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Loyal North Lancashires in East Africa


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#901 Phil Elliott

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:43 PM

Bushfighter and Kondoa,

Just a little piece from an autobiography by Gerald Palmer.

"My father was the district engineer of the Beira, Mashonaland and Rhodesia Railway in Umtali, Southern Rhodesia. He was responsible for the track from Salisbury to Beira. During WW1 this was the vital link ferrying English and SA soldiers to the East African war and the costly campaign against Von Lettow's guerillas in Tanganyika. There was torrential rain in 1916 and one night the swollen River Odzi [inland from Umtali] swept away the steel railway bridge. There was overbearing pressure on my father to achieve a speedy repair. The solution was to dismantle another bridge on a less important line near Beira. I was then 6 years old and the picture is still clear in my mind of enormous girders being hauled up through Umtali on flat platform trucks. Pontoons were used; Mashona workers poured concrete into steel caissons, and after a month a trial crossing by steam locomotive took place."

Who Gerald Palmer? Post WW2 he designed the Jowett Javelin and during his BMC stint was responsible for the MG Magnette, Riley Pathfinder, Wolseley, etc. of the 1950's.
There must have been many such families in the area who were caught up, and involved in the logistics of this campaign. I wonder if my Dad and the Cornish 134th. Heavy ever crossed the bridge?

Cheers,

Phil.

#902 KONDOA

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 08:58 PM

Hi Phil,

No the 134th would not cross that bridge. It is an unusual piece because Beira is of course in PEA and Mashonaland in Rhodesia. It is the first inference (I am aware of) that this was a route used for troops to East Africa because most went via sea to Mombasa of course, rail routes existed into Northern Rhodesia and the lakes region.

Thanks for posting it.

Roop

#903 Phil Elliott

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 09:45 PM

Roop,

He was only 6 at the time, and that is not a good age for remembering those details. However, the book was published in 1998, and he had plenty of time to check how correct his recall was. Sadly, he died shortly after publication. Understandably, he has a strong memory of those motor trollies made by Shelvoke and Drury that were propelled by a five man crew. The boys[he had an older brother] often went to Deroy in a special Cabosse, as well as the Wankie colliery, on the line towards Victoria Falls. Finally, his nanny, Mrs Hodgson, had a daughter who married a man called Smith, and their son Ian.......[UDI].

Cheers for now,

Phil.





#904 bushfighter

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 11:34 AM

Phil
Thank you for that post.

Most of the later Southern Rhodesian military effort was directed by bush track into southwestern German East Africa from Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, but initially the 2nd Bn The Rhodesia Regiment used the rail route you mention to move up to Mombasa on the SS Umzumbi from Beira.

Many reinforcements followed the Bn whilst invalided men returned on the reverse of the route.

Harry

#905 KONDOA

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 11:31 AM

Thanks for that Harry, had not realised this.

Roop

#906 clobby

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Posted 03 January 2010 - 04:28 PM

hello, ive just found out my grandad was with the loyal northern lancs. his name was William Bradley joined circa 1906, anybody know the name? thanks..paul

#907 Chris Boonzaier

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Posted 17 March 2010 - 07:17 PM

An Article by Harry..

http://www.kaiserscr...001/198201.html

And the destruction of the tombs on CNN..

http://www.cnn.com/2...x.html?hpt=Sbin

a bit more history wiped out...

#908 bushfighter

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 02:01 PM

DESERTERS FROM 2nd Bn THE LOYAL NORTH LANCASHIRE REGIMENT SERVING WITH THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES


A friend has kindly pointed out PRO CO 534/48 which describes how five Loyals men deserted whilst in East Africa and joined the King's African Rifles under assumed names.
Eventually they were discovered and returned to 2LNL.

9160 Cpl T Dutton changed his details to 68 Sgt J Brown
10131 Cpl GE Spencer changed to 62 Sgt WE Howard
10309 Drummer JVC Heaslip changed to 82 Sgt AJ Phillips
10739 Pte WE Spruce changed to 59 Sgt F Davies
7242 L/Cpl A Mitchell changed to Sgt AH Message

The last-named served in the KAR from 24 December 1917 to 23 August 1918.
There are no further details about the others.
All five had drawn large debit balances against their KAR pay accounts when they were discovered which involved military correspondence.

These details may be of interest to any member researching these men.

#909 bushfighter

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:47 PM

EVACUATION OF BRITISH WOUNDED FROM THE RED HOUSE AFTER THE FIGHT AT TANGA


In Richard Meinertzhagen's book "Army Diary 1899-1926" he is not very complementary about the 2nd Bn The Loyal North Lancashire’s performance in East Africa in WW1. Although Meinertzhagen has been exposed as an untruthful writer his views still predominate in many historical accounts.

On page 101 of his book, when describing a conversation with a German officer at Tanga after the battle (on 6th November 1914), he comments:
" . . . a lighter full of half-naked men of the North Lancs came inshore from a transport and commenced to bathe within fifty yards of us. . ."

Sadly this comment has been repeated elsewhere as military fact, and the impression given is that this was a bathing party.

The men were actually an unarmed casualty evacuation party under command of the 2LNL Quartermaster Major RL Rowley whose account of the incident is in the PRO and the QLR Museum.

These 50 men and Major O’Gorman (The O’Gorman) RAMC manned two large lighters that were slipped offshore from SS Karmala and left to drift in towards the Red House. When a German officer (Captain Wolfe) instructed them to move offshore swimmers jumped into the sea to tow the lighters further out, where anchors were dropped.

Majors Rowley and O’Gorman waded ashore with Private Billings, a 2LNL signaler, and parleyed with Captain Wolfe (there is no mention of Captain Meinertzhagen’s presence). Meanwhile German Askari dug-in around the Red House and had the lighters in their sights.

Meanwhile the British fleet sailed away to the north leaving the evacuation party feeling abandoned.

Eventually about 40 transportable wounded casualties were transferred from the Red House to the lighters, using small boats sent in by SS Barjora which had been converted into a hospital ship. SS Barjora had returned to Tanga and anchored off-shore at about midnight. A steam tug came in to tow the lighters to the Barjora.

This evacuation party had been in the lighters for nearly 30 hours, under a very hot sun during the day-time.

Let us hope that in time the work done by Major Rowley’s evacuation party can be recognized as the achievement that it was.


#910 Sepoy

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:28 PM

What a really interesting topic - I have enjoyed reading it.

Unfortunately, I only have one photograph that I can positively identify as showing men from the Loyal North Lancs in East Africa. The back of the card is marked to show
9802 Private Charles Butcher, 2nd Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment who was killed in action on 29th September, 1915.

Charles was born in Belchamp St Paul, Essex during 1892, the son of George and Julia Butcher. He enlisted in Sudbury, Suffolk.
His body was originally buried in the Bura Military Cemetery, but later reburied in the Voi Cemetery, Kenya.

Sepoy

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#911 Sepoy

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:30 PM

The complete card showing Pte Butcher in the top right corner.

#912 bushfighter

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 04:04 PM

Sepoy
Many thanks for that contribution.
Harry

#913 Olav

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 10:05 AM

-Harry

stumbled upon this in The Times History of war:

Posted Image

just a small contribution

#914 bushfighter

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 04:56 PM

Olav
Many thanks for that image.
Harry

#915 mthatcher61

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 08:35 PM

Great topic on the Loyal North Lancashires. I especially enjoyed reading about Meinertzhagen's remarks about the bathers at Tanga. I had just read those same lines in Farwell yesterday. It's good to find out the truth.
Mark Thatcher

#916 Olav

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Posted 06 December 2010 - 01:37 PM

 Harry

found another one

Posted Image

As you obviously interested in the small, unorthodox Units of this campaign

Could be a pic of the „Arab Corps" of any relevance for you, too?

regards

Olav


#917 bushfighter

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Posted 07 December 2010 - 09:38 AM

Olav
Thank you
The "Arab Corps" may well be Wavell's No 2 Reserve Company known as "Wavell's Arabs".
A very interesting unit recruited solely from Yemeni and Adeni Arabs working on plantations in British East Africa.

They could fight well but both Wavell and his successor in command were killed in enemy ambushes.

Let us see the photo please, as the Germans also had an inneffective Arab Corps on the coast, but their Lake Victoria Arabs fought well at Bukoba.

Harry

#918 Olav

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 09:32 AM

Harry

of course you was right, they´re in fact „Wavells Arab Scouts" instead of „Arab Corps"


Posted Image

Source (as for Coles Scouts, too):

The Times history of the war,Vol. XVI, Chapter CCXLVII: Equatorial Africa during the war


No further mentioning  of these units here. The GEA campaign itself is described in Volumes X, XII and XIX. Although superficial in most ways, they contain some interesting Details
Except Vol. X all others are downloadable as .pdf at www.archive.org


As a footnote to the above:

Contrary to Wavell´s Arabs, the „Araberkorps" of the Schutztruppe earned a devastating reputation as „militaerisch vollkommen unbrauchbar" (totally useless for military purposes) 

at Jassin in January 1915, when the whole unit ran miles away after the first few shots at the initial stage of the battle

Soon afterwards the arabs were replaced step by step by Askari recruits until April 1915, the new formation renamed to 27. Feldkompagnie (Field Coy.)

This unit finally perished in July 1917 after the Battle of Narungombe, when the surviving remainders were transferred to the 6.Schuetzenkompagnie (Riflemen Coy.)

Source: Boell, „Operationen in Ostafrika" and unpublished manuscript

regards

Olav

 

#919 Jim_Grundy

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 08:28 PM

Found an account of a British civilian internee in German East Africa in a local newspaper. In it, there is a report of the death of a member of the Loyal North Lancashires, Pte. Sydney Goddard, which might be of interest.

It's reproduced below:

Reverend John T. Williams:

“I testify personally to the following episodes which occurred during my internment from August, 1914, to October 16th,1916:

“I was in Tanga two days before the outbreak of war, with Mr. Ransome and Miss Burn, of the mission, and the District Commissioner Aurercher refused to allow us to leave by sea. In consequence we were compelled to return to our stations, and were subsequently interned.

“On January 20th, 1915, myself, Archdeacon Birley, Mr. Hellier, Miss Blackburn, Miss Davey, Miss Perrott, and Miss Plant were made to go on foot from Wilhelmsthal to Mombo. We started at 9 a.m., and went without food until 8 p.m. We got to Mombo about 1 p.m., and asked for food at the hotel, for which we were prepared to pay, but we were refused on the ground that no orders were given. At the beginning of the journey we requested that ladies should be carried in native chairs, as is customary in the country. This was refused by our escort, who would not allow us access to the officer in charge at Wilhelmsthal, one Kustlin. At Mombo, Miss Davey fainted with exhaustion and want of food. The commandant merely said: “Anything is good enough for damn Britishers” (‘verfluchte Englanders’).

“At Hardeni there were several hundred Indian prisoners, many wounded. On the 24th January (I refer to my diary here) I saw the prisoners myself, wounded as well as unwounded, some of them hardly able to walk, with bloody bandages, forced into the bush to cut huge logs of firewood. They were guarded by native soldiers, who carried rifles and bayonet in the one hand and a kiboko in the other; and whenever the prisoner halted for a moment he was struck on the head or back with a rifle or kiboko, according to the convenience of the guard. I also saw that same day a squad of wounded Indians escorted to the hospital, meeting the same treatment on the way. It made my blood boil.

“We left Handeni on the 21st January. Before leaving Handeni (as before leaving Korogwe) we asked for our tents and for mosquito nets. We approached the commandant, under-commandant, and another German officer, but met with no answer at all. A Greek who was placed in charge of the porters for the safari also protested about these arrangements, an even offered to give up his own tent for the ladies. He informed us that he was told that if he showed such interest in the English prisoners he would be ‘suspect’.

“On the 3rd February, 1915, at a station on our route to Kimamba, the men of our party were compelled to sleep in the open with no protection of any kind, and the ladies were compelled to sleep in a shed with an open doorway. That day a party of German soldiers pitched their tents in front of the ladies’ sleeping place, and stripped and had their bath there, despite my protests. The next day the men of our party were forced to sleep in an open shed, which, having been used for slaughter of cattle, was in the filthiest condition imaginable. We protested, and even asked to be allowed to sleep outside. The request was refused. In consequence, Mr. Hellier and myself contracted tick fever, from which we suffered for two months.

“On February 8th, at Kimbamba, Mr. Hellier, Archdeacon Birley, and myself were going to sleep on a bataza which had been allotted to us by the Germa in charge, when a German sergeant arrived and ordered us to sleep in the open, despite the fact that he had a tent, and the weather was pouring with rain. He would not even allow us to occupy his tent. The soldier in charge of the station regretted this treatment, but was powerless, as he was only a private.

“On February 11th, we were compelled to march from 6.40 a.m. to 2.30 p.m., from Mpapwa to Kiberiani, at an altitude of 6,000 feet, about a journey of 29 miles. We asked for some means of conveyance for the ladies, and were refused, although there were horses and donkeys at the fort, and native chairs could easily have been obtained. We had no food on the road, although the guard were provided. The weather was terribly hot, and Miss Davey and Miss Blackburn broke down at about midday with exhaustion, and had to be helped for the remainder of the distance. On arrival at Kiberiani the soldier in charge, Dorrendorf, compelled the ladies to open their boxe and hold up all their garments to the view of the askaris and porters in the camp. To our protest, he answered that he was so ordered from Morogoro.

“On March 8th, Dorrendorf paraded us all, and raved at us, and I heard the word ‘swine’ used. This was because we had not taken off our hats to him. Next day a planter, named Malcolm Rose, was sentenced to three days cells for not saluting Dorrendorf. The cell was a tiny grass hut in a very incomplete condition. The weather was terribly cold. It rained every morning and there was thick mist surrounding the whole country. Ross was put on bread and water and was allowed only one blanket. We could not be comfortable with overcoats and a big fire in our store-building. When Ross was consigned to this cell we all protested to Dorrendorf, and said it would kill Ross. Dorrendorf said, “Very good” (Haya).

“A number of the prisoners had their own private beds. On the 13th March these were commandeered, we were told by the Government. The owners had to sleep for a whole month on the stone floor until native beds were brought. In answer to protests, Dorrendorf stopped our fires.

“I had been suffering from thick fever since the 14th February, and on the 24th March by order of the doctor at Morogoro, I was carried to the hospital there. Dorrendorf went in charge of me, and though he had his food with him, I was given neither food nor water from 4 a.m. till 5 p.m., on my arrival. On our halt at Kilessa, where there is a hotel, Dorrendorf went to eat, but refused me permission to buy food.

“From May 28th, 1915, to April 23rd 1916, I was at Tabora. During that period everyone had to work, except the clergy and officers. No other civilians were exempt. Daily I saw British prisoners drawing and carrying water emptying latrines – their own, the Germans, and even those of the native askaris. I saw our men working in the hot sub, digging the shambas, with inadequate headgear, some without footwear, and many with hardly any clothing. I saw batches of British prisoners sent to the station a mile away to drag a lorry of cement for native masons to work with – this despite the fact there were many native prisoners. One of the guards, Muller, time after time sent the British prisoners to draw water, which was merely thrown away. I have seen him go into the latrines and pull men from the seats to force them to work. One day he threw a bucket of water over a sailor named Ball, who was lying on his bed. On July 14th we sent in a protest to the commandant, Brandt, about our treatment in the camp. A message was sent to us that prisoners had no rights.

“On November 22nd, a man named Jackson told me that one of the guards named Erich had kicked him, sworn at him, and threatened him with a revolver. On December 10th I saw Erich bringing back three escaped prisoners (two British and one Indian) in handcuffs, and I saw him strike one named Roetz (a Boer) on the back with the butt of his rifle. On December 16th I saw Erich strike Indian prisoners working with a stick. On December 30th a corporal of the [Loyal] North Lancashires named Goddard was given three days cells without trial for an alleged offence of which he knew nothing.

“I was at Tanga from May 13th to May 27th, and there 110 prisoners, mostly British, were kept in a small enclosure, most of them without a change of clothing for ten days, although their boxes were just outside the fence. We were refused access to the commandant during this time.

“On the 19th he again paraded us, and said if any protests were sent, the person responsible would get three years, and the others six months. He added that as prisoners we had no rights, and he was surprised that a lot of swine like us should so behave. We were simply liable to be dealt with according to the German military punishment book. Two prisoners died there, one – Corporal Goddard [1], from blackwater fever, and the other, Private Chance [2], from dysentery. Goddard was not taken to the hospital at all, and Chance only the day before his death. Proper food was not sent in for them, and Chance ought to have had milk, but got none. The commandant saw these men, but did nothing for them, and the German doctor who visited the encampment was drunk every time I saw him.

“On September 16th, when leaving Mahenge, I had to go with one loaf, and my boxes were detained, and I have not seen them since. I was not allowed to hire porters, although I asked permission. I told the commandant I would hold him responsible. He seized me and shook me, called me ‘Swine!’ and ordered the guard in change to tie me to a tree for two hours a day for three days – (Signed) John T. Williams”.

’Mansfield Chronicle’, 27th September 1917.

[1] 9177 Corporal S. Goddard, 2nd Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, died 3rd September 1915. Buried Iringa Cemetery, Tanzania. Iringa is on the top of a mountain, 505 kilometres west of Dar-Es-Salaam via Morogoro.

[2] 4928 Pte. F. Chance, 5th South African Infantry, died 20th September 1916 and also buried in Iringa Cemetery.

An article in the New York Times was published about the conduct of the Germans towards their captives on 21st October 1917. Dorendorf (as it is given in that article) gets a mention: http://query.nytimes...78BD95F438185F9

Hope it's of some interest.

Regards,


Jim

#920 james w

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 10:07 PM

Just to add to Jim's excellent piece on being a civilian internee in German East Africa I have a few more references to Loyal North Lancashire men dying in captivity which might be of interest.

All these come from 'Two Years' Captivity in German East Africa' by Surgeon E.C. Holtom (see my In German Gaols post starting 02/03/10 for more on him).

Holtom recalls:

"I remember that it was just at this time that I was treating a private of the Loyal North Lancashires for a very bad attack of the deadly blackwater fever. Fortunately one of the English mission nurses was in the camp, and so the poor chap was better off than if his nursing had to be entrusted to the rough kindness of his pals. Nevertheless, all our efforts were powerless to save him and he died on July 13th [1915]. A rough coffin was made, and that same afternoon we buried him in the little graveyard up the hill, about a quarter of a mile from the Boma [Kilimatinde]. All the prisoners were allowed (under guard) to attend the funeral, and the Kommandant himself accompanied the procession to the graveside, where the service was conducted by Archdeacon Hallett, who was among the interned missionaries. Later we were given permission to erect a monument over the grave, and as there was a skilled carpenter among us, we were able to put up a really fine cross to his memory."

Nearly a year later blackwater fever strikes again.

"In April [1916] we had another death at Kilimatinde. One of the soldiers, another Loyal North Lancashire man, O'Neil by name, succumbed to blackwater fever. We had to bury him on the day he died, and, as he was a Roman Catholic, the service was conducted by a German priest who came from a Catholic Mission Station situated in the Wagogo plain, and not far from the Boma. This Father gave a short address at the graveside, in which he laid stress on the fact that Death must end all enmity, and that we all hoped to rise again to one Eternal Brotherhood. As he spoke in German few of us could understand him, but we appreciated his evident sincerity and good will."

Holtom as a medical officer had many men (military and civilians) to care for as he remembers:

"Among them was a private of the Loyal North Lancashires who had been captured at Tanga. This poor chap had had his leg amputed above the knee, and I made many efforts to get him sent home or exchanged, but the Germans, whilst admitting that he was no longer fit for active service, maintained that it was impossible to get into touch and hand him over. My own impression is that no effort to do so was ever made."

There is no further mention of the man so it is unclear if he survived the war.

Finally Holtom records the death of Goddard referred to in Jim's post.

"At 1am on June 30th [1916] Goddard, of the Loyal North Lancashires, died of blackwater fever after a very short illness. All the prisoners, who were fit to do so, followed his body to the little cemetery on the side of the hill [at Mahenge], and Brother John, a member of the English mission working in German East Africa, who had accompanied the men from Tabora to look after their spiritual welfare, read the service over his grave. Later the Germans raised a cross to Goddard's memory. I saw it before I left."

james w

#921 bushfighter

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 12:50 PM

Jim & James
Many thanks for your excellent contributions.

As yet I cannot name Holtom's first deceased.
Probably CWGC did not know exactly when he died and so he will be listed under another date.

Harry

#922 SteveE

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Posted 07 January 2011 - 01:25 PM

As yet I cannot name Holtom's first deceased.
Probably CWGC did not know exactly when he died and so he will be listed under another date.

I think you're probably right Harry especially as the other LNL man, Goddard, is recorded by CWGC as being a casualty on 3rd September 1915 (the date he went missing) rather than the date as recorded by Holtom.

Steve

#923 Jim_Grundy

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Posted 08 January 2011 - 07:58 AM

I think you're probably right Harry especially as the other LNL man, Goddard, is recorded by CWGC as being a casualty on 3rd September 1915 (the date he went missing) rather than the date as recorded by Holtom.

Steve


I wondered about the gap between the two deaths reported by Williams in his account based on CWGC records. Makes perfect sense that the Commission, without access to any further information, assumed he died the day he went missing. Might be worth bringing this discrepancy to their attention.

#924 francesca007

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:30 PM

William

Thank you for that.

I have been intrigued by today's REMEMBERING TODAY subject: Lieutenant John Edward McMICHAEL, 4th/3rd Kings African Rifles, who died on 12.05.1917, Dar es Salaam war memorial

His CWGC details show a South African background. His MIC shows that he enlisted in Belfield's Scouts - a Boer mounted unit from western British East Africa. He became a 2/Lt on the EA Unattached List and a Lt in 3KAR. But the Great War History of 3KAR makes no mention of him at all, though it lists all dead and wounded British officers.

The Cross of Sacrifice Vol 1 shows that he was first buried in Dar Es Salaam Sea View Cemetery - which makes me think that he died in hospital there. I have a photo of his grave in Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery (not the War Memorial).

4/3KAR had not been formed when he died.

There is perhaps a clue on the brass memorial tablet to KAR officers in Nairobi Protestant Cathedral. There he just could be associated with the Mounted Infantry Company that was raised from 3KAR at the start of the war. His Belfield's Scouts service would have well-qualified him for that role. Sadly the historians have neglected the Mounted Infantry Company and no War Diaries appear to exist.

One day perhaps we will discover his story.

Harry


Hi Harry

I am researching the life of our McMichael cousins in South Africa. John Edward, known as Jack, was born in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, Ireland and emigrated with his family in the late 1800s. I have several photos of him, but the most precious thing is his last letter from the front, which is written in pencil, difficult to read but tells the story well. It was devastating for his family back here to hear of his death and he is named on our local war memorial. There are a few postcards and one has Belfield Scouts on it. With your military knowledge and our limited information, perhaps we could provide a further tribute to him. He was a good man. I have a feeling his brother Robert Francis was killed later, perhaps WW2. He was in the airforce.

It would be lovely to hear from you.

Frances McMichael

#925 francesca007

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Posted 11 January 2011 - 08:34 PM

William

Thank you for that.

I have been intrigued by today's REMEMBERING TODAY subject: Lieutenant John Edward McMICHAEL, 4th/3rd Kings African Rifles, who died on 12.05.1917, Dar es Salaam war memorial

His CWGC details show a South African background. His MIC shows that he enlisted in Belfield's Scouts - a Boer mounted unit from western British East Africa. He became a 2/Lt on the EA Unattached List and a Lt in 3KAR. But the Great War History of 3KAR makes no mention of him at all, though it lists all dead and wounded British officers.

The Cross of Sacrifice Vol 1 shows that he was first buried in Dar Es Salaam Sea View Cemetery - which makes me think that he died in hospital there. I have a photo of his grave in Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery (not the War Memorial).

4/3KAR had not been formed when he died.

There is perhaps a clue on the brass memorial tablet to KAR officers in Nairobi Protestant Cathedral. There he just could be associated with the Mounted Infantry Company that was raised from 3KAR at the start of the war. His Belfield's Scouts service would have well-qualified him for that role. Sadly the historians have neglected the Mounted Infantry Company and no War Diaries appear to exist.

One day perhaps we will discover his story.

Harry


Hi Harry

Is this the day you discover a little of his story? I am researching the life of our McMichael cousins in South Africa. John Edward, known as Jack, was born in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, Ireland and emigrated with his family in the late 1800s. I have several photos of him, but the most precious thing is his last letter from the front, which is written in pencil, difficult to read but tells the story well. It was devastating for his family back here to hear of his death and he is named on our local war memorial. There are a few postcards and one has Belfield Scouts on it. With your military knowledge and our limited information, perhaps we could provide a further tribute to him. He was a good man. I have a feeling his brother Robert Francis was killed later, perhaps WW2. He was in the airforce.

It would be lovely to hear from you.

Frances McMichael



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