South Africa

Film footage – Africa at war 1914-1945

Links are to the Colonial Film website which contains a good synopsis and other details of each film.

1915 – Outposts Of Empire: British East African Troops Entraining On An Expedition Against German Territory (footage held by BFI: ID: 512962)
1916 – Operations of the British Expeditionary Forces in East Africa – Cherry Kearton (25th Royal Fusiliers (Legion of Frontiersmen) footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: IWM 84)
1928 – Safari in East Africa featuring the 5th Battalion King’s East African Rifles returning from a route march (footage held by BFI: ID: 457935)
1930 – King’s African Rifles on parade (footage held by BFI: ID: 603060)
1940 – Men of Africa – no mention of the war despite being released during the conflict: synopsis states: Development programmes in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika illustrate that “even in the midst of war, Great Britain does not shirk her responsibilities to her colonies.” – contrast with 1945 Father and Son (footage held by BFI: ID: 13340 and Imperial War Museum: ID: CCE 200)
1941 – War Came to Kenya (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: CCE 202)
1942 – Showing Natives Of East Africa Being Taught And Trained To Become Effective Units Of A Water Transport Company (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 832)
1944 – Lt. Gen. Stone Presents B.E.M. To East African Private Valentino Owori of the East African Pioneer Corps (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 754)
1944 – Road to Victory – South African Army at war (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: COI 839)
1944 – East Africa Army Exhibition in Nairobi in September 1944 (footage at Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 809)
1944 – An East African Army Field Bakery (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 1171)
1944 – An East African Entertainment Unit (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: AYY 1172)
1945 – Father and Son British Navy, generation/cultural topics – watch online
1945 = East African Chiefs in Colombo – heads of tribes represented in 11th East African Division fighting in Burma (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 271)
1945 – African Home Life – recruiting for King’s African Rifles (footage held by BFI: ID: 3003)
1945 – Lieutenant-General Sir Oliver Leese visits 11th East African Division – Leese was commander Allied Land Forces South East Asia (ALFSEA) (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 260)
1945 – No 1 East African Entertainment Unit (footage held by Imperial War Museum: ID: JFU 259)
1945 – Colonial Cinemagazine No.3 – rehabilitation of African soldiers in East Africa and a victory parade in Nairobi (footage held by BFI: ID: 4625)
1946 – Colonial troops in England for the Victory Parade on 8 June 1946 (footage held by BFI: ID: 21304)

Info on watching films at BFI

Film footage – Africa at war 1914-1945 Read More »

January 2018

To start the new year off, Happy New Year.

The National Archives in London, one of the best sources for info on WW1 Africa, is looking for some feedback on its new advanced ordering system – if you have a couple of free minutes before 15 Jan, please can you help:
As part of some research into advance orders, our webteam have established a Treejack survey to try and better understand where people would look for the service and information. It involves 2 tasks and a few questions so should be quite quick to do. It does not matter how familiar people are with TNA or whether they have used the advance orders service.
The link is

A sad report on a memorial in South Africa
And another sad story of a soldier who lost his life helping save someone in the Thames. Thanks to Peter Dickinson for this one.

Not all uniforms and parades – Charles Stoneham, Legion of Frontiersmen

Quarterly Army Lists (1913-1919) have been scanned by the National Library of Scotland
Quarterly Naval Lists (1913-1921) have also been scanned by the National Library of Scotland
Both lists have been added to the bibliography

On curating a World War 1 Africa exhibition by Yewande Okuleye

The story of Jackie, the baboon

Oliver Schulten has updated his Bibliography which can be found along with other sources of info under Resources.

There is a new coffee table book out at the end of the month looking at Allied Muslim involvement in World War 1. The aim is to introduce new audiences to the war and its global nature. It tells the story of those who served – no politics. Little known theatres such as Africa, China and Russia are included.

This is looking to be an exciting year on the publication front for GWAA. Providing all goes to plan, the last of the chronology of The Lake Tanganyika Expedition should be out – the last stray documents have been transcribed and double checking is underway.

William Endley’s book South Africa at War: The Union Defence Force in World War 1 should be out by April. This tells the story of the South African units using William’s personal collection as the basis. This book has special significance as it is being published whilst William is in captivity in Sudan. Publication is at his request. Some will have seen snippets on Facebook which he posted at intervals. And I can say from editing the publication, that it’s going to be a very useful resource for a variety of researchers.

A commemorative book is in production for the end of the war in Africa. If you have any contributions, please send them to me by April – the publication will include a chronology of the last days (11 November through to 25 November and the Germans leaving in early 1918) as well as a contribution by the King’s African Rifles and East African Forces Association.
For people wanting to join in the commemorative events in Zambia in November, please contact Claire who can advise on itineraries which fit in with the big event on 25 November.

And finally, the long-awaited conference publication should be making its appearance: a bumper edition.

For regular visitors, you will have noticed that the tabs at the top of the page have changed. Hopefully this makes it easier to find things. Information will be added as it is available – please send in contributions and any feedback you might have. This is a resource for all interested in aspects of World War 1 in Africa.

January 2018 Read More »

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