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Memories of the East Africa (and other African) campaigns

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mthatcher61

Thanks Carl for the GSWA Genocide references. These will prove useful if I can uncover some link between what von Lettow-Vorbeck experienced during the Herrerro/Nama uprising and the way he handled the GEA Schultztruppe later on. I'll keep mining for data on Lettow-Vorbeck's earlier career.

Interesting to find that GEA was dealing with the Maji-Maji uprising at the same time GSWA was dealing with the Herrerro/Nama and as ruthlessly as these uprisings were dealt with, for the longest time Belgian Congo had the 'rep' of being the most cruel and ruthless of the colonial powers in dealing with the natives.

Mark

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Guest robbiemufc@hotmail.com

I found my interest in the east-african campaign evolve out of my chosen degree (War Studies at uni of birmingham), and my childhood in malawi where I fell in love with the african landscape and people. Out of this emerged a general interest in colonial affairs/Imperialism. Having lived in malawi for 10 years I was conscious of living in both the 'new' africa - while still also still aware of the last traces of the colonial nyasaland.

Thus it was that when i was frantically searching around my uni library in november last year searching for a dissertation topic my eyes casually fell on Robert Dolbey's 'Sketches of the East-african campaign' placed casually amongst the western-front tomes. After reading it for 10 minutes my mind was made up regarding my topic.

regards,

Rob

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coltroep

Hello,

My uncle was from the Belgian Army.

He came from Bruges (Belgium) and was there as doctor.

He went by ship from la Pallice (la Rochelle - France) to Boma (Kongo) where he took the boot to Stanleyville ( now Kisangani) - Ponthierreville - Lokandu - (and train) Kindu - Kongolo - Albertville (services des etappes).

He pasted by rail from Kigoma - Tabora - to Dodoma.

At Kilosa he take part of the battle of Mahenge (kidodi - Kidatu - Ifkara - Mahenge)

He died at Lubunda (km 300 of the line (train) Kindu-Kongolo)

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Anncie

Dear all

As some of you may be aware from an earlier post, I am working on the memory of the East African campaign. More specifically it is about the role of the historian in using memory and their impact on memory, using East Africa as a case study.

One of the aspects I'm addressing is how people came to be interested in the campaign given that when I started working on the campaign in 1998, there was very little interest or knowledge of it in the public domain.

I'm keen to hear how you became interested in the East Africa campaign in particular, as well as any other campaign in Africa or concerning South African troops. I'd also be interested to hear your thoughts on why the campaign is becoming more popular all of a sudden. I'd be happy to receive a PM and explain how I intend to use the material etc if you've got any concerns.

Many thanks

Kind regards

Anne

PS: to put me in some perspective, Harry reviewed my book on the East Africa Campaign on the Forum in about July 2008 - I'm grateful to him for pointing out the errors on troop formation as this is definitely not my area of specialism!

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Anncie

YOu ask why/how people became interested in this campaign. I was given my grandfather's seventeen letters to his brother, a judge in India. Grandfather, Dr. E. Temple Harris, was a surgeon in the IMS. He was in India when war broke out so travelled with Indian forces to East Africa. He was one of the few doctors left behind to care for the wounded on Ras Kasone when the British ships sailed off, beaten around 5 Nov.. As you know they came back, and he was much relieved to see this. He was, however, in Africa almost until the end of the war. I wrote a book using his letters. They, and the transcriptions of these, are now in the Imperial War Museum London. I'm happy to have seen your question.Anncie.

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simoneyre

My interest in East Africa has stemmed form living and working there on and off for 25 years I lived in Kenya in the 1980s and travel quite often to Uganda now. The area has always fascinated me and the familiarity with the people and the geography of the area made the East African campaign a natural focus of interest linked to a resurgent interest in medals.

The medals to the South African units are fascinating in their diversity and linking them to the tortuous progress of the East African campaign is particularly interesting. To my mind the medals to the South African units are grossly undervalued but for me this has the benefit of making collecting them considerably easier

The Kings African Rifles would in many ways take precedence but their medals are considerably harder to come by

Thanks for starting the thread

Simon

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phil andrade

A great uncle of mine served as a doctor in the East Africa war. I know nothing about his experiences. Time I started to find out, I think. The fact that he was a Welshman by the name of Jones presents rather a daunting task for research, although I guess that the number of doctors who served out there was relatively small, which might give me a chance in NA or somewhere where military medicine archives are kept.

A namesake of mine is commemorated on a big memorial in the Seychelles. He was in the Carrier Corps, and was, I presume, of the "Native" contingent.

It makes a stark and poignant contrast : a great uncle of mine, from a comfortable and quite privileged background, and a namesake, suffering and dying out there as a porter.

Yes....I must investigate.

Phil (PJA)

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woundwort

Although not related, a family friend - Dr. Clive Irvine, later a Rev. - served with the RAMC in German East Africa during the period.

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phil andrade

This morning I made a few enquiries about my Great Uncle Llewellyn. I was mistaken. He became a doctor after the war. I think that prior to that he had been reading Theology or Divinity at Jesus College, Oxford. He enlisted in 1914 and definitely served in East Africa, perhaps, like your man, woundwort, in the RAMC. So in a sense he is Clive Irvine in reverse : starting with Divinity and reverting to Medicine. His brother, my grandfather, was actually a chaplain on the Western Front.

Uncle Llew, we called him. He was a GP in Cold Harbour Lane, Brixton, and died in the mid 1960s. He was born in 1893.

I'll try and get my ducks in a row on this. He had anecdotes about the experience of the war in East Africa, which I only heard second hand from my grandfather.

First port of call : Jesus College, Oxford. .... as luck would have it, my old stomping ground, too !

edit : Apparently there is a record of his enlistment in Treorchy in 1914. He was commissioned in the Royal Welch Fusiliers

( don't know when) and served in F&F ; then transferred to King's African Rifles and served in East Africa.

Phil (PJA)

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phil andrade

It makes a stark and poignant contrast : a great uncle of mine, from a comfortable and quite privileged background, and a namesake, suffering and dying out there as a porter.

Phil (PJA)

It's amazing how wrong one can be in making assumptions about forebears in the family, isn't it ?

Uncle Llew's father was a lead miner who came down to Treorchy from Cardigan when the lead mines there closed, and he became a coal miner in Treorchy.

So I was wrong about his backgound. The fact that he and his brothers all got out from that dismal place intrigues me.

It's a thought, though, isn't it ? From Treorchy, to Oxford, and then to the RWF, and then to East Africa. ...and a commission, too !

I'm going to meet his grand daughter for the first time in a week or so.

Lovely thing, this kind of research. It not only increases knowledge about the Great War, it enhances knowledge of family and engages the emotions.

Thanks, GWF ! :)

Phil (PJA)

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