Private 9721 George Henry Heaton served with the LNLR in East Africa:
Please excuse the tardy reply (I was temporarily re-deployed) but thanks for this very useful information. Your Great-Uncle is now on my list.
On 12 April 1915 the 2nd Loyal North Lancashires had its HQ in Nairobi but its companies dispersed around British East Africa. The Bn also provided a daily escort consisting of 1 NCO & 7 men for the mail train between Nairobi & Mombasa (unit War Diary dated 07 April 1915).
When the Bn sailed for East Africa from India in October 1914 two Field Post Offices & a Base Post Office sailed, as part of Indian Expeditionary Force "B", in the troopship "Khosru".
During the construction of the railway line Makindu was a staging point & hospital location. Then the rail line was called the Uganda Railway. It terminated in Kisumu on Lake Victoria where passengers & goods were transferred to steam vessels for the onward move to Uganda. The two dated post marks show just how effective the postal system was up & down the railway.
The Germans targeted the railway quite successfully with long-distance foot patrols from across the German East Africa border to the West. In fact the first damage they caused was on 20 April 1915 when they tried to demolish a three-span 120-foot girder bridge at Mile 218/12 near Makindu ("Permanent Way", by M.F. Hill, page 361).
Please could you send me a scan of both sides of this postcard, as I'd like to use it in a manuscript I'm working on?
For your interest, in the Queen's Lancashire Regimental Museum in Fulwood Barracks, Preston there is an Army Book 358 which on or near page 158 lists 5 men with service in East Africa from 1914 to 1916 or 1917, they are Bird, Wilson, Ginger, Tester & Stear. They were all discharged at Preston in 1921 from the Labour Corps. So the trail your Great-Uncle followed must have been shared by many others whose service in East Africa resulted in medical downgrading & re-employment outside the infantry.
Your Great-Uncle's regimental number indicates that he was serving with the Bn in Bangalore before war was declared. He may not have sailed with the Bn on the troopship "Karmala" in October 1914 because of his relative youth, as only "seasoned men" were taken ("Military Operations East Africa", by Lt Col Charles Hordern, page 520). If he didn't sail with the Bn then he arrived on a draft from the Depot in Bangalore soon afterwards.
Anyway, you can feel extremely proud of him & the military contribution he made.