Battlefield East Africa – Remembering the End of World War I


(Posted 23rd November 2020)

Remembrance for the fallen of World War I in Kenya will take place next weekend in the Taita / Taveta region, a part of the country which suffered the most during the 1914 to 1918 conflict which spread from the main battlefields in Europe to the colonies of Tanganyika and Kenya.
At the very centre lies Taita Hills Safari Resort and Spa, where General Manager Willie Mwadilo has over the past years established a dedicated museum of battlefield finds, collected from the still to be seen trenches which span from the immediate neighbourhood of the lodge and game reserve to Salaita Hill near Taveta and beyond.
Inspired by James Willson Esq., himself a former General Manager of the two lodges when they were still owned and managed by Hilton Hotels, did Willie set out with James and other aficionados of WWI lore in Kenya to re-discover the locations where the troops of German General von Lettow locked horns with a number of British generals, before the appointment of South Africa’s Jan Smuts turned the tide and gave the allies the upper hand in Eastern Africa.
Eileen Willson is coordinating the remembrance event this year and the full programme for next weekend shows locations and timings – with visitors restricted in numbers this year due to the raging pandemic which has not spared Kenya either.

East African Remembrance Weekend Itinerary.

Friday 27th November2020.

13:00hrs. Rendez-vous in Voi (probably Tsavo House). There will be scope for changing, have small bit to eat and a brief session to set the scene and the nature of the East African Campaign in WWI. Trying to organise a snack lunch here, awaiting a price.

15:00hrs. Ceremony at Voi Cemetery to remember the fallen.

15:30hrs. Depart Voi Cemetery for Taita Hills Safari Resort.

18:00hrs. The Last Post at the hotel and drinks, and possibly the opening of the Indian Memorial there (it was scheduled to happen but never did with the advent of Covid). Next door to it is a memorial to the African Soldiers, and to Lieut. Dartnell VC).

19:30hrs. Possible talk by either James Willson or Tom Lawrence on the GEA Campaign.

Saturday 28th November 2020

09:30hrs. Memorial service at Maktau Indian Memorial

11:30hrs. Memorial service in Taveta Cemetery.

12:00hrs. Look at the ‘Old Taveta Police Station’ where the opening shot of the East African Campaign was fired (pending access issues).

13:00hrs. Buffet Lunch at Grogan’s Castle Hotel (1200/- per head)

16:00hrs. Sundowners on Salaita Hill -the site of one of three significant battles on the Taveta Front (200/- entry. Cash bar available.)

Sunday 29th November 2020

James Willson and Tom Lawrence will be available to go with attendees to visit various sites, some of which are on-route back to Nairobi.

Remembrance W/E Rates

Taita Hills Safari Resort

Full board rates

Single: Kshs 9,450 per night (9,450/- per head)

Double: Kshs 12,600 per night (6,300/- per head)

Triple: Kshs 16,380 per night (5,460/- per head)

Grogan’s Castle Hotel

Single Full board Residents Ksh 17,000 Non- residents Ksh 21,250 per night

Half board Residents Ksh15,000 Non-residents Ksh18,750 per night

B & B Residents Ksh12,500 Non-residents Ksh 15,640 per night

Double Full board Residents Ksh35,000 Non-residents Ksh 43,750 per night

Half board Residents Ksh28,000 Non-residents Ksh 35,750 per night

B&B Residents Ksh 25,000 Non-residents Ksh 31,250 per night

For further information please contact

James G Willson 0733811757 or Eileen Willson 0733746281


Best wishes to the attendees of the event, sadly missed by yours truly for being away in Europe.

Added links to past ATCNews articles on this topic:

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