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capecorps

Cape Corps

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capecorps

Greetings to all. This is my first post. I wonder if you can assist me.

I have recently retired. Casting about me for something to do the other day, I happened upon an old book written by my grandfather's brother, Abe Desmore. The title of the book is "With the Cape Corps thro' Central Africa". Uncle Abe wrote this book shortly after his return from the Great War. It is a record of his experience with the Cape Corps in central Africa.

Perfect, I thought: I’ll write a history of the Cape Corps; easier said than done.

From what I’ve been able to glean from the internet, the Cape Corps was a regiment of Cape Coloreds originally formed in 1781. They fought the British Empire twice and having acquitted themselves well, were duly constituted as an imperial regiment. In this capacity, they fought seven Frontier wars, policed the Cape Colony and were recruited by Cecil Rhodes for service in Rhodesia. They mutinied on occasion, the ringleaders promptly executed or banished to the penal colony of Australia. Several relatives of mine served with the Cape Corps in both WW1 and WW2.

I have lived in Canada for the past forty five years. There is not much in the way of research material for my new project here. I am an amateur at this and I was hoping you could share any information you have as to the Cape Corps in Sub Saharan Africa during WW1 in particular or the history of the Cape Corps in general. Alternatively, it would be appreciated if you could point me in the right direction.

Thanking You

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capecorps

Thanks Ray,

I look foreward to reading Gifford's book on the 1st Battalion. Appears to be a weighty tome. Those photographs are amazing.

I misquoted the title of my great uncle's book. He was with the 2nd Battalion. The title is actually: "With the 2nd Cape Corps thro' Central Africa" published by Citadel Press, Cape Town in 1920. He was an enlisted man who later rose to sergeant. His book therfore does not have the breadth and scope of Gifford's.

Happy Days,

Derek

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Guest rsglotzer

Derek;

I found this site by accident and am happy to have done so. I have written about A.B. Desmore in relation to his educational career. As you no

doubt know he was selected to pursue an advanced degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in the 1930s. Of the many people sponsored by

the Carnegie Corp he is by far one of the most interesting. His intellectual abilities were highly regarded at Columbia but the Union Government was cautious about allowing Africans, coloureds, and Indians, to pursue doctoral degrees. He was not allowed and had to settle for an M.A. although the faculty recommended him for advanced work. Later I understand he spent time in England. I have been desirous of learning and writing more about him for a long time. Are there family members in the Cape that recall him or hold letters documents. I tentatively plan to be in the Cape in July 2016. I teach Social Work at the University of Akron, Akron, Ohio. If you google my name with Carnegie Corporation or South Africa you wil be able to access some of I have written. My name is Richard Glotzer and my e-mail is glotzer@uakron.edu If this is of interest please do contact me. I would be happy to share any materials I come across.

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ShirlD

This is very interesting and welcome to the forum, I think you will find many hours of research and learning here, maybe even years.
My husband's uncle, Christopher Martin Durrant was with the Rhodesian Native Regiment. He was carrying out a training exercise with soldiers of the 2 Cape Corps on the 25 July 1918, when the Stokes Mortar gun malfunctioned and killed him and several of the Cape Corps soldiers. He was initially buried at Mcubi, later to be re-interred in a Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery, Lumbo British Cemetery.
It has been through the information and help on this Forum that we have traced his war records, and filled in the story of his life. He had been listed as with the 2nd Cape Corps, until it was realised he had enlisted in South Africa with BSAP, and the record with CWGC was amended. I mention this to give you one individual's experience of the knowledge and help given so freely. The sub Saharan specialists here are awesome!
Happy research
Cheers
Shirley

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