so many different ways.

Thanks to Guy Ellis for bringing the following from Rhodesiana to light:
Operations around Mpepo by HA Cripwell (p54)
The last phase of the East Africa campaign 1914-1918 by LA Russell annotated by HA Cripwell (p41)

The memorial book The Sikh Chronicles is available online – there is a short contribution on Africa.

The Legion of Frontiersmen featured in the UK Belgian Embassy news back in August – Africa has a mention.

Peter Charlton’s Cinderella’s Soldiers has been re-issued for anyone who wasn’t able to get a first edition. There have been a couple of new additions to the text. A book containing essays on why we should remember WW1 in Africa was produced by Diversity House and published by GWAA. It includes contributions by Sir Hew Strachan, Tim Stapleton, Nuno Lemos Pires, and various GWAA members.
At last the GWAA Conference papers from 2012 to 2017 have been published in a compilation entitled There came a time. Finally, a book commemorating the end of the war in Zambia has been produced by the GWAA which contains diary accounts of the events between 11 November and 31 December 1918. Harry Fecitt and Michael Pesek have each contributed a commentary on the last days of the conflict. Contributors to the various publications wishing to purchase copies should contact Anne to ensure they receive the appropriate discounts.

Some documents from Africa during World War 1 can be found on The National Archives (UK) education website:
Letter from Henry Bullen in Egypt, 24 July 1916 2/10 Middlesex Rgt
Letter from Harold Cronin in Egypt, 20 May 1915 4th Sea Highlanders & 5th Bedfordshire
Frederick Jarrett, East African Mounted Rifles, Aug-Nov 1916 with photos

For members interested in campaign stamps, Mike White’s Worldwide Postal History has some items of interest.
Another collection of WW1 Africa stamps has been brought to attention – if anyone can provide additional information to accompany any of the stamps, please get in touch

Peter Dickenson has an article on VC Harry Greenwood, a South African who served in Europe.

The following request has come in. Perhaps someone will be inspired to do something with an African sound?
A message from Neil McLennan regarding the musical project https://www.napier.ac.uk/…/play-for-peace-a-concert-for-coo…
“I wondered if you might help us. As you will know #iPlay4Peace is growing fast and we have musicians across the world joining. https://www.napier.ac.uk/…/play-for-peace-a-concert-for-coo…
Any further shares appreciated.
However, not everyone is able to play a musical instrument. And so….
Can some people record themselves reading their most inspiring piece of World War One poetry which helps us to consider war and peace (British, German, French or any country or origin) and then upload the video clip before 4pm CET (3pm GMT) on 11th November 2018 to Facebook or Twitter with these two hashtags added:- #iPlay4Peace #Poetry4Peace
You can record yourself reading it from anywhere :- your living room, next to a war memorial or in front of a live audience in town halls etc.
If you do not want to play music or read poetry, why not share what you think is the most powerful image of war or the poppy on 11 November. For this, use the hashtags #iPlay4Peace #Pictures4Peace
The hashtags are vital so that we can bring together and view all the musical, poems and art work shared.
Please share this growing project with any other music, poetry or art groups you know. Together, on 11 November, we will create an amazing bricolage of cultural responses to war at the hashtag #iPlay4Peace
Kind Regards Neil McLennan”