Border Regiment Officer in King's African Rifles, 1918

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Border Regiment Officer in King's African Rifles, 1918

Postby westmorland » Wed Aug 27, 2008 10:57 am

KAR_Maxim_Gun.jpg
KAR Maxim Gun
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BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KINGS AFRICAN RIFLES (KAR) IN 1918

In the National Archives (CO 534/26) is a list of all the Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers serving in East Africa with the Kings African Rifles on 30 September 1918.Eight Sergeants from 3rd Bn The Border Regiment are listed, with their dates of joining KAR:

11448 Aspinall B., 2nd Bn of 3 KAR, 21 May 1918
35751 Box R.W., 6th Bn of 4 KAR, 21 May 1918
21156 Chestney R., 4th Bn of 3 KAR, 26 November 1917
35760 Dunbavand A.E., Depot of 2 KAR, 21 June 1918
35766 Haldenby T., Depot of 2 KAR, 21 June 1918
35752 Hilton J., 6th Bn of 4 KAR, 21 May 1918
35767 Newman J.A., 6th Bn of 4 KAR, 21 June 1918
35758 Taylor J.R., 4th Bn of 3 KAR, 21 May 1918

The Army List of December 1918 names two Border Regiment officers also serving with KAR units, and their theatre joining dates:

Lieutenant E.W. Shaw, Depot of 4 KAR, 29 September 1917 (Lt Shaw was also from 3rd Bn The Border Regiment.)
Lieutenant F.R.H. Morgan, 3rd Bn of 4 KAR, 11 November 1916 (Lt Morgan had been appointed an Acting Major on 27 February 1918.)

In future posts I will add some details of where the afore-mentioned KAR units were located, and what operations they were involved in.
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES IN 1918

Postby spike » Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:25 pm

Look forward to seeing your further posts, Westmorland.
Were the men seconded to be in charge of the African Units and did they volunteer or were they sent , I wonder ?
SPIKE

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In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES IN 1918

Postby petersloan » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:48 pm

Hi Westmorland,
I live in Blantyre in what is now Malawi and was formerly Nyasaland. We were on the edge of fighting in WW1. We have some war graves, all South African, in Blantyre. Do you know if all the Border men survived?
I'll be interested to hear where they served, I'm guessing Tanzania, Mozambique and maybe Malawi.
Cheers
Peter
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRI

Postby westmorland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:11 am

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Muster Parade
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Hello Spike and PeterThanks.All Offrs and Sgts were volunteers from British Bns (mainly TA Bns).
They had to pass an exam in the Swahili language, which most of them were able to do satisfactorily, and then they received extra pay.Sgts R. Chestney and J.R. Taylor were serving in the 4th Bn of 3 KAR, the Kenya-based KAR Regiment, which was a Training Bn.
They would have been at Mbgathi outside Nairobi, and would have had a pretty easy time of things.An excellent description of their work is given in the last 20 pages of D.W.J. Cuddeford's book "And All For What?" (Naval and Military Press paperback).Harry
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRI

Postby westmorland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:36 pm

1st_Bn_4th_KAR_Regt_Njombe_GEA.jpg
4 KAR Askari in German East Africa
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Lt Shaw was very probably stationed in Bombo, Uganda where 4 KAR Depot was located.Before the war 4 KAR, the Uganda-based KAR Regiment, used to recruit down the River Nile in the Sudan.However during the war the Regiment had to recruit men from Uganda.
There was one problem with this, as men from southern Uganda have a staple diet of several pounds of bananas per day.
These are vegetable bananas made into "matoke", a thick porage.As the war progressed into German East Africa these special bananas became unavailable and the mens' health began to deteriorate because of the lack of them.
This poor health allowed diseases to attack the men, often fatally.
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRI

Postby westmorland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:38 pm

IMG_0276_KAR_recruits_1.JPG
King's African Rifles Recruits

Courtesy of QLR Museum, PrestonSgts A.E. Dunbavand and T. Haldenby were also serving near Nairobi in the Depot of the 2nd King's African Rifles.This may seem surprising because 2 KAR was a Nyasaland-based Bn, recruiting in Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia and Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique).However 2 KAR had been formed during the war in East Africa from the companies of 1 KAR (also Nyasaland-based) that had been serving on the frontiers of British East Africa (now Kenya) when war was declared.

Drafts of Recruits came up to 2 KAR from Nyasaland and passed through the 2 KAR Depot in Nairobi.(Peter, if you can access a copy of the latest - Vol 61, No 1 - Society of Malawi Journal then you will see an initial article I wrote on those 1 KAR companies that were in BEA in August 1914. The Society's website is: http://www.societyofmalawi.org/ )
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES IN 1918

Postby westmorland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:21 pm

Sgts R.W. Box, J. Hilton and J.A. Newman would also have served at Mbgathi as the 6th Bn of 4 KAR (the Uganda-based KAR Regiment) was also a Training Battalion.One reason for having the many Training Battalions was that when the campaign in German East Africa was ended it was planned to send two KAR Brigades to Palestine.
However the conflict with Turkey ended before the campaign in GEA ended - in fact it was not until two weeks after the Armistice in Europe that the German commander in East Africa, Paul von Lettow-Warbeck, heard the news and decided to surrender.
At that time he had invaded British Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and was advancing towards the Belgian and British Copperbelts (whose mines he would have probably demolished) and onwards to Portuguese West Africa (now Angola).The Germans had outwitted the massive British forces chasing them, leaving them floundering in Portuguese East Africa, and there were no Allied troops in place to stop von Lettow-Vorbeck's advance westwards. (An excellent new book, very readable, on the East African Campaign is "Tip and Run" by Edward Paice, now in paperback.)
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRI

Postby westmorland » Fri Sep 05, 2008 5:37 pm

Askari___cam.jpg
KAR Askari in German East Africa before patrolling in long grass
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES IN 1918

Postby spike » Fri Sep 05, 2008 6:37 pm

Thanks for the posts, a lesser known part of the war and the Border Regt men who fought.
I agree the book Tip and Run is an excellent read.....
SPIKE

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In memory of -19455 Private John Farrer,
A Company 11th Border Regiment k.i.a. 1st July 1916
.
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Re:BORDER REGIMENT OFFICERS AND SERGEANTS IN THE KING'S AFRI

Postby westmorland » Sat Sep 06, 2008 4:39 pm

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3 KAR Askari with local stretcher bearers
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Sgt B. Aspinall was at the sharp end with the 2nd Bn of 3 KAR.This Bn was fighting strenuously in Portuguese East Africa. One company was nearly wiped out when, in a defensive position backing onto a river, many of the Portuguese troops in the line gave way to German attacks.

The KAR company was left in an untenable position and tried to withdraw across the river.Many Askari drowned with the weight of their equipment pulling them down, others were taken by crocodiles and others shot in the water.However Sgt Aspinall survived the war, as did all the others named in Post No 1.
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