November 2016 update

Battlefield Tour: If you are intending to go on the Battlefield Tour around Kilimanjaro in March 2017, please confirm this to Hellen

There is an auction in London on 16 November with a number of Africana books. A quick look at the catalogue suggests there isn’t anything directly related to World War 1 but individuals might be connected. Thanks to James Willson for bringing this to attention.

Help requested:
National Army Museum (NAM) looking for veterans who served in British Army:
NAM is looking to interview veterans and currently serving soldiers (male and female) from old colonies and Commonwealth countries who served (or are still serving) in the British Army. The main purpose is to find out people’s motives for joining the British Army when they are not from Britain, and to document their experiences – was the climate and culture easy or hard to adapt to?; were they given extra support?; did they experience racism or discrimination?; if they served in their home country’s army, what were the differences?; etc.
If you are interested in participating, please contact Kirsty at kparsons[@]

New member Lynne McCormack writes: I am currently attempting to research the life story of one of the men recorded on our local ww1 memorial. His name us Sidney Evans and I know he served with ‘Bowker’s Horse’, He died 28th November 1918 at Florida Farm and is buried at the cemetery in Nakuru. I have discovered a newspaper article which names Samuel Evans claiming probate in East Africa. I am interested in how he came to be in East Africa and the circumstances of his death, also whether Samel remained there. I wonder if anyone is able to help?

The National Archives, UK is consulting on a new Archive Sector Policy for England. They are looking for users to have an input. Please consider doing so here.

July 2016 marked the centenary of the start of the Battle for Delville Wood in which many South Africans lost their lives. Read Jacques de Vries’s account of being at Delville Wood in July 2016.

Jakob Zollmann’s long awaited Naulila 1914: World War 1 in Angola and International Law is now available.

The Great War has done a video on Lake Tanganyika. GWAA has published a chronology of the expedition (vol 1)using all known primary source material available in English. You can purchase the book for £37.50 from TNA or contact Anne for the membership discounted price. Retail price is £40. The book is not available through Amazon.

GWAA supported African Heritage and Education Centre and The National Archives in opening up the West African theatre on 15 October:
An overview

The Ghanaian Representative

The Nigerian Military Representative

Sad to hear that Tim Couzens, author of The Great Silence, died in October.

September Update

September is the month in which South Africans remember the Battle for Square Hill in Palestine. Many of the men who went from Africa to serve in Palestine had previously seen service in East Africa. Invariably, having been invalided to the Union of South Africa, if the men were passed fit on recovery they were permitted to serve elsewhere.

This provides an appropriate introduction for the Great War in Africa Medical Project that GWAA is embarking upon. The attached document sets out the broad details and ways you can get involved – this will hopefully be a truely international project with information from all theatres in all languages being brought together in one place.

Time is running out to book your place on the Kilimajaro Battlefield tour. Please do get in touch if you are interested/planning to join Harry Fecitt and myself.

For those who think East Africa gets too much of a mention, there’s a day of talks, documents and an opportunity to ask those research questions free of charge at The National Archives, Kew on 15 October. Details here

Other news

Oliver Schulten has updated his Bibliography of World War 1 in Africa. It can be found on the list of Sources of information and links

Thanks to @WW1EACampaign for drawing attention to the following WW1 Africa related items:
East Africa stamps, medals, coins
Memorial in Brussels for those who lost their lives in the battle for Tabora, 1916 (100 years ago this month)

Naval History is a wonderful site to discover what ships were up to in African waters.
HMS Trent August 1916 in East African waters

Michael Pesek reposted one of his earlier blogs – containing the names of German dead from 11 Feldkompanie. He has supplemented the images with a write-up in German.

August 2016 update

To help monitor spaces/availability, if you are interested in going on the Battlefield Tour in 2017, please let Anne know as places are limited and bookings are/interest is trickling in.

The War Office Archive at the British Library has a collection of Intelligence Maps from the colonial era including some covering the First World War in Africa. You can see this and other useful links here.

I recently came across an article by Peter Charlton in the ORMS journal 1993 Winter The 1888 ‘Three Emperor’ Medallion of Germany. He suggests based on the number of these medals that he came across in Malawi that they were awarded to the German Askari during World War 1.

Thanks to the GWAA member who kindly sent me the Britian at War Magazine for February 2016 containing some short articles on East African personalities.

Advance notice
A call for papers/contributions will be going out in the next while for articles/contributions on the Great War in the Horn of Africa. If you are working on this area and would be interested in contributing an article, please get in touch.

World War 1 Africa projects
Over the past few months, various groups with interests in World War 1 Africa have made contact in different ways. I thought it might be worth listing them in case anyone wants to get involved/attend events etc. These projects are mostly being funded by Heritage Lottery Funding which restricts activity and physical research to the UK – not a problem for many of their projects but it present a huge challenge for African-focused initiatives.

AHEC (African Heritage and Education Centre, London) – West African Frontier Force
In particular, the AHEC is looking for the local impact of the Great War in West Africa. They will be bringing the material together in online education resources. Linking with this project, GWAA has linked AHEC and The National Archives together and if all goes according to plan, there should be a West Africa study day at The National Archives on Saturday 15 October. Details will be posted as they are confirmed.

Churches Together in England – They also served (Midlands)
is exploring Black and Caribbean involvement in the First World War. Details can be found in their press briefing. Angie who is the lead researcher/project manager for the project is a member of GWAA. Please do get in touch with her [angelina.osborne[@]] if you are interested and especially if you are based in the Midlands.

Recognize and
Black Poppy Rose are looking to raise awareness of Black African and Caribbean soldiers who served in the war. Links have been made between the two organisations and GWAA with information sharing taking place as appropriate.

Steve Lau (Ensuring we Remember) is leading a project to erect a memorial to the Chinese Labourers who served in the different theatres, including in Africa. Steve has started to uncover some material on the Chinese who served in East Africa but as this information is scattered and scarce, if you do know of anything, please let Steve or myself know. Hopefully an account of Chinese involvement will materialise as a result of this project.

Finally, I have been in talks with a new group, Away from the Western Front which is keen to include Africa in a project it is developing. Based on the queries I have received over time and where research is taking place on relatively untapped areas of the war in Africa, we are looking to undertake a medical project centering on the Pike Report. The Pike Report is about 245 pages setting out the medical services and their problems etc in East Africa. Although it is a localised report, it spans wide and far as all medical services (RAMC, SAMC and IMC) as well as hospitals, ambulances and convalescent homes were looked at. With the diversity of troops serving from across Africa, the report has tentacles into all the Africa theatre of war.
GWAA will be looking to turn the Pike Report into an interactive on-line resource to help family, social and medical researchers in different ways. Volunteers are being sought to help source material but also for groups to interpret the material introducing it to new audiences.
In particular GWAA is looking for volunteers to transcribe material, do internet and other searches and help link to as many related organisations/museums as possible.
Anyone interested in being direcly involved or in linking with the project to add a new dimension to an existing project or developing initiative, please get in touch.