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Remembered Today:

Loyal North Lancashires in East Africa


bushfighter1

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Taveta Indian Cemetery

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Taveta Military Cemetery

Most of the dead commemorated here were killed in the Latema-Reata Nek Battle.

I found a good feeling here - British, African & German dead are all together, side by side.

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Superb photos. Thank you for sharing them with us

Kate

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The military railway crosses the Voi - Taveta road many times in search of the best gradient.

This is near Bura.

As the rail line pushed westwards from Voi German demolition patrols targeted it, derailing trains.

An armoured train (strengthened in the railway workshops) was used by the Loyal North Lancashires to patrol the line. Unfortunately it could not move quietly, & so enemy patrols could prepare a reception for it. This armoured train was blown off the rails from time to time.

On 29 September 1915 scouts reported that German troops were south of Bura. Captain Stokes & a Loyal North Lancashire party went out from Bura on the armoured train but were badly ambushed after dismounting from it.

Meanwhile a patrol under 2/Lt Almond, who was the RSM at Tanga, heard the firing & moved towards it. 2/Lt Almond ran into a German patrol & charged it with the bayonet.

Fourteen Loyal North Lancashires were killed in action, including Capt Stokes & 2/Lt Almond, five were wounded & four were missing.

The Loyal North Lancashires dead were buried at Bura that evening (& later transferred to Voi Cemetery).

German casualties were always hard to ascertain as their troops evacuated dead & wounded whenever possible.

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A bush scene along the military railway.

Two Railway Companies had been sent from India & they performed well on constructing & maintaining the Voi - Taveta - Moshi military railway, & later in repairing & maintaining the damaged rail lines in German East Africa.

Bush had to be cleared on each side of the track (& then cleared again after each spell of rain) & stacks of wood for fuel placed at stations along the line & continually replenished.

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Good Stuff Harry!

The railway was instigated by Smith Dorrien whilst briefly GOC East Africa. Originally it was laid flat on the gound with minimal engineering and no embankments. This resulted in the line sinking into the gound duiring the rainy season and many derailments. Due to this, heavy equipment was taken overland from Voi to Mbuyuni, the road from Voi to maktau being built by the the Faridkot S&P in early 1916. The railway was rebuilt around 1929.

Roop

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The old stations along the Voi - Taveta line can be found in the bush & although the structures may be post-1916 the underground water storage system has not changed.

This line used to operate on three days per week until it was closed several years ago.

Now a railway privatisation effort is under way in Kenya & hopefully the line will be restored.

If you wander away from these stations you soon find traces of trenches & Machine Gun posts.

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The modern Voi - Taveta road near Mashoti

Mashoti Camp was garrisoned by the Loyal North Lancashires for a time & the defensive layout can still be traced on the ground.

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North of Salaita Hill

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Elephant were annoyed at the construction of the military railway across their trails, & they often disrupted work.

Troops on the ground werre always cautious of elephant as they did not want to provoke a charge.

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Salaita Hill south summit from the east.

Advancing in formation through thorn bush was difficult.

On 12 February 1916 the Mounted Infantry Company secured this left flank, the Loyal North Lancashires faced the hill with the Rhodesians on their left & 130 Baluch on their right.

Logan's Battery was to the rear (this was the first occasion in East Africa when Forward Observation Officers were deployed with the infantry).

Then the Voi - Taveta road curved round this south side of the hill, now it passes the hill to the north.

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Salaita Hill North summit from the East

A German structure is visible on top of the hill.

The right flank was watched by Belfield's Scouts who lost contact with HQ.

The South African infantry attacked around the right hand side of the hill closely supported by 28 Mountain Battery but a strong German counter attack broke the South African effort, & they withdrew, sometimes at speed, covered by the Loyal North Lancashire Machine Guns & Logan's Battery.

30 South Africans were missing in the bush & never seen again. This area contained many lion.

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German Observation Post

Yours truly grimly defies gravity

Salaita Hill in the background

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The Baobab Tree used as the OP. It is hollow inside the lower trunk with an aperture for observation.

Perhaps it was from here that the South African attack was first spotted.

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Well done that man!! The forum is becoming a bit of a mecca for pensioners in boababs, see my previous post fo evidence.

Roop

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Looking South from Chala Crater Lake rim across Taveta to the Pare Mountains

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Lake Jipe is rarely visited but is a beautiful place, with the Pare Mountains rising on the GEA side.

The Mounted Infantry Company did a lot of work at the southern end of the Lake, preparing for 3rd King's African Rifles (Eastern Column)'s advance into the Northern Pare Mountains.

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Lake Jipe

Elephant amble in & out of the reed beds.

The Park staff can take you out on a boat or hire you a simple room.

This is a good place to drop out for a time & reflect.

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Lake Jipe

At the northern end of the Lake the Lumi runs in from the North & the Ruvu curves West around the edge of the Pare hills to meet the Pangani near Kahe.

Here you get a good sense of the natural obstacles facing the British advance into GEA.

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Latema-Reata Nek

From the left the order is: Reata - the Nek (Pass) - Latema

Logan's Battery was forward in the sisal fields.

The Mounted Infantry Company secured the left flank below Reata.

The Loyal North Lancashire Machine Gun Company was on the right flank below Latema summit.

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The Nek (on the skyline)

The South African mounted troops could move cross-country from Chala to Moshi, & 3 King's African Rifles could march to the south through the Pare Mountains.

But to get the British artillery & supplies forward the Nek had to be taken, so that the Moshi road running through it could be used, & the military railway line extended alongside it.

The Germans defended the position vigorously.

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Reata (from the Northeast)

The mounted Infantry Company was ordered on reconnaissance to the eastern flank of Reata, through what was then dense forest, where it came under enemy fire, returning fire with the company Machine Gun.

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Latema Western Flank

The Mounted Infantry Company was now ordered to move below the Nek & to protect the left flank of the British assault.

The Company entrenched there.

The 1st East African Brigade assault & subsequent assaults, were driven back, but pockets of British troops did gain positions on the Latema ridgeline.

There was tough fighting in the Nek & on the Latema slopes.

The Mounted Infantry Company War Diary states that the British artillery did not fire during the night.

This was a night for sharp bayonets & determined men.

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No 10 Heavy Battery RMA was indeed in position and ready for action near Taveta but were not called upon to fire.

Roop

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