Remembered Today:

bushfighter1

Loyal North Lancashires in East Africa

993 posts in this topic

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SOUTH FROM KAJIADO

The road to Namanga is the same route that the Loyal North Lancashires marched along.

Eight Mile River is there, followed by the now dry Besil River that the East African Mounted Rifles used so much.

You go over Olekononi Pass, decide which of the hills to the East was the signal station & then move on, with the Ingito Hills battlefield to your West, towards Kedongai whilst Oldoinyo Erok starts to loom above you.

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LONGIDO

Finally you are at Namanga on the GEA border, & ahead of you in the distance rises Longido.

The lads who marched between Kajiado & Longido certainly kept fit.

(A good description of soldiering in this area is contained in "The Story of The East African Mounted Rifles" by C.J.Wilson, the unit MO, which is now published in paperback.)

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Harry, did you get to Voi?

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JASIN

Down on the Indian Ocean coast south of Mombasa, just across the GEA border, is the Suba River on which were two defended British positions at Jasin: a sisal factory & a post.

In January 1915 Lettow concentrated forces at Tanga & attacked the British positions, capturing both.

This shows the Suba above the sisal factory (which has now been removed by scrap metal dealers).

The 1st & 3rd King's African Rifles won five DCMs for gallantry displayed during the fighting across this river, as they vainly tried to prevent the loss of the British positions.

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The British Jasin Memorial panel is in the British & Indian Memorial Cemetery in Tanga.

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Jasin was a turning point in Lettow's appreciation of his capabilities & war aims.

He won an important victory (in London Kitchener was not amused) but he lost one seventh of his regular army officers.

From Jasin onwards Lettow was very careful tactically to preserve his manpower.

Here, in the Tanga European Cemetery, are the graves of Germans killed at Jasin & later engagements around Tanga.

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Alexander Hammerstein (his photograph is in Meinertzhagen's "Army Diary") was a key officer in Lettow's HQ.

He took a bullet in the stomach at Jasin & died of wounds. Lettow felt his death deeply.

This is his grave marker.

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Good stuff Harry, beleive it or not I missed those German graves at Tanga!! I found out later where they were.

Roop

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Yes - please be patient. I bought a new computer in Amsterdam Airport & I'm marching in Slow Time until I get used to it.

I worked up from Voi - Teita - Bura - Mashoti - Maktau - Mbuyuni - Salaita - Taveta - Chala - Ziwani - Jipe - Latema-Reata.

There is so much to see still on the ground.

Sadly global warming is changing the geography as Kilima Njaro's icecap recedes - the Lumi is dry now except in the rains.

Harry

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THE UMBA VALLEY

The British defeat at Jasin affected the 2nd Loyal North Lancashires.

A double-company was sent down the railway from Nairobi, accompanied by a Maxim Gun party from the North West Railway Volunteers, a unit from India.

Their destination was the Umba Valley which runs just north of the GEA border into the sea near Vanga.post-16018-1175528863.jpg

This is the British Customs Post at Vanga, which the Germans had blown up.

The QM came as well "to assist with supplies" (the supply chain was by ocean ship from Kilindini Harbour, Mombasa, offloaded into lighters for landing on the mangrove beaches near Gazi, then on carriers' heads into the CQMS' store in the Umba Valley).

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The British Fort at Vanga

OPERATIONS AROUND VANGA

The Loyal North Lancashires were joined by another Maxim Gun manned by the Bombay Railway Volunteers.

Two 15pr guns were hauled ashore from a British vessel.

A double-company of the 101st Grenadiers (who had stood their ground on the left flank at Tanga until decimated) was also in the area.

The men spent a lot of time on patrols, working closely with the King's African Rifles.

One patrol got up to the sisal factory at Jasin & counted 200 German troops in the area.

Several men were wounded in skirmishes.

Intelligence Agent Percival (later a famous big game hunter) worked with the men on patrol.

After three weeks in the Umba Valley a tactical withdrawal by sea was carried out, & British Forces established themselves nearer to Mombasa.

However the Umba Valley was very unhealthy. Once back in Nairobi 35 Loyal North Lancashires were hospitalised with fever. This operation, along with other operations on the equally unhealthy Lake Victoria shoreline, started a decline in the fitness of the Bn.

Vanga is fairly remote, & a good example of a well laid out, clean Swahili town. Such towns used to run all along the Coast from Somalia down to Mozambique.

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Great to see the "Usoga" still there but she's obvously looking a bit worse for wear now. Judging from the 'camouflage' any ideas as to when she was last used.

Excellent stuff Harry, hope there's much more to come.

Steve

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Steve. These two images from the Nairobi Railway Museum give a clue.

(This Museum is a must - lots of stuff & images there from the German Moshi - Tanga line also.)

Harry

Great to see the "Usoga" still there but she's obvously looking a bit worse for wear now. Judging from the 'camouflage' any ideas as to when she was last used.

Excellent stuff Harry, hope there's much more to come.

Steve

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Another Usoga postcard from the Nairobi Railway Museum

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And a more industrial postcard image of Usoga at Kisumu Pier

(SteveE. Reference previous discussions - "The Meinertzhagen Mystery - the life & legend of a colossal fraud" by Brian Garfield, Potomac Books, is available through Amazon. It doesn't cover Bukoba but dissects Tanga & other BEA activities.)

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Kilindini at Mombasa is where most British servicemen first came ashore in BEA.

Ferries still run across the harbour mouth, linking Mombasa with the South Coast, just as they did in 1915.

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The Mombasa British Memorial stands amidst scattered World War 1 graves in Mombasa (Mbaraki) Cemetery.

It commemorates servicemen buried at sea off the coast of East Africa.

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This railway bridge over the Tsavo River was a prime target for German demolition patrols.

The stonework is original.

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THE UPPER TSAVO VALLEY

Thick impenetrable thorn bush, then suddenly a lava flow - an excellent place to position an Observation Post. Just as it was 90 years ago.

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Rhodesia Bridge, Tsavo River

2nd Rhodesia Regiment, using their native African skills, fought very well in the Upper Tsavo Valley.

They experimented tactically & introduced new concepts to counter aggressive German patrolling.

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Rough terrain in the Upper Tsavo.

German & British patrols could be very close in the thick bush yet be unaware of each other's presence.

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MZIMA SPRINGS

Suddenly in the middle of the dense, dry thorn-bush of the Upper Tsavo you come across Mzima Springs - crystal clear water with hippo gently cavorting.

Water that men fought & died for.

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SENTRY, MZIMA SPRINGS

The German Askari were adept at using trees for sentry posts, as were the King's African Rifles & African Armed Scouts employed by British units.

This particular chap is also extremely adept at quickly removing the best contents of a packed lunch, even if you are holding them.

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The modern road from Tsavo Valley to Maktau runs straight.

In World War 1 there was no road, just game tracks in the bush, & no water to find inbetween.

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Observers in the bush north of Maktau

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