Tag: East Africa Campaign WWI

Robert Bell Smart the Royal Engineers Signals Unit

I was recently contacted by Eleanor Smart regarding a collection of photographs belonging to her and concerning her father who served in East Africa during WWI. What follows is her own description of the circumstances of Robert Bell Smart, and a selection of his photographs. Robert Bell Smart.  Born in Glasgow July 1890. Died in Paisley Sept. 1962  My father… Read more →

I Can Never Say Enough About the Men

I had noticed in my general browsing of the web that a new book associated with the East Africa Campaign of World War I had been published, strongly titled I Can never Say Enough About the Men. It did not drift into my orbit, however, and I found no opportunity to read it until I was contacted by Andrew Kerr,… Read more →

The Action Around OK Pass, Somaliland Protectorate, 1st to 3rd March 1919

During the Great War internal security still had to be maintained throughout the vast British Empire.  One continuous problem facing the British was the ongoing insurgency in the Somaliland Protectorate inspired by the Dervish leader Sayyid Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, the so-called ‘Mad Mullah’.  This insurgency had been running sporadically since 1901 and adjacent Italian territory had often been used for… Read more →

Why the Native Regiments and Askari Corps of Africa fought

Colonialism as an institution has been blamed for almost every ill affecting the developing world, particularly Africa, which has limped along with the aid of this crutch for two generations. Africa’s imperial history is as varied as every other aspect of its history, and the colonial experience itself varied from territory to territory. The Germans were probably among the more… Read more →