Magazine article Geographical

The Forgotten War: As WWI Commemorations Take Place, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya Remember the East Africa Campaign

Magazine article Geographical

The Forgotten War: As WWI Commemorations Take Place, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya Remember the East Africa Campaign

Article excerpt

This month, a memorial service will be held in Kenya's Taita-Taveta county for the loss and capture of the local community 100 years ago. It is one of many services that will take place over the next three years to remember the 95,000 carriers, several thousand soldiers and an estimated 368,000 civilians who died in the East Africa campaign of the First World War.

Discussion of WWI tends to stick to the 'main shows' the battles of the Somme or Ypres, trench warfare and poppy fields. This cultural canon, coupled with the tension of remembering colonial history, neglects the war in East Africa. Edward Paice of the African Research Institute argues that "to call the Great War in East Africa a "sideshow" to the war in Europe may be correct, but it is demeaning. The scale and impact of the campaign were gargantuan.'

For four years, British and German forces fought across an area three times the size of the Third Reich and so far from Europe that conflict continued unknowingly after the armistice. …

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