Guerrillas of Tsavo – Safari of Remembrance – WW1 Commemorations – August Newsletter

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News from Guerrillas of Tsavo

Thank you for all the lovely emails about our last newsletter. Hope you enjoy this one just as much. We have loads of interesting news this month including updates on the Refurbishment of the East African Campaign Display at Taita and the African Memorial to the Missing in Mombasa.

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2018 Safari of Remembrance

Starting in Nairobi on the 10th November, James will be hosting a 18 day Safari of Remembrancethrough East Africa ending in Nairobi on 25th November, after attending the Taita Commemorations marking the End of the East African Campaign.
BOOKING DEADLINE for this safari is 15th AUGUST 2018.
Click here for more information about the Safari

Follow us on Twitter & Facebook

The Guerrillas of Tsavo social media pages (especially Twitter) have been really busy over the last month. We have been posting snippets of information about day to day events from the East African Campaign as well as remembering some of those who lost their lives.

Kenya Commemorations Weekend in Taita – 23-24 November 2018

Tsavo Heritage Foundation and Sarova Hotels have taken the lead in organising the 2018 Commemorations to mark the end of the East African Campaign of the First World War in Kenya.
We will be sharing the official program as we receive it.

Taita Exhibit Refurbishment Update

A huge thank you to everyone who has helped to make this refurbishment happen. As of the 7th August 2018, Kshs293,781.00 has been raised. With a target of Kshs450,000, this means we have raised over 65% of the budget.
The first panel (8ft x 4ft); a stylised map showing the locations and descriptions of the First World War sites in the Taita Taveta Area; has now been installed.
Steve Manners reports that the model of Mashoti Fort is coming along and will tentatively be finished in September. Below are a couple of photos that he has shared with us. "The base is made from white plastic foam board to keep things light but we haven’t coloured it yet so it looks a bit "Arctic"!
We are also looking for a Heliograph for the display to show how difficult it was to communicate before the mobile phone. If anyone has one lying in a cupboard and are willing to loan it to the exhibit we would love to hear from you.

The African Memorial to the Missing in Mombasa – Refurbishment Update

From David McDonald -Technical Manager (Works) for Africa & Asia Pacific Area at CWGC via Twitter!
The 3D scans (above) that were done earlier in the year have allowed the team at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to accurately replicate a new staff. This is printed in nylon and hand finished by an artist. A mould will then be taken to cast the final piece in metal.
The rear strap holding the Carriers water bottle has also been lost. We used our scanning data to 3D print a replica of a section of his back. Our specialist craftsman will use this to sculpt a new strap in clay, and then make a mould to cast a new strap in metal in the same method as the staff above.

The panel from the Mombasa African Memorial has been beautifully restored by Andy Mitchell and 3D Scanned by @3DScannersUK.

The panel will be back in Mombasa and reinstalled in late August. The panel has the following inscription written by Rudyard Kipling in English, Swahili, Swahili written in Arabic characters and at the bottom Arabic:
This is to the memory of the Arab and Native African troops who fought,
to the Carrier Corps who were the feet and hands of the army,
and to all other men who served and died for their king and country
in Eastern Africa in the Great War 1914-1918.

East African Campaign Digital Roll Call

A Digital Memorial remembering all who were involved in the East African Campaign of the First World War is still a work in progress as we try to connect the inner workings of the new website.

We will be remembering not only those who died but also those who survived some of whom even went on to flight in other theaters like Captain Henry Valder Kershaw:

Captain Henry Valder Kershaw, London Regiment, who fell in action on September 15th, 1916, was the eldest son of Mrs. Kershaw, and brother to Mrs. Hudson, 36, Grand Avenue, Muswell Hill. During his leave both in civil and military life he stayed at that address.

When the war broke out Captain Kershaw, who was the youngest Volunteer Officer in the South African Campaign, was deputy Chief Accountant on the Uganda Railway, Nairobi, and had brilliant prospects in the Colonial Government service. He at once resigned his post to see active service in the British East African campaign (holding the rank of major), and was invalided out with para-typhoid. At the request of his chief he then resumed his duties on the Uganda Railway, devoting his spare time to organising the Nairobi Defence Force, of which he was subsequently made commanding officer. Returning to England he was, in view of his impaired state of health, offered the choice of a home command and one in a regiment stationed at the base. He refused both, and pleaded to be sent to the fighting line as quickly as possible. His desire was granted. Within a few weeks of his arrival at the Front he was killed leading his men into action. Captain Kershaw was at one time in Holy Orders in Jamaica, being appointed as a deacon. The former Bishop of Jamaica, who is at present in England, describes him as "a straight, manly Christian, and had a splendid influence in Jamaica. He was a gifted reader, and was a great influence for good in the Church life of that island." To his work as a soldier his Commanding Officer pays high tribute as follows: "With him we lose one of the very best of officers. We all thought it was splendid of him to come out here when he might have rested after the African campaign. He was simply full of keenness and energy, and he had trained his company to the highest pitch. . . . He leaves a gap which we cannot fill. . . . His memory will always live in the history of the regiment." King’s College Review, Dec. 1916.

On the 16th November 1916, Governor Belfield wrote the following endorsement of Capt Kershaw’s East African Campaign Service. It was published in the Kenya Gazette 20 June 1917

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He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on the Uganda Railways WW1 Memorial now hanging in the Nairobi Railway Museum.

What is the Great War in Africa Association?

The Great War in Africa Association (GWAA) is an international free association of people interested in sharing and learning about the First World War in Africa. It acts as a hub of information directing researchers to relevant material rather than duplicating what is already available.
It has a number of aims:

  1. Bring researchers of the African campaigns together
  2. Signpost those interested in the campaigns to relevant sources of information
  3. Help those living and working in Africa to understand these little-known episodes of their history and to realise the economic potential of the historical heritage on their own doorstep.
  4. Remember those of all countries involved who were affected by the campaigns, then and now
Having started life as the Great War in East Africa Association in 2011, GWAA now covers the whole of Africa and is starting to include African participation in Europe.

In addition to a bibliography of all known books, articles, novels, films on the war in Africa, it contains ever-growing lists of those known to have been involved in the conflicts irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion and age.

Visit the GWAA website for more information: www.gweaa.com

Away from the Western Front – Creative Writing Competition

Away from the Western Front are inviting entries for their 2018 creative writing competition. "We are looking for poetry or short stories, and the main criterion is that they must be inspired by the First World War away from the Western Front" – such as the East African Campaign.

The deadline for entries is 14th September 2018.
To enter and for more information click here

Head & The Load – Review

The Head and The Load – a William Kentridge Exhibition.
Wednesday 11 July 2018 was the premiere of the William Kentridge exhibition The Head and The Load – the telling of the story of the carriers of World War 1. Ann Samson from the Great War in Africa Association went to the premiere and writes "to be honest, I hadn’t been sure whether or not I wanted to see it, but prompted by David McDonald (CWGC) I went and am glad to have done so." Ann goes on to say "The Head and The Load shows how knowledge of the diversity of men and women involved has filtered through – this was most refreshing."

"A very effective scene was the apparent never-ending carrying of the loads, the use of cut-outs and lighting to create large shadows on the wall behind of the diversity of load transported, as many of the wide-pan photos of carrier lines indicate." Read the rest of Ann’s review here.

The video of the performance is available for a limited time on the Royal Opera Arts website. Click here or on the picture above to watch it online:

Guerrillas of Tsavo book is available from:

Guerillas of Tsavo – Retail & Wholesale
Textbook Centre – Nairobi
Kenya Museum Society Shop – Nairobi
Spinners Web – Nairobi
Johari Glass Gift Shop – Diani Beach
Between the Lines – Nairobi
Great War in Africa Association – UK
Polka Dots Art Gallery – Karen
Juttsons – Nanyuki
Paper Connections – Mombasa
BookStop – Nairobi
Aero Club – Nairobi
Kant Stationers – Mombasa
Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens – Nairobi

Upcoming Events

Acts of Remembrance on 11th November

There will be Acts of Remembrance taking place at

  • CWGC Ngong, Nairobi.
  • CWGC Mbaraki, Mombasa.
  • CWGC Nanyuki.
  • CWGC Gilgil.
  • CWGC Dar es Salaam.

We will share more information in due course.

Taita Commemoration Weekend 23-25 Nov

Tsavo Heritage Foundation and Sarova Hotels have taken the lead in organising the 2018 Commemorations to mark the end of the East African Campaign of the First World War in Kenya.

Zambia Commemorations at Mbale

Please email Anne at the Great War in African Association for more information

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