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DoubleD

Lieutenant John Lonsdale Sieber, King's African Rifles.

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DoubleD

Lieutenant John Lonsdale Sieber is commemorated on the Perth Academy War Memorial. He is one of the 165 former pupils and staff on the memorial and I would be grateful for any information about him, or any suggestions as to where information could be found, to help in producing a Roll of Honour for the school.

I do have the following information: He served in France from August 1915 with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and was then transferred to the 1st/2nd King's African Rifles, Regimental No. 1971. He was killed in action 17th October 1917 and is buried in Dar es Salaam Cemetery, having been previously buried in Mtama Cemetery. He was the son of John F. C. and A. W. Sieber of 28, Balhousie Street, Perth, and the husband of Margaret Burton Brown (formerly Sieber) of the Glen, Joppa, Portobello , Edinburgh.

Any information at all would be very much appreciated. Thank You.

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bushfighter

Doublers

Greetings

In a week or so, when I'm out of the damp UK and back in the sunshine, I'll dig into my archives and find the 2nd KAR regimental history and a grave photo.

Harry

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DoubleD

That's brilliant! Many thanks.

Dave

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bushfighter

post-20901-0-89644800-1428944630_thumb.j



John Sieber was killed in action at Mahiwa, the biggest battle in the East Africa campaign.


He was in 'A' Company of his battalion. The battalion lost 52% of its European officers and senior ranks, and 54% of its Askari on that day.



The fighting was in dense bush - attack and counter attack all day.


All 8 of the battalion machine guns were knocked out as the crews were either killed or wounded, and all of the supporting artillery Forward Observation Officers were killed or wounded.



1st/2nd KAR lost ground to overwhelming German attacks but re-gained it by desperate bayonet charges.


Finally the battalion, with support from 3rd/2nd KAR, dug in and stayed firm. The enemy withdrew, having suffered comparable casualties.



In some sectors of the battlefield the trees dripped blood for three days from the body parts of soldiers of both sides, thrown up there by artillery fire.



This was a grim battle that neither side won, but the Germans were more resilient and recovered more quickly from the attrition that they had suffered.


They made tactical withdrawals, fighting all the way, and two months later crossed the border into Portuguese East Africa where they continued to fight.



Harry



(Unfortunately there was strong African sunlight shining straight onto this headstone when I photographed it.)


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DoubleD

That is absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much. I am by no means a military historian. As a former teacher at the school I am just helping a group of pupils produce a Roll of Honour for all of the fallen. Any personal history we can find is a real bonus. The school are also holding remembrance services on the 100th anniversary of the death of all 165 from 2014 to 2019. They have held two services already, which received a very positive response from the local community and was very rewarding for the pupils. To be able to read out anything at all about the person behind the name definitely makes these services so much more meaningful for everyone involved.

I am indebted to you already, but to be a bit cheeky, does your area of expertise cover the South Lancashire Regiment? It is amazing the number of regiments which are represented, and where the former pupils were living and working when they enlisted. If it does can I post the details of one more individual who I have no personal information about?

Once again, many thanks for your help.

Dave

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bushfighter

Dave

Just post the South Lancashire details in a new separate thread.

Someone will offer information or advice.

harry

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DoubleD

Thanks for your help. As the individual in question is buried in France I will post it on the soldiers section of the main page.

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Guest Campsie Fells

Dear DoubleD,

I am the great-niece of John Lonsdale Sieber. I have some information about his life that may be of interest. I also have some photographs of his grave, taken last autumn by a friend who is married to a diplomat currently stationed at Dar-es-Salaam.

My grandfather, Alexander Campsie, also attended Perth Academy.

I am interested in what your school is doing to remember the fallen in the First World War. I live in Canada, and Perth is far away, but I would like to support your efforts.

Best wishes,

Philippa Campsie

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DoubleD

Dear Phillipa,

Firstly, I must apologise for the delay in replying to your post. Only two of our Fallen served in Africa, so I haven't returned to this section of the forum for some time.

It is great to hear from you, and I would be happy to share some of the details of what the school is doing.

I'm afraid I am just a keen amateur, and a forum novice, so please bear with me! It is possible to make contact via a pm, but I'm afraid I don't know how to do it.

I have seen on other posts that people have been advised not to put their personal email address on the general forum.

If you pm me your email address I would be delighted to send you information on your great-uncle, and the project in general.

Best wishes,

Dave

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