Africa and the First World War

We are in the process of remembering the first World War….the world’s first modern war…..and the beginning of American interventionism….we all should study the causes and the effects……for this war created the world we know today.

A friend was teaching a class on the First World War….he knew of my interests on the conflict and asked if I knew anything about the war’s effect on Africa…I told him I knew more about the conflict and the Middle East but he asked if I would come lecture to his class on the African campaign….

ASkara soldiers at shooting practice in German East Africa

A million people died in East Africa alone during the First World War. Many Africans also fought in Europe, defending the interests of their colonial masters. Today, their sacrifice has been largely forgotten.

The most impressive monument for African victims of the First World War (1914-1918) is not to be found in Africa but in France. At the battle of Delville, one of the engagements of the Battle of the Somme in 1916, the South African 1st Infantry Brigade sustained heavy casualties. John Del Monde knows the site well. He is a member of the board of the South African Legion veterans’ association. Together with partner associations from other Commonwealth member states, he has made it his life’s work to keep alive the memory of all those who fought for the British monarchy. To mark the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, ceremonies are being held in South Africa and Namibia and a new monument unveiled in Flanders, Del Monde told DW.

Source: Africa and the First World War | World War I | DW.COM | 16.04.2014

I was pleased to see the interests that the students showed in this part of the conflict……few sources on World War One seldom mention the deaths by Africans that fought in Europe….

I hope this lecture help some realize the scope of the deaths in WW1.


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