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Remembered Today:

Under what flag did the nationals of the British colonies fight?


Holger Kotthaus

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Under what flag did the nationals of the British colonies fight?

 

During a list of colonial and national flags and symbols for BNR, Belgian Congo

and GEA, (see attachment) I asked myself under which flag the citizens of other

British colonies and protectorates in East Africa fought?

 

I am thinking of British Nyasaland, Northern and Southern Rhodesia, South Africa,

Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and so on. Which means, NRP, BSAP, and all other units

which are involved in the GW.

 

 

Flags BNR, Belgian Congo, GEA.png

Is my assumption correct that they have gone to war under the Union Jack, as

shown above?

 

Cheers Holger

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I suspect that nationals born in British colonies and protectorates fought under the Union Jack in WWI.

 

But what´s about South Africa? The Union of South Africa was founded on May 31, 1910, and the Union Defence Force in 1913.

The UDF probably had its own flag under which the British South African Police

(BSAP) and the South African Mounted Riflemen (SAMR), fell.

Source: https://www.samirror.com/sapolice-history.html

 

“The South African government formed the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force (SAOEF) in July 1915,

as its contribution to the British war effort against the Central Powers. As South African legislation restricted the

Union Defence Forces (UDF) to operating in southern Africa, an entirely new force, made up of volunteers, had

to be raised for service in other theatres of war. As they were not officially a South African force, the SAOEF

was placed under British operational command for operations on the Western Front.”

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Overseas_Expeditionary_Force

 

If I interpret that correctly, South Africa had an independent status within the states, with its own armed

forces and flag. However, these were only allowed to be used in southern Africa, which also included

DSWA at the time. The volunteers for other theatres of war (GEA?) then fought under the Union Jack?

 

Cheers Holger

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Well, there's this website: https://samilhistory.com/2017/03/15/the-inconvenient-and-unknown-history-of-south-africas-national-flags/.

It indicates that the South African flag during WW1 was the Red Ensign of South Africa (1912–1951) (picture from Wikipedia):

image.png.162add55b1b9269d8cb0d0fbf5501be4.png

Acknown

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On 23/12/2020 at 11:27, Acknown said:

Well, there's this website: https://samilhistory.com/2017/03/15/the-inconvenient-and-unknown-history-of-south-africas-national-flags/.

It indicates that the South African flag during WW1 was the Red Ensign of South Africa (1912–1951) (picture from Wikipedia):

image.png.162add55b1b9269d8cb0d0fbf5501be4.png

Acknown

Acknown,

Your link is the first concrete reference to the flag and South Africa.

Thanks, Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy new year.

Cheers Holger

Edited by Holger Kotthaus
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Holger

You might be interested in this postcard from around March 1915 showing General Botha reviewing his troops somewhere on the railway line between Luderitz and Aus.  Note the very prominent Union Jack.

regards

james

 

image.png.2013685af80fe520fda58736ddbc8336.png

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