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Remembered Today:

1st Kings African Rifles P.N Garnett - Karonga Malawi


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I am just starting on the campaign area so for now apart from 'random' internet hits can anyone give me some general advise to help define my search techniques?

I can of course explore schools,

Garnett Lt Philip Nigel, Royal Berkshire attd, 1st Kings African Rifles, died of wounds 11th Sept 1914 aged 23. Son of Herbert and Julia Garnett, Addiscome, Cranboroough Road, Bournemouth, grave 10.

Some records show Princes Charlotte of Wales Own which later amalgamated on numerous occasions finally becoming the Rifles.

the Wikipedia shows no direct links to 1st KAR, if I have it correct his father was a Rear Admiral and we think that his son went to Malawi as a planter as was often the case for older families with reduced fortunes! We share probably a Great Great Grandfather c mid 1850's

I have not yet accessed his pre Africa time, could he have been in a reserve / territorial / university officer (not checked up yet), or would KAR had connecting links. I am also curious to the planting scenario, one of the saddest aspects is my father was Military Attaché in Malawi +/- 1968-72 and in addition my sister and I have been to Malawi many times since! I assume MA should have a responsibility for commonwealth war graves especially as its the result of the only German invasion of Malawi.

I am aware of the online book on Karonga, the War graves in Malawi and have the details.

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A newspaper report in the East African Standard of 8 November 1913 records Lt P N Garnett amongst the passengers arriving in Kilindini on the SS Feldmarschall from Marseilles.

The Nyasaland Times of 23 July 1914 reports: 'The African Lakes Corporation Ltd Steamer "Princess" sailed from Chinde on the 19th inst. with 20 tons Nyasaland cargo and the following passengers:- ......Lieut Garnett, and 53 Rank and File of the 1st K.A.R. and 107 followers from Limbe.....'

The East African Standard of 25 July 1914 reports: 'Captain F S Muirhead and Mr P M[sic] Garnett were passengers by SS Llanstephan Castle with a Company of 1st Battalion King's African Rifles on transfer from Nairobi to Nyasaland.'

The Nyasaland Times of 10 September 1914 reports that Garnett and Muirhead were amongst those seriously wounded north of Karonga.

A report in The East African Standard of 19 September 1914 states: 'Died of Wounds.... Lieutenant P N Garnett 1st Battalion K.A.R. and Royal Berkshire Regiment...'

An advertisement in The Nyasaland Times of 24 December shows that the firm of A J Storey 'will offer for Sale By Auction at Zomba on Saturday Jan 9th at 3 PM the effects of the late P N Garnett. Includes, 400/450 Rifle and 66 rounds; 12 Bore Shot Gun, Golf Sticks, Fishing Tackle, Clothing, Provisions, Bedding, Bath and other effects.'

Last one is a bit sad.

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De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour 1914-1919:

GARNETT, PHILIP NIGEL, Lieut. , Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire Regt.); b. 4 Nov. 1886; was gazetted 2nd Lieut. Royal Berkshire Regt. 4 May, 1907, and promoted Lieut. 5 Sep. 1911, being seconded for service with the 1st (Central Africa) Batt. King's African Rifles in Oct. 1913; served in the European War, and died about Sept. 1914, from wounds received in Nyassaland.

UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects:

When and where Died and Cause of Death: 9th September 1914. Kasoa Stream, North Nyasa District. Killed in action.

Name: Philip Nigel Garnett

Age: 27

Nationality and Rank, Profession or Occupation: British-Lieutenant Royal Berkshire Regiment Seconded for service 1/K.A.R.

Residence at the time of Death: Karonga

Length of Residence in the Protectorate: 1 month & 3 weeks

Signature, Description Residence of Informant: E.L. Baxter Capt. 1st K.A.R. Staff Officer, N.F.F

The following were also reported as KIA at Kasoa Stream on 9 September 1914:

Vincent John Dawson Ascott, British Planter, Member of Nyasaland Volunteer Reserve

John Leslie Caldecott, British-Lieutenant R.G.A., A.D.C. to H.E. The Governor


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Thanks to you both, you have between you multiplied my knowledge by x,000 %.

I am amazed how people find out all this Information and I am very grateful too, not sure how you all do it though!

Does this mean he held a regular commission before being seconded?

British-Lieutenant Royal Berkshire Regiment Seconded for service 1/K.A.R.

Does it follow that one of you has read the book Battle of Karonga, which I can download from the web $14. (aim to purchase is it interesting?)


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I haven't read the book but you can read this online for free -


1911 Census: Return for Fort Burgoyne, The Red Huts, Military Quarters at Castle Hill and Broadlees, Langdon Fort. Civil Parish: Guston. Sub Registration District: St Margarets at Cliffe. Registration District: Dover, Kent

Philip Nigel Garnett (23), 2/Lieutenant Royal Berkshire Regiment. Born Kings Lynn, Norfolk.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I will start reading ( I found a copy) Tip and Run by Edward Paice (The untold tragedy of the Great War in Africa), if any one is looking for anything in particular with ref to their interests let me know. It does have an interesting map called what Africa might have been in 1916, I can scan and send if there is any interest.

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