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H. Walker Barnett & Co. 
LIEUT. -COL. R. A. DE B. ROSE, C.M.G., D.S.O. 

Commanding the Gold Coast Regiment. 












All rights reserved 



C.M.G., D.S.O., 











































INDEX . 295 



LiEUT.-CoL. R. A. DB B. HOSE, G.M.G., D.S.O. . Frontispiece 

CAPT. J. F. P. BUTLEB, V.O., D.S.O .28 


BEAD 92 




2-95 BATTEBY 196 













WHEN during the latter days of July, 1914, the 
prospect of war with the German Empire became 
imminent, the Gold Coast Regiment was rapidly 
mobilized, and detachments took up pre-arranged 
strategical positions on the borders of Togoland. 
On the declaration of war on the 4th August, the 
invasion of this German colony was promptly 
undertaken; and the Regiment, which had been 
joined at Lome, the capital of Togoland, by a 
small party of Tirailleurs from Dahomey, pursued 
the retreating enemy up the main line of railway 
to Kamina the site of a very large and important 
German wireless installation where, on the 
28th August, he was forced to an unconditional 

On the 18th September Major-General Dobell, 
who had been appointed to command the British 
and French troops which were about to undertake 
the invasion of the German Kameruns, arrived off 
Lome ; and the bulk of the Gold Coast Regiment, 


leaving two companies to occupy the conquered 
territory in Togoland, and a small garrison in the 
Gold Coast and Ashanti, joined this Expeditionary 

In the Kameruns stiff fighting was experienced, 
and it was not until the llth April, 1916, that the 
Gold Coast Regiment returned to its cantonments 
at Kumasi, after having been continuously upon 
active service for a period of twenty months. 

In Togoland and in the Kameruns alike the 
Regiment had won for itself a high reputation 
for courage and endurance; and the fine spirit 
animating all ranks was strikingly displayed by the 
enthusiasm with which the news that the force 
was again required for active service overseas was 
received, though at that time the men had enjoyed 
only a very few weeks' rest in their cantonments 
at Kumasi. Nor was this due to the courage 
born of ignorance, for the Regiment had learned 
from bitter experience the dangers and difficulties 
of the type of fighting in which it was about once 
more to take a part. The pursuit through bush 
and scrub, or through wide expanses of high grass, 
of a stubborn and crafty enemy is a task which, as 
many British regiments have learned in places 
spattered all up and down the tropics, imposes a 
peculiar strain upon the nerves and upon the 
endurance of the forces which engage in it. The 
enemy, who alone knows his plans and his 
objectives, and whose movements are designed to 
avoid rather than to seek contact with his pursuers, 
unless he can attack or sustain attack in circum- 
stances specially favourable to himself, possesses 
throughout the immense advantage of the initiative, 


If he elect to retreat, the pursuer must plod after 
him, whither he knows not, through country which 
is not of his choice, and with the character of 
which he has had no opportunity of rendering 
himself familiar. If the enemy resolves to make a 
stand, it is almost invariably in a position which he 
has selected on account of the advantages which it 
affords to him; and when in due course he has 
been ejected from it, the pursuit through the 
Unknown of an elusive and usually invisible enemy 
begins ab novo, in circumstances which the apparent 
success has done nothing material to improve. 
These facts combine to render a campaign in the 
bush a heart-breaking and nerve-racking experience, 
even when the enemy is an undisciplined native 
levy armed with more or less primitive weapons. 
In the Kameruns, however, and to a much greater 
degree in East Africa, the enemy was composed of 
well-trained native soldiers, with a good stiffening 
of Europeans ; he was armed with machine-guns 
and magazine-rifles ; he was supplied with native 
guides intimately acquainted with every yard of 
the country; and he was led with extraordinary 
skill and energy by German officers. It was bush- 
fighting on a scale never hitherto experienced, with 
all the advantages which such fighting confers upon 
the pursued, and the corresponding disadvantages 
inherent to the pursuit, exaggerated to an un- 
precedented degree. Yet the men of the Gold 
Coast Regiment, who in the Kameruns had already 
had more than a taste of its quality, celebrated 
the fact that they were once more to engage in 
such a campaign with war dances and clamorous 



By the evening of the 5th July, 1916, the Gold 
Coast Expeditionary Force had assembled at the 
port of Sekondi. It consisted of four Double 
Companies A, B, G, and I with a Pioneer 
Company, and a Battery of two 2*95 guns, and 12 
machine guns, and a number of carriers. Its 
strength was 36 British officers, 15 British non- 
commissioned officers, 11 native clerks, 980 native 
rank and file, 177 specially trained carriers attached 
to the battery and to the machine guns, 1 store- 
man, 204 other carriers, and 4 officers of the Royal 
Army Medical Corps in all 1428 men under the 
Commanding Officer of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
Lieutenant-Colonel R. A. de B. Rose, D.S.O. 

The present writer, who at that time was 
Governor of the Gold Coast Colony and its De- 
pendencies Ashanti and the Northern Territories 
had come round by sea from Accra to wish the 
Regiment God-speed. On the evening of 5th July, 
Colonel Rose and all the officers who could be 
spared from duty, were entertained by me at a 
banquet, given in the Court House, at which all 
the leading officials and the most prominent 
members of the European and African unofficial 
community of Sekondi were present. 

Officers and men, who at that time had been 
fighting almost continuously since the 4th August, 
1914, save for the brief rest which they had recently 
enjoyed at Kumasi, presented on this occasion a 
very smart and workmanlike appearance. They 
were thoroughly well-equipped and thoroughly 
seasoned troops, with achievements already to 
their credit of a kind that had filled the Colony to 
which they belonged with pride. 


By midday on the 6th July the embarkation 
of this force with all its stores and equipment, on 
board the transport ^Eneas, was completed. The 
men were transported in lighters to the ship's side, 
and thence were slung inboard in batches of half- 
a-dozen or more in the sag of a canvas sail a 
rough and ready, but very effective, expedient, 
which delighted the struggling groups of men as 
the sling bore them aloft and deposited them, 
screaming with laughter, in inextricable knots upon 
the deck. At about 2 p.m. the transport got 
under way, taking a southerly course at right 
angles to the coast, which here runs east and west. 
The phenomenon was witnessed by excited groups 
of natives from the beach at Sekondi, for never 
within living memory had any ship bearing their 
countrymen steered a course that was not parallel to 
the shore ; and when the vessel at last disappeared 
below the skyline something like consternation 
prevailed. It was as though she, and all aboard 
her, had dropped suddenly into the depths of some 
unknown abyss. Superstitious fears were further 
stimulated by the fact that an eclipse of the sun 
occurred on that day, and much discussion arose 
among the men as to whether the omen should be 
regarded as of favourable or of evil portent. 

The voyage round the southern extremity of 
the African continent, and up the east coast to the 
neighbourhood of Mombassa, was uneventful. The 
^Eneas called at the Cape and at Durban. At the 
latter place the whole of the Regiment was allowed 
ashore, and was taken en masse to see the " movies," 
a new experience which astonished and delighted 
them. They were also paraded, inspected, and 


addressed by the Mayor a stimulating ordeal 
which, however, in the popular estimation took a 
second place when compared with the miracles 
beheld at the cinematograph. Cold weather was 
met with when rounding the Cape, but the men 
appeared to feel it very little ; and the force was in 
fine fettle when, on the 26th July, the ^Eneas 
arrived at Kilindini, the port of Mombassa, after 
a journey that had occupied exactly three weeks. 

Kilindini is a land-locked harbour, and the town, 
which is a somewhat incongruous modern adjunct 
to ancient and picturesque Mombassa, consists 
mainly of sheds, warehouses, and wharfs. 

Disembarkation was effected by lighters, which 
were towed alongside a jetty, and here a stroke of 
ill-luck greeted the Regiment at the outset of its 
career in East Africa. For weeks not a drop of 
rain had fallen at Kilindini, but now, when the 
disembarkation was in full swing, a sudden tornado 
blew up from the sea, bringing a downpour by 
which officers and men were speedily soaked to the 
skin. There was no alternative, however, but to 
carry on, and drenched and rather woe-begone, the 
force was presently landed. Two trains were 
awaiting the Regiment at a point distant about a 
couple of hundred yards from the jetty; but the 
day being a Sunday, the Sabbatarian principles of 
the local porters, which may have owed their 
inspiration either to indolence or to piety, forbade 
the natives of Kilindini to engage in servile 
work. In pouring rain, therefore, the men set to, 
and in a creditably short time all the baggage, 
stores, and equipment had been transferred from 
the lighters to the railway waggons ; and at 


4 p.m. the first train started upon its journey 
up-country. This train consisted of passenger 
carriages, but that which followed it some six hours 
later was mainly made up of covered trucks. The 
men, with the steam rising in clouds from their 
brown knitted jerseys, were packed in batches of 
ten into the carriages and trucks ; and in this 
fashion the journey up the main line toward 
Nairobi was begun. 

While daylight lasted the way led mostly 
through open grass country apparently very 
sparsely inhabited, which was succeeded later by 
what looked like dense thorn-jungle, and the 
junction at Voi was reached by the first train at 
about midnight. From this point the military 
authorities had constructed a loop-line, which runs 
in a south-westerly direction through the mountain 
range, of which on the north-west Kilima-Njaro is 
the studendous culmination, until it effects a 
junction with the German railway from Tanga to 
Moschi at a point some twenty miles south of the 
last-named place. At dawn, therefore, the men of 
the Regiment, shivering for their skins, looked out 
upon wide expanses of mountain scenery a vast 
sweep of hillsides, rounded summits and undula- 
tions, covered with short grass, and strewn with 
gigantic boulders of rock. In the distance Kilima- 
Njaro was frequently visible, with its crest covered 
by perpetual snow. The line ran from Voi to the 
junction with the Tanga-Moschi railway at heights 
varying from 6000 to 9000 feet ; and the men of 
the Gold Coast Regiment, who are accustomed to 
regard 60 F. as registering a temperature which is 
almost unbearably cold, and who were still damp 


from the drenching they had received at Kilindini, 
suffered seriously from the low temperature. The 
fact that nearly half of them were accommodated in 
trucks, which though roofed had only half walls, 
rendered the exposure all the more severe. A few 
halts were allowed in order to enable the men to 
stretch their legs ; but time did not admit of much 
cooking being done, and for the most part the, to 
them, unnatural foods of bully beef and biscuit, 
and draughts of ice-cold water, were all that they 
had to restore the natural heat of their bodies. It 
was an extremely trying experience for troops 
recruited in the Tropics, and many cases of 
pneumonia subsequently resulted, not a few of 
which proved fatal. 

From the junction the trains bearing the 
Regiment proceeded eastward down the captured 
German railway, in the direction of the sea and 
Tanga, to Ngombezi, which is distant some forty 
miles from that terminus. Here they arrived on 
the 29th July, having been joined on the preceding 
day by Captain H. C. C. de la Poer, as special 
service officer. Captain de la Poer had long been 
resident in East Africa, possessed much local 
knowledge, and spoke Swahili fluently. Ngombezi 
is situated at a height of some 2000 feet above sea- 
level ; and on detraining, the Regiment went into 
temporary camp, the officers and men bivouacking 
under shelters fashioned from blankets and water- 
proof sheets. 

On the 30th July the Regiment was inspected 
by General Edwards, the Inspector-General of 
Communications. The service kit of the Force 
consists of a green knitted forage cap, a khaki 


blouse, shorts and putties of the same material, 
with the leather sandals which are known in West 
Africa as chuplies. The men of the Regiment, all 
of whom at this period were recruited from the 
people of the far interior which lies to the north- 
ward of Ashanti, are for the most part sturdy, 
thick-set fellows, with rather blunt but not pro- 
nouncedly negroid features, which show traces in 
some instances of a slight admixture of Arab blood. 
They are at once strong and active. They possess 
great pluck and endurance and are very amenable 
to discipline ; and their fidelity to, and confidence 
in, their officers have become a by- word. For the 
rest they are as tough and business-like looking a 
body of men as any judge of good fighting material 
need desire to see. 

General Edwards, at the end of his inspection, 
expressed himself very much struck by the physique 
of the men, and by their smart and soldierlike 
appearance. He emphasized the fact that no other 
unit which he had inspected had arrived in the 
country so well and efficiently equipped a fact 
which caused great satisfaction on the " Home 
Front " in the Gold Coast when his opinion was 
duly repeated to the Colonial Government ; and he 
forthwith wired to the Commander-in- Chief re- 
porting that the Regiment was fit to take the field 

This was the first sprig of laurel won by the 
Corps after its arrival in East Africa. It was des- 
tined in the course of the long campaign upon which 
it was about to embark to garner others wherefrom 
to fashion the substantial crown which it eventually 
brought back in triumph to the Gold Coast. 



THE military situation, at the moment when the 
Gold Coast Regiment received its orders to take 
the field, was approximately as follows. Tanga, 
the coast terminus of the more northerly of the 
two German railways, had fallen some time before, 
and the whole line from Moschi to the sea was now 
in the hands of the British. A column of Indian 
troops was moving down the coast with Sandani 
at the mouth of the Wami river, Bagamoyo at the 
mouth of the Kingani, and Dar-es-Salaam, the 
terminus of the principal railway, as its successive 
objectives. The enemy had been driven, not only 
away from the Tanga-Moschi railway, but to the 
south of the Pangani-Handeni-Kondoa-Irangi 
road ; and General Smuts had established General 
Headquarters on the left bank of the Lukigura 
River, which falls into the Wami on its left bank at 
a point distant some sixty miles from its mouth. 

The Commander-in-Chief had with him here 
the First Division under Major-General Hoskyns, 
consisting of the 1st and 2nd East African 
Brigades under the command respectively of 
Brigadier-General Sheppard and Brigadier- General 
Hannyngton. With the exception of a machine- 
gun detachment of the Loyal North Lancashire 



Regiment, which was attached to the 2nd East 
African Infantry Brigade, both these brigades were 
composed of Indian troops. The Gold Coast 
Regiment was about to join up with the 25th 
Royal Fusiliers, and with it to form the Divisional 

On the right, the Second Division, which was 
composed of South African Infantry and mounted 
troops, under Major- General Van der Venter, had 
its advanced base at Kondoa-Irangi and for its 
objective Dadoma, on the main railway which runs 
from Dar-es- Salaam to Kigome, near Ujiji, on Lake 

Between the Second Division and General 
Smuts' troops, a force composed of South African 
mounted men, under the command of Brigadier- 
General Brits, was operating independently, with 
Kilossa on the railway as its objective. It was 
General Smuts' intention to attack the railway with 
the First Division at Morogoro, a mission station, 
which lies not quite fifty miles due east of Kilossa. 

It had not yet been found possible to establish 
a main base at Tanga; and at the moment all 
supplies were being landed at Kilindini, and were 
conveyed thence, by the railway route which the 
Regiment had followed, to Korogwe on the Tanga- 
Moschi line. An advanced base had been formed 
at Handeni, five-and-thirty miles to the south-east 
of Korogwe ; and for six weeks General Smuts had 
been compelled to remain inactive in his camp on 
the Lukigura River, while sufficient stores, etc., 
were being accumulated to render a further and 
continuous advance possible. 

His plan, as will be seen by the disposition of 


his forces, was to attack the main German railway 
line, as nearly as possible simultaneously, at Dar- 
es-Salaam on the coast, at Morogoro, at Kilossa 
and at Dadoma. This would have the effect of 
depriving the enemy of the use of the line and of 
driving him to the south of it ; after which an 
attempt would be made to expel him from the 
country north of the Rufiji River. 

The Regiment had been inspected by General 
Edwards on the 30th July, and on the 4th August, 
leaving the Depot Company to establish itself at 
Korogwe, they left their temporary camp at Ngo- 
mbezi and began their march to Msiha, the head- 
quarters of the First Division on the banks of the 
Lukigura. It was now that their troubles began, 
and the nine days of that march live in the memory 
of officers and men as perhaps the most trying 
period of the whole campaign. 

Though the altitude was not great, the climate 
was cool even at midday ; but while the Europeans 
belonging to the force found it wonderfully 
bracing, the men missed the genial warmth of their 
native land, and at night suffered greatly from 
the cold. 

The line of march led along an unmetalled 
track, over which motor-lorries had been ploughing 
their way for weeks, and the surface had been 
reduced to a fine powder some six to eight inches 
in depth. The constant passage of lorries, and 
now the first-line transport of the Regiment 
which consisted of mule-carts and of the carriers 
who had accompanied the force from the Gold 
Coast and the plodding feet of the men on the 


march stirred up this loose deposit into a dense fog 
of a dull-red hue. As the day advanced, each man 
became plastered with particles of this fine red dust, 
which seemed to possess peculiarly penetrating pro- 
perties, till one and all resembled so many figures 
fashioned from terra cotta. Eyes, nostrils and 
mouths became filled with this stuff, occasioning 
acute thirst ; but the way was waterless, save for 
a few foul holes half filled with brackish water. 

The lot of the rear-guard was the hardest, for 
the second-line transport, locally supplied to the 
Regiment, consisted of South African ox- wagons, 
each of which was drawn by a team of sixteen 
oxen driven by Cape boys. The imported cattle 
had many of them become infected by trypanosomce, 
and not a few were literally on their last legs. The 
exigencies of the situation, however, rendered it 
necessary for these luckless brutes to be driven as 
long as they could stand ; but progress was in- 
credibly slow, and frequent halts were occasioned 
to unyoke some miserable ox, which had fallen 
never to rise again, and thereafter to rearrange his 
yoke-fellows. At the best, as they crept forward, 
the floundering wagons with their straining teams 
churned the dust into impenetrable, ruddy clouds, 
which, mingling with the fog already caused by 
the passage of the infantry, well-nigh smothered 
the men who formed the rear-guard. Though the 
actual length of each day's march was fairly short, 
the last man rarely reached the camping-place 
until long after dark. 

The physical trials to which the rank and file 
were exposed the choking dust, the raging thirst 
which it occasioned, the inadequate supply of 


brackish water, met with at long intervals, which 
seemed powerless to appease even when it did not 
aggravate their sufferings, the nauseating stench 
arising from the putrifying carcases of dead horses, 
mules and oxen, with which the line of march was 
thickly strewn, the bitterly cold nights, and the 
ominous way in which man after man succumbed 
to pneumonia were rendered almost unbearable 
by reason of the superstitious fears by which the 
men were haunted. The memory of that long 
railway journey, which half of them had made 
in open trucks, through the freezing cold of the 
nights and early mornings high up in the moun- 
tains, was still fresh in their minds. They had 
seen many of their comrades suddenly stricken 
by pneumonia to them a by no means familiar 
disease and killed thereby after a few days or 
hours of painful struggle for life. Now they found 
themselves in an unknown land, separated from 
their homes by immeasurable distances, with wide 
expanses of sour scrub spreading around them, 
and holding for them no promise of finality ; while 
day after day, they plodded, parched and choking, 
along that interminable road, saw their fellows 
succumb at every halting-place, and learned pre- 
sently to believe that the water with its salt-taste, 
which was alone available to allay their thirst, and 
of which they could never obtain enough, was a 
poisoned draught that was killing them. This 
was a devil's country to which their officers had 
brought them a land of evil spirits out of which 
they could never' hope again to win their way. 
The Europeans officers and non-commissioned 
officers alike sought ceaselessly to cheer and 


hearten-up their men ; but for the first time in 
the memory of any of them, their efforts met 
with no response. The men had become un- 
recognizable. Usually the most cheerful and 
light-hearted of mankind, they wore now a sullen, 
hang- dog air. They were sulky, suspicious and 
resentful. For the first time in the history of 
the Regiment their confidence in their officers 
which to these men has become a religion had 
been strained almost to the breaking-point. And 
their officers knew it. " You could not get a grin 
out of them at any price," said one who had seen 
his men in many a tight place, and had never 
known them to show even a passing sign of dis- 
couragement or depression ; and when you cannot 
conjure a grin out of the gnarled features of a man 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, something very like 
the Trump of Doom has sounded for him. 

The Regiment, after resting on the 8th August 
at Handeni, and drawing a fresh supply of rations, 
pushed on for another four days to Mahazi, where 
it duly reported its arrival to the headquarters of 
the First Division. 

The front had now been reached, the enemy 
was close at hand, and there was a river of running 
water to delight the hearts of the parched and 
dust-coated men. The reaction was immediate. 
There was no lack of grins now ; and these found 
their reflections in the faces of a band of anxious 
officers, as they listened to the cheerful babble 
resounding from their new encampment. It is a 
music that is discordant enough at times, but now 
it was more than welcome after the sullen silence 
of suspicion and distrust that had brooded over 


the camp and the line of march for more than a 

On the 13th August the Regiment moved 
forward on the road to Turiani. The country 
in which they found themselves was no longer 
grey or powdered red with dust, but actually 
green, though it was still, for the most part, 
covered by waist-high scrub and grass, and the 
folds of the undulating plain rendered any ex- 
tended view impossible. The proximity of the 
enemy, as is usual in warfare of this type, was 
more certain than his whereabouts, and all mili- 
tary precautions were henceforth taken during the 
day's march to Turiani, and during the subsequent 

On the 15th August the Regiment moved 
to Chasi, and on the 16th August, after working 
all day at the construction of two bridges, the 
camp was advanced to Kwevi Lombo, near the 
Makindu River, and established at about 11 p.m. 

On the 17th August the Regiment received 
orders to move forward in the early afternoon 
to Dakawa, where fighting had been in progress 
all day. The men, resting in camp after their 
hard day and late night, had listened all the 
morning, like a pack of terriers quivering with 
excitement, to the familiar sounds of machine-gun 
and rifle-fire ; and after a march of four and a half 
hours they reached Dakawa at 7 p.m. Here 
General Smuts had established his headquarters, 
and Colonel Rose personally reported to him the 
arrival of the Regiment. General Smuts ordered 
the Regiment to sit down and rest until the rising 
of the moon, and then to proceed to a ford two 


and a half miles west of the main road. At dawn, 
if the enemy was still in position, they were to 
cross the river and join General Enslin's Brigade, 
which belonged to the force operating indepen- 
dently under Major-General Brits. 

These orders were duly carried out, the Regi- 
ment being guided to the ford by the celebrated 
scout, Lieutenant Pretorius, a way for the infantry 
having been beaten down through the tough high 
grass by a body of South African mounted men. 
This movement was carried out by the Regiment 
with the least avoidable noise. The enemy, how- 
ever, becoming aware that the ford was occupied, 
drew off during the night; and next morning, 
therefore, the Regiment returned to its own divi- 
sion, and camped near a broken bridge over the 
Mkundi River, a left affluent of the Wami. Here 
it remained until the 23rd August, when it moved 
forward eight and a half miles to Kimamba, and 
thence, on the 24th August, to a camp on the 
banks of the Ngere-Ngere, a small stream which 
falls into the Ruwu on its left bank a few miles 
above Mafisa. 

This latter day's march calls for a word of 
description. The Regiment, which was now act- 
ing as part of the reserve to the 2nd East 
African Brigade, marched last of the fighting 
troops, with the heavy transport and the actual 
rear-guard still further behind it. The country 
traversed was a flat plain broken by frequent un- 
dulations, and grown upon by shortish grass, 
brittle and wilted by the sun. Mean-looking trees 
were spattered all over the plain, but were usually 
wide enough apart to permit of the easy passage ot 


armoured motor-cars. Of these a number, under 
the charge of naval officers, accompanied the 
marching men, scudding up and down the column 
and searching the country in the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of the line of march, much as a dog 
hunts on all sides of a path along which its owner 
is walking. Occasionally, a deep donga would be 
met with, which could not be negotiated by a 
motor-car ; and then the marching men would 
turn to with their picks and shovels, fill in a 
section of the dried-up watercourse, and so fashion 
a temporary road across it which enabled the cars 
to pass. This was accomplished over and over 
again with great ease and rapidity; and for the 
rest, the country presented no serious obstacle to 
the use of these armoured vehicles. 

August, in East Africa, is of course the height 
of the dry season, and in all tropical regions of this 
continent the dry season means a fierce heat, beat- 
ing down during all the hours of daylight upon a 
parched and thirsty earth, and refracted from the 
wilted vegetation with an almost equal intensity. 
It means that every stream has run dry, and that 
even many of the larger rivers have shrunken into 
mere runnels. It means that sun-dried grass and 
scrub and the very leaves upon the trees have 
become brittle and inflammable as tinder ; and that 
the bush fires, for the most part self-generated, 
such as those which of old so greatly affrighted 
Hanno and his Carthaginian mariners on the West 
Coast of Africa are ubiquitous, are columns of 
smoke by day and pillars of fire by night. Any 
sudden change of wind at this season of the year 
may cause the traveller to be unexpectedly con- 


fronted by a wall of flame, raging almost colourless 
in the fierce sunlight, advancing on a wide front 
with innumerable explosions like the rattle of 
musketry, and with a rapidity which is apt to 
prove highly embarrassing. 

During this day's march the natural heat was 
intensified by these constant conflagrations, above 
which the agitated air danced in a visible haze, and 
from which there came a breath like that from 
a furnace, bearing in all directions innumerable 
charred and blackened fragments of vegetation. 
Through this heated atmosphere the marching 
troops plodded doggedly onward, parched with 
thirst, and playing an eternal game of hide and 
seek with the attacking bush-fires. Many narrow 
escapes occurred, and the first-line transport of the 
Gold Coast Regiment was once fairly caught, the 
casualties including 6 oxen, an army transport 
cart, 2 wagons, 10,800 rounds of small arm 
ammunition, 20 picks, 42 shovels, one rifle, some 
private kit, and a quantity of rations, all of which 
were burned to a cinder. Eighteen other oxen 
were so badly burned that they had to be 
slaughtered, their meat being issued as rations to 
the Divisional Reserve. 

Another element besides fire, however, seemed 
to conspire this day against the advancing force ; 
for the exact position of the Ngere-Ngere could 
not be located, and when the Regiment arrived at 
the place where it was to bivouac for the night, 
there was no water to be found hi its vicinity. 
Water had, however, been discovered some miles 
further on, and carts were dispatched to fetch it. 
Darkness V already fallen, and the outlook was 


sufficiently depressing ; but an officer of the Gold 
Coast Regiment, who happened to push his way 
into a patch of thick bush adjoining the camping- 
place, quite accidentally discovered the river by the 
simple process of pitching headlong into it. The 
Ngere-Ngere is a very winding stream, and though 
its neighbourhood was indicated by a belt of thick 
bush, the greenness of which could only be due to 
the proximity of water, the leading troops had 
missed this point on the road, to which the river 
happened to approach to within a distance of a few 
yards, and owing to an abrupt bend, which the bed 
of the stream takes at this place, the nearest point 
at which its banks were again struck was about 
a mile distant. 

At once the glad tidings were given, and the 
men speedily obtained all the water they required. 
The Gold Coast Regiment had bivouacked for the 
night near the scene of its discovery ; but though 
a start had been made that morning at 5.30 a.m., 
it was a late hour before the last troops struggled 
into camp. 

Shortly after the Dar-es-Salaam railway had 
been crossed at Massambassi by the main force, 
B Company was placed at the disposal of Colonel 
O'Grady an officer of the Indian Army, who had 
won for himself in the Himalayas a great reputation 
as an Alpine climber and proceeded with him 
and a remnant of the East African Mounted Rifles 
into a clump of fertile, well-watered and hilly 
country, which was comparatively thickly popu- 
lated, and where a number of German foraging- 
parties were believed to be at work. The tracks 
leading through these hills were wide enough for 


two to march abreast, but after the manner of 
native paths all the tropics over, they took no 
account of gradients, but led straight up each 
precipitous ascent till the summit was reached, 
and thence plunged down the opposite slope to 
encounter a fresh rise when the valley level was 
reached. It is inevitable that all paths in hilly 
country, which are made by folk who habitually go 
bare-footed, should deal with ascents and declivities 
in this switchback fashion; for roads scarped out 
of the hill's face, unless they are constructed on 
scientific engineering principles, are speedily worn 
away by the annual torrential rains. This renders 
them agonising to men who do not use boots, for 
though the act of walking on the side of the foot 
is uncomfortable enough even for men who are 
well shod, it is excruciating to those who go bare- 
footed ; and in their estimation any strain on the 
lungs and on the back-sinews, which the constant 
climbing and descent of hills entail, is preferable 
to this much more painful means of progression. 

Through these hills went Colonel O'Grady, the 
handful of white men composing the detachment 
of the East African Mounted Rifles some dozen 
survivors of that gallant corps which had seen such 
hard times and had done such splendid work during 
the earlier phases of the campaign and B Com- 
pany of the Gold Coast Regiment. The valleys 
were thickly planted with native food-stuffs of all 
descriptions, including such luxuries as sugar-cane 
bananas, etc. ; and eggs and fowls were also obtain- 
able in moderate quantities. Patrols were sent out 
in all directions at once, to forage for the little 
force and thoroughly to search the surrounding 


country for German forage-parties. One of these 
a body of eleven Germans, genially intoxicated 
to a man on native beer, and quite incapable of 
resistance was brought in by the East African 
Mounted Rifles, and a few Askari, 1 who were also 
engaged in foraging, were captured by B Company. 
When this group of hills had been thoroughly 
searched, Colonel O'Grady released B Company, 
which at once rejoined the Regiment. The latter, 
meanwhile, had been following in the track of 
B Company, and at daybreak on the 3rd September, 
the whole corps entered the mission station at 

These mission stations are a feature of erstwhile 
German East Africa. They are, for the most part, 
charmingly situated, generally upon the crest of 
a hill, whence a magnificent view of the surround- 
ing country can be obtained. They consist, as a 
rule, of one or more substantially built two-storeyed 
buildings constructed of mud, or of locally made 
bricks, lime-washed, and roofed with red tiles, 
which are also manufactured on the spot. The 
church, which usually flanks them, is built of rough 
blocks of stone, as is that at Matombo, or of bricks 
or mud, as the case may be ; and it is often sur- 
mounted by a tapering, red-tiled spire. The 
eminences upon which these stations have been 
established, and the land around their feet, are set 
with gardens, groves of fruit trees, and patches of 
cultivation, all of which obviously owe their 
existence to European initiative and supervision. 

The native congregations ordinarily occupy a 
number of scattered hovels built much further 

1 Askari = Native soldier. 


apart from one another than is the native habit 
in West Africa thatched with grass, and placed 
at a respectful distance from the buildings occupied 
by the missionaries. The latter in German East 
Africa, unlike their prototypes on the West Coast, 
apparently did not welcome the too close proximity 
of their proselytes. 

The mission buildings at Matombo were found 
to contain a number of Germans, who were 
supposed to be too old for active service, and a 
good many of their women and children. The 
church, which had been converted into a hospital, 
was full of German sick and wounded, who had 
been left in charge of a medical man of their own 
nationality. This interesting individual was allowed 
to continue his ministrations, and it was always 
believed whether rightly or wrongly it is im- 
possible to say that he subsequently made use of 
the liberty thus accorded to him to signal the 
movements of the Regiment to his compatriots 
posted in the Uluguru mountains, the entrances to 
which the British were now engaged in forcing. 

The whole of this hilly area was thickly 
populated by people clothed only in a kind of 
kilt made of grass, who, though many of them had 
been impressed by the Germans to serve as carriers, 
appeared to take no very close interest in the 
movements of either of the opposed forces. The 
Uluguru mountains were their home the only 
world they knew; and these hapless folk had no 
alternative, therefore, but to remain where they 
were, watching with the philosophical resignation so 
characteristic of a tropical population this strife of 
gods or devils which had temporarily transformed 


the quiet countryside into an inferno. It was only 
occasionally that their equanimity was ruffled for a 
space by the chance explosion of a shell in close 
proximity to their dwellings. 

General Smuts' drive had so far proved success- 
ful, and the Germans, fighting a more or less 
continuous rear-guard action, but offering no very 
stubborn or prolonged resistance at any given 
point, had been forced back, first on to the line of 
the Dar-es-Salaam-Lake Tanganyika railway, and 
then across it into the mountainous country which 
lies between the railway and the low-lying valley 
of the Rufiji River. 

The Gold Coast Regiment had itself crossed the 
railway line at a point some miles to the east of 
Morogoro, and had thence penetrated into the hilly 
country to the south for a distance of some fifteen 
miles, camping on Sunday, the 3rd September, 
in the neighbourhood of the mission station at 
Matomba. This place is situated on the northern 
edge of the Uluguru Mountains highlands which 
occupy an area measuring approximately a hundred 
miles square out of which it was now the task of 
the First Division to endeavour to drive the enemy, 
who had sought refuge in them. 

It was on the 4th September, 1916 the day on 

which the mission station at Matomba was quitted 

that the Gold Coast Regiment was fated, for the 

first time, to take a more active part in the East 

African campaign. 



THE task which the First Division had before it 
was to force a passage into the Uluguru Moun- 
tains, the main entrances to which the enemy was 
preparing stoutly to defend. The principal high- 
way lay some distance to the east of the Matomba 
mission-station, and here the main battle was in 
progress ; but commanding the road, along which 
the Gold Coast Regiment marched when it moved 
out of its camp at Matomba, the enemy had oc- 
cupied a very strong position, and was using 
Kikirunga Hill a sugar-loaf-shaped mountain 
crowned with a clump of trees and underwood, 
rising clear above its fellows to a height of 
perhaps 3000 feet as an observation point. The 
Regiment was ordered to expel him, if possible, 
from this hill, 

At 7 a.m. on the 4th September the Regiment 
moved out of camp, and about two hours later 
the enemy opened fire with a couple of howitzers, 
upon the road a little ahead of the marching 
troops. No casualties were inflicted, but the Re- 
giment was halted, moved off the road, and took 
up a sheltered position on the right side of it, in 
a gut between two hills. 



Captain Jack Butler, V.C., D.S.O. who had 
won both these distinctions while serving with the 
Gold Coast Regiment in the Kameruns was then 
sent forward with the Pioneer Company to recon- 
noitre the enemy's position. 

Captain Butler and his men advanced up the 
road, which climbed steeply, with many windings 
and sinuosities, towards the head of the pass- 
leading into the Uluguru Mountains which was 
situated near the foot of the hills of which, on the 
left side of the road, Kikirunga is the culminating 
point. This road ran, from the spot where the 
Regiment was halted, up a sharp ascent and along 
a narrow valley, on either side of which kopjes of 
gradually increasing height rose at frequent in- 
tervals. The first of these, situated about a mile 
and a half from his starting-point, and lying to the 
left of the road, was occupied by Captain Butler 
and the Pioneer Company, and a picket was sent 
out to take up a position at a spot where, a little 
further on, the road took a deep U-shaped bend 
toward the left. 

From the kopje occupied by the Pioneers a 
general view of the enemy's position could be 
obtained. On the left front, about a mile away 
as the crow flies, Kikirunga arose skyward from 
the huddle of lower hills in which it has its base, 
and from one of the slopes of these, somewhat 
to the right of the peak, an enemy machine-gun 
opened fire upon the position which Butler had 
occupied. The beginning of the U-shaped bend 
which the road took to the left lay beneath and 
slightly to the right of Butler's kopje ; and on 
the far side of this loop, where the road, which 


throughout ran between an avenue of mango trees, 
wound back towards the right, another kopje, about 
a hundred feet higher than that upon which the 
Pioneers were posted, ran steeply upward to a 
crest which was held by the enemy, and from 
which presently another machine-gun also opened 

The road, still climbing steeply, wound round 
the foot of this kopje, and between a succession of 
similar hills ; and from the right of it a big clump 
of mountains, some 2500 feet above valley-level, 
rose in a great mass of grassy and boulder-strewn 
slopes. All these hillsides were covered with 
shaggy, sun-dried grass about two feet in height, 
broken by many outcrops of rock, a few trees and 
patches of scrub, with little copses and spinneys in 
the valley-hollows between hill and hill. In the 
middle distance a great dome-shaped peak, some 
miles further away than Kikirunga, rose majes- 
tically, dominating the landscape and presenting 
a wide facet of precipitous grey cliff to the eye of 
the observer. The view obtained from the kopje 
which Butler had occupied was a splendid example 
of tropical mountain scenery ; but from the stand- 
point of the leader of an attacking force its strength 
was even more impressive than its beauty. The 
enemy had had ample time in which to choose his 
ground, and he had availed himself to the full of 
his opportunity. 

It was not till nearly five o'clock in the after- 
noon, however, that the Pioneer Company became 
heavily engaged; and Captain Butler presently 
went forward to the picket which he had placed 
near the bend of the road to see how things fared 

CAPT. J. F. P. BUTLER, V.C., D.S.O. 

60th Eifles. 

Bassano, Ld. 

To face p. 28. 


with them. It was while he was lying here on 
the road beside his men that he and several of 
the picket were wounded by a sudden burst of 
machine-gun fire from the kopje immediately in 
front of him. In all, twelve men of the Pioneers 
were wounded during the afternoon, but the Com- 
pany held firm, and maintained its hold upon the 
kopje which Butler had occupied. Late in the 
afternoon B Company, under the command of 
Captain Shaw, was sent forward to reinforce the 
Pioneers, and to make good the ground which had 
been won. This was successfully accomplished, 
the wounded were evacuated to the rear, and the 
men dug themselves in, and dossed down for the 
night in the excavations they had made. 

Captain Butler died that evening of the wounds 
which he had sustained during the afternoon. A 
young officer possessed of at once a charming and 
forceful personality, of an absolutely fearless dis- 
position and of more than ordinary ability, Captain 
Butler, V.C., D.S.O., had won for himself a con- 
spicuous place in the Gold Coast Regiment, and 
had earned the devotion and affection of the men 
in a very special degree. His death, in this the 
first action in which the Regiment had been en- 
gaged since its arrival in East Africa, was felt to 
be a specially malignant stroke of ill-fortune, and 
was mourned as a personal loss by his comrades 
of all ranks. 

During the night, orders were sent to Captain 
Shaw, who was now commanding the advanced 
companies, to push forward at the earliest oppor- 
tunity. This he did at dawn, creeping in the 
darkness to the point of the road where Captain 


Butler had been wounded, and thence up the grassy 
hill to the road above it. Here the charge was 
sounded, and the men with fixed bayonets rushed 
up the kopje, which was captured after a few shots 
had been fired. In this charge Acting- Sergeant 
Bukari of B Company displayed conspicuous 
bravery, which was subsequently rewarded by a 
second Distinguished Conduct Medal. This fine 
soldier was promoted to non-commissioned rank 
on the field, and awarded a D.C.M. for conspicuous 
gallantry when fighting in the Kameruns. Now, 
in this his first fight in East Africa, he again won 
that coveted distinction ; but his subsequent history 
was a sad one. Evacuated to the rear suffering 
from only a slight wound which, during the long 
journey to the base at Korogwe, on the Tanga- 
Moschi railway, was allowed to become septic, he 
died in hospital before ever he had learned of the 
second reward which his dash and courage had 
earned for him. 

During the rest of the day the force under 
Captain Shaw's command continued to fight its 
way from kopje to kopje up the road, the Pioneers 
under Lieutenant Bray and B Company under 
Captain Shaw alternately advancing under the 
protection of the other's fire. In this manner, 
by evening, a point distant about 400 yards from 
the head of the pass was reached and secured. 

Meanwhile, the 1st Battalion of the 3rd Regi- 
ment of the King's African Rifles was advancing 
up the northern slope of the big clump of moun- 
tains, which have been described as rising on the 
right side of the pass. As soon as this was observed, 
a gun of the Gold Coast Regiment was brought 


into action to assist the advance of the newcomers. 
The enemy was heavily shelled, but owing to the 
commanding positions which he occupied, it was 
not found possible to push home the infantry 
attack, the King's African Rifles not having yet 
won possession of the crest of the mountains. 
None the less, considerable progress was made 
during the day, and B Company succeeded in 
capturing the highest point of the spur round 
which the road ran. 

At dusk on the 5th September Captain Wheeler 
with A Company relieved B Company, and took 
over from it the ground which it had won, B Com- 
pany forthwith going into reserve. During the 
day, moreover, Major Goodwin made a recon- 
naissance with half of I and half of G Company 
for the purpose of finding out whether a flanking 
party could be sent over the hills to join up with 
the King's African Rifles. He was able to report 
that this could be accomplished. 

During the night of the 5th-6th September, 
the enemy received reinforcements, and shortly 
after dawn he opened a violent machine-gun fire 
upon the advanced positions occupied by the Gold 
Coast Regiment. Two guns of the Battery were 
brought up, and all the commanding heights held 
by the enemy were heavily shelled by them, assisted - 
by two guns belonging to the 5th South African 
Battery. By noon the enemy's fire slackened, and 
the King's African Rifles began to make their 
presence felt on the summit of the mountains to 
the right of the pass, which they had now succeeded 
in occupying. G Company, under the command 
of Captain Poyntz, had been sent early in the 


morning to join up with the King's African Rifles 
by the path discovered the day before by Major 
Goodwin, and this junction was effected by about 
2 p.m. An hour later the enemy's fire ceased, and 
by 4 p.m. Kikirunga Hill, the capture of which 
was the task that had been set to the Gold Coast 
Regiment, was duly occupied. 

The casualties during this two and a half days 
of fighting numbered 42 in all, including Captain 
Butler and 6 rank and file killed, 3 men dangerously, 
13 severely, and 19 slightly wounded. Among the 
latter was Colour-Sergeant Beattie. The doctors 
and their staff of stretcher bearers, etc., had a 
heavy time during these few days, as they not only 
attended to the wounded and evacuated them to 
the rear under fire, but also conveyed all the more 
serious cases back to the mission station at 

On the side of the enemy the casualties suffered 
were difficult to ascertain, but he lost three 
Germans and three native soldiers killed, ahd 
there were numerous signs of considerable damage 
having been inflicted upon him, while a number of 
rifles and some ammunition were picked up in the 
positions from which he had retired. In the type 
of warfare in which the Regiment was now engaged, 
however, it almost invariably happens that the 
fugitive force is able to inflict more casualties upon 
its pursuers than it is likely itself to sustain. As 
has already been observed, it enjoys the advantage 
which the selection of the ground confers, and can 
always occupy positions from which it can do the 
greatest damage to an advancing enemy with a 
minimum of risk to itself. It is also able to break 


off an engagement at the precise moment that best 
suits its convenience and advantage ; and the 
possession of machine-guns further enables it to 
fight a delaying rear-guard action, and to mask the 
fact of its retirement, to the very last moment. It 
rarely happens in fighting of this class that the 
holding of a given position is a matter of any 
special importance to a fugitive force. The latter 
therefore hold it as long as it pays to do so, and 
thereafter can abandon it without danger or em- 
barrassment, as soon as its defence threatens to 
become inconvenient. The pursuing force, on the 
other hand, has only one course open to it to 
attack the enemy whenever and wherever he can 
be found, to inflict upon him as much injury as 
circumstances permit, but above all, to keep him 
on the move and to allow him as little rest and 
peace as possible. It is an expensive business, and 
it becomes increasingly difficult as lines of supply 
and communication progressively extend. It is, 
however, the only method whereby bush-fighting 
can be efficiently prosecuted; and expense and 
difficulty are qualities inseparable from this kind of 

The following telegram was received by Colonel 
Rose from Brigadier-General Hannyngton, com- 
manding the 2nd East African Brigade, on the 
evening of the 6th September : 

" Please tell your Regiment that I think they 
all worked splendidly to-day, and I wish to thank 
them for their good work." 

On the 7th September, while the King's African 
Rifles advanced, the Gold Coast Regiment rested 


and reorganized. On the 8th September, however, 
it pushed forward along the road which it had 
opened for itself under the lee of Kikirunga Hill, 
and made its way vid Kassanga into the heart of 
the Uluguru mountains. These are a clump of 
high hills, covered with grass and patches of scrub, 
and strewn with boulders, and the road was scarped 
out of the hillsides, with a steep slope running 
skyward on the one hand, and a khudd over the 
edge of which, from time to time, a transport mule 
toppled falling away no less steeply on the other. 
The view of the marching men was for the most 
part confined to the grassy slope on one side of 
them, to the valley tilted steeply downward on the 
other, and across it to the rolling, boulder-strewn 
hills, smothered in long shaggy grass, green or sun- 
dried, with the blue of a tropical sky arching over- 
head. No signs of life were visible, save an 
occasional deserted village, composed of scattered 
mud huts, with grass roofs in the last stages of 
decay and dilapidation ; but from the vantage 
ground all about them the marching men could, 
of course, be seen from many miles away. 

On the 8th September the Regiment caught up 
with the King's African Rifles, which had dispersed 
a small party of the enemy. On the 9th September 
the former, which was still leading the advance, 
surprised and scattered the 22nd German Company 
at a place called Donho ; and that night, after a 
very hard day's marching the Gold Coast Regiment 
camped at Kiringezi at about 4.45 p.m. On the 
10th September the Regiment came out upon the 
main road which connects Tulo and Kissaki, and a 
stray German Askari was killed by the men of 


G Company, who also captured a few rifles. The 
2nd East African Brigade was found to be some 
five miles ahead, and in the afternoon the Regiment 
overtook it, and once more joined the reserve. 

The advance troops had succeeded in keeping 
more or less constant touch with the enemy, and 
as he now showed a disposition to make yet 
another stand, A and B companies, under Major 
Goodwin, were sent off at 4 p.m. on the llth 
September to reinforce and prolong the extreme 
right of the British line, which was being held by 
the King's African Rifles. Meanwhile half of 1 
Company had been sent to the eastern or extreme 
left of the line in order to form an escort to the 
Machine Gun Company of the Loyal North Lanca- 
shire Regiment. Just before dark half of G Com- 
pany received orders to advance and take up a 
position on the left of half I Company. At 8 a.m. 
on the 12th September further orders were received, 
and the rest of the Regiment viz., the Pioneer 
Company, half of I Company and the Battery 
moved up the road toward Nkessa and held itself 
in readiness to reinforce the left. This the Pioneer 
Company and half I Company did at 11 a.m., the 
former taking up a position on the extreme left of 
the line ; and shortly afterwards the Battery ad- 
vanced to a point immediately in the rear of these 

At 2.30 p.m, an advance from the left in a 
generally south - south - westerly direction was 
ordered, and the Pioneer Company and half I 
Company pushed forward to a distance of from 
500 to 600 yards, when they were held up by the 
enemy who were strongly posted in a village ahead 



of them. Here the men dug themselves in. 
Captain Poyntz, who was in command, held on to 
this position for some time, but he was eventually 
compelled to retire, as he found that all touch with 
the company on his right had been lost, and as he 
heard heavy firing from his right rear, he feared 
that his detachment might be surrounded and 
cut off. 

Meanwhile, G Company, under Captain Mac- 
pherson, had barely advanced a hundred yards 
before it was forced to halt, a very heavy fire being 
opened upon it from a salient in the enemy's line 
on the right flank. The fire was so close and 
continuous that one gun of the Battery had to be 
retired ; and when, subsequent to the action, the 
grass was burned off and the true position revealed, 
it was found that the contending forces had here 
been within fifty or sixty yards of one another. 

The enemy's position was astride of the Tulo 
road, to which his trenches and rifle-pits ran at 
right angles for a distance of about four and a half 
to five miles, his extreme right being thrown 
slightly forward in the neighbourhood of the 
village against which the Pioneer Company and 
half I Company, under Captain Poyntz, had ad- 
vanced. The country was for the most part grass 
and thick scrub, with trees interspersed among 
them ; but in the centre of his position on the side 
of the road opposite the British left, where a patch 
of young cotton trees afforded him excellent cover, 
he had pushed forward the salient of which mention 
has been made above. 

Orders were sent to Captain Poyntz to fall 
back ; but his own appreciation of the situation 


had already shown him that retirement was 
necessary, and he presently lined up alongside 
G Company, which maintained its position. 

Reinforcements were asked for by telephone, 
and a reply was received from Brigade Head- 
quarters that the 29th Punjabis were being sent 
up by a road which had recently been constructed 
to a neighbouring water-supply. A later telephone 
message stated that the 29th would advance to the 
relief of the Gold Coast Regiment via the main 

Meanwhile, on the right flank, A and B Com- 
panies had been sent by Major Goodwin to occupy 
a position on the extreme right of the British line, 
with the King's African Rifles on their left. At 
8.45 a.m. a brisk action began, but the advance 
achieved was slow. By 1.30 p.m., however, two 
hills overlooking Nkessa had been occupied. The 
edge of this village opposite to A and B Companies 
was strongly held by the enemy, and though the 
fight continued while daylight lasted, no further 
advance was made. At 6 p.m., therefore, outpost 
positions were taken up for the night, and the men 
slept in the rifle-pits which they had dug. Inter- 
mittent firing continued during the night. 

On Wednesday, 13th September, patrols were 
sent out at dawn, and it was eventually established 
that the enemy had retired from the positions 
which he had held overnight. A company, under 
Captain Wheeler, was sent from Major Goodwin's 
force on the right to rejoin the Regiment on the 
left of the line ; and early in the morning the half 
of I Company, which had been with the guns 
of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, was 


relieved by the 29th Punjabis, and rejoined the 
other half of the Company, which was posted 
between the Pioneer Company on the extreme left 
and G Company. 

The Regiment then advanced, the Pioneers 
entering the village which they had attacked the 
day before, without opposition, where they were 
later joined by I Company. G Company, which 
had to advance through very dense elephant grass, 
lost touch with the rest of the force, as can so 
easily happen in country of this description, and 
communication with it was not re-established until 
the afternoon. 

From the village which the Pioneers had occu- 
pied, patrols were sent out to locate the river, and 
this accomplished, the Pioneers, leaving I Company 
in occupation of the village, crossed the stream, 
which was only a few feet in width, and advanced 
in the direction of Nkessa, holding both banks. 
At first only a few snipers were encountered, but 
eventually the enemy was found to be in occupa- 
tion of a position, with his left resting on a village 
on the river's bank, and his right thrown slightly 
forward. The enemy promptly attacked, and 
Captain Poyntz retired the Pioneers about 200 
yards, and having dug himself in, held on to his 
rifle-pits for the rest of the day. At about 1.30 p.m. 
one section of A Company, which had been sent to 
reinforce the Pioneers, came up on their left on 
the southern side of the stream ; and an hour and 
a half later I Company with two machine-guns 
and the Battery came into action and bombarded 
the villages held by the enemy on the left and 
right fronts. 


At 4 p.m. an advance was ordered, and after 
an hour's fighting, B Company and three sections 
of A Company reinforced the left of the Regiment, 
and, night coming on, were halted and dug them- 
selves in. The thick elephant grass in which these 
operations were conducted rendered the exact loca- 
tion of the enemy's position a matter of great diffi- 
culty during the whole of this day. 

On the morning of the 14th September, the 
enemy was found to have once more evacuated his 
positions, and the Gold Coast Regiment, having 
been relieved by the King's African Rifles, marched 
into Nkessa, where the brigade camp had already 
been formed. 

The casualties sustained by the Regiment be- 
tween the llth and the 13th September numbered 
four killed and thirty-three wounded, including 
Captain Greene, Lieutenant Bray, Colour-Sergeant 
May, and Lieutenant Arnold. The last named 
died in Tulo hospital on the 16th September of 
the wounds which he had received on the 12th 
September. Lieutenant Isaacs, who had been sent 
forward to reconnoitre, stumbled into an enemy 
patrol, and was captured. 

On the 19th September the Battalion moved to 
a spot on the banks of the Mgeta River, where a 
camp was formed. The Mgeta is a branch of the 
Ruwu, which falls into the sea at Bagamoyo, oppo- 
site to the southern extremity of the island of 
Zanzibar. Here the patrols and outposts of the 
Regiment were in frequent touch with the enemy, 
and a good many casualties were sustained ; and 
on the 22nd September the Battalion returned to 
the brigade camp at Nkessa. On the 30th the 


Regiment moved to a new outpost camp, between 
the Mgeta and Nkessa; and while here a section 
of I Company, under Lieutenant Berry, was sent 
out to demolish a wooden bridge over the Mgeta. 
Just as the work was nearing completion, this 
small force was suddenly fired upon by an enemy 
patrol posted in thick bush, while many of the 
men were standing waist-deep in the stream, five 
soldiers being killed and four wounded. 

The following day the Battalion, having been 
relieved by the 130th Baluchis, was moved to Tulo, 
whence a couple of days later it was sent back to 
Nkessa, an attack upon that place being antici- 
pated. Here the outposts had frequent casual en- 
counters with the enemy, and on the 16th October 
two different patrols found mines on the Kissaki 
road, which had been laid as a trap for troops 
advancing by that route. These were constructed 
by embedding a four-inch shell in the earth at the 
depth of a few feet, with a friction-tube attached 
to one end of a plank, the other end of which 
slanted upward to just below the surface of the 
road. This plank, at a spot about one-third of its 
total length, measuring from the shell, was sup- 
ported upon a fulcrum in such a manner that, 
when any weight was imposed upon the portion 
near the surface, the lower end jacked up and 
caused the shell to explode. 

On the 17th October the Battalion was once 
more moved to Tulo, where it remained until the 
7th November, upon which date the Second Brigade 
broke camp and began a march to the coast at 
Dar-es-Salaam. The way led to the banks of the 
Ruwu River, of which the Mgete is a right affluent, 


and from Magogoni, the point at which the stream 
was struck, down its valley to Mafisa. The country 
traversed a green and fertile valley, dipping gently 
toward the coast was perhaps the most attractive 
area seen by the Regiment in the lowlands of East 
Africa during the course of the whole campaign. 
The rivers, of course, were shrunken to their lowest 
levels, and many of the tributary streams were 
dried up ; but water was obtainable along the whole 
line of march, and in spite of the tropical heat, 
which increased in intensity as the coast was ap- 
proached, the nine days occupied by the journey 
to Dar-es-Salaam were less trying than were most 
of the marches undertaken by the Regiment 
during this campaign. 

At Mafisa the main road, which runs from 
Kidugato on the railway to Dar-es-Salaam, was 
struck ; and here the valley of the Ruwu was 
quitted, the Brigade marching in an easterly direc- 
tion, almost parallel to the railway, which was struck 
in its turn at Kisserawe on the 15th November. 
Although this line had now been for some time 
in the hands of the British, so much damage had 
been wrought to it that it was not yet open to 
traffic ; and the Brigade, to which the Regiment was 
still attached, accordingly continued its march to 
Dar-es-Salaam by road. The last-named place was 
reached on the 17th November, and the Regiment 
forthwith embarked on the steam transport Ingoma, 
the men, with their baggage, stores, etc., and a 
number of carriers being conveyed from the land- 
ing stage to the ship's side in lighters. All were 
got on board by 6.30 p.m., and a rather comfortless 
night was spent, the Ingoma being crowded to the 


gunwales with the men of the Regiment, their 
carriers and details belonging to other units. Very 
early in the morning of the 18th November the 
ship got under way, and set off on her two- 
hundred-mile journey down the coast to Kilwa 



THE reason for the transfer of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, from the region lying to the north of 
the Rufiji to a scene of operations situated to the 
southward of that river, can be explained in a few 

The enemy having been driven, in the course 
of the 1916 campaign, first across the Dar-es- 
Salaam-Lake Tanganyika railway, and thereafter 
through the hilly country to the south of that 
line to the southernmost fringe of the Uluguru 
Mountains, it was the object of the British com- 
mand to confine him, if possible, to the lowlying 
valley of the Rufiji during the coming wet season. 
He, on the other hand, it was thought, would try 
to establish his winter quarters in some convenient 
spot on the southern side of the valley, and it was 
believed that two of the places which he had 
selected for this purpose were the mission stations 
of Kibata and Mtumbei Juu, which are charmingly 
situated among the group of mountains that rises 
from the plain within a mile or two of the sea- 
shore between the Rufiji and Matandu rivers. In 
order to frustrate any such intention, Brigadier- 
General Hannyngton had been dispatched some 
weeks earlier to conduct the operations in the area 



above described, and it was for the purpose of 
acting as a reserve to General Hannyngton's Force 
that the Gold Coast Regiment was now being 
dispatched to Kilwa Kisiwani. Another factor in 
the situation was the great difficulty which the 
supply of the troops operating to the north of the 
Rufiji would present during the rainy season. It 
had become evident that their number must be 
reduced, and that even when this had been effected 
so far as safety allowed, the maintenance of the 
remainder, in a country which ere long would 
become water-logged, would be no easily solved 

The Regiment arrived at Kilwa Kisiwani on 
the 19th November, and disembarking during the 
afternoon, marched to Mpara, where it encamped. 
Here on the following day the Battalion was 
joined by the Depot Company, which had hitherto 
remained at Korogwe, on the Tanga-Moschi Rail- 
way under Major Read ; but owing to the 
difficulties of transport, its stores did not arrive 
with it. On the 24th November the Regiment 
marched up the coast, along a sandy track within 
sight of the sea, to a camp situated four miles to 
the west of Bliss Hill near Kilwa. Arrangements 
were made for forming a Depot Company and 
store accommodation at Mpara as a regimental 
base, and G Company was broken up, the men 
composing it being posted to other companies. 

On the 25th November the Regiment began its 
march along the road which leads in a westerly 
direction from Kilwa to Chemera, but owing to 
the late arrival of the transport- carriers and water- 


carts a start was not made until the afternoon. 
The Regiment halted for the night in the bush, 
six miles from their starting-point and a like 
distance from Ngeri-geri, about six miles down 
the road ; and on the following day it moved on to 
a camp about two and a half miles to the east of 

The line of march this day led across a villain- 
ous arid flat, covered with mean and dusty scrub 
and coarse rank grass, wilted and sun-dried. There 
was not an atom of shade to be found during the 
whole day's march; the heat from on high was 
great, and was vied with in intensity by the heat 
refracted from the ground ; and across this weary 
expanse officers and men plodded painfully, ankle- 
deep in the sandy surface of the road, and racked 
with unappeasable thirst. In spite of the assur- 
ance given to the Regiment that water would be 
procurable along the route, not a drop was to be 
obtained until the camp was reached late in the 
afternoon. The Gold Coast soldier is a toughish 
fellow, and as a rule is not greatly affected by 
extremes of heat. Like all Africans, however, he 
is blessed with very open pores, and an insufficient 
supply of drinking-water hits him peculiarly hard. 
On this day no less than forty men fell out, and 
sank exhausted on the line of march, and it would 
have gone hard with them had not some motor- 
drivers hurried to the rear and returned, after an 
absence of some hours, with a supply of water. 
Many of these exhausted men did not get into 
camp until the following day, and all of them, 
together with eight officers for they, too, were 
" foot-slogging it " with their men had forthwith 


to be sent to hospital as the result of this one day's 

None the less, on the 27th November, the 
Regiment shifted camp to a spot lying three miles 
to the west of Mitole ; and on the following day 
it moved on to Chemera, where it relieved the 
2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles. As soon as this had been effected, 
1 Company with 2 officers, 1 British non-com- 
missioned officer and 182 rank and file, marched 
off to Namaranje to occupy an outpost position at 
that place. 

The strength of the Regiment at this time was 
already very considerably reduced, as the break- 
ing up of G Company and the distribution of its 
personnel among the remaining Companies indi- 
cated. The field-state on November 28th the 
day upon which the Regiment went into camp at 
Chemera showed that only 19 British officers 
were present, as against the 36 who had started 
from Sekondi at the beginning of the preceding 
July, and that during the intervening period, the 
number of British non-commissioned officers had 
been reduced from 15 to 10, and that of the rank 
and file from 980 to 715. The principal battle 
casualties have been noted in the course of this 
narrative, but much greater havoc had been 
wrought to the personnel of the force by ill-health 
occasioned by exposure, over-exertion, bad food, 
and water insufficient in quantity and often vile 
in quality. 

It was hoped that on its arrival at Chemera a 
period of rest would be enjoyed by the Regiment, 
but before it had been in camp a week word was 


received that a force composed of a battalion of 
the King's African Rifles and the 129th Baluchis, 
which was in occupation of the mission station at 
Kibata, was being very hard pressed by the enemy, 
and ran some risk of being surrounded. 

On the 9th December, therefore, the Regiment 
left Chemera and marched in a northerly direc- 
tion to Mtumbei Chini, and thence on the 10th 
December to Kitambi at the foot of the moun- 
tains, in the heart of which the mission stations of 
Mtumbei Juu and Kibata are situated. It should 
be noted that the words " chini " and "juu," 
which will be found so frequently to occur in 
place-names in East Africa, signify respectively 
"low" and "high." Thus "Mtumbei Chini" 
means " Mtumbei on the Plain," and " Mtumbei 
Juu " means " Mtumbei on the Hill." 

A mile from Kitambi a river was met, through 
which the advanced guard, under the command 
of Captain Harman, had to wade with the water 
up to their necks. The officer commanding the 
rear-guard reported that when he crossed it, the 
river was only knee-deep ; while Captain A. J. R. 
O'Brien, R.A.M.C., who passed the same place 
next morning, found no river at all, but only a 
partially dried-up river-bed rather an interesting 
instance of the eccentricities of tropical water- 
courses. They, indeed, can rarely be relied upon 
for very long together, either to furnish drinking- 
water or to refrain from impeding transport. 

From Kitambi onward only mule-transport 
and head-carriers could be used, the path up which 
the Regiment was climbing being at once too 
narrow and too steep for the passage of motors. 


The precipitous track was difficult for the men, 
and still more difficult for the pack-animals ; and 
though the distance from Kitambi to Mtumbei 
Juu mission station was only eight miles, the mule 
transport took three-and-twenty hours to make the 
journey, and in the course of the day three mules 
were lost by falling over precipices. 

The position at Kibata mission*station which 
lies a few miles to the east and slightly to the north 
of Mtumbei Juu, and is separated; from it by a fairly 
deep valley was approximately as follows at the 
time when the Gold Coast Regiment arrived at 
the latter station. One battalion of the King's 
African Rifles and the 129th Baluchis had occu- 
pied Kibata, which is situated upon a prominent 
hill surrounded by an amphitheatre of command- 
ing mountains, and this force had forthwith be- 
come the object of very severe bombardment. 
The Germans had brought up one of the 4'1 naval 
guns, rescued by them from the Koenigsberg, and 
having placed it in a position on the other side of 
the mountains at some spot slightly to the north- 
west of Kibata, were shelling the mission station 
heavily. They evidently had an excellent obser- 
vation point concealed somewhere on the sur- 
rounding mountains, for they were making very 
good practice ; and the enemy had also established 
himself upon the slopes overlooking Kibata in a 
roughly semicircular position, with his left to the 
east and his right to the west of the mission station. 
A ridge, which runs parallel upon the east to the 
hill upon which the mission station stands had 
been occupied by the garrison ; and it was from this 
point alone that they were able in any degree to 


retaliate upon the attacking force. For the rest, 
the King's African Rifles and the Baluchis, who 
had no means of locating the position of the 
4-1 gun, and who, even if they had done so, 
possessed no artillery with which to make an 
adequate reply to its fire, could only endure the 
punishment they were receiving with such patience 
as they might command. The position, in fact, 
was rapidly becoming untenable ; and on the after 
noon of the 13th December General Hannyngton 
made a careful examination of the ground from a 
height in the neighbourhood of Mtumbei Juu, 
and decided to attempt to turn the enemy's right 

Between Mtumbei Juu and Kibata, at a point 
near the base of the valley which divides the hill 
upon which the mission station stands from that 
occupied by the Kibata mission buildings, a hill 
slopes upward in a long spur, trending in a 
northerly direction. Its surface, covered with 
grass and strewn with outcrops of rock, is broken 
by many minor crests, till the summit is reached 
at its most northerly extremity. Near the top a 
spur juts out to the east and south, shaped some- 
what like the flapper of a seal, its slopes separated 
from the main hill by a semicircular valley. The 
crest, on which there are a few trees but no cover 
of any kind, to-day bears the name of Gold Coast 
Hill. The outlying spur is called Banda Hill. 
From a point near Mtumbei Juu mission station 
and almost directly to the north of it, a ridge of 
mountains runs first north and later with a curve 
to the east overlooking and commanding Gold 
Coast Hill. It was General Hannyngton's hope 


that if the latter could be captured while this ridge 
still remained unoccupied, it would be possible 
thence to get round behind the enemy and so to 
outflank his right. The task of capturing this hill 
was assigned by him to the Gold Coast Regiment. 

Accordingly, at 6 a.m. on the 14th December, 
B Company, under Captain Shaw, was sent forward 
along the mountain track which connects Mtumbei 
Juu with Kibata, to get into touch with the force 
at Kibata, which a day or two earlier had been 
reinforced by another battalion of the King's 
African Rifles, and which was now under the 
command of General O'Grady. He reported that 
the road between the two missions was open, and 
at dusk the rest of the Battalion moved along the 
road for a distance of two to two and a half miles, 
and there camped for the night. 

At dawn on the 15th December, the disposition 
of the Regiment was as follows : 

The main body lay encamped about two miles 
along the Mtumbei Juu-Kibata road, with an out- 
post line, consisting of 50 rifles and one machine- 
gun, of B Company, under Captain Kelton, 
thrown out about a mile to the east. Captain 
Wheeler, with half A Company and one machine- 
gun, was posted on a line immediately in front 
of the main body, with a picket on the main road, 
and another on Harman's Kopje a small hill to 
the north-west of the camp. The other half of 
A Company, under Captain Harman, with one 
machine-gun, was in occupation of a hill about 1000 
yards north of Harman's Kopje, with an outpost 
on a small hill to the left of a path which led to 
Kibata, and another picket some 600 yards along 


this path at its point of junction with a track 
leading west. 

At 5 a.m. the Pioneer Company, under the 
command of Captain Poyntz, moved forward out 
of camp, and three-quarters of an hour later, 
Captain Biddulph, at the head of the advanced 
guard, passed the post which was being held by 
half A Company, under Captain Harman, and 
came under fire from the outlying spur on the 
right which bears the name of Banda Hill. 
Captain Biddulph was dangerously wounded, and 
Lieutenant Duncan was killed ; and the vanguard 
then withdrew to the main body, while the Battery 
came into action from a hill to the north of 
Harman's Kopje, loosing off a dozen rounds across 
the valley at Banda Hill, whence the enemy's fire 
had come. 

At about 8 a.m. Captain Poyntz continued his 
advance, and working round the small hills on the 
left of the main road, reached Gold Coast Hill, the 
summit of which was the main objective of the 
Force, at about 11 a.m. During this advance he 
encountered no further opposition, though he occu- 
pied Banda Hill and another eminence situated 
somewhat to the north-west of it, and left small 
detachments to hold each of these points. 

While this advance was in progress, the enemy 
brought his big naval gun into action, shelling very 
heavily the main road, behind the hill whence the 
Battery had opened fire. During this bombard- 
ment, one of his shells pitched almost at the feet 
of Colonel Rose, who was sitting under the lee of 
the hill with the Adjutant, Captain Pye, by his 
side, and with an orderly standing near. Both 


Scale of Yards 
400 200 400 . 800 


1 I I I 


Captain Pye and the orderly were killed instantly, 
and Colonel Rose was flung backward from this 
seat to a considerable distance, but was otherwise 

At one o'clock a heavy counter-attack began 
on Gold Coast Hill, and upon a small ridge in 
advance of that position, which was held by 
Lieutenant Shields with 30 rifles and one machine- 
gun ; and the violent shell, howitzer, rifle and 
machine-gun fire concentrated upon these points 
quickly caused many casualties. 

By this time the remaining companies of the 
Regiment, under the command of Major Goodwin, 
were in reserve upon Banda Hill, and upon the 
hill to the north-west of it, which had originally 
been occupied by Captain Poyntz in the course of 
his advance; and half of A Company, led by 
Captain Wheeler, was sent forward in support of 
the Pioneers. They were shortly followed by 
Lieutenant Piggott with one of B Company's 
machine-guns, who took up a position on the 
right flank of the crest of Gold Coast Hill. 
Lieutenant Piggott was almost immediately 
wounded, but he contrived none the less to con- 
tinue in the firing-line. 

At 2.30 p.m. Captain Poyntz was dangerously, 
and Captain Wheeler severely wounded, leaving 
Captain Harman who had himself been slightly 
wounded alone to command the main position, 
with Lieutenant Shields and Lieutenant Piggott, 
the one on the ridge in advance, the other on the 
right flank of the crest of the hill. 

Shortly afterwards Lieutenant Kinley with one 
machine-gun and Lieutenant Taylor with the rest 


of A Company came up in support ; but Lieutenant 
Taylor was severely wounded almost at the moment 
of his arrival on the crest of the hill. 

About 3 p.m. the enemy again opened heavy 
shell fire upon Gold Coast Hill, once more causing 
many casualties ; and Major Goodwin went forward 
with the remainder of the reserves about 50 rifles 
of B Company, under Captain Shaw who took 
up a position to the right of Lieutenant Piggott's 
machine-gun post. 

For two and a half more hours the Gold Coast 
Regiment clung to the position which it had 
occupied, and in which it had sustained such heavy 
and continuous losses since 11 o'clock in the 
morning ; but at 5.30 p.m. the 40th Pathans began 
to relieve it. The relief was effected without 
serious loss just before darkness fell, and the Gold 
Coast Regiment took up outpost positions for the 
night between the hill, which ever since has been 
known by its name, and the main road from 
Mtumbei Juu to Kibata. 

It was estimated that the enemy fired 180 high 
explosive shells from his naval gun from the time 
the hill was occupied until dark ; and the men 
were throughout terribly exposed, as the concen- 
tration of his rifle and machine-gun and occasional 
howitzer fire was such that they were unable to 
dig themselves in. Effective retaliation was im- 
possible, yet the behaviour of the men throughout 
the day was magnificent. Those who were in 
occupation of the hill clung to it during more 
than six hours with dogged resolution. Those wh< 
successively advanced to their support, moved 
forward with alacrity, and never showed a trac< 


of wavering or hesitation. It was about as severe 
a test as any to which a body of native troops 
could be subjected, but the Regiment passed 
splendidly through the ordeal, the severity of 
which may be judged from the following casualty 

During this r day December 15th, 1916 the 
Regiment sustained no less than 140 casualties. 
It lost 2 officers killed and 7 wounded; 1 
British non-commissioned officer wounded ; 26 
soldiers killed and 87 wounded; and 5 gun and 
ammunition carriers killed and 12 wounded, 
approximately 15 per cent, of the men engaged, 
and nearly 50 per cent, of the officers. 

On the 16th December the Regiment remained 
in camp reorganizing its shattered forces ; on the 
17th and 18th December it was held in reserve ; 
and though during the 17th detachments were 
moved forward in support of the 40th Pathans, 
who had been retired from Gold Coast Hill to the 
kopjes near its foot, they did not come into action. 
On that day, too, Captain Kelton, with 75 rank 
and file of B Company, were sent back to Kitambi. 
On the 19th December the Regiment was with- 
drawn, and went into camp at the foot of Mtumbei 
Juu Mission Hill. On the 21st of December the 
Regiment took up positions upon a roughly semi- 
circular ridge on the left of the road to Kibata and 
lying to the north-east of the mission, and here it 
remained for some days, occasionally using the 
Battery to support the 40th Pathans on Harman's 
Kopje, and sending out patrols, some of which 
had slight brushes with the enemy. On the 24th 
Captain Kelton, Captain D'Amico, R.A.M.C., 


Lieutenant Percy, Colour- Sergeant Beattie, and 
78 rank and file, with other details, rejoined the 
Regiment from Kitambi ; and on this day intelli- 
gence was received that Military Crosses had been 
awarded to Captain Shaw and to Captain A. J. R. 
O'Brien of the West African Medical Staff, which 
they had earned at Kikirunga Hill. 

On the 27th December Captain Kelton, with 
80 rank and file, took over Harman's Kopje from 
the 40th Pathans, and on the 29th December, a 
German camp having been located on the northern 
slope of Gold Coast Hill, the Battery opened fire 
upon it at 11 a.m., but found the target beyond 
its range. The enemy replied, and quickly found 
the position of the Battery, which Captain Foley 
at once removed to another prepared position. 
This movement had hardly been completed ere a 
shell burst within seven feet from the spot which 
had been vacated only a few moments earlier a 
striking illustration of the excellence of the enemy's 
observation and of the accuracy of his fire. 

At 9 a.m. on this day Captain Wray arrived in 
camp with welcome reinforcements from Kumasi 
and a party of Volunteers from Accra in the Gold 
Coast. These reinforcements consisted of 160 
men of D Company, who were all Fulanis, and 90 
Jaundis, who had originally been recruited in the 
Kameruns, under Captain Wray and Lieutenant 
Downer, 150 men of the Gold Coast Volunteers 
under Captain Hellis, and 200 Sierra Leone carriers. 

At 1.35 p.m. Captain Biddulph died from the 
wounds which he had received, when in command 
of the advanced guard, early in the morning of the 
15th December. 


On the 29th the reinforcements were paraded 
and allocated to the various companies; and on 
the following day General Hannyngton held a 
parade of details from all companies that could 
be spared from the firing-line, and decorated 3926 
Regimental Sergeant -Major Manasara Kanjaga, 
4388 Battery Sergeant-Major Bukari Moshi, and 
Sergeant Palpukah Grumah with Distinguished 
Conduct Medals which had been awarded to them 
for services rendered in the Kamerun Campaign. 

The strength of the Regiment on the 31st 
December, 1916, after the reinforcements above 
mentioned had been received, amounted to 19 
officers, 14 British non-commissioned officers, 10 
clerks and dressers, 860 rank and file, 444 gun, 
ammunition, and transport carriers, 34 servants, 
and 48 stretcher-bearers, making a total of 1429 
officers and men of all ranks. 

During the first week of January, 1917, the 
Regiment continued to occupy the ridge to the 
north-west of the Mtumbei Juu mission station, 
and on the left of the road leading to Kibata, 
sending out frequent patrols, which collected some 
useful information, and came on more than one 
occasion into touch with the enemy. The latter, 
meanwhile, had sustained a fairly severe check at 
the hands of General O'Grady's force, which, 
from the ridge occupied by it to the eastward of 
the Kibata mission station, had delivered a very 
successful night attack upon the extreme left of 
the enemy's position. 

On the 8th January, information having been 
received that large bodies of the enemy had left 
and were leaving the area by the road to Mwengei 


village over the hills directly to the north of 
Kibata Colonel Rose decided to make a recon- 
naissance in force in order to try to reach this 
road, and to retake Gold Coast Hill. At an early 
hour of the day, therefore, he proceeded with 250 
rifles from A and B Company, with the Battery 
and with the 24th Mountain Battery, along the 
high ridge overlooking Gold Coast Hill, of which 
mention has already been made, starting from the 
north-westerly extremity of the ridge which the 
Regiment had been holding. Owing, however, to 
the extremely difficult character of the country 
through which his way led, he was not able to 
reach a suitable place from which to begin opera- 
tions until late in the afternoon. 

At 6.30 on the following morning Major Good- 
win began to push forward along the ridge which 
commanded Gold Coast Hill from the north-west. 
No opposition was met with, and a patrol which 
was sent out to reconnoitre Gold Coast Hill re- 
ported that it had been evacuated by the enemy. 
This was later confirmed by Lieutenant Downer, 
who had reached Gold Coast Hill by the old route 
from Harman's Kopje, which the Regiment had 
followed on the 15th December. 

Other patrols were sent forward and reached 
the Mwengei road, effecting a junction with the 
2nd King's African Rifles and the 129th Baluchis, 
who had been operating from Kibata. The fact of 
the enemy's retreat was now established, the whole 
area being clear of hostile forces ; but the day being 
far advanced, Colonel Rose camped for the night at 
One-Stick Hill, so named from a conspicuous white 
palm-tree on its crest, in a position of extraordinary 


strength which had been established by the Ger- 
mans, and from which it was obvious most of the 
heavy howitzer, rifle, and machine-gun fire poured 
upon Gold Coast Hill on the 15th December had 

On the 10th January the reconnoitring party 
returned to Regimental Headquarters via Gold 
Coast Hill and the main road from Kibata to 
Mtumbei Juu Mission, while active patrolling of 
the Kibata- Mwengei road began. 

On this day word was received that Captain 
Poyntz had been awarded the Military Cross, 
Colour-Sergeant Campbell the Distinguished Con- 
duct Medal, and Lance- Corporal Sully Ibadan the 
Military Medal for their meritorious services in 
the engagement on the 15th December. 

During the next few days points of strategic 
importance were occupied, and patrols were sent 
out in various directions. By one of these, which 
was furnished by the 40th Pathans, two white 
German prisoners were brought in, one of whom 
was a certain Major von Bompkin, and the other 
a gunner from the Koenigsberg, decorated with the 
Iron Cross. Major von Bompkin had been second- 
in-command to von Lettow-Vorbeck, but after the 
British had forced their way into the Uluguru 
Mountains at the beginning of the preceding Sep- 
tember, he had headed a deputation to the German 
Commander-in-Chief, representing to him that 
enough had been done for honour, and that further 
resistance was useless and a mere waste of human 
lives. Von Lettow-Vorbeck's reply was forthwith 
to degrade him to the rank of a mere patrol 
commander ; and at the time of his capture 


von Bompkin was in charge of a party of only six 
men. He had apparently taken the harsh treat- 
ment meted out to him in a fine soldierly spirit, 
and as a patrol leader had shown great daring and 
enterprise. For instance, on one occasion he had 
passed the greater part of the night in the middle 
of the camp occupied by the 40th Pathans, shelter- 
ing himself from the rain in the officers' latrine. 
At dawn he had run into a very sleepy officer of 
the regiment, who failed to recognize him as an 
enemy in the uncertain light, and he had thereafter 
made good his retreat, carrying with him the 
detailed information of which he had come in 

On the 20th January the Regiment moved 
down the mountain by the main road to Kitambi, 
Colonel Rose returning to Mtumbei Juu mission 
station in the afternoon. He came back to Kitambi 
on the following day with the staff of the 3rd East 
African Brigade, to the command of which he 
had been temporarily appointed ; and on the 22nd 
January he left for Ngarambi Chini, a place situated 
some twenty miles due west of Kibata. Major 
Goodwin took over the command of the Gold 
Coast Regiment with effect from the 21st January. 



ON the 26th January, 1917, the Regiment, under 
the command of Major Goodwin, left Kitambi for 
Ngarambi Chini, and reached its destination next 
day, after camping for the night on the road at 
Namatwe, a spot distant fourteen and a half miles 
from the former place. From this point the roads 
in the neighbourhood were regularly patrolled ; and 
on the 31st January the Regiment moved to 
Kiyombo a place some six miles north of 
Ngarambi Chini where the brigade camp was 
established. From the 29th January to the 6th 
February A and B Companies were detached from 
the Regiment, and were stationed first at Nam- 
burage and later at a place on the banks of the 
Tjugomya River, to which the name of Greene's 
Post was given. From all these points, the work 
of patrolling the roads in the vicinity was regularly 
carried out ; and on the 3rd February Lieutenant 
Shields, with Colour-Sergeant Nelson, 50 rank 
and file and 1 machine-gun, were sent out on 
this duty from Njimbwe, where the Pioneer Com- 
pany was then on a detached post, along the road 
leading to Utete. It should be noted that the 
Utete here mentioned is not the largish town on 
the right bank of the Rufiji River which bears that 



< cQ 


name, but a much smaller place situated about 
eleven miles north of Kiyombo. 

The patrol under Lieutenant Shields had orders 
to meet a patrol of the King's African Rifles from 
Kiwambi at a point some nine miles from Njimbwe, 
but he had proceeded along the road leading to 
Utete for a distance of only about a mile and a 
half when the advance point sent back to report 
that they had seen a group of about ten German 
Askari on the eastern or right side of the track. 
It was a favourite trick of the Germans at this 
time to dress themselves and their native soldiers 
in kit belonging to the British which had fallen 
into their hands, and thus to occasion confusion as 
to who was friend and who was foe. The country 
through which Lieutenant Shields was patrolling 
was for the most part of a fairly open character, 
though it was covered with rank grass, set pretty 
thickly with trees, and studded here and there with 
patches of underwood. The party of the enemy 
had only been glimpsed for a moment, but as 
Lieutenant Shields went forward at once, followed 
or accompanied by Colour - Sergeant Nelson, a 
white man, dressed like an officer of the King's 
African Rifles, appeared at a little distance ahead 
of the advance point, crying out in English, " Don't 
fire ! we are K. A.R.'s." Lieutenant Shields, who 
was very short-sighted, taken in by this treacherous 
ruse, bade his men not fire, and the enemy, who 
appear to have been about 200 strong with many 
Europeans among them, thereupon poured a volley 
into the patrol from the bush at very short range. 
This was followed by the blowing of bugles and an 
assault. Lieutenant Shields and Colour-Sergeant 


Nelson were both shot, as also was the corporal in 
charge of the machine-gun while trying to bring 
his piece into action. A German who attempted 
to approach Shields as he lay on the ground was 
shot by a man of the Gold Coast Regiment, and 
the rest of the machine-gun team managed to get 
their gun away safely. The patrol, however, had 
to retire in disorder, and in addition to the casualties 
already enumerated 8 rank and file were missing 
and were afterwards ascertained to have been killed, 
while 2 stretcher-bearers were wounded, and 1 
machine-gun carrier, 1 transport-carrier and 2 
stretcher-bearers were also missing. The patrol 
further lost 3 boxes of small-arm ammunition, 6 
machine-gun belts, 2 stretchers and a medical 

It was Lieutenant Shields, it will be remem- 
bered, who held the advanced post on the ridge 
beyond the summit of Gold Coast Hill during 
those soul-searching hours between 11 a.m. and 
dusk on the 15th December. It seemed a tragedy 
that this gallant young officer, who had come un- 
scathed through the ordeal of that day, and who 
had earned for himself a high reputation for cool- 
ness and courage, should lose his life in the paltry 
wayside ambush above described. 

George Hilliard Shields was at the outbreak of 
war a member of the Education Department of 
the Gold Coast, and held the post of headmaster 
of the Government Boys' School at Accra. He 
had earlier filled a scholastic post in Raffles' 
Institute at Singapore : and in the Gold Coast 
he distinguished himself by passing the very 
difficult interpreter's examination in the Ga 


language. Like so many Gold Coast civilians, 
Mr. Shields early volunteered for active service, 
but it was not found possible to release him from 
civil employment until the Regiment was ordered 
to East Africa in the middle of 1916. He will 
long be remembered in Accra for the excellent and 
manly influence which he exerted over the boys 
who were under his tutelage. 

At 1.30 p.m. a standing patrol was sent forward 
to the Kibega River on the Unguara road, where it 
entrenched itself. Shortly afterwards a small 
enemy patrol appeared on the road to the south of 
this post and was fired upon. The men composing 
it bolted into the bush, their porters dropping their 
loads, which turned out to be part of the small- 
arms ammunition lost by Lieutenant Shields 
earlier in the day. Later in the afternoon the 
enemy returned and, supported by three maxims, 
attacked the post. The patrol of the Regiment 
held on for a while, but finding itself outnumbered, 
retired through the bush to the camp at Njimbwe, 
losing one man. 

On the 4th February, the Regiment left the 
camp at Kiyombo and moved forward to Njimbwe, 
which lies about five miles to the north, where the 
40th Pathans presently joined them ; and from 
here, as usual, small patrols were daily sent out 
along the roads in the neighbourhood. 

On the 5th February the Pioneer Company 
and the Battery left Njimbwe at 5.30 a.m., in the 
midst of a terriific thunderstorm, for the purpose 
of supporting the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regi- 
ment of the King's African Rifles, who were about 
to deliver an attack upon two German camps, both 


of which overlooked the Ngarambi-Utete road. 
They came in contact with an enemy post, which 
was quickly dislodged, and they subsequently 
joined up with the King's African Rifles, only to 
learn that the elusive enemy had abandoned his 

The detachment camped for the night with the 
King's African Rifles at the junction of the road 
to Utete with another track ; and as a token that 
the dry season was now fairly over, heavy rain fell 
with melancholy persistency during all the hours 
of darkness. The men, of course, had no shelter 
save such as they had been able to improvise for 
themselves on the preceding evening ; and there 
are, perhaps, few more dreary or depressing ex- 
periences than that of lying out all night under 
the relentless beat of a steady tropical downpour. 
The cold felt has little in common with the brisk, 
keen cold of a frosty day or that met with at a 
high altitude; but it has certain raw and pene- 
trating properties, and the discomfort becomes 
hourly more acute, while at every moment the 
puddles suck and squelch beneath you, and fresh 
streams of colder water flow in from unexpected 
directions to chill you to the bone. 

At 8 a.m. on the following morning February 
6th the detachment left its comfortless bivouac, 
and marched and waded back to Njimbwe over a 
shockingly bad track, which the heavy rain of the 
night before had reduced to a quagmire and in 
places had flooded to a depth of two feet. The 
detachment had hardly got into camp when some 
carriers, who had been out searching for fuel, ran 
in with the news that the enemy was approaching. 


An attack quickly followed, the enemy taking up 
a line from south-east to west, and approaching in 
places to within 200 yards of the camp. The 
surprise was complete, and some of the men of 
the 40th Pathans, who were outside the perimeter 
when the attack began, were unfortunately injured 
by their own machine-gun fire. The enemy, how- 
ever, was not in any great strength, and he had 
evidently not realized that he was attacking so 
large a force. When he discovered the situation 
he drew off somewhat hastily, and was hotly 
pursued for over a mile. Only a few of the 
attacking force were seen, but among them an 
European was observed wearing a King's African 
Rifles hat and flash, and two Askari, one with a 
turban and one with the green knitted cap which 
is part of the service kit of the men of the Gold 
Coast Regiment. The casualties sustained by the 
latter were 1 man killed, 3 wounded, 1 gun-carrier 
and 5 transport-carriers wounded, and 1 Gold 
Coast Volunteer missing, of whom nothing was 
ever subsequently heard. The 40th Pathans lost 
6 men killed and 18 wounded, while the known 
enemy losses were 10 men wounded, including 
1 European. Immediately after this incident, 
Captain Harman took out a patrol to repair the 
telephone-line, which had been cut, while for some 
time previously it had been frequently tapped by 
the enemy. 

The next few days were occupied in patrolling 
the roads in the neighbourhood of the camp ; and 
on the 9th February the bodies of Lieutenant 
Shields, Colour-Sergeant Nelson, and of eight 
soldiers, who had been killed on the Utete road 


on the 3rd February, were discovered. A burial 
party was sent out, and the bodies of Lieutenant 
Shields and Colour-Sergeant Nelson were brought 
back to the camp, where the burial service was 
read by the Rev. Captain Nicholl, and Holy 
Communion was celebrated. 

For some weeks past the men of the Regiment 
had been suffering very acutely from lack of 
sufficient food. Not only was the supply inade- 
quate, but much of the stuff sent up had to be 
condemned as quite unfit for human consumption. 
Many of the men were terribly emaciated, and 
some eighty of them were subsequently sent to 
hospital suffering from starvation. Had the Regi- 
ment not had the good fortune to find a few food 
plots planted with cassava, things would have been 
even worse than they were. The officers would 
have fared no better had not some of them chanced 
to possess a slender stock of European provisions, 
which they shared in common ; but the officers of 
a neighbouring mess had to live for weeks upon 
nothing but mealie porridge, which they consumed 
at frequent intervals throughout the day, as they 
found it impossible to eat at a sitting enough of 
this filling but unsatisfying stuff to allay their 
hunger for more than a few hours. 

The discipline of the men of the Gold Coast 
Regiment under this prolonged and trying ordeal 
was beyond all praise. They had followed their 
white officers across the sea to this unknown land, 
where they had endured cold such as they had 
never dreamed of, where they had been grilled by 
the sun and parched by unappeasable thirst. They 
had plodded manfully up hill and down dale, across 


barren, arid flats, and had waded through a water- 
logged country. Whenever and wherever they 
had met the enemy they had fought him like the 
fine soldiers they are, until the saying, "The 
green caps never go back," had passed into a 
proverb in the German camp. Now in the heart 
of a dismal swamp, they were slowly but surely 
starving. Yet never once did they murmur or 
blame their officers. 

During the next fortnight the Regiment re- 
mained in the camp at Njimbwe, sending out 
patrols, some of which had difficulty in preventing 
themselves from being cut off by the suddenly 
deepening swamps, when a more than usually 
heavy downpour flooded the low-lying land ; squab- 
bling with enemy forage-parties for possession of 
the rare patches of cassava ; taking an occasional 
prisoner ; and sustaining a few attacks upon its 
outposts, During one of the latter incidents, on 
Valentine's Day, Machine-gun Corporal Tinbela 
Busanga behaved with great gallantry, working 
his gun, after he had been badly wounded in the 
arm, until he was too faint with loss of blood 
to carry on. On this day, though the enemy was 
driven off without difficulty, two men of B Com- 
pany were wounded. On another occasion, a patrol 
of six men, under Corporal Amandu Fulani 4, was 
ambushed and killed to a man, though not until 
they had made a hard fight of it. Amandu Fulani, 
who was a very smart and gallant young soldier, 
had been orderly to the Governor at Accra, but 
when D Company was ordered to East Africa, 
he insisted upon accompanying "his brothers." 
When his body was found, it had been stripped 


of his uniform, but a gunshot wound in the abdo- 
men had been bound up with his kamar-band. 
Though the enemy had removed his casualties, 
there were abundant signs that the little patrol 
had sold their lives dearly. 

And during all this time the entry in the War 
Diary of the Regiment, " Half Rations," sounds 
its reiterated and despairing note. 

On the 23rd February the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment moved out of Njimbwe camp at daybreak, 
marched to Ngarambi Chini, which was reached at 
2 p.m., and where an hour's halt was called. The 
march was continued till 6 p.m., at which time 
Namatewa was reached. The distance traversed 
was a good twenty miles, which at any time is a 
tough bit of work for a body of marching men, 
but though a few swamps were met with the road 
was drier than might have been expected. None 
the less, the men, in their then half-famished con- 
dition, arrived very tired, and were glad to find 
that the Pioneer Company, which had gone on in 
advance, had got a comfortable camp ready for 
their reception, and had succeeded in finding 
excellent water. This latter feat had been per- 
formed, not for the first time, by Corporal Musa 
Fra-Fra, a native of the North-Eastern Province 
of the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast. 
This man seemed to possess some strange instinct 
which enabled him unerringly to discover water if 
such were to be obtained anywhere by digging or 
otherwise ; and though he obstinately refused 
to reveal his secret or to show any one how to 
perform similar miracles, frequent use was made 
of his strange faculty by the officers of the 


Pioneer Company during the campaign in East 

From this point the Regiment inarched by 
fairly easy stages to Kitambi, at the foot of the 
hills, to Mtumbei Chini, Chemera, and Mitole, 
where it arrived on the 27th February, and went 
into camp to reorganize and recuperate. The men 
had richly earned a period of rest, for they had 
been continuously on the march or on active 
service ever since their arrival at Kilindini, in 
British East Africa, exactly seven months earlier. 

Colonel R. A. de B. Rose, D.S.O., who had 
actively commanded the Regiment ever since the 
end of August, 1914, who had served with it 
throughout the Kameruns campaign before bring- 
ing it to East Africa, and who since January 20th 
had been in command of a column, was made a 
Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel with effect from the 
1st January, 1917, to the great satisfaction of the 
officers and men. 

This pause in the Regiment's activities, though 
it was not destined to prove of any long duration, 
may be taken as providing a convenient oppor- 
tunity briefly to review the general military situation 
as it stood at the end of the wet season of 1917. 
The rains in the lower valley of the Rufiji River 
began this year early in February, and in the 
ordinary course they might be expected to last 
until late in May, the commencement of the dry 
season in tropical East Africa usually synchroniz- 
ing more or less accurately with the breaking of 
the south-west monsoon upon the shores of Ceylon 
on the other side of the Indian Ocean. 


As we have seen, the drive from north to 
south, which had been begun in earnest in the 
preceding August, and for participation in which 
the Gold Coast Regiment had arrived just in time, 
had had the effect of expelling the enemy first 
from the country between the Tanga-Moschi and 
the Dar-es-Salaam-Lake Tanganyika railways, 
and later from the country between the last-named 
line and the Rufiji. Once across this river, a 
further retreat to the south became for the enemy 
almost a necessity ; and when he found that he 
could not establish his winter headquarters in the 
highlands about Kibata mission station, he seems 
to have broken his forces up into comparatively 
small parties, and while keeping in touch with the 
troops on the southern side of the Rufiji, who were 
under General Hannyngton's command, to have 
worked steadily south, living on the country as far 
as possible, and gradually making his way out of 
the water-logged areas amid which he had been 
overtaken by the break-up of the dry weather 
early in February. 

Von Lettow-Vorbeck, the German Commander- 
in-Chief, who throughout was the living soul of the 
resistance offered to the British, was not a man 
who believed in doing things by halves, and when 
he found that the valley of the Rufiji was unten- 
able, he established his main headquarters nearly 
two hundred miles further to the south of that 
river, at a place lying within thirty-five miles of 
the Rovuma, which is the boundary between erst- 
while German and Portuguese East Africa. The 
spot chosen was the mission station at Massassi, 
which is pleasantly situated at a height of 1500 feet 


above sea-level, and is a point at which the prin- 
cipal roads running through the south-eastern 
portion of the territory cross one another. The 
main road from the port of Lindi, which runs in a 
south-westerly direction to Makotschera on the 
Rovuna, and there effects a junction with the 
main road which skirts the northern bank of that 
river from Sassaware to its mouth, crosses at Mas- 
sassi the main road from Newala on the south- 
east, which runs in a north-westerly direction to 
Li wale, and thence almost due north to the Rufiji 
River at Mikesse. From Li wale, moreover, another 
main road runs in a north-easterly direction to the 
sea at Kilwa Kivinje, and west by south to Songea 
itself a point of junction of an elaborate road- 
system and thence due west to Wiedhafen on 
the shores of Lake Tanganyika. 

Even in this campaign, it should be noted, the 
influence of British sea-power made itself felt, for 
though some supplies are known to have reached 
the enemy in spite of the naval blockade, the 
command of the sea had enabled General Han- 
nyngton's force to be slipped in behind the 
retreating Germans via Kilwa, and had shown 
to von Lettow-Vorbeck the danger he ran of 
being cut off or surrounded by troops rapidly 
transported by sea to some spot south of the 
scene of his land operations. Apart from the 
commanding position which Massassi occupied 
as 'the key-point of the main lines of communi- 
cation by land in this part of the country, and 
from its convenient proximity to the German- 
Portuguese boundary, its selection as von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's main headquarters during the 1917 


campaign was probably due to the fact that it 
could not easily be outflanked by troops conveyed 
further to the south by sea. With his main head- 
quarters established at this point, moreover, and 
with all the principal highways in this part of the 
country at his immediate disposal, he could freely 
raid the districts to the north in which the scat- 
tered British forces were strongly established, and 
could occupy and hold, as long as it paid him to 
occupy and hold them, points of vantage such 
as Liwale, which could conveniently be used as 
his advance bases. 

The German troops must have suffered con- 
siderably during the months immediately following 
their expulsion from the country north of the 
Rufiji, though it is doubtful whether they were 
called upon to endure a greater measure of physical 
discomfort or more acute starvation than that which 
fell to the lot of the Gold Coast Regiment and 
the 40th Pathans in their water-logged camp at 
Njimbwe, or to that of the Nigerian Brigade 
which had now arrived in East Africa and which, 
while holding with other troops the northern bank 
of the Rufiji during all that dismal rainy season, 
went lamentably short of everything save water, 
of which there was always an odious superfluity. 

The fidelity of the German native soldiers at 
this period, and the fact that so few of them 
voluntarily surrendered to the British, have been 
quoted in certain ill-informed quarters as providing 
a striking testimony to the affection which the 
Germans are alleged to have inspired in the native 
population of East Africa. Subscription to any 
such opinion argues a complete misunderstanding 


of the military system which the Germans erected 
in their African colonies. It had for its basic 
principle the establishment among the native popu- 
lation of an isolated caste, whose members were 
not only allowed, but were actively encouraged, to 
assert their superiority over the rest of the in- 
habitants of the country, who, where a soldier was 
concerned, ceased to have any rights of person or 
of property, and could look for no redress when it 
was an Askari who had maltreated them. It will 
be remembered that in the German mind, as it 
was revealed to a disgusted world in August and 
September, 1914, there existed a strange confusion 
of thought, which drew no distinction between fear 
of physical violence and the respect inspired by 
noble qualities. Thus it was openly declared by 
the German High Command that the organized 
bestialities practised in Belgium would cause the 
whole world "to respect the German soldier." It 
was this characteristic confusion of ideas which 
led the Germans in their African colonies to seek 
to inspire the native population with a proper spirit 
of " respect " for their white rulers, by placing every 
ruffian who wore the Kaiser's uniform above the 
law, and by bestowing upon him a free hand in 
so far as the treatment of the rest of the native 
population was concerned. An example may be 
cited, which is drawn from the personal knowledge 
of the present writer. In September, 1913, a 
German native soldier in the employment of the 
Togoland Government shot an old woman a 
British subject for an unwitting breach of quaran- 
tine regulations, and having shot her, proceeded to 
club her to death with the butt-end of his rifle 


Protests were duly made to the then Governor of 
Togoland, Duke Adolf Freidrich of Mecklenburg, 
and assurances were given that suitable notice had 
been taken of the incident. Yet when the British 
occupied Lome, the capital of Togoland, less than 
a year later, the culprit was found not even to have 
been sentenced to a term of imprisonment. 

During the earlier part of the campaign, and 
as far as possible up to the very end, everything 
was done to mark the superiority of the Askari 
over the rest of African mankind. They were 
provided with carriers who were, to all intents and 
purposes, their bondsmen and body-servants, their 
very rifles being carried for the soldiers when on 
the line of march and at a secure distance from 
the enemy. For their use a commando of women, 
under military escort, was marched about the 
country a luxury with which the German officers 
also were for the most part plentifully provided ; 
and, in fact, no stone was left unturned to impress 
upon the men themselves and upon the rest of the 
native population that the Askari were a Chosen 
People in whose presence no dog must presume 
to bark. 

The inevitable effect of this system was that 
the hand of every civilian native throughout the 
German colonies in Africa was against the Askari, 
and when war broke out these native soldiers were 
unable, even if they had been willing to risk so 
hazardous an experiment, to melt back into the 
native population from whom they had been com- 
pletely differentiated and isolated, and whose un- 
dying hatred they had earned in good measure, 
shaken together, pressed down, and running over. 


Their only safety lay in holding together, and in 
maintaining as long as possible the tottering mili- 
tary system to which they owed alike their past 
privileges and their present imminent danger of 
death at the hands of an enemy, or of still worse 
things if they fell into the clutches of their outraged 
countrymen. Toward the end of 1916 a number 
of captured Askari were sent back to British East 
Africa, and were there incorporated in a battalion 
of the King's African Rifles. The reputation 
which they there won for themselves is instructive 
excellent on parade, but a most violent and 
undisciplined crew when off duty, who in their 
relations with the native population respected the 
laws neither of God nor of man. 

It was due to the German system, it is true, 
that the Askari remained faithful to their white 
masters, but the reasons which inspired this fidelity 
are to the last degree discreditable to Germany 
and to her conception of the manner in which an 
European nation should " co-operate in the work 
of civilization " 1 among a primitive people in a 
distant land. 

1 It was a British Prime Minister who declared, speaking during 
the early eighties of the nineteenth century, that if Germany desired 
colonies, " Great Britain would welcome her co-operation in the work of 



DURING the month of March, 1917, the main 
body of the Regiment lay in camp at Mitole, 
undergoing company training, and sending out 
frequent small patrols along the roads in the neigh- 
bourhood. The Depot Company still remained 
at Mpara, between Kilwa Kivinje and Kilwa Kisi- 
wani, the latter being the port at which the 
Regiment had landed when it was transported 
south by sea from Dar-es- Salaam in the preceding 
November. B Company was dispatched to hold 
a post at a place variously called Kirongo and 
Nivanga, which lies almost due west from Mnasi 
a few miles up a track that leads from the main 
Kilwa Kivinje-Liwale road, to Njijo, whence the 
main road from Kilwa Kivinje runs northward to 
Kitambi. A post consisting of one officer and 
twenty men of the Pioneer Company was also 
established at Nigeri-geri, near the junction of the 
main roads from Kitambi and Liwale, and on 
March 26th the whole company was sent there. 
On the 25th March the post at Nivanga, which 
was protecting a party working on the Chemera 
road, was attacked by an enemy patrol, which was 
driven off without difficulty, but two men of 
A Company were wounded. 



On the 3rd April, the Regiment left Mitole, 
and marching across country along a vile track 
till the main highway leading from Kilwa Kivinje 
to Liwale was encountered, reached Mnasi on the 
following day, and proceeded to establish a camp 
there. Mnasi lies on the main road above men- 
tioned and is distant about three-and-twenty miles 
from Kilwa Kivinje. Here two wells, dug by 
the Germans and cased with brick, were found, 
but they contained no water. B Company was 
separated from the rest of the Regiment at this 
time, being still stationed at Kirongo. 

Very early in the morning of April llth, a 
bush native came into camp and reported that 
another native, who had come into Makangaga 
from the south on the preceding evening, had 
brought word that the enemy was at Likawage, 
rather more than thirty miles I to the south of 
Mnasi, and that two companies, over two hundred 
strong, were marching down the road to that place. 
Makangaga lies south-east of Mnasi and is distant 
barely four miles from that place. Accordingly 
Lieutenant Kinley, with seventy-five rank and file 
and one machine-gun, was at once dispatched to 
make an attempt to ambush the advancing enemy. 

This little band proceeded up the road to 
Makangaga, and passing through that village, 
sought some point of vantage from whence to 
attack the enemy as he marched down the road. 
For once men of the Gold Coast Regiment, whose 
patrols had so often been harassed by an elusive 
and invisible enemy, were to have a chance of 
subjecting a German force to a similarly unpalatable 


The country, however, was for the most part a 
dead flat, broken only by gentle undulations, and 
now, toward the end of the rains, it was covered 
with a new growth of tall grass, very thick and 
lush. In these circumstances, it was not possible 
to find any spot which actually overlooked the 
road and was at the same time securely concealed 
from the observation of the enemy's advanced 
points. Lieutenant Kinley, however, took careful 
note of the lie of the land, and led his little force 
into the high grass, where he drew it up in as 
compact a line as possible in a position parallel to 
the highway, and distant some sixty or seventy 
yards from it. Here the machine-gun was set up, 
and the men, breathless with expectation and 
excitement, lay down and waited. 

Presently the sound of a large body of men 
marching down the road became audible ; and 
Lieutenant Kinley, reserving his fire until he 
judged that the main body of the enemy was 
in his immediate front, let the Germans have it 
with rifle and machine-gun for all his little force 
was worth. An indescribable uproar ensued, while 
enemy bullets whistled in every direction above 
the heads of Kinley's men ; and presently it became 
obvious that the Germans were rushing into the 
long grass upon a wide front to counter-attack 
their assailants. 

Fearing to be enveloped by the greatly superior 
force which he had had the hardihood to ambush, 
Lieutenant Kinley ceased fire, rapidly moved his 
men to the rear and toward one of the enemy's 
flanks, and from thence repeated his former tactics. 
Another wild hooroosh was the result, and for 


perhaps a quarter of an hour, the Germans and the 
little band of Gold Coasters played an exciting 
game of hide and seek, each being completely 
hidden from the other by the ten-foot screen of 
grass, and being compelled to trust purely to the 
sounds that reached them to determine the direc- 
tion of their fire. At the end of that time a luck- 
less band of Germans, composed of Europeans and 
natives, wandered into view, walking along a path 
within a few yards of a spot in which Lieutenant 
Kinley and his breathless men were lying. Very 
few of the enemy survived this encounter; and 
Lieutenant Kinley considering that he had now 
done as much damage as he would be able to effect 
without running too great a risk of himself being 
enveloped and cut off, extricated his small force 
with considerable skill, and led it back to the camp 
at Mnasi. 

In this brilliant little encounter six men of the 
Gold Coast Regiment were killed, six were wounded, 
and one fell into the hands of the enemy. The 
latter lost three white men and fifteen Askari 
killed, and over thirty wounded; and the Gold 
Coast Regiment, remembering the fate of Lieu- 
tenant Shields and Colour-Sergeant Nelson and 
their men, had the satisfaction of feeling that, to 
use the phrase of the officers' mess, " they had got 
back some of their own." 

On the 13th April the enemy sent in a flag of 
truce, and restored to the Gold Coast Regiment 
four of the men who had been wounded during 
Lieutenant Kinley 's action on the llth April. 
The bearer of the flag of truce admitted the heavy 
losses which the enemy had sustained on that 


occasion. For his daring little exploit, Lieutenant 
Kinley was recommended by Colonel Rose, who 
was still commanding the 3rd East African Brigade, 
for a Distinguished Service Order. 

On the 15th April, the Regiment made a nine 
hours' march over a villainous track to Migeri-geri, 
which is situated on the main road thirteen and 
a half miles from Kilwa, where a new camp was 
established ; and on the 17th of April Lieutenant 
Beech with a patrol of fifty rank and file and one 
machine-gun marched along the Mnasi road to 
investigate the cutting of the telegraph wire. He 
met a patrol of B Company, with whom was the 
agent of the Intelligence Department, and they 
shortly afterwards had a brush with an enemy 
patrol, B Company losing one man killed and one 
wounded ; but the enemy was driven off and the 
telegraph line repaired. 

On the same day, Captain Foley with the 
Battery and an escort of thirty rank and file of 
A Company, joined a force, commanded by the 
Colonel of the 40th Pathans, which was operating 
in the direction of Mnasi ; the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment took over the outposts hitherto held by the 
Pathans ; Captain Greene and the Pioneer Com- 
pany joined the Regiment in camp ; and at 7 p.m. 
a cable party was sent out to restore communica- 
tion with the Officer Commanding the Pathans 
at Rumbo, a place about five miles south by east 
of Migeri-geri. 

On the following day the Battery and its escort, 
under the command of Captain Foley, came in for 
a pretty hot engagement at Rumbo, where they 
were in action with the 40th Pathans and 150 men 


of the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the 
King's African Rifles. It was the 40th Pathans, 
it will be remembered, who took over Gold Coast 
Hill from the Regiment at dusk on the 15th 
December, and throughout the campaign they 
had fought with steadfastness and courage. Their 
casualties, both in the field and from sickness, had 
been very severe, however, and their numerical 
strength had recently been made up by large 
drafts of raw recruits from India, the bulk of 
whom were not drawn from the strata of the 
population which, in the past, have always sup- 
plied men for the 40th Pathans. Precisely what 
happened on this day does not concern us here. 
That the veterans of the 40th Pathans fought gal- 
lantly is attested by the fact that of one of their 
machine-gun teams every man was killed at his 
post, but the rest of the story can best be confined 
to the experiences of the Battery of the Gold Coast 
Regiment and of its commander. 

On the 18th April Captain Foley got his guns 
into position, in order to cover and support the 
infantry advance, at a point across the Ngaura 
River in the neighbourhood of Rumbo. The 
stream, in which the water was on that day nearly 
chin-deep, was behind him, and the camp of the 
force which Colonel Tyndall of the 40th Pathans 
was commanding lay in the bush on the further 
bank. The country was covered by pretty dense 
trees and scrub, and all that the guns could do was 
to shell the area in which the enemy was believed 
to be concealed. After this had been going on for 
some time, the Battery trumpeter, Nuaga Kusasi, 
approached Captain Foley and reported that there 



were no British soldiers in front or on the flanks 
of the Battery, and that the men moving in the 
bush, barely thirty yards ahead, were the enemy. 
Captain Foley was incredulous, but Nuaga Kusasi 
insisted, and stating that he could see a German 
officer, put up his rifle and fired at him. Im- 
mediately the bush ahead of the guns was seen to 
be alive with enemy Askari. 

The men of the Battery, and the thirty men of 
A Company which formed its escort, behaved ad- 
mirably, and Bogoberi, one of the gun-carriers, 
drew his matchet and declared that he and his 
fellows would charge the enemy with those weapons 
before the guns should be touched. His example 
was followed by all the other gun-carriers, who 
were enlisted men drawn from the same tribes as 
the soldiers. 

These things happened in the space of a few 
seconds, and already Captain Foley had taken 
complete charge of the situation, his fluency in 
Hausa making it easy for him to give his orders 
clearly and rapidly. He bade the Battery Sergeant- 
Major retire the two guns and all the ammunition 
across the river, and then dividing his small force, 
which was composed of the thirty men of A Com- 
pany and about a dozen men of the Battery, he 
placed half under the Sergeant-Major of A Com- 
pany and the rest under Sergeant Mahmadu Moshi 
of the Battery. These non-commissioned officers 
successively led charges into the bush, whence, 
barely twenty yards away, the enemy were firing 
upon Foley's men. This had its immediate effect, 
and Foley next retired half his little party a few 
yards to the rear, while the rest emptied their 


magazine rifles into the bush occupied by the 
enemy. The party in advance then retired at 
the double through the men behind them, and 
in their turn took up a position from which to 
cover the retreat of their fellows. In this manner 
the enemy, who were in greatly superior force, 
were successfully kept at bay, while Sergeant-Major 
Bukare Moshi retired the two guns to the further 
bank of the river, an operation which was so suc- 
cessfully conducted that, in spite of the deep water, 
it was performed with the loss of only one box 
of ammunition. One gunner and three men of 
A Company were killed, and three gun-carriers 
were wounded ; but the guns were saved, and the 
great coolness and skill with which Captain Foley 
handled his men, and the pluck, steadfastness, and 
resource which the latter showed, won the special 
praise of Colonel Tyndall of the 40th Pathans. 
The action of the Battery on this occasion did 
much to avert what at one time threatened to be 
a serious disaster. Later in the day Captain Shaw, 
with two hundred men of A and B Companies, 
marched to Rumbo to reinforce the 40th Pathans. 
The feat thus accomplished was one of quite 
extraordinary difficulty. The river- crossing at this 
point, even in the dry season, is by no means 
easy, for the banks, which are some ten feet in 
height, rise sheer from the bed and had been worn 
smooth by the passage of much running water. 
On this particular day, however, the stream was a 
raging torrent and the steep banks were as slippery 
as ice. That, in these circumstances, the passage 
of the guns and ammunition should have been 
effected with such expedition and success shows 


what human effort is capable of achieving in 
moments of intense excitement. 

During the action just described, Lieutenant 
Murray, R.N., who was in command of a naval 
Lewis gun section, had all the men of his team 
either killed or wounded. He then attached him- 
self to Captain Foley, rendering him valuable 
assistance, and refusing himself to cross the stream 
until the last of the Battery had passed over in 

Captain Macpherson, in command of I Com- 
pany, was also in action during this day at a place 
called Beaumont's Post, which was situated near 
the banks of the Magaura river, on a track that 
runs parallel to the coast, but well out of sight 
of the sea, to the east and a little to the south of 
Humbo. This post, though of great strength, was 
very close to the enemy, and it and the patrols sent 
out from it were frequent objects of his attack. 
On this occasion Captain Macpherson lost two 
men killed, two wounded, and tw r o local porters 

On the 19th April the rest of the Regiment 
marched to Rumbo, and there relieved the 40th 
Pathans ; and during the afternoon the enemy, 
under a flag of truce, sent in five men who had 
been wounded during the action of the preceding 
day, and who had fallen into his hands. The 
bearer of the flag of truce admitted that the enemy 
had himself lost thirty men in that action, so the 
veterans of the 40th Pathans and the Battery of 
the Gold Coast Regiment and its escort had not 
put up their rather desperate little fight in vain. 

During the next two days the surrounding 


country was patrolled, and the defences of the 
camp at Rumbo were improved ; and on the 22nd 
April the Brigade Headquarters were established 
there, and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment 
of the King's African Rifles arrived in camp. 
Patrolling continued, and on the 25th April Cap- 
tain Macpherson reported from Beaumont's Post 
that he had been engaged with the enemy on the 
18th April and again on the 20th April; that he 
had lost in all four men killed, four wounded, 
and one missing; and that among the killed was 
Company Sergeant-Major Hassan Bazaberimi. 

It was while the Regiment was in camp at 
Rumbo that von Lettow-Vorbeck planned and 
carried out one of those daring little ventures 
which, even though they might have no special 
military value, helped no doubt to keep up the 
spirits of his people, and certainly appealed very 
strongly to his opponents' instinctive love of a 
good sportsman. He sent a small raiding party 
through the bush to a point overlooking the har- 
bour of Kilwa Kisiwani, and having got a gun on 
to a hill in the vicinity, opened fire upon a British 
transport which was lying at anchor. He actually 
scored three hits, and, the surprise being complete, 
this unexpected attack upon the British sea-base 
caused for the moment a certain amount of appre- 
hension. Even the Depot Company of the Gold 
Coast Regiment at Mpara was mobilized under 
Major Read, and was posted along the northern 
shore of the harbour ; but the Germans were not 
in a position to deliver any serious attack, and 
when a British cruiser appeared on the scene they 
prudently withdrew. 


For the rest of the month the Regiment re- 
mained at Rumbo, daily patrolling the country, 
improving the defences and the water-supply of 
the camp, and having frequent slight brushes with 
the enemy, in the course of which a few casualties 
were sustained. 

The strength of the Regiment on the 1st May 
1917, was only 9 officers, 6 British non-commis- 
sioned officers, 7 clerks, 2 dressers, 786 rank and 
file, 381 carriers, 18 servants, and 41 stretcher- 
bearers, or 1250 men of all ranks. As compared 
with the personnel of the force which had left 
Sekondi for East Africa on the 6th July, 1916, 
only one-fourth of the cadre of officers was now 
available; the British non-commissioned officers 
were reduced by 9 ; the rank and file by 194 ; 
and this in spite of the reinforcements from the 
Gold Coast which had reached the Regiment on 
the 27th December. Notwithstanding the pro- 
longed and trying experiences to which the men 
had been subjected, they were as keen and as 
staunch as ever ; but the strength of a native force 
must ever depend in a great degree upon European 
leadership, and now there were only 7 company 
officers and 2 British non-commissioned officers all 
told, to be distributed between the Battery and 
the four Companies of the Regiment, two of the 
other British non-commissioned officers being mem- 
bers of the Royal Army Medical Corps, and one 
being in charge of the transport. It may be ac- 
counted no less than marvellous that, in these 
circumstances, the corps continued to exhibit so 
great a measure of energy and vitality. 

During the whole of May, however, the Gold 


Coast Regiment remained in camp at Rumbo, 
making the usual daily patrols, and on one occasion 
taking part in a reconnaissance in force, in con- 
junction with the garrison at Mnasi and I Company 
at Beaumont's Post, on a thirty-two-mile front, 
during which, however, the enemy was not brought 
to action. A few casualties continued to occur 
during the month to men belonging to the detach- 
ment at Beaumont's Post ; but by the end of May 
there were eleven combatant and two medical 
officers with the Regiment, a material improve- 
ment, but still little more than one-third of the 
proper establishment. The combatant British 
non-commissioned officers still numbered only 
four. During the month news was received that 
Lieutenant Kinley had been awarded the Military 
Cross for his action on llth April, and that a 
similar distinction had been conferred upon Captain 
Foley, commanding the Battery, for services ren- 
dered in the engagement at Rumbo, when sup- 
porting the 40th Pathans, on the 18th April. A 
Distinguished Conduct Medal, and four Military 
Medals were also awarded to the Battery and to 
the sections of A Company which supplied its 
escort for the fight they had put up on that day. 

On the 29th May, half the Pioneer Company, 
under Lieutenant Bray, went to Migeri-geri to 
form part of the garrison at that place. 

On the 1st June, 1917, Major Goodwin was 
appointed an Acting Lieutenant- Colonel, and was 
also awarded the French Croix de Guerre. In- 
telligence was also received that Lieutenant Piggott 
had been awarded the silver medal of the Italian 
Order of San Maurico. 


During the first nine days of the month nothing 
occurred beyond the usual patrols, and an occasional 
interchange of shots with the enemy ; but on the 
10th June, the Pioneer Company reliefs, returning 
from a post two and a half miles west of the camp, 
were ambushed at about 7.30 a.m. by a party of 
the enemy of great numerical superiority. The 
returning patrol extended in the bush, opened fire 
on the enemy, and compelled him to retire. The 
body of one German Askari was left on the ground, 
and some blood spoor was seen in the bush. The 
Pioneers lost one man killed and one wounded. 

On the llth June information was received 
that, on the occasion of His Majesty's birthday, the 
Distinguished Service Order had been conferred 
upon Lieutenant - Colonel Goodwin and upon 
Captain Harman, the Military Cross upon Lieu- 
tenant Piggott, and the Distinguished Conduct 
Medal upon Sergeant-Major Medlock. 

On the following day, Captain Macpherson 
with three of the sections of I Company which, 
with a company of the 33rd Punjabis, had been 
occupying Beaumont's Post, where they had had 
so many brushes with the enemy and had sustained 
such frequent casualties, rejoined the Regiment at 
Rumbo. Lieutenant Biltcliffe, with another de- 
tachment of I Company, remained at Beaumont's 
Post, and on the same day he reported that a 
mixed patrol, composed of his men and of the 
33rd Punjabis, had been ambushed by the enemy, 
and that one man of the Regiment had been killed 
and seven others wounded. The Punjabis lost one 
European officer and six Indian soldiers killed. 
On the 13th June Lieutenant Biltcliffe returned 


to Rumbo from Beaumont's Post with the rest of 
I Company, after patrolling the Mgaura River, a 
small stream that empties itself into the inlet of 
the sea which forms a deep and narrow bay slightly 
to the north and west of Kilwa Kisiwani. 

On the 15th June 987 men of the Sierra Leone 
Carrier Corps came into camp and were attached 
to the Gold Coast Regiment, whose officers, with 
a sigh of relief, saw these sturdy West Africans 
replace the much less efficient and reliable local 

Captain Shaw was appointed Acting Major, and 
second in Command of the Gold Coast Regiment 
on the 16th June, and on the 28th June he was 
appointed Acting Lieutenant-Colonel, and took 
over the command, Major Goodwin having been 
invalided to the base. Shortly before Colonel 
Rose had been struck down with dysentery and 
had also been invalided to Dar-es- Salaam, the 
command of the 3rd East African Brigade being 
taken over from him by Colonel Orr. General 
Beves had succeeded General Hannyngton in the 
command of the Division. 

A camp on Lingaula Ridge, a few miles to the 
south of Rumbo, which had been evacuated by 
the enemy, was occupied by Lieutenant Bray with 
I Company on the 28th June ; and the same day 
the Regiment received orders to move on the 
morrow to Ukuli, a place to the south and only 
slightly to the east of Rumbo, whence it returned 
on the 30th June, without having succeeded in 
bringing the enemy to action. On this latter date 
the detachment at Linguala Ridge was attacked 
by an enemy patrol, which was driven off with the 


loss of one European killed, I Company having 
two men wounded. 

Thus ended the month of June, 1917. The 
dry season might now be regarded as fairly 
established, and the country, covered by a luxuriant 
growth of elephant grass and of fresh green bush 
into which the recent rains had infused a new life, 
was already beginning to dry up. The cadre of 
officers was still far below strength, but it now 
numbered thirteen combatants, with two medical 
officers and three officers attached to the Sierra 
Leone Carrier Corps. The rank and file only 
totalled 771 men ; but the little force now 
possessed 1264 sturdy West African carriers, 42 
stretcher-bearers, and five interpreters, and was 
perhaps more really mobile than it had yet been 
since its arrival in East Africa. In all Colonel 
Shaw had under his command 2156 men ; and 
after the comparative stagnation and the constant 
harassing patrol work of the past six months, the 
Regiment looked forward with eager anticipation 
to the resumption of more active campaigning. 



To face ^.9 



GENERAL BEVES was now preparing to take the 
offensive, his plan being to divide his force into 
three columns which, working southward, but 
describing segments of a circle on the west and on 
the east, might perhaps get in behind the enemy 
and contrive to envelope him. As usual the 
difficulties of maintaining sufficient supplies of 
provisions, ammunition and water obtruded them- 
selves from the outset ; but the force was well 
equipped with motor transport, and it was hoped 
that, by cutting tracks eight feet wide through the 
bush, a passage might be made for these vehicles 
in the rear of the advancing columns. 

In order to deceive the enemy as to the main 
line of his advance, Colonel Orr decided to make a 
feint along the road past Lingaula Ridge due south 
of the camp at Rumbo, and this duty he assigned 
to a company of the Gold Coast Regiment. 
Colonel Shaw selected B Company for the 
purpose ; and when at 10 p.m. on the 4th July 
the Regiment left Rumbo with the No. 1 Column, 
B Company, under the command of Lieutenant 
Eglon, remained behind at Langaula Ridge. 

There was an eclipse of the moon on the night 
selected for the start, and the darkness was intense, 
and it was not till noon on the 5th July that 



Beaumont's Post was reached. No. 1 Column, 
which was commanded by Colonel Orr, consisted 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, the 33rd Punjabis, 
the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the 
King's African Rifles, the famous Indian Mountain 
Battery from Derajat, which goes by the name of 
the " D. M. B.," and the 8th South African In- 
fantry, which joined the Gold Coast Regiment at 
Beaumont's Post. No. 1 Column was to make the 
sweep southward on the left of the advance. No. 2 
Column was composed of the 1st and 2nd Battalions 
of the 3rd Regiment of the King's African Rifles, 
the 7th South African Infantry, and the 27th 
Mountain Battery, under the command of Colonel 
Grant. Its sweep was to be made on the right of 
the advance. A third column was operating still 
further to the left of No. 1 Column. This column 
consisted of the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd King's 
African Rifles, and the 40th Pathans. On the day 
before the engagement at Narungombe it was rein- 
forced by one and a half companies of the 8th 
South African Infantry from No. 1 Column. No. 3 
Column was under the command of Colonel Taylor. 
The 129th Baluchis were in reserve at Makangaga. 

No. 1 Column left Beaumont's Post at 7 p.m. 
on the 5th July for Ukuli, and at midnight the 
men bivouacked in column of route. At dawn the 
march was resumed, and at 4 p.m. the Gold Coast 
Regiment took over the advanced guard from 
the King's African Rifles, who had been heavily 
engaged all day, and had succeeded in dislodging 
the enemy from a prepared position. 

As soon as this relief had been affected, the 
Pioneer Company advanced and engaged the 


enemy's rear-guard, which it found some 300 
yards up the road, and which it drove back to a 
distance of about a mile. Here the Pioneer Com- 
pany bivouacked, remaining all night in its ad- 
vanced position as outpost company, the rest of 
the Regiment rejoining No. 1 Column in camp. 
One man was killed and one wounded in the 
advance by the Pioneer Company. 

On the 7th July, the Gold Coast Regiment 
marched as advanced guard to the column which 
was now heading in the direction of Ngomania. 
This place was occupied by the Regiment, after 
encountering slight resistance, and the rear-guard of 
the column came into camp there at about 3 p.m. 

On this day, however, No. 2 Column had a 
serious engagement with the enemy in which many 
casualties were sustained on both sides. 

On the 8th July, the Gold Coast Regiment, 
which had received orders to march to Mnindi, 
there to join up with No. 2 Column, left Ngomania 
at 4.30 a.m. tt was accompanied by a section of 
the D.M.B., and the little force marched to Ma- 
kangaga the scene of Lieutenant Kinley's exploit 
where at 9 p.m. it bivouacked for the night. 

Meanwhile B Company, which had been left 
behind at Lingaula Ridge under the command of 
Lieutenant Eglon, had carried out the duty en- 
trusted to it with great dash and brilliancy. On 
the 7th July Lieutenant Eglon, pushing southward 
down the road from his camp at Lingaula Ridge, 
found no less than three companies of Germans in 
front of him, and promptly attacked. Though the 
enemy hopelessly outnumbered the men under his 
command, Lieutenant Eglon managed to drive 


them from three successive positions, making as 
great a display of B Company as possible, and 
evidently impressing the Germans with the idea 
that they were about to be attacked in force. 
During these operations Lieutenant Scott was 
seriously wounded, Sergeant Awudu Arigungu, 
who had had long service both with the Northern 
Nigeria Regiment and with the Gold Coast 
Regiment, was killed, and eight other men of 
B Company were wounded. 

Having effected his purpose, Lieutenant Eglon, 
in accordance with his instructions, fell back to 
Lingaula Ridge, and on the 9th July rejoined the 
Regiment at Makangaga. 

From this place No. 2 Column cut across country, 
almost due west, to Kirongo, on the main Liwale- 
Kilwa road, leaving Makangaga at 6.30 a.m. on 
the 10th July, Colonel Shaw commanding the 
column on the march. Kirongo was reached at 
1.30 p.m. ; and on the following morning at 6 a.m. 
the column pushed on five miles to some water- 
holes in the dried-up bed of a stream called Kirongo- 
Ware, where it camped at 1.30 p.m. On this day 
Colonel Ridgeway assumed the command of No. 2 

At 6 a.m. on the 12th July No. 2 Column 
resumed its march down the track leading in a 
south-easterly direction to Kilageli, and at 10 a.m. 
its patrols came into touch with enemy scouts, with 
whom a few shots were exchanged. An enemy 
camp at Kilageli, ahead of the column, was located 
and bombarded by the D.M.B., and the column 
deployed and occupied this camp without resist- 
ance at about 4 p.m. Here the column rested for 


the night, and on the 13th July at 1.30 p.m. it 
continued its advance, and at sundown reached 
Minokwe, which lies four miles further along the 
road south by west of Kilageli. At 4 a.m. on the 
14th July, the column again moved forward in 
the direction of an enemy position some six miles 
to the west of Mtanduala, from the advanced 
teepches of which a hot fire was opened upon it. 
The D.M.B. came into action and shelled the 
enemy position, and the 1st and 2nd Battalions of 
the King's African Rifles and the 7th South African 
Infantry joined in the fight, in which the Gold 
Coast Regiment also engaged at about 11 a.m. 
The enemy, fighting a rear-guard action, retired, 
and two hours later the engagement came to an 
end. The casualties were few, and the column 
bivouacked for the night in the prepared position 
from which the Germans had been ejected. 

On the 15th July, the column marched in a 
south-westerly direction to Kihendye and thence 
to Rungo, a few shots being exchanged during the 
day between the King's African Kifles and enemy 
scouts. The former lost one man killed and three 

During this day the work of cutting a path, 
designed for the use of motor-lorries, across country 
and through the thick, tall grass began, two com- 
panies of the Gold Coast Regiment being sent 
forward for this purpose ; and during the whole of 
the next two days this work was continued. It 
was a very toilsome job, hacking an eight-foot 
track through elephant-grass and occasional patches 
of thorn-thicket, with a merciless sun smiting down 
from above, with nought to breathe save the stuffy 


overheated and used-up air peculiar to big grass 
patches in the tropics, with only a few dry biscuits 
for food, and a constant, agonising insufficiency of 
water. The men stuck to it manfully, but one 
poor fellow died during the day of exhaustion and 
heat-apoplexy; and in the end this vast expendi- 
ture of labour was all in vain. The track had been 
cut on a compass-bearing, but the only surveys in 
existence were very roughly approximate, and the 
path through the grass was eventually brought to 
a standstill by encountering a steep cliff up which 
no motor-lorry could conceivably find a way. A 
little further on, a large main road which runs 
north and south was struck, and No. 2 Column 
presently found itself in junction with No. 1 
Column, which had advanced down this road to 
Kipondira. Here the Gold Coast Regiment was 
retransferred to No. 1 Column, 

On the 18th July No. 1 Column left Kipondira 
at 10 a.m., the Gold Coast Regiment being sta- 
tioned towards the rear of the force, which was in 
action with the enemy until about 2.30 p.m., when 
the Germans retired, and the column camped for 
the night at Kihumburu. Two miles further 
down the road from this place the main body of 
the enemy operating in this part of the country 
had taken up a strongly entrenched position at 
Narungombe. The plan for his envelopment had 
miscarried, as was almost certain to befall in a 
country such as that through which the columns 
were operating, where movements of troops were 
inevitably slow, where difficulties hampered supply, 
where scarcity of water presented a constant menace 
to the very existence of the forces in the field, and 


where a few scouts, used with even a modicum 
of skill, could easily keep the enemy informed of 
the direction which any hostile unit was taking. 
No. 3 Column had carried out the task entrusted 
to it very successfully, for the wide sweeping move- 
ment which it had made had enabled it to cut in 
behind the enemy, who was in occupation of a scarp 
at Mikikama, where he would have presented a 
formidable barrier to the advance of No. 1 Column. 
This was a service of considerable importance ; but 
now all three columns, though their convergence 
hi front of Narungombe had not been intended, 
were assembled in the vicinity of the main road a 
few miles to the north of that place. This well 
illustrates the extreme difficulty of concerted opera- 
tions when carried out in thick bush or high grass, 
as soon as ever the roads or paths running through 
it are quitted. 

The 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of 
the King's African Rifles, who had borne the 
brunt of this day's fighting, had rendered a tre- 
mendous service to the columns by expelling the 
Germans from a water-hole at Kihumburu, and 
thus making it available for the troops. It was 
evident, however, that the supply so obtained 
was quite insufficient for the needs of the force 
for more than ;a very limited space of time ; and 
it thus became a matter of vital importance that 
the enemy should be dislodged from the very strong 
position which he had taken up at Narungombe, 
where a much larger set of water-holes was known 
to exist. Orders were accordingly given for an 
attack to be delivered upon Narungombe early ou 
the following morning. 



The position which the enemy had prepared 
and occupied consisted of a series of breastworks 
some two and a half feet in height, built of earth 
stoutly faced with sticks driven deep into the 
ground and bound together with lianas, with a 
number of small redoubts and strongly constructed 
machine-gun emplacements, and a specially strong 
defensive post for the accommodation of the high 
command. These works, drawn along the upper 
slopes of two hills, between which the high-road 
passes, extended in an irregular but continuous 
line, with many slight protrusions and salients, for 
a distance of two and a half miles. The defensive 
position was particularly strong at the left ex- 
tremity of the enemy's line. From the British 
camp at Kihumburu the main road runs due south 
and almost straight to the centre of the German 
position, dipping into a valley a few hundred yards 
in advance of the British camp, and thereafter rising 
gradually in a long glacis to the hills upon which 
the enemy was entrenched. The country here- 
abouts is undulating, and covered throughout with 
high grass, and patches of thorn-scrub set fairly 
thickly with rather mean-looking trees; but im- 
mediately in advance of the enemy's position, the 
grass had been cut, leaving stalks about two feet 
six in height, for a distance of some three hundred 
yards, and thus depriving the attacking force of 
any cover. The enemy had four companies in the 
firing-line, with four more companies in reserve, 
which, however, arrived too late to take part in 
the battle. He had two guns of about 2'95 calibre 
and at least six machine-guns ; but above all, he 
had, as usual, been able to select his own defensi\ 


position, and could rely upon making the task of 
his ejectment an extremely expensive undertaking. 

On Thursday, the 19th July, the British ad- 
vance began at 6 a.m., No. 1 Column leading with 
the Gold Coast Regiment in the centre. It had 
been reported that no enemy post existed at a 
point nearer than 1000 yards along the road from 
the British camp ; but before the Regiment had 
traversed 300 yards, and while they were still in 
column of route, fire was opened upon them, and 
two men were killed and three wounded ere ever 
they had time to deploy. An advance in extended 
order through high grass is necessarily a rather 
slow operation, and while the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment was working forward, one company of the 
2nd Battalion of the King's African Rifles was 
sent forward out of reserve, and in order to protect 
the Regiment's advance, occupied a ridge on their 
right flank which lay to the south-west of the 
British camp, 

At 8.15 a.m. the advance-guard of the Regiment 
became heavily engaged, Lieutenant Eglon having 
led B Company to within a short distance of the 
enemy's well-entrenched and strongly held position. 
Here this gallant young officer, who had done so 
well a few days earlier when attacking from Lin- 
gaula Ridge, was killed, and B Company suffered 
many casualties. Colonel Shaw had taken up an 
advanced position along the road behind a mound, 
from which he was able throughout the day closely 
to observe the operations he was conducting ; and 
he now sent I Company to prolong the line on 
the right of the attack. A few minutes later the 
Pioneer Company was also sent forward to prolong 


the right ; and at 9.30 a.m. the 33rd Punjabis, who 
had been held in reserve, were also sent yet further 
to prolong the right, while the 7th South African 
Infantry deployed on the left of the Gold Coast 

At this juncture orders were given for No. 3 
Column to attempt a wide turning movement on 
the right of the enemy's position, the 3rd Battalion 
of the 3rd King's African Rifles and the 40th 
Pathans leading the advance, with certain water- 
holes as their objective. No. 2 Column was 
ordered at the same time to carry out a similar 
turning movement on the left. At 10.30 a.m. 
these troops began to get into position, and at 
noon No. 3 Column became heavily engaged. 
The 3rd Battalion of the 3rd King's African Rifles 
and the 40th Pathans had been pushed forward, 
without any preliminary scouting, into a valley on 
the British left, where they presently came under 
a devastating rifle and machine-gun fire from both 
forces. By this time the enemy's fire had grown 
intense along the whole line ; and the 8th South 
African Infantry, the bulk of whom still formed 
part of No. 1 Column and occupied ground on the 
left of the Gold Coast Regiment, attempted to 
advance, but were enfiladed by machine-gun and 
rifle fire from salients in the enemy's line. They 
maintained their position for a while, but the 
troops upon their left failed to make good, and 
the grass all round them was set on fire by the 
British shells. 

This failure on the left placed the Gold Coast 
Regiment in a highly perilous position, as its flank 
was now completely in the air. Moreover, by this 


time, the grass was well alight along the whole of 
the front. The men, however, were steady as a 
rock, and showed no signs of giving way as had 
the South African and Indian troops on their 
immediate left. As for the blazing grass, that was 
a phenomenon to which they had all their lives 
been accustomed, and they manfully stamped the 
flames out, in spite of the heavy fire to which 
they were exposed, and stolidly resumed the fight. 
On the left of the line, where the danger was 
most imminent, Colour-Sergeant Campbell very 
specially distinguished himself, and did much to 
encourage and confirm the spirit of the men, only 
too many of whose officers were already hofs-de- 
combat. He fought his machine-gun until practi- 
cally all its team had fallen, and in the end 
brought it safely out of action. 

Meantime the right flank had advanced 800 
yards, but at 3.30 p.m. they were strongly counter- 
attacked by the enemy, and two platoons of the 
2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles were sent to prolong the right and 
to get into touch with No. 2 Column, which so 
far had failed to make its appearance. And all 
this time the enemy maintained from his defences 
an intense and relentless fire. 

A general advance had been arranged to take 
place at 2.30 p.m., but the position on the left 
had by that time become so critical that the 
movement could not be carried out at the hour 
fixed ; and at 4 p.m. orders were sent to the Gold 
Coast Regiment not to attempt any further ad- 
vance. These orders arrived too late, and the 
Gold Coast Companies on the right, with the 


33rd Punjabis and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd 
Regiment of the King's African Rifles, charged 
and took certain of the enemy's trenches, but 
were unable to hold on owing to their left being 
unsupported and to their ammunition running 
short. They were accordingly retired, but only 
to a distance of 100 yards from the enemy's 
trenches, where they dug themselves in and held 
on. The 2nd Battalion of the King's African 
Rifles remained on the enemy's flank in a patch 
of thick bush, and succeeded thence in getting 
into touch with No. 2 Column. Darkness was 
now falling, and the Gold Coast Regiment and 
the troops on its right bivouacked for the night 
in the rifle-pits which they had dug for them- 

Meanwhile, the troops on the left had again 
been led forward into action by Major Hill of the 
South African Infantry and by the Commander of 
the Stokes Battery, thus reconsolidating the line 
on the left of the Gold Coast Regiment. 

At dawn on the following day it was found 
that the enemy had evacuated his position. He 
had effected his object, and had made the attacking 
force pay a heavy price for the possession of the 
water-holes of Narungombe. Now, before he could 
be enveloped or cut off, he beat a hasty retreat 
toward the south. The position from which he 
had inflicted so much damage upon his pursuers 
had served its purpose, and he had nothing more 
to gain by attempting longer to hold it. 

The casualties suffered by the Gold Coast 
Regiment, having regard to its strength at this 
time, were very heavy. Of the greatly reduced 


cadre of officers and of British non-commissioned 
officers, Lieutenant Eglon was killed, Captain 
A. J. R. O'Brien, M.C., of the West African 
Medical Staff, was severely wounded, as also 
were Captain Leslie -Smith, Colour-Sergeant 
Baverstock and another colour- sergeant. Lieu- 
tenant Bray was slightly wounded. B Company 
lost its sergeant-major Awudu Bakano a very 
fine soldier, and of the rank and file, 37 were 
killed and 114 were wounded. The total casualties 
were thus 158 out of about 790 men engaged, 
or 20 per cent, of the whole combatant strength 
of the corps. 

Never had the men of the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment shown more grit than on this day at Narun- 
gombe. They went into action early in the 
morning of the 19th July after having been 
marching and fighting, or painfully cutting paths 
through the bush and high grass labouring 
practically without cessation since the evening 
of the 4th of that month. They were hotly 
engaged with the enemy during the whole day, 
exposed to a fierce sun, with very poor cover, 
with little to eat and with less to drink, and were 
exposed throughout to gun, rifle and machine-gun 
fire, mostly at fairly short range, from 8 a.m. to 
nightfall. In addition to the enemy, they had 
constantly to fight the blazing grass, which 
rendered their position more and more exposed ; 
yet these Africans never wavered, but continued 
stubbornly to hold their positions, though more 
than one company had been robbed of all its 
European leaders and was being commanded solely 
by its native non-commissioned officers. When 


towards the end of the day, they had occupied the 
enemy's trenches on the right, and running short 
of ammunition and being unsupported on* their left, 
were unable to hold on, they retired only a hundred 
yards in obedience to orders and with perfect 
steadiness, and from their new position forthwith 
resumed the fight. It would be difficult to devise 
a test more searching that could be applied to 
native troops, and the triumphant manner in 
which on this occasion the "green caps" main- 
tained their reputation as men who "never go 
back " is a striking proof of the Regiment's high 
quality as a fighting unit. 

For the services rendered by him while in com- 
mand of the Regiment on this day, Lieutenant- 
Colonel Shaw was subsequently awarded a bar to 
the Military Cross which he had already earned. 



ALTHOUGH the Germans had abandoned their 
position at Narungombe, the severe losses which 
they had inflicted upon the British were out of all 
proportion to any advantages which the latter could 
claim to have secured. The check, too, impressed 
the British command with the difficulty of dealing 
with the enemy unless the pursuit could be rendered 
not only rapid but continuous, and above all with 
the fact that an adequate supply of water was the 
hinge upon which all future operations must turn. 
At Narungombe the very machine-guns of the 
Gold Coast Regiment had for a time been put out 
of action through lack of water wherewith to cool 
the jackets, and the men in the firing-line had been 
cruelly tortured by thirst during the greater part 
of that day. After the fight at Narungombe, 
therefore, the column under General Beves' com- 
mand remained in camp at that place to refit. 
There reinforcements speedily arrived, and General 
Hanuyngton, returning from sick-leave, presently 
resumed command of the force. A large fortified 
camp was established ; a space to the north of it 
was cleared and made into an aerodrome ; supplies 
of every description were accumulated ; and all 
things were made as ready as circumstances per- 
mitted for a renewed advance. Meanwhile no 



forward movement was attempted from July 20th 
to September 17th, a delay during two precious 
months of the dry season which unfortunately gave 
the enemy also time to rest and reorganize, to 
complete his preparations for further resistance to 
the advance, and to accumulate supplies at his 
advanced bases and depots. It was desired, how- 
ever, that General Hannyngton's new advance 
should form part of a much larger scheme ; and 
its timing, so as to ensure co-operation with another 
column whose movements will be described in the 
following paragraph, imposed perhaps a longer 
period of inactivity than was necessary merely for 
the purpose of refitting. 

The Nigerian Brigade, which had arrived in 
East Africa some months after the Gold Coast 
Regiment, had endured unspeakable things during 
the wet season of 1916-17 in its camp on the 
northern bank of the Rufiji. Here the Brigade 
had suffered from an insufficiency of supplies and 
the difficulties occasioned by a water - logged 
countryside. Now three battalions, under General 
Cunliffe, had been brought round by sea to Kilwa 
Kisiwani, and were about to operate as a separate 
column on the right of General Hannyngton's 
force, at present encamped at Narungombe. The 
task of these columns would be to endeavour to 
drive the enemy southward into the Lindi area; 
and meanwhile a large force, of which the remaining 
battalion of the Nigerians formed a part, had been 
landed at Lindi, and was trying to slip in behind 
the enemy for the purpose of helping to encircle 

Meanwhile, Belgian troops from the Congo 


were advancing in a south-easterly direction, with 
Mahenge as their immediate objective, Mahenge 
being an important place, two hundred miles due 
west of Kilwa, on the main road which runs north 
and south from Songia to Kilossa on the Dar- 
es-Salaam-Lake Tanganyika railway. Simul- 
taneously, General Northey's force, which had 
worked through from Northern Rhodesia and had 
had a certain amount of fighting in the neighbour- 
hood of Lake Tanganyika, was advancing, in a 
north-easterly direction, upon Mpepo, a place that 
lies fifty miles south-west of Mahenge. The object 
of both these forces, and of a third which was 
advancing southward with its base at Dadome on 
the Dar-es-Salaam railway, was the envelopment 
or dislodgment of the German European and native 
troops which, under the command of Major von 
Tafel, were operating in the western part of the 
territory, mostly to the south of the Ulanga, which 
is an upper branch of the Rufiji River. 

The position at Narungombe, which as we have 
seen is situated on a main road that runs north and 
south some thirty miles to the east of the highway 
that leads from Kilwa Kivinje to Liwale, was as 
follows. The enemy had retired down the former 
of these roads to Mihambia, which is distant only 
twelve miles from Narungombe, and where there 
are another set of water-holes ; and he had 
established here his main advanced position. From 
the high-road at Mihambia, a footpath leads west 
to a place called Kitiia, three miles away, where 
four tracks meet. One of these runs for five miles 
in a westerly direction till a ravine, which bears the 
name of Liwinda, is struck ; one runs south-east to 


rejoin the high-road at Mpingo five miles south of 
Mihambia, and northward to Mikikole, which is 
some five and a half miles off. At Mikikole the 
Gold Coast Regiment had an outpost ; and from 
this place footpaths lead, one north-west to 
Narungombe; one east to a point on the main 
road four and a half miles south of Narungombe, 
occupied by the company of the 2nd Battalion 
of the King's African Rifles, to which the name of 
Gregg's Post was given ; and a third in a south- 
westerly direction, crossing Liwinda Ravine, and 
running on to some water-holes nine miles further 
off near the native village of Mbombomya, and 
thence to Ndessa. This latter place and Mnitshi 
on the high-road, some ten miles south of Mihambia, 
were at this time the principal advanced bases and 
supply depots of von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces in 
this portion of the territory, though at neither of 
them had any fortification been attempted. On 
a hill near Mpingo, however, the enemy had 
established a signal-station. 

The country hereabouts is for the most part a 
wide expanse of undulating flat, studded with 
frequent trees, smothered in thick, and often tall 
grass, and broken here and there by patches of 
dense bush. At this season of the year it was 
waterless, save for a few ponds spattered very 
sparsely over the face of the land. Bush-fires had 
been raging intermittently for weeks, and in many 
places the country was bare and blackened. 
Though now and again glades occur among the 
trees, it is rarely possible to obtain an extended 
view in any direction ; and though the vegetation 
did not impede the movements of troops so com- 


pletely as it does in real tropical forest country, the 
character of the locality gave great advantages to 
a force whose main object was to fight a delaying 
campaign, and presented proportionate disad- 
vantages to the force that aimed at enveloping 
its enemy. The British were further hampered by 
their ignorance of the district, and above all by the 
scarcity of water. Aeroplanes were being used, 
and by them bombs were frequently dropped upon 
the German camp at Ndessa ; but for the most 
part the efforts of the airmen illustrated the eternal 
triumph of hope over experience. Even when to 
the landsman's eye the country appeared to be 
fairly open, the whole area, seen from above, was 
revealed as one continuous expanse of grass and 
tree-tops, devoid of all distinguishing landmarks. 
It was difficult, in such circumstances, to pick out 
even well-known localities, while the detection of 
small posts established by the enemy in the bush, 
and carefully screened from observation, was for 
the most part impossible. The infantry patrols 
had generally to smell out such danger-points for 

A peculiar feature of this district is the Liwinda 
Ravine, of which mention has already been made. 
It consists of a natural hollow, some two hundred 
feet in depth and from four hundred to eight hundred 
yards in breadth, which traverses the country for 
many miles from the north-west to the south-east. 
The ground along its edges differs in no way from 
the rest of the surrounding areas of bush and 
orchard-country, except that it is somewhat more 
elevated than most of them. 

Throughout this district ant-bears abound, and 


their holes, which are ubiquitous, are often large 
enough to admit of the entrance of a man. 

On the 21st July, two days after the engage- 
ment at Narungombe, Lieutenant- Colonel Rose 
rejoined the Regiment and took over the command. 
He was accompanied by Captain Hornby, who until 
he had fallen ill had long filled the post of 
Adjutant, and by four new officers Captains 
McElligott and Methven, M.C., and Lieutenants 
Lamont and S. B. Smith all of whom were 
joining the Gold Coast Regiment for the first time- 
Captain Hornby resumed his work as Adjutant 
which, during his absence on sick leave, had been 
successively performed by Lieutenant Downer and 
by Colour- Sergeant Avenell, both of whom had 
discharged the difficult duties assigned to them 
with marked success. 

On the 22nd July the Regiment was for the 
first time supplied with Lewis guns, and the work 
of training teams for them was forthwith put in 
hand. On the 28th July, Captains Briscoe, 
Hartland and Brady, and Lieutenants Baillie, 
Willoughby and Maxwell joined the Regiment 
with reinforcements consisting of 354 rank and 
file and 7 machine-gun-carriers from the Gold 
Coast. On the 29th July 50 rifles of B Company, 
under Lieutenant Baillie, with Colour-Sergeant 
Campbell, joined the detachment of the 2nd 
Battalion of the 2nd King's African Rifles at 
Gregg's Post; and a detachment composed of 
men of B Company, under Captain Methven, was 
sent out to occupy an outpost at Mikikole. 

During the whole of August the Regiment 


lay in camp at Narungombe, its duties being con- 
fined to vigorous training, more especially of the 
new drafts, and daily patrolling of the roads from 
the camp and from the outposts at Mikikole and 
Gregg's Post. A few more men rejoined from 
sick leave during the month, and on the 31st 
August the Regiment was more nearly up to 
strength than it had been at any time since the 
very early days of the campaign. There were 
present 29 officers, including 2 doctors, and 2 
officers attached to the transport ; 17 British non- 
commissioned officers, including 1 non-commis- 
sioned officer of the Royal Army Medical Corps 
and 4 belonging to the Transport; 7 clerks, 957 
rank and file, 133 enlisted gun and ammunition- 
carriers, 34 servants, and 1 European and 4 native 
interpreters a total of 2130 of all ranks. 

On the 7th September orders were sent to 
Captain Methven to move to Liwinda Ravine 
with 70 rifles of B Company, leaving a picket of 
1 European and 20 rifles at Kitiia en route. His 
instructions were to dig for water on his arrival 
at the Ravine ; to take every precaution to prevent 
the existence of his camp becoming known to the 
enemy, and to make systematic reconnaissances 
throughout the neighbourhood, including the roads 
leading to the fortified enemy post at Mihambia 
and to Mnitshi. 

Liwinda Ravine was reached without incident, 
but though pits were sunk to a depth of 20 feet 
not a drop of water could be found. The establish- 
ment of a water depot at this place formed, how- 
ever, an essential feature of General Hannyngton's 


plan for the advance which he was about to 
undertake ; and on the 10th September big water- 
troughs fashioned of rubber, measuring some 
20 feet in length, 3 feet in width, 15 inches in 
depth, were sent to the Ravine on the heads 
of carriers. Water was also conveyed thither 
in the long tins to which in India the name 
of pakhal is given, each of which is a load for 
two men. Only two of the troughs reached 
their destination in a water-tight condition; and 
this attempt to establish a water depot proved 
a laborious job which only met with a qualified 
measure of success. 

Meanwhile Captain Methven, with a patrol 
of twenty men, had gone on a scouting expedition 
to the south-east, in order to try to ascertain the 
exact position of the enemy's camp and supply 
depot at Mnitshi. This, and two subsequent 
patrols in the direction of the main road, under- 
taken by Lieutenant Woods, were perilous little 
reconnaissances penetrating deep into the country 
occupied by the enemy, and they were very far 
from commending themselves to the native head- 
man, who was impressed to act as guide. He was 
an ancient African, very wizened and emaciated, 
who in camp sported a soiled Mohammedan robe, 
to which as a Pagan he had no right, with an 
European waistcoat worn buttoned-up outside it. 
In the bush he reverted to a dingy loin-cloth 
wound sparsely about his middle. His anxiety 
to preserve his skin intact, amid admittedly ad- 
verse circumstances, altogether outstripped his 
regard for truth ; and when he had guided Captain 
Methven to an eminence overlooking Mpingo, he 


unhesitatingly declared that place to be Mnitshi, 
which, as a matter of fact, lies five miles further 
to the south along the main road which leads from 
Mihambia to Mpingo. This had for him the satis- 
factory effect of shortening the distance to be 
covered by the patrol, and of proportionately 
diminishing its dangers ; but Captain Methven 
reported to Headquarters that he was uncertain 
how far his guide was to be relied upon, and ex- 
pressed doubt as to whether the place identified as 
Mnitshi was indeed that enemy supply depot. 

On the 13th September Lieutenant Woods 
took a small patrol through the bush to a point 
on the main road south of Mihambia, and on his 
way back he came across water-holes near Mbom- 
bomya. As Captain Methven considered it im- 
portant that a more detailed examination should 
be made, Lieutenant Woods returned to these 
water-holes next day. As he approached them, 
however, and when he and his patrol and the 
ancient guide were in a patch of grass that was 
not more than waist-high, the enemy suddenly 
appeared from a camp which he had in the interval 
constructed in a cup-like hollow on the top of a 
piece of rising ground overlooking the water-holes 
Shots were forthwith exchanged, and Woods, 
seeing that his small party was in a fair way to be 
surrounded by the enemy, who were at least one 
company strong, shouted to his men to disperse 
and to get back to their camp as best they might. 
Meanwhile, he himself very pluckily ran at top 
speed and in full view of the enemy, as straight as 
he could go for the water-holes and the German 
camp, secured a good view of both, and then 



plunged into a patch of thick bush, in which he 
succeeded in eluding his pursuers. He and all 
his patrol eventually made their way back to the 
Ravine, one man and one stretcher-bearer only 
being missing. Of the soldier nothing more was 
heard, but the stretcher-bearer was picked up 
many days later, very emaciated and with a bullet- 
wound in his leg, having crawled through the 
bush nearly as /far to the south and west as 
Ndessa. The ancient African, who had vanished 
the moment the enemy appeared, had slipped 
into an ant-bear's hole, and had there passed the 
night. He returned to the camp in the Ravine on 
the following morning. 

On the 14th September a patrol from Kitiia, 
which had crept to within hearing distance of the 
enemy camp at Mihambia, had a brush with a 
hostile patrol as it was returning to its post. 

Some native porters, who had deserted from 
the German Force at the water-holes, also came 
into camp, and from them 'a good deal of more 
or less reliable information was obtained by 
Captain Methven on the subject of the enemy's 
numbers and disposition. From this source it 
was learned that Hauptmann Kerr, with 9 Euro- 
peans, 200 Askari, and 4 machine-guns had 
passed through the camp at the water-holes near 
Mbombomya on the 14th September, from Ndessa, 
on his way to Mnitshi ; that the force at the water - 
holes consisted of 5 Europeans and 150 Askari 
with 2 machine-guns ; that there were at that time 
only 5 enemy companies encamped at Ndessa ; 
and that the main road and the track to Ndessa 
had both been mined. It was also stated by the 


porters that the enemy were short of food and that 
the Europeans were living on rations of rice and 

On the 18th September the main body of the 
Gold Coast Regiment moved out of camp at 
Narungombe, where they had been now for almost 
exactly two months, and marched along the 
footpath to Mikikole, and thence to the water 
depot which Captain Methven had established at 
Liwinda Ravine. The men started with full water- 
bottles, and each carried a little canvas bag of 
water of the kind known in India as a chagual, 
with which, moreover, every spare carrier was also 
loaded. The camp at Liwinda Ravine was reached 
without incident. 

The orders issued to No. 1 Column, to which 
the Regiment was attached, were that Mihambia 
should be attacked on the morning of September 
19th by the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of 
the King's African Rifles, with one and a half 
companies of the Gold Coast Regiment, the 27th 
Mountain Battery and the Stokes Battery. In 
order to prevent reinforcements reaching the 
enemy at Mihambia, a force under Colonel Rose, 
consisting of ithe Headquarters, the Battery, and 
two companies of the Gold Coast Regiment, was 
to proceed on the morning of the attack to the 
junction of the track from Ndessa and the water- 
holes, near Mbombomya, with that from Mnitshi, 
at a spot situated about two and a half miles to 
the south of the camp at Liwinda Ravine. It was 
also intended that while, on the 19th September, 
No. 1 Column was attacking the enemy on 


the Mihambia-Mbombomya-Mnitshi area, No. 2 
Column should take up a position on the right 
from whence to deliver an attack upon Ndessa on 
the morning of September 20th, for the purpose of 
cutting off his retreat toward the south, and this 
operation would be supported by the reserve of 
" Hanforce," as the force under the command of 
General Hannyngton was always called. 

The Nigerian Brigade, operating further on the 
right, was to move to Ruale, a few miles south- 
west of Ndessa, on the 19th September. 

These concerted movements were designed to 
drive the enemy from his fortified position at 
Mihambia, from Mnitshi and from Ndessa, and if 
possible across the Mbemkuru River into the arms 
of the forces thrusting west, from their base on 
the sea at Lindi, along the road which leads 
thence to Liwale. 



ON the morning of Wednesday, the 19th Sep- 
tember, the Gold Coast Regiment quitted its camp 
at Liwinda Ravine. At 6 a.m. A Company and 
half the Pioneer Company, with which was the 
27th Mountain Battery, set out for Kitiia, under 
the command of Major Shaw. Kitiia, as has been 
mentioned, lies five miles to the east of the camp 
at Liwinda Ravine, and three miles to the west of 
Mihambia, and is connected with both by a foot- 
path leading through the grass, tree-set scrub, and 
occasional bush. It was the function of this little 
force, as soon as it had obtained touch with the 
2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles, which was advancing upon Mi- 
hambia along the main road from Gregg's Post, 
to move off the footpath into the high grass and 
bush, and to endeavour to fall upon the left flank 
and rear of the enemy's position. Major Shaw 
also had instructions to send sixty rifles from Kitiia 
to act independently, with the German porters' 
camp, which was situated to the south of their 
fortified position at Mihambia, as its objective. 

Major Shaw's force reached Kitiia without in- 
cident, and shortly afterwards got into touch with 
the right of the King's African Rifles. It then 



quitted the track, and working its way through 
the grass and scrub and between the trees on a 
compass bearing, advanced toward Mihambia. In 
traversing country of this description, where no 
extended view in any direction is obtainable, it is 
always a matter of great difficulty to strike the 
exact objective aimed at; and on this occasion, 
when Major Shaw arrived in the vicinity of 
Mihambia, it was to find himself in front of the 
enemy's left, instead of on his flank or to his rear. 
A Company and half the Pioneers, however, forth- 
with attacked, and the 27th Mountain Battery 
came into action. Simultaneously, the King's 
African Rifles joined in the attack. 

The enemy's position at Mihambia very gene- 
rally resembled that which he had taken up two 
months earlier at Narungombe. jHere, however, 
the water-holes were in the valley, and the enemy's 
fortifications were drawn along the crest of the 
hill which sloped up from them, and lay astride 
the main road leading from Narungombe. On his 
left there rose an isolated hill which did not appear 
at this time to be occupied. 

The attack was delivered with vigour, and the 
water-holes passed at once into the hands of the 
British. The enemy, moreover, did not make a 
very stout resistance; and as he began to fall 
back, Major Shaw sought permission to occupy 
the isolated hill on the right of the attack, of which 
mention has already been paid, which commanded 
the main road. Some delay occurred before leave 
to execute this movement could be obtained, and 
when at last the occupation of this eminence was 
attempted, the enemy was found to be holding it 


in great strength, and the whole of the rest of the 
day was spent in vain attempts to dislodge him. 
So stout a resistance did he offer, indeed, that the 
British advance was definitely arrested, the troops 
being forced to dig themselves in, and it was not 
until an hour or two before dawn on the 20th Sep- 
tember that the enemy eventually retreated down 
the main road in a southerly direction. 

Meanwhile Colonel Rose, with the remainder 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, had marched from 
the camp in the Liwinda Ravine in a southerly 
direction, and had occupied Nambunjo Hill, over- 
looking the main road between Mpingo and Mnitshi, 
and situated some two and a half miles to the west 
of it. An hour after the Regiment left Liwinda 
Ravine telegraphic communication with Gregg's 
Post, and consequently with Colonel Orr, who was 
commanding No. 1 Column, was interrupted. 

At 8.30 a.m. B Company, which was acting 
as advance guard, reached a path leading to 
Mbombomya, and an officer's patrol, under Lieu- 
tenant Woods, was sent down this track with 
orders to lay an ambush, and to protect the flank 
and right rear of the Regiment. A second officer's 
patrol, under Lieutenant S. B. Smith, was sent 
forward with orders to attempt to surprise the 
enemy's signal- station on the hill near Mpingo, 
and then to push on south to Mnitshi, five miles 
further down the main road. Lieutenant Woods' 
patrol came into touch with the enemy within 
three-quarters of an hour from the time when he 
left the main body of the Regiment. He shortly 
afterwards reported that the enemy in front of 
him were few in numbers, but that they were 


resisting his advance and were fighting a series 
of small rear-guard actions. He was instructed 
that his chief duty was to guard the track from 
Mbombomya, and that he should dig himself in 
and endeavour to protect the flank and right rear 
of the Regiment. 

Meanwhile, at 11 a.m. Major Shaw reported 
by telegraph that he had got into touch with the 
King's African Rifles at 9.45 a.m., but shortly 
afterwards telegraphic communication ceased, and 
it was subsequently discovered that the line had 
been cut and that about a mile of wire had been 
removed. The Regiment was now cut off from 
all communication with the forces with which it 
was co-operating. This, however, did not long 
continue, and by midday the telegraphic connec- 
tion with No. 1 Column was restored. 

Nambunjo Hill was reached at 2.45 p.m., and 
a perimeter camp was established there. 

At 5.15 p.m. word was received from Lieu- 
tenant Smith that his attempt to surprise the 
signal-station at Mpingo Hill had failed, and that 
as the position was too strongly held for his small 
force to attempt an attack upon it, he had with- 
drawn, and was lying up in the bush at a spot 
overlooking the main road in the neighbourhood 
of Mpingo. Already at 2.30 p.m. ninety rifles of 
B Company, under Captain Methven, had been 
sent forward to pick up Lieutenant Smith's patrol, 
and to try to get astride the main road ; and at 
5 p.m. his party became heavily engaged with the 
enemy. Instructions were sent to him to attempt 
to advance toward Mihambia, as No. 1 Column 
reported that they had been held up by the enemy, 


posted on the hill already mentioned, and had been 
compelled to dig themselves in. Meanwhile, how- 
ever, Lieutenant Smith's patrol had been having a 
very hot time of it. His position was located by 
the enemy, his patrol was almost completely sur- 
rounded, and he only succeeded in extricating it 
with great difficulty, and joined Captain Methven, 
who was then at a spot about a mile and a half 
south of Mihambia, at about 5.30 p.m. Any 
further advance in the direction of Mihambia was 
rendered impossible owing to the thickness of the 
bush and the rapid approach of darkness. More- 
over, like the whole of Colonel Rose's command, 
this detachment had long ago exhausted its supply 
of water, and the men were suffering acutely from 

At 6.15 p.m. Lieutenant Woods' patrol on the 
Mbombomya road was strongly attacked by one 
full company of the enemy with two machine-guns, 
and was compelled to fall back, his men, who had 
been fighting all day, being also much exhausted 
for want of water. Captain McElligott, with a 
section of I Company, was sent out at once with 
orders to entrench themselves astride the track 
from Mbombomya, and to hold on at all costs, so 
as to protect the flank and right rear of the Regi- 
ment on Nambunjo Hill. 

The whole of Colonel Rose's command was 
now very hard up for rations, but above all for 
water, and though supplies of both had been wired 
for to No. 1 Column, nothing reached them that 

At 3 a.m., on the 20th September, Lieutenant 
Parker left for the camp at Liwinda Ravine with 


all the available carriers to fetch rations and water, 
which No. 1 Column reported it was dispatching 
from Mihambia at 5 o'clock that morning. At 
dawn, too, Captain McElligott sent forward a 
patrol from his entrenched position on the track 
leading to Mbombomya ; an officer's patrol under 
Lieutenant Baillie was dispatched to the main 
road, with orders to remain under cover, and to 
watch the movements of the enemy ; and a third 
patrol was sent out towards Kitiia to try and 
establish touch with Major Shaw's detachment. 

Soon after 8 a.m. it was learned that the enemy 
had evacuated his trenches at Mihambia, and 
Colonel Rose was instructed to occupy Mbom- 
bomya as soon as water and rations had reached 
him, and his force was once more in a position to 

At 8 a.m. also Captain Wray, with a second 
section of I Company, was sent to reinforce Cap- 
tain McElligott and to take over the command of 
the post, and at about 9.30 a.m. he became engaged 
with the enemy. Shortly before, word was received 
that No. 1 Column would advance down the main 
road from Mihambia at noon for the purpose of 
occupying Mnitshi ; and Lieutenant Baillie, who 
had crept to the edge of the road at a point 
distant some two miles east of that place, reported 
that the enemy and his porters in large numbers 
were streaming past him from the direction of 
Mihambia towards Mpingo. The enemy south of 
Mihambia, however, was covering his retreat by 
fighting a rear-guard action with his machine- 

At 11.20 a.m. rations and water at last reached 


the Gold Coast Regiment, but the 350 chaquals 
sent were only half-full, and this was all the water 
available for a force of 1400 men, who had not had 
a drop beyond the issue made to them on the night 
of September 18th before they left the camp at 
Liwinda Ravine. The rations supplied contained 
provisions for the fighting men only, and left out 
of the count gun-carriers, stretcher-bearers and 
the ammunition column. However, rations were 
pooled, a portion of the emergency rations of the 
Regiment was thrown into the common stock, and 
all the men had something to eat and a few gulps 
of water to drink, though the ration served out was 
only half a pint per man. The thirst from which 
one and all were suffering was very acute, and 
though the men were chewing bits of bark and 
roots to try to relieve the dryness that was parching 
mouths and throats and swollen tongues, numbers 
of them fell exhausted on the ground during the 
skirmishes fought on this day, and had to be 
carried in a semi-unconscious condition out of the 

As soon as the troops in the camp on Nambunjo 
Hill had been watered and fed, three sections of 
B Company, under Captain Methven, were sent to 
reinforce Captain Wray, who was being heavily 
attacked. His men had been without water for 
more than twenty-four hours and were terribly 
exhausted, but they none the less put up a stout 
fight, in the course of which Captain Wray was 
severely wounded, and Corporal Issaka Kipalsi 
showed great pluck and coolness while in command 
of a party of bombers. On the arrival of Captain 
Methven's reinforcements the enemy withdrew. 


Meanwhile, the advance of No. 1 Column, with 
which was Major Shaw and his detachment, had 
met with considerable resistance, and the position 
was reported to be "very serious all round." A 
telegram was also received from the column stating 
that though rations were being sent out, it was not 
possible to dispatch any more water to the camp 
at Liwinda Ravine. Later in the day it was 
learned that No. 1 Column had succeeded in 
advancing as far along the road as Mpingo, but 
that there was no chance of the water-holes at 
Mnitshi being captured that day ; and Captain 
Methven also found it impossible to seize the 
water-holes near Mbombomya before dark. No. 1 
Column could supply itself with water from the 
captured holes at Mihambia, but the position of 
the Gold Coast Regiment was rapidly becoming 
desperate. Officers and men alike were agonized 
by thirst, which was intensified by the heat in this 
dried-up, arid waste of dust-smothered vegetation, 
and those of them who had been fighting and 
patrolling all day were reduced to a state of 
pitiable exhaustion. If a supply of water could 
not be obtained early on the morrow a considerable 
portion of the force would almost inevitably perish 
of drought in that weary wilderness. 

At 6 a.m. on the 21st September, the Pioneer 
Company with a supply of rations and of water 
left Mpingo and reached the camp at Nambunjo 
Hill at 11 a.m., the Battery having simultaneously 
been sent back to join up with No. 1 Column. Of 
the 15 pakhals which the Pioneers had brought 
with them six were one-third full only and eight 
were only half full. The ration did not amount to 


half the supply of one hundred and sixty gallons 
which had been promised, and though it relieved 
the immediate distress in some slight extent, the 
whole force was still in a pitiable state of thirst. 

As soon as the men had been watered, the 
Gold Coast Regiment quitted its camp, and moved 
out to join Captain Methven's force on some high 
ground north of Mbombomya village ; and Captain 
Methven with B Company then moved south, 
cleared the village, and reached the water-holes 
which lay one and a half miles to the west of it, 
occupying both places. The water-holes at the 
village itself were all dry, and those beyond were 
found, to the intense disappointment of the men, 
only to contain sufficient water to supply the needs 
of one company. Fresh holes were dug, but the 
evening of the 21st September found the Regiment 
almost as severely racked by thirst as ever, and 
during the day numbers of the men had completely 
collapsed. During the night the Mbombomya 
water-holes only yielded a pitiful supply of ten 

The Regiment on the 22nd September had no 
alternative but to remain inactive at Mbombomya 
awaiting water which No. 1 Column reported it 
had forwarded to it; but B Company sent out 
patrols towards Kihindo Juu and Ndessa, and to 
the main road between Mnitshi and Marenjende, 
some ten miles south of Mihambia. Information 
was also sent to Colonel Rose that the Nigerian 
Brigade had been at a point four and a half miles 
west-south-west of Mawerenye a place some seven 
miles down the road from Marenjende at 9.30 
that morning ; and that No. 2 Column was at 


Kitandi to the east of them, based upon Ndessa 
Juu for its water supply, The Gold Coast Regi- 
ment was ordered to move upon Ndessa Chini as 
soon as possible after it had received the supply 
of water which had been dispatched to it, and to 
reach that place by travelling via Marenjende on 
the main road. 

During the afternoon two officers' patrols from 
No. 2 Column came into the camp of the Gold 
Coast Regiment at Mbombonya. 

Before nightfall some 800 to 1000 gallons of 
water reached the Gold Coast Regiment from 
Mihambia, and the long agony which the men 
had so patiently endured was at last sensibly 
relieved. There is no physical privation which 
human beings in the tropics can experience that is 
in any way comparable in the intensity of suffering 
which it occasions to lack of water. Such a 
shortage can only occur in the hot weather, at a 
season when the atmosphere is so abnormally dry 
that a man may feel his very eyebrows lift and 
stiffen as the last, least drop of moisture is sucked 
from out of them. All about lies a parched and 
arid wilderness, here and there blackened by bush- 
fires, where the leafless trees provide no shade, an 
environment the very dustiness of which alone 
occasions an abnormal sensation of thirst ; and the 
air is charged with ashes and with minute particles of 
dust, that seem to penetrate and dry up every pore 
of the skin. Perspiration evaporates almost before 
it has time to form upon your rough and cracking 
skin ; and your whole body is subjected to a desicca- 
tive process that sets nature clamouring for con- 
stant artificial irrigation. If water be available men 


swill it in unimaginable quantities, and repeat the 
operation at frequent intervals ; but if there be no 
water, the thought of it the dream and vision of 
it presently absorb the whole of your mental 
faculties. You may nail your attention to other 
things, may be deeply occupied by work that 
ordinarily would engross your whole mind, but 
throughout, at the back of it all, you are conscious 
of an insistent need that dwarfs all other things, 
and for the moment is the one agonizing reality. 
For you now thirst no longer only with parched 
mouth, swollen tongue, cracking lips and throat 
that is dry as a lime-kiln, for each individual pore 
is gaping and aching with drought which every 
passing minute renders more acute and unen- 
durable. Such trifles as the discomfort of accumu- 
lating dirt which cannot be washed away hardly 
affect you ; the craving to drink has blotted out 
all other physical sensations. You realize that you 
are treading a road along which, perilously close 
ahead, madness lies in ambush. 

It says much for the discipline of the men, and 
for the trust which they repose in their officers 
that, during those appalling days between the 
morning of the 19th and the afternoon of the 
22nd September, none deserted, straying away 
from the force on an insane quest for water. 

On the 23rd September the Regiment left 
Mbombomya, and on its arrival at Ndessa Juu, 
which place was reached without incident, it 
learned that the Nigerian Brigade, which was 
working its way southward cutting a path through 
the bush by means of which its mechanical trans- 
port could follow it, had on the preceding day 


been very heavily engaged with the enemy at a 
place called Bweho Chini, which lies ten miles 
away from Riale and to the west of the main road. 
The Nigerians, it was subsequently ascertained, 
had here come into collision with the main German 
forces, under von Lettow - Vorbeck, which had 
attacked their camp in great strength at about 
4.30 p.m., and had continued the assault upon it at 
intervals until midnight. The enemy suffered very 
heavy losses and drew off just as the Nigerians' 
supply of ammunition threatened to give out. 
His defeat did much to shatter his morale, and 
though he subsequently put up some good rights 
before he crossed the Rovuma River into Portuguese 
territory, the severe handling which he received at 
Bweho Chini may be said to have definitely started 
him " on the run." 

At Ndessa Juu large water-holes were found, 
and the men of the Regiment were able properly 
to satisfy their thirst at last. Here also some 
Indian troops belonging to " Hanforce " were met, 
and touch was resumed with the mechanical trans- 
port, which meant that the men and the carriers, 
who had been on very short commons ever since 
the 19th September, once more received full 

On the 24th September, the Regiment left 
Ndessa at 2 p.m. and reached Kitandi, where it 
camped for the night after a three hours' march. 
No trace of the enemy was seen during the day. 

On the morrow the Regiment marched to 
Bweho Chini the scene of the big fight which 
the Nigerians had had with von Lettow- Vorbeck's 
main force on the 22nd September where June- 


tion was effected with No. 1 Column. The rest 
of the Regiment, under Major Shaw, however, 
was not in camp, as it was holding an outpost 
some five miles away from Bweho on a track 
leading to Beka. 

During these two days Lieutenants Bussell 
and Shaw, Sergeants Campbell and Payne and 
71 rank and file joined the Regiment from the 
Depot Company at Mpara, and Captain Benham, 
14 rank and file, and 5 carriers were evacuated 

On the 26th September No. 1 Column marched 
at dawn, the Gold Coast Regiment acting as the 
advanced guard, with Major Shaw's detachment, 
which consisted of A Company, working inde- 
pendently in advance of the column. The im- 
mediate objective was Nahungu, a place which 
lies on the main road and on the left bank of the 
Mbemkuru River, ten miles south-south-west of 
Bweho Chini. The enemy were known to have 
a prepared position of great strength at this place, 
which is a point where several tracks meet and 
where the main road on both sides is overlooked 
by hiUs. 

Major Shaw gained touch with the enemy at 
7.30 a.m., and from that time onward the Germans 
fought a series of rear-guard actions, their whole 
object on this day and during the operations which 
immediately followed being, as was afterwards made 
clear, to cover the retreat of their main body with 
their baggage, train of porters, and the numerous 
wounded whom they had borne away from the 
hard-fought field of Bweho Chini. 

At 10.30 a.m., B Company, under Captain 



Methven, was sent to join up with A Company 
under Major Shaw, and the latter was instructed 
to try to push the enemy rear-guard back upon 
Nahungu. It was expected that the Nigerian 
Brigade would be at Naiku River, some six or 
seven miles north of Nahungu. 

It presently became evident, however, that 
Nahungu was too far off for the column to be able 
to deliver an attack upon it that day; and* the 
advance guard received instructions to select a site 
for a camp early in the afternoon. Accordingly, 
No. 1 Column camped at Beka, and the night 
passed without incident. 

Since the 19th September the Gold Coast 
Regiment had sustained the following casualties : 
Captain Wray severely wounded, Lieutenant 
Percy wounded, 8 soldiers killed, 22 wounded, and 
1 carrier killed and 3 wounded. 

With the arrival at Beka the first phase of the 
push south which had been begun on the 19th 
September may be said to have come to an end, 
a new one opening on the 27th September with 
the projected attack upon the enemy strong- 
hold at Nahungu. So far, the enemy's right, 
against which No. 1 Column had been operating, 
had been driven from Mihambia, some thirteen 
miles south to the banks of the Mbemkuru River, 
a few miles north-west of which his main body 
had come into such disastrous collision with the 
Nigerian Brigade. He had now fallen back up the 
valley of the Mbemkuru for a further distance 
of fourteen miles to Nahungu, the general line 
of his retreat being in a south-westerly direction. 
Sixty miles to the east of Nahungu was the port 


of Lindi, whence a large force under General 
Beves was fighting its way, through very hilly 
and difficult country, along the road leading to 
von Lettow-Vorbeck's headquarters at Massassi, 
the general line of this advance being parallel to 
the enemy's line of retreat up the valley of the 
Mbemkuru River. Massassi itself lay only some 
five and sixty miles south of Nahungu, and if it 
could be captured before the end of the dry season, 
the expulsion of the Germans from their East 
African possessions would have been practically 



ON the 27th September No. 1 Column broke camp 
at 5.30 a.m. and continued its march to Nahungu 
from the east, the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regi- 
ment of the King's African Rifles forming the 
advanced guard, with the Gold Coast Regiment 
in support. Simultaneously the Nigerians were 
advancing upon Nahungu in two columns from 
the north. Very shortly after leaving camp, the 
King's African Rifles came into contact with the 
enemy outposts. The latter fell back, and a ridge 
situated to the east of Nahungu was occupied with- 
out any serious opposition, by the King's African 
Rifles, by the 27th Mountain Battery, and by the 
Headquarters and two companies of the Gold Coast 
Regiment with the Battery. The main road here 
runs east and west through fairly thick trees and 
underwood, with the river flowing parallel to it 
a few hundred yards to the south. The road 
ascends from a boulder-strewn hollow until the 
crest of the ridge above mentioned, which is in 
the nature of a long hogsback along the spine of 
which the road runs, is reached. It is overlooked 
on the north-west by Nahungu Hill, a bush and 
tree-covered eminence which the enemy had 
strongly fortified, and where a gun was now in 
position ; and it is also commanded from the south- 



west by Pori Hill, a similar isolated eminence on 
the other side of the Mbemkuru to the left front 
of the British, upon which another gun was in 
position. This piece was of Portuguese manu- 
facture how obtained no man could say and its 
fire proved completely ineffective. The shrapnel 
burst in the right spot with exemplary regularity, 
but thereafter pattered down through the trees 
with less violence than hail, exciting much derision 
from the men subjected to this innocuous bom- 
bardment. The gun at Nahungu Hill was more 
formidable, but it was put out of action by the 
27th Mountain Battery at about 5 p.m. 

The King's African Rifles deployed along the 
crest of the hill, as soon as its summit was nearly 
reached. . The position which they took up was 
roughly the segment of a circle, with its convex 
side toward the enemy, and the road bisecting it at 
right angles. The Pioneers and I Company of the 
Gold Coast Regiment reinforced the firing-line of 
the King's African Rifles, which was extended on 
both sides of the road ; and Colonel Rose, realizing 
that his left flank was exposed, posted a section of 
I Company with one machine-gun under Captain 
McElligott, halfway down the hill to the left 
rear of the firing-line, and there made them dig 
themselves in. He also sent an officer's patrol 
furnished by the Pioneer Company, under Captain 
Buckby, down to the river to watch the move- 
ments of the enemy from that direction. Mean- 
while A Company under Major Shaw, and B 
Company under Captain Methven, were held in 
reserve behind the shelter of the rising ground, 
and a few hundred yards to the rear. 


The moment the presence of the British was 
discovered, the enemy guns on Nahungu and on 
Pori Hill both opened fire, and though the gun on 
the latter did no damage, it was recognized that 
this hill commanded the left of the Regiment's 
position, and an officer's patrol under Captain 
Buckby, as has been mentioned, was sent to the 
river at 4 p.m. to watch any movement that might 
be made from that direction. At 5 p.m. the troops 
on the right got into touch with the Nigerians, but 
shortly afterwards touch with them was again lost ; 
and half an hour later the Pioneer Company joined 
up with the firing-line of the King's African Rifles 
on the left. About the same time B Company, 
under Captain Methven, was brought forward from 
the reserve and was halted in the hollow at the 
base of the rising ground, on the crest of which the 
fighting was going on. 

Though it was hardly anticipated that B Com- 
pany would be called upon to take part in th 
action, Captain Methven sent out one native non 
commissioned officer's patrol to supplement Captai 
Buckby's patrol w r hich, earlier in the day, had been 
dispatched to the river on the south of the posi- 
tion, and he also established a picket of ten men, 
under Colour- Sergeant Nay lor, to guard B Com- 
pany's left flank. At dusk he went forward to this 
picket with ten more men to see how the former 
was faring, and to tell them that they would have 
to remain for the night in the shallow excavations 
which they had made. Just as he reached them 
one of the men of the picket drew attention to 
considerable commotion in the bush in the direction 
of the river, and presently an irregular line of men 



was seen to be scuttling .through the trees and 
underwood. In the uncertain light the impres- 
sion at first formed was that they belonged to the 
King's African Rifles. One of them was carrying 
a machine-gun on his shoulder, which he set up 
with extraordinary quickness, and forthwith opened 
fire at Captain Methven, at a range of not more 
than thirty yards. He missed him, however, and 
the men of B Company, who were squatting down 
barely a hundred yards away, and who, clumped 
together as they were, presented at that moment 
an absolutely fool-proof target, were able to fling 
themselves flat upon the ground and to crawl into 
a line, whence they opened a hot fire upon the 
advancing enemy over the head of Captain Methven 
and his picket of twenty men. 

Darkness was now falling, and the movement 
of the enemy presently developed into a strong 
attack, the object of which was to outflank the 
British left, and to work in to the rear of the 
positions on the ridge. In this attempt he very 
nearly succeeded, and might well have done so had 
it not been for the prompt action taken by Major 
Shaw, who, with A Company, was a hundred yards 
or more further down the road than the spot 
occupied by B Company. He rapidly deployed 
the men under his command, having in the dark- 
ness practically to assign his place to each indi- 
vidual, and he in an incredibly short time joined 
his line up with that formed by B Company, thus 
presenting a united and continuous front on the 
British left to the enemy's determined and well- 
timed counter-attack, upon which A and B Com- 
panies now poured a heavy and sustained fire. The 


section of I Company which, with one machine- 
gun under the command of Captain McElligott, 
had dug themselves in earlier in the day on what 
was now the left of the enemy's line of attack, also 
came into action with great effect. 

Meanwhile Captain Methven's picket had been 
joined by both the patrols that had been posted 
near the river, they having contrived to evade the 
advancing enemy, The little party, however, had 
a very hot time of it. From their rear, B Company 
was firing over their heads with machine-gun and 
rifle. Ahead of them, less than fifty yards away, 
the enemy was in considerable force and was busy 
with rifles and machine-gun ; while the men of the 
picket, exposed to this double fusillade, and being 
compelled to lie as flat as they could to avoid 
British, no less than German, missiles, threw the 
bombs, with which some of them were provided, 
with a wonderful recklessness that caused many 
to explode in a manner more dangerous to their 
friends than to their opponents. The fire, too, was 
very rapid, and its maintenance was essential if 
the picket were to avoid being rushed and over- 
whelmed by the enemy ; yet it presently became 
evident that the supply of small-arms ammunition 
in the men's possession would speedily become ex- 
hausted. No one with the picket, except Captain 
Methven, knew precisely where the Headquarters 
of the Regiment had been fixed, or could undertake 
to strike it in the dark ; so Captain Methven de- 
cided to attempt to find it himself. It was a really 
desperate venture to try to make one's way through 
the scrub, with the enemy firing from in front 
and B Company blazing away from the rear, but 


Captain Methven crawled and crouched and ran, 
now on his feet, now on all-fours, tearing his way 
through the underwood and scratching and bruising 
himself from head to foot until, luck befriending 
him, he contrived to reach headquarters. Here he 
procured some boxes of ammunition, and managed 
to impress a couple of Mendi carriers, with whom, 
dragging a box of ammunition in each hand, he 
returned to the picket by the perilous route whereby 
he had left it. It was a gallant deed dashingly 
done, and it saved the picket; and the prompt 
action taken by Major Shaw, combined with the 
pluck and steadiness of the men of B Company, 
prevented what might well have been an enemy 
success of some magnitude. On this occasion Cor- 
poral Bila Busanga especially distinguished himself 
by his steadiness and courage, and by the admirable 
manner in which he kept the men together. As 
it was, the attack was beaten off at the end of an 
hour ; a perimeter camp was formed ; and the 
night passed without further incident. 

Considering the character of the fighting, and 
the confusion caused at dusk and in the darkness 
by the enemy's attack upon the left flank, the 
casualties sustained by the Regiment on this day 
were light. They amounted to 1 soldier and 2 
carriers killed, 21 men wounded, of whom 1 shortly 
afterwards died, and 13 carriers wounded. 

Patrols sent out at dawn on the 28th September 
reported that, as usual, the enemy had retired during 
the night ; and Pori Hill was forthwith occupied 
by a patrol of the Gold Coast Regiment under 
Captain McElligott, and Nahungu Hill by the 
2nd Battalion of the King's African Rifles. The 


rest of No. 1 Column moved forward and occupied 
the^ground between Nahungu Hill and the river. 

Two officers' patrols of the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment were sent out, one along the road to the 
west, and one along the north, or left, bank of the 
river. The former reported that a gun had been 
retired by that route. 

During the afternoon some officers belonging 
to the Nigerian Brigade, with about fifty men of 
that corps, came across from their camp to the 
north to call on the Gold Coast Regiment, they 
having now joined up with General Hannyngton's 
force. In the mess great cordiality prevailed, and 
the incidents of the Nigerians' big fight at Bweho 
Chini were discussed with eager interest ; but 
among the rank and file of the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment this encounter created the greatest excitement 
and delight. They had long known by report that 
a host of " their brothers " from West Africa were 
co-operating with them in the fight against the 
common enemy ; but this was the first time that 
they had actually seen any of them in the flesh. 
Many of the men composing both forces belonged 
to the same tribes, spoke the same language, and 
had innumerable memories and associations in 
common. Some may even have been personally 
known to one another ; and this unexpected meet- 
ing in the dreary waste places of German East 
Africa with their kinsmen men of the familiar 
types of whom they had seen no representatives 
for more than fourteen toil-laden months held for 
the homesick men of the Gold Coast Regiment 
something of the reassurance and comfort which 
is felt at the sight of the welcome face of an old 



To face p. 140. 


friend and by his warm hand-grip. Moreover, the 
rank and file of both corps were comfortably con- 
vinced that but for the West Africans the enemy 
would have had a comparatively easy time of it. 

On the 29th September, A, B, and I Companies, 
under the command of Major Goodwin, left camp 
at 8 a.m., the rest of the Regiment remaining at 
Nahungu. This force had instructions to push 
forward to Mihomo, via Kihindi ; along the north 
bank of the Mbemkuru. This river is at Nahungu 
about forty yards in width, but now, at the height 
of the dry season, the actual stream was greatly 
shrunken and ran for the most part little more 
than two feet deep, though here and there big still 
pools were occasionally met with. The banks of 
the river are covered with fairly high trees and 
bush. After the experiences in the waterless waste 
to the west of Mihambia, the men of the Regiment 
had greeted the sight of running water with en- 
thusiasm, and during the preceding day had revelled 
in a bathe, by means of which the accumulated dust 
and dirt of ten laborious, parching days were at 
length scrubbed away. 

The function assigned to Major Goodwin's force 
was that of backing up the South African Cavalry, 
which had last been heard of at Mihomo Chini ; 
and simultaneously an officer's patrol of 20 men 
was sent out along the southern, or right, bank of 
the river with instructions to keep in touch with 
Major Goodwin if possible. 

After advancing about seven and a half miles 
along the northern bank of the river, Major Goodwin 
was held up by an enemy party of about 70 rifles 


and a machine-gun ; and on this being telephoned 
through by him to Headquarters, he was instructed 
to find a suitable position in which to camp for the 
night. This he did about half a mile further on. 
Later in the afternoon the enemy attacked this 
camp with about 80 rifles and 2 machine-guns. 
They were driven off without difficulty, but one 
man of the Gold Coast Regiment was killed and 
two were wounded. 

On the morning of the 30th September the 
remainder of No. 1 Column marched from Na- 
hungu along the north bank of the river to Major 
Goodwin's camp ; and from the latter place, before 
the arrival of the column, two officers' patrols were 
sent out, one to Kihindi Hill and one to recon- 
noitre the crossings over the river in the direction 
of Mitoneno on the south bank. These two places 
are situated nearly opposite one another, with the 
river separating them, at a distance of about nine 
miles upstream from Nahungu. 

When No. 1 Column arrived in camp, the 
enemy was found to be still in position on the 
hills in front of the camp, and the 1st Battalion 
of the 3rd Regiment of the King's African Rifles 
were sent to attack him. By nightfall, however, 
the enemy had not been dislodged. 

On the following morning the 1st Battalion of 
the King's African Rifles, supported by the 27th 
Mountain Battery, renewed its attack on the 
enemy's position in front of the camp, while the 
rest of No. 1 Column, which had now been re- 
inforced by the 129th Baluchis and one section of 
the 22nd Mountain Battery, attempted a turning 
movement via Kihindi and Mitoneno. The patrol 


sent to Kihindi Hill on the preceding day had left 
there a small picket of one officer and twelve men. 

No. 1 Column marched at 6 a.m., the advance 
guard being formed of the Pioneers and I Company 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, with the Regimental 
Headquarters and the Stokes Battery. On reach- 
ing the main road, which here runs to the north of 
the river and parallel to its course, the picket at 
Kihindi Hill, which reported that the night had 
passed without incident, was relieved, the relieving 
party being instructed to remain on the hill till 
5 p.m., at which hour it was to rejoin the column. 

On reaching the river, patrols were sent out to 
scout the high ground on the southern bank, and 
when this was reported clear of the enemy, it was 
in due course occupied by the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment. These movements had resulted in No. 1 
Column having slipped in behind the enemy's rear, 
while his front was still being engaged by the 1st 
Battalion of the 3rd King's African Rifles and 
No. 27 Mountain Battery. He was not, however, 
completely encircled, as a gap still existed toward 
the south, by means of which he was able later to 
extricate himself from the dangers that threatened 

At 2.30 p.m. orders were received to push on 
towards Mitoneno by the main path running from 
the east along the south bank of the river, and the 
2nd Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles were at the same time ordered to 
advance by a track leading along the right bank. 
As Mitoneno was approached the King's African 
Rifles became engaged with the enemy, and the 
Pioneer Company of the Gold Coast Regiment 


was pushed forward to get into touch with the 
right of their line, to achieve which the Pioneers 
had to cross to the north bank of the Mbemkuru. 

At 4 p.m. it was ascertained that the enemy 
was in position on the south bank also, and two 
sections of I Company, under Captain McElligott, 
were sent forward to get abreast of the Pioneer 
Company and to attempt to envelope the enemy's 
left. At the same time the rest of I Company and 
A and B Companies were brought up to be in a 
position to launch an attack when the exact dis- 
position of the enemy's forces were more clearly 
known, as, owing to the thick bush, the precise 
situation remained very obscure. Half an hour 
later the rest of I Company, under Captain Dawes, 
was sent forward to join up with the detachment 
under Captain McElligott, on the right. The 
129th Baluchis had in the meantime dug them- 
selves in to the right rear of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, and as a consequence a large gap was 
left between I Company's right and the left flank 
of the Baluchis. 

At 4.40 p.m. Captain Dawes reported that he 
was heavily engaged ; that the enemy were working 
round his right flank ; and that he required support. 
A Company was accordingly sent forward to his 
assistance, Major Goodwin assuming the command 
of the firing-line. 

The firing all along the front was now fast and 
furious, and the reserve of small-arms ammunition 
with the Gold Coast first line was accordingly 
sent forward, and an urgent message for more was 
dispatched to the ammunition- column. It was 
then ascertained that the latter was a long way to 


the rear of the column and that no further supply 
of ammunition could be expected for some time to 
come. This rendered the position one of con- 
siderable anxiety, for the firing continued to be 
very heavy. 

Two sections of B Company, under Lieutenant 
Woods, were now sent forward to reinforce and 
prolong Captain Shaw's right. A little later a 
detachment of the 129th Baluchis, a corps which 
at that time had been almost depleted of its 
officers, were also sent to prolong the right ; but 
pushing too far forward, and losing their sense of 
direction after they had come into contact with the 
enemy, they passed across the front of the right 
extremity of the firing-line, and as a consequence 
they suffered a number of unnecessary casualties. 
About 80 of them, however, eventually joined B 
Company on the extreme right, and were later 
joined by 40 more men of their regiment. The 
two remaining sections of B Company, under 
Captain Methven, had a little earlier been sent to 
reinforce the right, but very soon two sections, under 
Lieutenant Woods, had to be sent back to fill a 
gap between I and A Companies. 

The position with regard to small-arms am- 
munition was now very serious. The transport- 
carriers had vanished to a man, and no word could 
be gained of the ammunition column. However, 
20 boxes of cartridges were borrowed from the 
Baluchis by the Gold Coast Regiment and were 
taken to the firing-line by the battery carriers 
trained men who had stuck to their duty under 
the leadership of Captain Foley. Later, when 
at last a supply was received from the long-lost 


ammunition column, Lieutenant Baldwin, in charge 
of the carriers attached to that body, rendered 
great service in bringing ammunition up and taking 
it forward to the firing-line. 

By 5.30 p.m. the Gold Coast Regiment had 
thrown the whole of its reserves into the firing- 
line, and the Pioneer Company, which had been 
sent to the left, was urgently recalled, but con- 
siderable delay inevitably occurred before it was 
able to rejoin the rest of the Regiment. On the 
arrival of the Pioneers, just as darkness was falling, 
one section was at once sent to reinforce Captain 
Shaw, the remainder being held in reserve. 

At 6.15 word reached Colonel Rose that the 
King's African Rifles on his left had been with- 
drawn, and Major Goodwin was accordingly in- 
structed to draw in his left. The firing had now 
died down, only occasional shots being heard. The 
firing-line was therefore drawn in; a perimeter 
camp was formed ; and the night passed without 

On the 2nd October, scouts sent out reported 
that the enemy had retreated ; and patrols from 
the Baluchis and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles were dispatched to the west 
and the south-west to try to pick up his spoor. 
The rest of No. 1 Column closed upon the camp 
formed overnight by the Gold Coast Regiment, 
where it duly dug itself in. 

The casualties sustained by the Gold Coast 
Regiment in the fighting on the 1st October 
amounted to 5 men killed, and 3 Europeans, 50 
rank and file and 10 carriers wounded. 

On the 3rd October, the men of the Gold Coast 


Regiment enjoyed that, to them, unusual ex- 
perience a day of rest. Ever since leaving the 
camp at Narungombe, now more than a fortnight 
earlier, they had been incessantly on the march or 
in action, and during that time they had had scant 
leisure to devote to matters of even an essential 
character which merely concerned their personal 
comfort. Now at last, during all the hours of day- 
light, they were free to do as they chose, and to 
complete their well-being the shrunken stream of 
the Mbemkuru exhibited in the midst of this thirsty 
land the rare phenomenon of running water. The 
day of rest, therefore was converted into a monster 
washing-day, the men revelling in a succession of 
baths such as had not been enjoyed by any of them 
for months, and thereafter, subjecting their clothes 
and other belongings to an energetic washing and 
scrubbing and sun-drying till the whole camp was 
one large dhobi-green. It was real refreshment 
after all their labours and privations, and by evening 
the men, new-washed, cool and comfortable once 
more, were in high spirits and were thoroughly 
ready to resume their duties on the morrow. 



THE operations which have formed the subject of 
the three preceding chapters were designed to drive 
von Lettow-Vorbeck's main force in a south- 
easterly direction, until its progress should be 
stayed by " Linforce." This latter column, in the 
face of stubborn resistance, and hampered, too, by 
the inadequate harbour facilities available at 
Lindi, was fighting its way mile by mile down 
the road which leads from that place to Massassi, 
where, as we have seen, von Lettow-Vorbeck had 
established his General Headquarters. As must 
inevitably happen in fighting of this character, all 
the British columns engaged occupied the ano- 
malous, one might almost say the paradoxical, 
position of attacking forces which were incessantly 
and perpetually on the defensive. For them were 
combined all the risks of the attack upon prepared 
and unreconnoitred positions with all the moral 
and actual disadvantages which ordinarily attach 
to the defence. They were, indeed, only properly 
to be described as attacking forces because it was 
they that were advancing, the enemy which was 
retreating before them ; but in the daily conflicts 
with the enemy, in which they were so constantly 
entangled, the actual attack was usually delivered 



by the latter. It was he, not the British, who 
selected the spot where fighting should take place ; 
to him, not to them, were secured, in practical 
perpetuity, the advantages of surprise and of being 
the first to open fire ; and while he could concen- 
trate all his attention upon the task of hampering, 
embarrassing and resisting the advance of his 
opponents, the commanders of British columns 
and units alike were for ever distracted from the 
actual fighting by a knowledge of the extreme 
vulnerability of the formation in which they were 
compelled to move, and by the precautions 
necessary to protect it, as far as possible, from 
assaults upon its flanks. In this rough country, 
where an advance was only possible along the 
main roads or along well-worn paths, each column, 
with its inevitable train of pack-animals and loaded 
carriers, sprawled down the tracks for miles in the 
rear of the advancing force, men and beasts alike 
being often compelled to go in single file. The 
pace of such a column is that of the slowest man in 
it, for it is essential that straggling should, as far 
as possible, be prevented. It is fortunate if the 
progress made averages a modest two miles an 
hour it will much more often approximate to half 
that rate of advance ; yet the actual fighting force, 
which can be spared from the work of mere pro- 
tection, cannot abandon the transport and press on 
ahead for any great distance without the risk of 
becoming paralyzed for lack of supplies and ammu- 
nition, or without exposing the long, snake-like 
column of unarmed men and terrified animals to an 
attack that may work in a few moments its complete 


The circumvention or outflanking of an enemy 
in these circumstances and in such country, and 
still more the envelopnient of him, are for the most 
part impossible military feats. Such movements 
are generally dependent upon the rapid manoeuvring 
of troops, and upon the enemy being kept in com- 
plete ignorance of the strategy which his opponent 
is adopting ; but rapidity of movement was the one 
thing which could not be insured in the East 
African bush, save only where a very small body 
of men was concerned; and the forces at von 
Lettow - Vorbeck's command were sufficiently 
numerous to expose any weak unit, temporarily 
detached from the main body, to imminent danger 
of being cut off or overwhelmed. As for secrecy, 
that was unattainable in country where the enemy's 
scouts could creep up to within a few yards of a 
British column without running any save the most 
slender risk of being observed, and where, when 
once the main roads were quitted, the passage of 
any large body of men through the bush inevitably 
caused an amount of noise and commotion that 
was nicely calculated to advertise its presence to 
even the least watchful and suspicious of enemies. 
When to these things are added the fact that 
the British attack was always delivered upon an 
opponent who was perfectly familiar with the 
geography of the country in which the operations 
were being conducted, and to whom it was a 
matter of complete indifference which point of the 
compass he should select as the direction of his 
temporary retreat, the handicaps under which the 
British commanders laboured can be to some 
extent appreciated. 


Where possible mechanical transport was used, 
and this fact alone served in a great measure to 
anchor the British columns to the main roads. 
Sooner or later, however, there came a time or a 
place at which it was no longer possible to depend 
even mainly upon motor transport, and thereupon 
hosts of pack-animals and of head-carriers became 
the machine of military supply, and the clamorous, 
snake-like column thus evolved wriggled, with 
incredible slowness and clamour, into the wilder- 
ness of grass and bush. Of the transport mule 
much has been written, and much more has been 
said most of it being unprintable. As for the 
East African carrier, the late Sir Gerald Portal 
said the last word about him a full quarter of a 
century ago. " As an animal of burden," he wrote, 
"man is out and out the worst. He eats more, 
carries less, is more liable to sickness, gets over 
less ground, is more expensive, more troublesome, 
and in every way less satisfactory than the meanest 
four-footed creature that can be trained, induced, 
or forced to carry a load." 

The men who took part in the East African 
campaign are louder than any in the expression of 
their admiration for von Lettow-Vorbeck, for the 
pluck and grit and resource which he displayed, 
for his dogged resolution, and for the fine resist- 
ance which he put up, and which may justly be 
attributed to his individual energy and force of 
character. Members of the British public, who 
happily for themselves have no personal experience 
of bush-fighting, would do well to realize, however, 
how heavy was the balance of the military ad- 
vantages which he throughout enjoyed, how 


completely these discounted any that could be 
derived by his opponents from mere numerical 
superiority, and how practically impossible is the 
task of rounding up in the bush a well-armed and 
elusive enemy, which had been entrusted to the 
British commanders. It may even be said that 
von Lettow-Vorbeck did not really make the most 
of his opportunities, and that, given the superiority 
of his armament, he played this game of bush- 
fighting less skilfully and successfully than it had 
been played in their time by the Burman and by 
the Malay. Had he realized, as the Burmese and 
the Malays both realized, how small a force is 
needed to check and delay the advance of an 
enemy column through the bush, and had he 
thereafter devoted most of his attention to constant 
harassing attacks upon the terribly vulnerable 
transport trains, it would have been altogether 
impossible for the British to drive him, in the 
course of two dry-weather campaigns, steadily 
southward from the country north of the Dar-es- 
Salaam-Lake Tanganyika Railway to beyond the 
Rovuma River into Portuguese territory. 

When all the facts above noted are borne in 
mind, therefore, it ceases to be in any degree 
wonderful that von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces 
which from first to last never numbered more 
than five or six thousand Askari and perhaps 
a thousand to fifteen hundred white men were 
able to keep their British pursuers chasing them 
to and fro and up and down the jungles of East 
Africa for nearly four years, with all the grotesque 
lack of success with which a dignified middle-aged 
person runs after his hat upon a windy day. 


On the 4th October the Gold Coast Regiment, 
rested and refreshed, and above all clean once 
more, took the field again. 

As far as could be ascertained, the enemy 
appeared to be holding positions on the right bank 
of the Mbemkuru River on the road to Namehi, 
approximately four and a half miles to the west 
of Mitoneno. Patrols sent out on the preceding 
day had drawn fire from him from the hills to the 
south of the river, and it was General Hannyngton's 
intention to attempt to hold the enemy by a frontal 
attack delivered by one battalion drawn from 
No. 1 Column, while the remainder of that force 
worked round his right and sought to possess itself 
of the hilly country to the south. The reserve of 
" Hanforce " was simultaneously to detail a weak 
battalion to hold the enemy's left flank, the rest 
being held ready in support. Meanwhile, across 
the river on the British right, the 25th Indian 
Cavalry were to remain at Kihindi, holding them- 
selves in readiness to move, at fifteen minutes' 
notice, in any direction in which their services 
might be required. 

At dawn on the 4th October No. 1 Column 
moved out of its camp at Mitoneno, and speedily 
found itself in action with the enemy. The Gold 
Coast Regiment, however, was in reserve on this 
day, and so did not take part in the action. The 
column fought its way forward for a distance of 
four miles, and when, fairly late in the afternoon, 
the Regiment arrived at the place where it was 
proposed that a perimeter camp should be formed 
for the night, B Company, under Captain Methven, 
was sent to hold a flat-crested hill upon the south, 


from which the camp was commanded. At dusk 
the enemy fired a few shells over the camp, but 
the night passed otherwise without incident. 

At Ruangwa Chini, which is the name of the 
place in the neighbourhood of which No. 1 Column 
had been held up all day, the road at the spot near 
which the camp was being established runs east 
and west and roughly parallel to the river, which 
is distant from it a few hundred yards on the 
north the right of the British advance. On the 
left the country was very difficult, the road being 
overlooked by a succession of red, laterite hills, for 
the most part bare of vegetation, though long rank 
grass sprouted wherever there was a foothold for 
its roots. The slopes of these hills were covered 
and strewrrwith outcrops and boulders of the same 
red rock, the colour of which is the deep, rich hue 
that in England is associated with the coombs and 
lanes of Devon. The principal feature was the 
high hill which, late in the afternoon, B Company 
of the Gold Coast Regiment was detailed to occupy 
in conjunction with the 129th Baluchis. This hill, 
of naked red rock, rose in an almost precipitous 
slope, from near the southern edge of the road, to 
a flat summit, barely fifty yards in breadth, but 
extending in a position parallel to the track for 
perhaps ten times that distance. Its southern and 
western slopes, which were both accessible to the 
enemy, were much less abruptly graded ; but the 
approach from the east was again very steep. 
Near the western extremity of this hill the road 
curved about its foot in a south-westerly direction ; 
and in the thickish bush, which lay between the 
road and the river on the right front of the British 


advance, the enemy had got a gun into position, 
whence it shelled the head of the column from a 
safe distance. Early in the day the Germans had 
contrived to shoot down a British aeroplane into 
the tree-tops in that locality ; but the pilot and the 
observer both escaped without any serious injury, 
and were able to make their way back to No. 1 

When that morning the British were advancing 
along the road from their camp at Mitoneno, the 
129th Baluchis had scaled the eastern face of the 
flat- topped hill above described, and had worked 
along its summit to a point near to its western 
extremity. Here, however, they had come into 
contact with an enemy post, which had opened fire 
upon them with a machine-gun. The Baluchis 
had twice retired, but later in the day they had 
dug their way from the road to the base of the 
northern face of the hill, and thence had climbed 
the steep ascent to its summit, where they had 
dug themselves in in a line of rifle-pits drawn 
across the flat top at a point about halfway along 
its length. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Foster of the 27th 
Mountain Battery had climbed with his orderly 
up the eastern face of the hill, and from there was 
engaged in observing for his unit the German fire 
from the gun posted in the bush on the right front 
of the British advance. He presently became 
aware that a party of the enemy was working its 
way up the gentle slope on the southern side of 
the hill at a spot to the rear of the place where the 
Baluchis were dug in ; and Lieutenant Foster and 
his orderly, taking cover behind a boulder, opened 


fire upon the enemy with revolver and rifle, and 
for a time actually succeeded in staying or delaying 
his advance. 

This was the position of affairs when B Com- 
pany, under Captain Methven, who had been 
ordered to dig himself in at a spot near the foot 
of the eastern extremity of the hill, in order to 
guard the left and left rear of the column, was 
instructed to quit his entrenchments and go to the 
assistance of the Baluchis on the summit. He and 
his men scaled the steep eastern face of the hill, 
which the Baluchis had climbed in the course of 
their first advance that morning, and were in time 
to relieve Lieutenant Foster and his orderly, who 
were still maintaining their plucky lone-hand fight. 
B Company then worked along the southern edge 
of the crest until it had lined up abreast of the 
Baluchis in their shallow rifle-pits, and thence 
pushed forward to the western extremity of the 
hill, from whence the enemy was already retiring 
down the slope leading to his main position. Here 
B Company dug itself in for the night, having 
effectually relieved the camp from the menace to 
which the occupation of this summit by the enemy 
had exposed it. 

In the course of this operation B Company lost 
1 private killed, 5 wounded, and 1 machine-gun 
carrier wounded. 

On the 5th October, patrols sent out at dawn 
came almost immediately into touch with the 
enemy, who was estimated to have some five 
companies in position at Ruangwa Chini, about 
two miles to the west namely, in the direction 
of the column's advance. The 129th Baluchis, the 


1st Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles, and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd 
Regiment of that corps were dispatched to attack 
the position, supported by the 27th Mountain 
Battery and the Kilwa Battery. This hilly and 
rocky laterite country was very difficult, however, 
and by 3.30 p.m. so little progress had been made 
that Colonel Orr decided to break off the attack, 
and to withdraw the units that had been engaged 
in it to the camp which the column had occupied 
on the preceding afternoon. 

The Gold Coast Regiment was not engaged 
during the day, but one of its carriers was wounded 
by a stray bullet. 

On the 6th October, No. 1 Column marched at 
dawn, working through the bush in a southerly 
direction for the purpose of outflanking the 
right of the enemy's position, and of cutting 
off his retreat, should he attempt to make use of 
any of the paths leading toward the south. The 
troops in reserve remained in camp to hold 
the enemy in front, and to be ready to thrust 
forward if the flanking movement proved suc- 
cessful. The 27th Cavalry, meanwhile, had in- 
structions to co-operate from the left bank of the 

No. 1 Column was able to get into a position 
well to the rear of that which the enemy had 
occupied on the preceding day, but the Germans 
had retired from it during the night, leaving only 
a party of some forty men to watch and delay the 
movements of the British troops. On the ap- 
proach of the latter this small band dispersed, and 
a part of it, which had apparently got " bushed," 


consisting of one German and ten Askari, was 

No. 1 Column, suffering somewhat from the 
disillusionment and disappointment which are 
the prevailing sentiments that bush-fighting com- 
monly inspires in a pursuing force, accordingly 
worked its way laboriously back to the main road, 
where it learned that the rest of the column, 
which had encountered no resistance, was en- 
camped about two and a half miles ahead of it. 

The check at Ruangwa Chini is, in a measure, 
typical of military operations in the bush. By it 
the enemy had been able to reduce the advance 
achieved in the space of three days by a force, 
greatly its numerical superior, to a matter of seven 
or eight miles ; and in accomplishing this he 
had exposed himself to no inconvenience and to 
negligible danger. 

On the 7th October No. 1 Column resumed 
its interrupted march down the main road, which 
here runs west, with the river parallel to it upon 
the right. The Gold Coast Regiment, less two 
companies and the battery, furnished the advance 
guard. A distance of between eight and nine 
miles was traversed during the day, and a camp 
was taken up for the night near Kiperele Chini. 

The 25th Cavalry were encamped, with one 
company of the Gold Coast Regiment, at a spot 
about a mile and a quarter further down the 

On the 8th October No. 1 Column marched 
down the main road, and camped for the night at 
Mbemba, which is distant some ten miles from 
Kiperele Chini. 


From this point the road which No. 1 Column 
had been following more or less continuously ever 
since it started pushing south from Narungombe, 
runs on, in a south-westerly direction, still ad- 
hering closely to one or another bank of the river. 
About ten miles from Mbemba it strikes the main 
Liwale-Massassi road, at a place named Mangano, 
and here the 25th Cavalry captured large quantities 
of stores belonging to the Germans. These stores, 
however, consisted exclusively of native food-stuffs 
such as mealies, the kind of millet locally called 
mantana, cassava and a little rice bulky stuff 
which, since it could not be carried off, was burned 
to prevent it again falling into the enemy's hands. 

On the 9th October No. 1 Column left the 
main road and the banks of the Mbemkuru River, 
and turning off to the left along a narrow track, 
pushed forward in a south-south-easterly direction 
to Lihonja, distant from Mbemba a matter of some 
seven miles. Here the main Liwale-Massassi road 
was struck by the Column for the first time a 
really first-class laterite highway, some twenty to 
twenty-five feet in width, running through grass 
country and open bush, with a surface consolidated 
by constant traffic. This road was now followed 
for a distance of about nine miles, and the Column 
camped for the night at a mission station named 
Mnero. This is a pretty little station, with mis- 
sion buildings and church perched upon a low hill, 
and with at least a mile square of well-cultivated 
land lying around it. The church was subsequently 
used by the British as an advance hospital for their 
sick and wounded. 

During October 9th, as on the two preceding 


days, the advance of No. 1 Column had been 
accomplished without incident. 

Eight miles down the road from Mnero Mission 
Station, to the east and slightly to the south of 
that place, lies Ruponda, where yet another large 
food depot was known to have been established 
by the enemy, and this was now the Column's 
immediate objective. 

Having quitted the banks of the Mbemkuru, 
the British troops were once again dependent upon 
water-holes, but the country was here less arid 
than it had been further north between Narun- 
gombe and Nahunga ; and at Mnero itself, and 
thence all along the line of march eastward and 
southward, a sufficient, and at times even an 
abundant, supply of water was available either 
in existing water-holes or to be obtained by 

With the quitting of Mbemkuru Valley and the 
push to the south upon which No. 1 Column was 
now embarked, the second phase of the advance 
may be said to have ended and the third phase to 
have begun. 



3 60 

W O 


2 a 

HI a 

o o> 

e s 



THE position at this moment was approximately 
as follows. After the taking of Nahungu on the 
28th September it had become evident to the 
British Command that it was not possible to feed 
and supply all the troops assembled in that area, 
and the Nigerian Brigade was accordingly given a 
week's rations, and with Major Pretorius acting 
as its guide, was bidden to march across country, 
by such tracks as it could find, to join up with 
"Linforce" on the Lindi-Massassi road. This 
was a somewhat perilous adventure, for, though the 
Nigerian Brigade carried with them only a week's 
rations, it was anticipated that this cross-country 
march would probably occupy a period of at least 
ten days. The area about to be traversed, more- 
over, was very little known, and no exact informa- 
tion was forthcoming concerning the numbers or 
the disposition of the enemy's troops between the 
Mbemkuru River and the Lindi-Massassi road. In 
Major Pretorius, however, the Nigerians possessed 
a tower of strength. This remarkable man, who 
in peace-time had been a professional elephant- 
hunter, not only knew the highways and byways 
of British and German East Africa more intimately 
than any other living soul, but had established over 



the native population a species of hypnotic in- 
fluence. Though von Lettow-Vorbeck had placed 
a price upon his head, and though from time to 
time some unusually daring person had the hardi- 
hood and the imprudence to attempt to earn it, 
the gang of native toughs and scalawags whom 
he gathered around him and who aided him in his 
scouting, regarded him with an almost superstitious 
reverence and served him with unshakable fidelity. 
On this occasion he piloted the Nigerians across 
country, by footpaths and through the bush, for 
a distance of more than .fifty miles as the crow 
flies, and brought them safely to their destination, 
though in the course of their march they had one 
very severe encounter with the enemy in which 
one of their battalions sustained heavy casualties. 

Ever since they began their march inland from 
Lindi, the troops composing " Linforce/' with which 
the Nigerian Brigade had now joined up, had ex- 
perienced persistent and very effective resistance 
from the enemy in the difficult, hilly country 
through which the Lindi-Massassi road runs ; and 
at the time of the arrival of the Nigerians they 
had only succeeded in progressing along this high- 
way for a distance of about thirty miles from their 
base. The enemy troops opposing them, like those 
which were resisting the advance of "Hanforce," 
were based upon von Lettow-Vorbeck's General 
Headquarters, which, as we have seen, were estab- 
lished at Massassi ; and to the security of this place 
the advance of the converging British columns was 
now presenting a constantly increasing menace. 

Von Lettow-Vorbeck, at the time of the arrival 
of No. 1 Column at the mission station at Mnero, 


was reported to be at Ruwanga, a spot in the 
centre of the base of a roughly isosceles triangle 
whereof the sides are formed respectively by the 
Mbemkuru River and the road from Mbemba to 
Ruponda. He was said to be occupying a strongly 
fortified position, and to have with him not less 
than ten companies of troops. The nearest British 
force was No. 2 Column of " Hanforce," which was 
operating to the left and east of No. 1 Column ; 
and it was confidently anticipated that von Lettow- 
Vorbeck would reinforce Ruponda now that that 
important food dep6t was threatened by the occu- 
pation of Mnero. 

On the arrival of No. 1 Column at the last- 
named place, on the 9th October, the 25th Cavalry 
pushed on towards Ruponda, and at 8 p.m. the 
Gold Coast Regiment followed in their wake, with 
orders to support them and to get as near to 
Ruponda as might prove to be possible. The rest 
of the Column was to march at 2 a.m. 

At 1 a.m. on the 10th October the native 
guides with the Gold Coast Regiment reported 
that Ruponda village, which was said to be occu- 
pied by the 8th Schutzen Company, was only a short 
distance ahead. No trace of the 25th Cavalry was 
found, however, and it was supposed that they must 
have left the main road and tliat they must be 
camping somewhere in the bush. 

At 5 a.m. orders were received by the Gold 
Coast Regiment to march upon Ruponda at 
5.30 a.m., acting as the advanced guard of the 
column, and about the same time touch was at 
last obtained with the 25th Cavalry, who reported 
that Ruponda was occupied by the enemy and was 



being held against the column's advance. This was 
confirmed shortly afterwards when the advanced 
guard of the Regiment was fired upon as it drew 
near to the village ; and I Company and the 
Pioneer Company thereupon moved forward to 
the attack, the remainder of the Regiment simul- 
taneously making a flanking movement in order 
to occupy some high ground on the north-east of 

As the attack developed, however, the Ger- 
mans were found to be few in numbers, and while 
I Company continued to engage them, the rest of 
the Regiment pushed round the right flank of the 
enemy's position to seize some high ground and to 
prevent any possible reinforcements from Ruwanga 
joining up with the little force in occupation of 
Ruponda. This movement was carried out, no 
opposition being met with, and as the position was 
found to be a good one for defensive purposes, 
No. 1 Column advanced and formed a camp upon 
the high ground which the Gold Coast Regiment 
had occupied. 

I Company was still engaging a small party of 
the enemy, and the 129th Baluchis were sent to 
the village to clear up the situation. The Germans 
then withdrew, and the large stocks of native food- 
stuffs which had been accumulated at Ruponda 
fell, practically undefended, into the hands of the 
British. The casualties amounted to one man of 
I Company killed. 

From the 10th to the 16th October inclusive, 
No. 1 Column remained encamped at Ruponda, 
sending out patrols in all directions to reconnoitre 
the surrounding country, digging water-holes, and 


performing other similar duties. At noon on the 
10th October a small party of the enemy, consist- 
ing of about forty men with a machine-gun, sniped 
the camp for about half an hour, inflicting a few 
casualties ; and once or twice the patrols from 
Ruponda came into touch with enemy scouting 

The German correspondence captured at this 
place showed that the state of things in the enemy 
camp was very far from happy. Von Lettow- 
Vorbeck appears to have inspired all his subordi- 
nates with fear, but the admiring affection with 
which he is believed to have been regarded by his 
Askari does not seem to have been shared by 
many of even the more senior of his European 
subordinates. As was to be expected in the cir- 
cumstances in which the Germans had now so long 
been living, food bulked big in their thoughts and 
in their imaginations ; and as a topic it filled a 
wholly disproportionate space in much of the 
correspondence captured. As the large stocks of 
native food-stuffs seized by the British at Nangano 
and again at Ruponda clearly showed, the Askari 
were for the most part well fed and well cared for ; 
but cassava and maize and millet, which will per- 
fectly content an African, form a sadly monotonous 
and unsatisfying diet for white men who have to 
make of them their staple for many months on 
end. The Germans waxed almost lyrical in their 
correspondence when at long intervals fortune sent 
a pig or some such infrequent luxury their way ; 
but they devoured them in haste, like the Israelites 
of old, and wrote in terms of the most explicit 
dispraise of the disgusting greediness, the gross 


selfishness, and the predatory character of their 
Chief. No food was apparently secure when that 
energetic person had got wind of its existence. 
For the rest, the correspondence showed that all 
the European rank and file in the German camp 
were sick unto death of this protracted and, in 
their opinion, futile resistance; that their dread 
of von Lettow-Vorbeck and of the prompt and 
exemplary punishments to which he on occasion 
resorted, alone chained them to their duty ; and 
that in spite of their Commander-in-Chief s great 
influence over the Askari, the native soldiers, too, 
were heartily weary of the war, and had of late 
been deserting in large numbers. Every one 
concerned, except von Lettow-Vorbeck himself, 
appeared, indeed, to be ripe for surrender ; and it 
is a wonderful tribute to the energy, to the force 
of character, and to the resolution of this man 
that, with such sentiments prevailing all around 
him and growing daily more and more intense, the 
campaign was maintained up to the date upon 
which, a year later, the Armistice was signed, 
purely and solely because he so willed it. 

On the 16th October the 2nd Battalion of the 
2nd Regiment of the King's African Rifles, with 
a detachment of the Pioneers of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, left Ruponda and marched down the 
Massassi road, about thirteen miles to Chingwea, 
there to prepare a camp and develop the water 
supply in anticipation of the advance of No. 1 
Column. No. 2 Column was at this time operating 
on the left of No. 1 Column, and was reported to 
be at a place some ten miles north of Ruwanga ; 


and word was also received that " Linforce " had 
advanced down the Lindi-Massassi road as far as 
Mtama, which is nearly thirty-three miles from 
Lindi, and had expelled the enemy from the former 

On the 17th October, No. 1 Column, to which 
a company of the Gold Coast Regiment, under 
Major Shaw, acted as advanced guard, left Ruponda 
and marched to Chingwea, without incident. On 
the following morning a start was made at 5.30 a.m., 
the mission station at Lukuledi, about twelve 
miles further down the road, being the objective 
on that day. 

The Gold Coast Regiment formed the advance- 
guard on this occasion, B Company, under Captain 
Methven, preceding the main body, from which at 
the outset it was separated by a distance of about 
400 yards. B Company at this time was not quite 
160 strong, including 4 officers Captain Methven, 
and Lieutenants Woods, Baillie and S. B. Smith 
and 1 British non-commissioned officer, Colour- 
Sergeant Cuneen. It was accomplished by Captain 
Gush, a member of the West African Medical 
Staff. With B Company there also went the 7th 
Light Armoured Car Battery, which consisted of 
two Rolls-Royce cars, each of which was armed 
with a machine-gun and was manned by an officer 
and two men, all of whom were Europeans. These 
cars were surmounted by armour-plated turrets, in 
which the machine-guns were placed ; and the 
driver was similarly protected, the only vulnerable 
spot being the narrow window through which he 
looked when driving the car. The bonnet was 
also protected by armour, but the wheels, which 


were furnished with pneumatic tyres, were exposed 
to any fire that might be brought to bear upon the 
vehicle. At a later date cars of this description were 
provided with patent tyres of a special character, 
which were not capable of being punctured. 

At a point about three miles from the camp the 
1st Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles had overnight established a post, 
and from here that Regiment now entered the 
bush on the right side of the road. Its instructions 
were to make a wide sweeping movement to the 
west and south in such a manner as to enable it to 
deliver an attack upon the mission station at 
Lukuledi from the rear and right flank of that 
position, which should be timed so as to syn- 
chronize with the arrival of the Gold Coast 
Regiment in front of it. 

As soon as the 1st Battalion of the 3rd King's 
African Rifles had taken to the bush, the Gold 
Coast Regiment continued its march down the 
road, B Company being still a few hundred yards 
ahead. As Captain Methven advanced, he sent 
out patrols to the right and left to explore the 
numerous paths which here ran criss-cross on both 
sides of the main road ; and after he had advanced 
some miles upon his way, he deployed his company, 
the two armoured cars keeping, however, to the 
main road. The country through which he was 
passing is for the most part open bush with low 
scrub, scattered trees and much grass. All the 
vegetation was parched and sun-dried, and there 
were frequent blackened patches where the grass 
had been burned to stubble and where the trees 
were charred and leafless. 


B Company's advance proceeded without in- 
cident until about eight miles had been covered and 
only four more separated the little force from the 
mission station on the other side of the dried-up 
bed of the Lukuledi River. At this point a small 
black boy, wearing a blue waist-skirt, was met 
sauntering quite unconcernedly down the centre of 
the road. Though he was only about twelve years 
of age, and quite alone, he manifested neither fear 
nor excitement at finding himself thus suddenly 
confronted by a body of armed men, and he 
answered the questions addressed to him with the 
grave maturity of demeanour that is so often to be 
observed in native children, and which sits so 
quaintly upon them. Captain Methven, and many 
of the men of the Company, had picked up a 
working knowledge of Swahili during their cam- 
paigning in East Africa, so communication with 
the child was easy enough, -and from him it was 
learned that there were a good many Germans and 
Askari at the mission- station, but that they had 
packed up their gear and apparently meditated an 
early departure. He added that there was a small 
enemy post just across the dried-up bed of the 
Lukuledi River on the left of the advance. The 
small boy was passed back under escort to the 
Headquarters of the Gold Coast Regiment, and 
B Company resumed its march. 

About two miles before the mission station at 
Lukuledi is reached, the road breasts a fairly steep 
ascent, the crest of which is perhaps a mile and a 
half from the mission buildings. From the summit 
of this rise the road dips in a long slope to the 
Lukuledi River a stream some twenty or thirty 


feet in width, with low water- worn banks, and at 
this season of the year without a drop of moisture 
anywhere visible in the cracked, sun-baked mud 
which composes its bed. At the foot of the hill 
the road crosses this river-bed, and bending slightly 
to the right climbs the hill on the summit of which 
the mission station is situated. The surface of 
this hill is pitted near its base by a few shallow 
folds and hollows, and toward the left of the 
advance there were patches of shortish grass. For 
the rest, however, the vegetation had been burned 
off and the grass reduced to blackened stubble not 
more than an inch or two in length. 

On the top of the hill some of the mission 
buildings were enclosed in a boma a zariba or 
stockade constructed of impenetrable thorn bushes 
which blocked the road. To the left rear of 
this stockade, as viewed from the front, the road 
once more emerged from it, and passing a sub- 
stantial, two-storeyed dwelling-house built of red 
locally-burned bricks,! that occupied a position on 
its left, it ran on two to three hundred yards to the 
church, which was built of the same material and was 
surmounted by a high spire. Behind the station, 
the country was covered by the same open bush, 
scattered trees, grass and occasional scrub already 
described. From the valley of the Lukuledi, 
which separated the Mission Hill from the hill 
whence the road led down to the river crossing, 
some fairly high trees rose to a sufficient height for 
their tops partially to obscure the depth of the 
depression in which they were rooted. 

The summit of the hill leading down to the 
river crossing was very bare, the grass on each side 


having been completely burned away, and on 
arrival here Captain Methven felt convinced that 
his little force, which was now nearly two miles in 
advance of the rest of the Regiment, must be clearly 
visible from the mission station. Owing to the 
mass of the tree-tops rising from the river valley, 
it is doubtful, however, whether he was right in 
this conjecture ; but as he advanced a solitary shot 
was twice fired from the bush upon his left. 
Believing himself to be under observation from 
the mission station, Captain Methven deployed 
his men on either side of the road in the sparse 
bush and grass, in order to provide them with such 
cover as was available, and he then began to 
descend the hill, the armoured cars moving forward 
with him, but of course remaining on the highway. 
Halfway down the hill the rearmost car suddenly 
developed engine trouble, and had to be left 

The section of B Company which was under 
Lieutenant Woods' command led the advance, 
and on reaching the river crossing it found that, 
though an enemy post had been established on the 
far side of it and to his left, as had been accurately 
reported by the small boy, it had now been with- 
drawn. Woods therefore crossed the river, and 
proceeded up the road until the boma was reached. 
There was no sign of the enemy, and he accordingly 
went back down the road arid reported to Captain 
Methven that he believed the station to be un- 
occupied, and that he had sent a small party 
forward to confirm this fact. 

B Company was then deployed along the base 
of the Mission Hill, the section on the left wing 


being under the command of Lieutenant S. B. 
Smith, that next to it being under Lieutenant 
Baillie, while the centre, with which was the 
machine-gun, was astride the road, under Captain 
Methven and Colour - Sergeant Cuneen, with 
Lieutenant Woods' section upon its right. The 
formation of the company was thus an irregular 
semicircular line, the men being in extended 
order ; and it was thus that, at about 2.30 p.m., 
the advance up the hill was begun. 

The few shallow folds and hollows in the surface 
of the hill near its base had been left behind, and 
B Company had advanced about a hundred yards 
into the wide belt of bare and fire-blackened earth 
which extended thence to the edge of the boma, 
when fire was suddenly opened upon it from 
machine-guns placed in the bush to the right and 
left of the mission station, while from behind the 
boma there came a tremendous burst of rifle-fire. 
The enemy had watched the approach of B Com- 
pany, and had held his fire awaiting the psycho- 
logical moment to attack. Now, when Captain 
Methven 's little force had reached a position where 
no cover was to be found for a hundred yards or 
more in any direction, the Germans suddenly sub- 
jected their opponents to a withering cross-fusillade. 
Shortly afterwards a party of the enemy, about 
150 strong, was seen to emerge from behind the 
mission house to the right rear of their position, 
and to run at a double into some long grass with 
the evident intention of outflanking the left of the 
line formed by B Company. 

The position in which Captain Methven's little 
force found itself was desperate, no less ; but, as 


usual, the courage, the discipline and the steadfast- 
ness of the men were beyond praise. Hugging the 
bare ground as closely as they might they returned 
the enemy's fire ; but save the boma, they had no 
target at which to aim, while the Germans were 
firing upon them, as the accuracy of their marks- 
manship proved, at ranges which had been carefully 
ascertained in advance. 

Captain Methven brought his machine-gun into 
action, and Colour-Sergeant Cuneen, who was 
working it, was immediately killed. Sergeant- 
Major Mama Juma, who took his place, was 
instantly hit, and though it was now evident that 
the enemy had the position of this gun " taped," 
as it is called, and that it was practically certain 
death for any one to touch it, the gun-team 
continued to try to serve it until every man among 
them had been killed or wounded. From end to 
end of the line the casualties were' now very heavy, 
but retreat was even more dangerous than the 
continued occupation of this mercilessly exposed 
position ; and B Company maintained its ground, 
and manfully tried to return the enemy's fire. On 
the right, Lieutenant Woods was killed early in the 
action, but Sergeant Yessufu Mamprusi at once 
assumed command of the section, and continued 
to direct and steady his men. In the centre, 
where the casualties were very heavy, Colour- 
Sergeant Cuneen had been killed and the whole 
of the machine-gun team had been put out of 
action, while Captain Methven had been thrice 
wounded in the same leg a leg which already 
bore the scar of a wound received some months 
earlier on the western front in France. 


The foremost armoured car, contrary to orders, 
had come right up into the firing-line, thus 
presenting a target to the enemy which caused 
the men lying to the right and left of it to be 
subjected to a specially devastating fire. Both 
this car and its fellow, which had overcome its 
engine troubles, and had crept up the hill, had had 
their tyres shot to ribbons ; the driver of the 
leading car had been wounded in the eye, through 
the window of his vehicle, and the machine-guns 
with which they were armed were quite unable 
effectively to retaliate upon the enemy. 

On the left of Captain Methven, Lieutenant 
Baillie had been shot through both feet, and had 
contrived to drag himself back into an isolated 
patch of grass and scrub, in which he was now 
lying. Further to the left again, Lieutenant S. B. 
Smith alone survived unharmed, but though the 
grass here afforded a certain amount of cover for 
his section, his position was being outflanked and 
enfiladed by the enemy. 

Meanwhile the rest of the Regiment had arrived 
at the summit of the hill leading down to the 
river crossing, and the Pioneer Company was sent 
forward to the relief of B Company, with Major 
Goodwin in command. The slope was descended, 
the river-bed was crossed, and the Pioneers took 
cover in such hollows in the surface of the hill 
near its base and right flank as they could find. 
It was in one of these hollows that Captain 
Methven presently met Major Goodwin, with 
whom the position was discussed; but it was 
evident that B Company, more than a third of 
whom were now casualties, could not be with- 


drawn, and that any attempt to reinforce their 
firing-line would only result in a useless sacrifice 
of life. All that could be done was for B Company 
to remain where it was, and to endure the terrible 
punishment to which it had been exposed for more 
than an hour. The fire continued to be so hot 
that many of the dead and wounded in the firing- 
line were being hit over and over again. 

Lieutenant Saunderson was sent forward from 
the Pioneer Company to take over the section, at 
that time being commanded by Sergeant Yessufu 
Mamprusi, on the extreme left of the line; and 
very shortly after his arrival he attempted and led 
a desperate charge against the boma. His men 
loyally followed him, but the feat attempted was 
impossible of achievement, and their gallant young 
leader fell riddled with bullets within a yard of that 
impenetrable stockade of thorns. Here his body 
was recovered next day, having during the night 
been partially buried by the Germans, and several 
of his section lay dead around him. Sergeant 
Yessufu Mamprusi, however, who had himself taken 
part in the charge, led the survivors back to their 
former position, where they remained during the 
remainder of the afternoon. This rion- commis- 
sioned officer, who throughout showed great 
coolness and courage, and who continued to 
command his men to the very end of the day, 
was himself wounded in three places. 

Robert de Bedick Saunderson, who here lost his 
life, was just six-and-twenty years of age. He had 
been appointed an Assistant District Commissioner 
in the Gold Coast in January, 1915, served in 
Ashanti for a few months, and then was attached 


to the Gold Coast Regiment at Kumasi, being 
accounted " one of the lucky ones " by his brother 
officers, in that his application to be seconded for 
military service had been approved. In April of 
the following year he returned from leave, and was 
for a time employed in the Secretariat at Accra ; 
but when in April, 1917, the second draft was 
dispatched from the Gold Coast to reinforce the 
troops in East Africa, Mr. Saunderson accompanied 
it, and was with the Regiment, except when 
incapacitated by sickness, until he fell at Lukuledi 
in the manner just described. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Foster, of whose lone- 
hand fight mention has been made in connection 
with the action at Ruwanga Chini, had crossed the 
river and made his way up the hill to the hollow 
on the northern slope of it where Major Goodwin 
was halted. His business, as usual, was to try to 
observe for the 27th Mountain Battery, to which 
he was attached, and which had now opened fire 
from the opposite hill upon the buildings in the 
boma, and upon the area between the big dwelling- 
house and the church. Here he learned from 
Captain Methven of the position in which Lieu- 
tenant Baillie was lying in a little patch of bush to 
the right rear of his section, most of whom were now 
casualties. To reach this spot about one hundred 
yards of burned stubble, in which not a square 
inch of cover was anywhere obtainable, had to be 
crossed. This area, throughout the afternoon, had 
been swept by the enemy's rifles and machine-guns, 
which had the range to a nicety. Lieutenant 
Foster was warned by Captain Methven that it 
was almost certain death to attempt to reach 


Lieutenant Baillie, but this information had no 
deterrent effect, and Lieutenant poster not only 
went out, but actually succeeded in bringing 
Lieutenant Baillie safely back to the dressing- 
station without either of them being hit. In any 
other war this gallant exploit would have won, as 
it surely merited, the Victoria Cross. As it was, 
the Military Cross was awarded to Lieutenant 
Foster for this signal act of heroism. Captain 
Gush, while dressing Lieutenant Baillie's wounds, 
was himself shot through the arm. 

The remainder of the Gold Coast Regiment 
had now moved down the hill, and had dug itself 
in at a spot on the slope above the river crossing ; 
while the rest of No. 1 Column had halted on the 
crest whence, as has been noted, the 27th Mountain 
Battery had come into action. How far their fire 
was effective could not be ascertained, but it 
afforded the only relief that was to come to 
B Company during this trying afternoon, and 
about this time the enemy's fire showed signs of 

From the position which the Regiment had 
taken up Major Shaw was sent with three sections 
of 1 Company to occupy some high ground on the 
east and south-east, and to gain touch with Major 
Goodwin and the Pioneers. I Company was at that 
time the only company in reserve, and the left and 
right flanks of the Regiment were therefore very 
much exposed. No information could be gathered 
as to the whereabouts of the 1st Battalion of the 
3rd King's African Rifles, and the orders issued to 
Major Shaw were therefore cancelled, the left flank 
of the Regiment being made secure by posting 


A Company and three sections of I Company there 
to guard it. 

This movement had hardly been completed 
before the enemy delivered a vigorous counter- 
attack upon the left of the Regiment's position. 
It was carried out with great determination, but it 
was beaten off without difficulty by Major Shaw, 
and as the Askari exposed themselves much more 
recklessly than usual, it was thought that con- 
siderable losses were inflicted upon the enemy. 
Such beliefs were, however, throughout this 
campaign, for the most part mere matters of 
speculation and conjecture, for the enemy attached 
great importance to the removal of his dead and 
wounded, and generally left as little trace as 
possible of any misfortune that might have befallen 

Toward dusk the enemy fire died down, and as 
soon as darkness had fallen the Pioneers, the two 
armoured cars, and all that was left of B Company 
were withdrawn from the position on the hill, 
which the latter had occupied for nearly four hours, 
and fell back to the slope across the river upon 
which the rest of the Gold Coast Regiment lay 
entrenched. The remainder of No. 1 Column lay 
encamped on the road about a mile further to the 

The casualties sustained on that afternoon were 
Lieutenants Woods and Saunderson and Colour- 
Sergeant Cuneen killed, and Captains Methven 
and Gush and Lieutenant Baillie wounded, while 
10 of the rank and file were killed and 25 were 
wounded, and of the gun-carriers 2 were killed and 
7 wounded- -in all 15 killed and 35 wounded, many 


of the latter being hit more than once. The total 
casualties thus numbered 50 out of a total of about 
160 men actually engaged. The enemy had set 
their trap with cunning and dexterity. It was one 
in which, given the circumstances of the advance, 
it was not possible for B Company to avoid being 
caught. A detachment of the King's African 
Rifles succeeded in reaching the neighbourhood of 
the church during the afternoon, but the place was 
at that time being shelled by the 27th Battery 
so heavily that a withdrawal was considered 

Captain Methven, who had already earned a 
Military Cross on the Western Front, was awarded 
a bar to that decoration for the gallant service he 
had rendered from the time he occupied Liwinda 
Ravine on the 9th August to the 18th October, 
when he was repeatedly but happily not fatally 
wounded, in that death-trap on the Mission Hill 
at Lukuledi. 




ON the 19th October patrols sent out at dawn 
reported that the enemy had retired. The 1st 
Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles accordingly occupied the mission 
boma and the church, while the remainder of No. 1 
Column camped on the crest of the hill to the 
north, overlooking the valley of the Lukuledi, 
from which on the preceding day Captain Methven 
had caught his first view of the mission buildings. 
Before this move was made, I Company of the 
Gold Coast Regiment was dispatched to occupy a 
ridge to the north-east of the camp in which the 
Regiment had passed the night ; and from here a 
strong officer's patrol was sent out along the road 
which runs in an easterly direction from Lukuledi 
to Chikukwe. At 3 p.m. a detachment of the 1st 
Battalion of the 3rd King's African Rifles took 
over this post from I Company ; and at 6 p.m. the 
patrol along the Chikukwe road returned and 
reported that it had obtained touch with the 
enemy at a point about four miles down the 

During the day the Battery rejoined the Gold 
Coast Regiment, and the 129th Baluchis rejoined 
No. 1 Column. 



On the 20th October the enemy delivered an 
attack in force upon the 1st Battalion of the 3rd 
Regiment of the King's African Rifles, who were 
in occupation of the Mission Hill. This attack was 
the result of certain rapid movements that von 
Lettow-Vorbeck had made during the past few 
days, which are of sufficient importance to warrant 
some detailed description. 

As we have seen, he had last been heard of at 
Ruwanga, a point some sixteen miles north-east of 
Ruponda ; and on the arrival of No. 1 Column at 
the Mission Station of Mnero, it had been confi- 
dently anticipated that he would take energetic 
steps to defend his food depots at Ruponda. In- 
stead, leaving perhaps three companies with six 
machine-guns to resist the British advance at 
Lukuledi, he marched rapidly eastward, and joined 
forces with the troops which were opposing " Lin- 
force " near Mtama, on the Lindi-Massassi road. 
He here fought two severely contested actions 
with " Linforce," at Njengao and at Mahiwa, 
which places are only two or three miles apart, 
the former being about four miles further down 
the Linda road than Mtama. The brunt in both 
these engagements was borne by the Nigerians 
and by General O'Grady's Brigade, which was 
mainly composed of battalions of the King's 
African Rifles, who succeeded in inflicting un- 
usually heavy losses on von Lettow-Vorbeck's 
forces, but themselves suffered even more serious 
casualties. It was estimated at the time that the 
enemy lost 800 men killed and wounded, and that 
the British loss was approximately 2000. 

Satisfied that he had now done enough tern- 


porarily to paralyse the advance of " Linforce," von 
Lettow-Vorbeck forthwith set off post-haste down 
the main road in the direction of Massassi, taking 
with him four of the companies which had been in 
action with the Nigerians both at Njengao and at 
Mahiwa. Pushing on very rapidly to Chigugu, he 
left two companies there, and picked up three 
fresh ones which had been in action at Lukuledi 
on the 18th October. 

His plan was to approach the last-named place 
from the south with the men under his command, 
advancing from the direction of Massassi, while the 
two companies which he had left at Chigugu simul- 
taneously attacked the left flank of the British 
from the east. These concerted movements were 
timed to be executed on the morning of the 20th 

On that day the 1st Battalion of the 3rd King's 
African Rifles, supported by the 25th Cavalry, had 
orders to advance toward Massassi, and it had 
actually set forth upon its march when it suddenly 
found itself confronted by von Lettow-Vorbeck's 
five companies, with which were two guns. The 
King's African Rifles took up a position south 
of the church, which completely dominated the 
German attack, and though the bulk of the 25th 
Cavalry failed to support them, they, in the fight 
which ensued, not only inflicted heavy losses upon 
the enemy but caused him to abandon two of his 
machine-guns, and took from him also a number of 

It is worth noting that during the British 
attack upon the Mission Hill at Lukuledi, on the 
18th October, care had been exercised to avoid 


shelling the church. Von Lettow-Vorbeck's gun- 
ners were hampered by no corresponding scruples, 
and one of their first acts was to bring the tall 
spire down with a crash. 

Meanwhile the two German companies left by 
von Lettow-Vorbeck at Chigugu had made their 
way across to a spot north of the main camp and 
a mile or so up the road, where the 25th Cavalry 
had their encampment. They found it practically 
undefended, and they in a few moments reduced 
it to a woeful state of chaos. The horses left in it 
were slaughtered, stores and equipment were de- 
stroyed, and everything which was spoilable was 
completely ruined. 

The 129th Baluchis had been sent forward to 
support the 1st Battalion of the 3rd King's African 
Rifles on the Mission Hill, and the camp was 
taken over by the Gold Coast Regiment with the 
2nd Battalion of the 2nd King's African Rifles in 
reserve. The enemy force which had demolished 
the camp of the 25th Cavalry, twice attempted to 
attack during the day, but on both occasions were 
beaten off without difficulty. That was all that 
these two companies were able to achieve, and 
von Lettow-Vorbeck's main attack having met 
with no success, the Germans drew off, probably 
in the direction of Massassi. The enemy's troops 
had been worked with merciless severity during 
the past few days. They had fought two severe 
actions on the Lindi road, and thereafter had 
covered by dint of forced marches a distance of 
not less than fifty miles. Without rest or refresh- 
ment they had then been launched upon an attack 
against Lukuledi, where they had encountered 


very effective resistance from the 1st Battalion of 
the 3rd King's African Rifles. The prisoners 
captured were pitifully exhausted ; and there can 
be little doubt that von Lettow-Vorbeck on this 
occasion subjected his willing troops to a strain 
beyond their strength. 

In these circumstances it is all the more regret- 
table that at this moment orders were received by 
No. 1 Column to fall back on Ruponda. This 
order was dictated not by choice but by neces- 
sity. " Hanforce " was still based for its supplies 
upon Kilwa Kisiwani, which was distant from 
Ruponda by road very nearly one hundred and 
fifty miles. It had been hoped that by this time 
the provisioning of the columns might be supple- 
mented by supplies landed at Lindi, which is only 
seventy odd miles from Lukuledi ; but the very 
stout resistance which " Linforce " had encountered 
had prevented it from advancing westward from 
its base for much more than half that distance. 
Already, after the fight at Nahungu, difficulties of 
supply and transport had compelled the British 
Command to detach the Nigerian Brigade from 
the troops thrusting south from the Kilwa area, 
and had caused it to transfer itself to " Linforce." 
Now, once again, the ever-lengthening lines of 
communication behind " Hanforce " had imposed 
upon the machinery of transport a strain which 
threatened it with a serious break-down. There 
was no alternative, therefore, but temporarily to 
shorten those lines, and though it was realized that 
the moral effect which a retirement would produce 
at this juncture could not but be deplorable, orders 
were issued for the column to fall back. 


Accordingly, at 8.30 p.m. on the 22nd October, 
No. 1 Column began its march back to Ruponda. 
To the Gold Coast Regiment which, during the 
advance, had so often acted as advanced guard, 
the position of rear-guard was now assigned, 
and it was not till 3 a.m., after the last of the 
long train of laden men and animals had finally 
crawled out of camp, that the Regiment, too, set 
forth upon the road. All fires were left burning, 
and everything was done to prevent the enemy 
from detecting the movement which was in pro- 
gress. Chingwea, twelve miles up the road, was 
reached without incident, and at 3.30 p.m. the 
retirement to Ruponda was continued. Ruponda 
was reached by the Gold Coast Regiment and the 
perimeter of the camp was taken over by it at 
9.40 a.m. on the 23rd October. 

From this date until the 7th November the 
Gold Coast Regiment remained in the standing 
camp which had now been formed at Ruponda, 
furnishing patrols which kept in touch with No. 2 
Column to the east, drilling the men for three 
hours daily, and training gun-teams for the 
Stokes Battery with which it had now been pro- 

On the 7th November No. 1 Column resumed 
operations in the Chigugu-Lukuledi area, and 
marched without incident to Chingwea. Here it 
learned that " Linforce," which was still fighting 
its way down the Lindi-Massassi road, had the 
day before been in action against eight of von 
Lettow-Vorbeck's companies, and that after the 
engagement the enemy had retired in the direction 
of Nangus, which is on the main road at a spot 


about twenty miles east by north of Lukuledi, and 
about the same distance north-east of Massassi. 

On the 8th November No. 1 Column marched 
to Igumi on the left bank of the Lukuledi River, 
seven miles below the mission station ; and on the 
following day, it pushed on to Chigugu, on the 
main Lindi-Massassi road. This place is distant 
only about ten miles south-west of Nangus, where 
von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces were reported to be 

Meanwhile No. 2 Column had crossed the rear 
of No. 1 Column and had occupied Lukuledi, 
whence it made a strong reconnaissance to 
Ndomondo on the Lukuledi River, two and a 
half miles up-stream from Igumi. None of these 
movements met with any opposition from the 

On the 10th November, No. 1 Column pushed 
on east by south to the mission station at Ndanda, 
and a high ridge on the south of this place was 
occupied by the 129th Baluchis and the 55th Rifles, 
which had now joined the Column. Only slight 
opposition was met with and four Europeans were 
captured, and an enemy hospital was found con- 
taining 54 sick and wounded German combatants, 
and 120 Askari. There were also at this place a 
number of civilians and several European women 
and children. 

The 1st Battalion of the 3rd King's African 
Rifles occupied the village, and the 2nd Battalion 
of the 2nd King's African Rifles took up a position 
on the road leading from Ndanda to Nangus. 
The rest of No. 1 Column encamped at the 
mission station. Word was here received that 



" Linforce " was only three miles to the east of 
Nangus, and that No. 2 Column had occupied 
Chigugu, where No. 1 Column had spent the 
preceding night. Thence they had advanced 
toward the mission station at Jumbe Nwinama, 
which lies about two and a half miles to the east, 
where they had come into collision with the 

It looked at the moment as though von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's forces were at last in a fair way to be 
surrounded, and it was anticipated that his main 
body would try to escape via Chiwata, leaving 
strong rear-guards to keep both "Linforce" and 
" Hanforce " in play, and to delay their advance. 

On the llth November No. 1 Column remained 
encamped at Ndanda Mission Station, two strong 
patrols being sent out; the one toward Nangus 
and the other toward Chiwata. The latter was 
undertaken by B Company of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, which went some miles down the track 
without seeing any traces of the enemy. 

On the 12th November No. 1 Column marched 
back to Chigugu, its objective being Mwiti, which 
is situated on the right bank of the river of that 
name a tributary of the Rovuma and lies 
fourteen miles due east of Massassi and about half 
that distance almost due south of Chiwata. 

Moving from Chigugu to Chikukwe on the 
13th November, No. 1 Column attacked and 
occupied Mwiti on the 14th November. The 
Gold Coast Regiment, however, was in reserve 
upon this day and took no part in the action 
beyond sending a patrol, furnished by I Company, 
to occupy a ridge on the right of the advance of 


the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the 
King's African Rifles. This was achieved without 
opposition from the enemy. 

The country in which " Hanforce " was now 
operating consisted of a succession of hills which 
rise from the plain to the height of anything from 
1000 to 2000 feet, and are grouped about the 
western and southern flanks of the great Makonde 
plateau. The latter, which towers above the 
highest of its foothills by a good 1000 feet or 
more, is an elevated piece of flat land, roughly 
circular in shape, situated between the Lukuledi 
and Rovuma rivers to the north-east of Newala, and 
measuring approximately forty miles from north 
to south and again from east to west. The slopes 
of all these hills and those which lead up to the 
plateau are covered by grass and trees ; and though 
the latter are sparsely scattered over the hillsides, 
they grow more thickly in the valleys, which seen 
from above seem to be choked with vegetation. 
The foothills are intersected by deep ravines and 
gorges, and it was through these that von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's forces were now making their way in 
the direction of Newala, the last German base in 
this part of the country. 

Word had been received from the War Office 
on the 9th November that a German airship was 
en route for East Africa, and later it was reported 
that it had started, that it intended to effect a 
landing on the summit of the Makonde Plateau, 
and that it might be expected to arrive on the 
14th November. This was precisely the sort of 
spectacular performance, dear to the German heart, 
in which the enemy so frequently indulged during 


the war, and which usually involved him in 
expense and risk altogether disproportionate to 
the military value that could thereby conceivably 
be secured. It was doubtless thought by simple 
folk in Berlin that the dramatic arrival of a 
Zeppelin on the battlefields of East Africa would 
fill the native troops fighting against von Lettow- 
Vorbeck with awe, terror and despair, and would 
produce upon them the demoralizing effect which 
a belief that the Germans stood possessed of super- 
natural powers might be expected to inspire. But 
the Oriental and African native of to-day is a 
thoroughly blase person who has long ago out- 
grown such childish weaknesses. To put the 
matter colloquially, he is " fed up " with European 
inventions, which have almost ceased to amuse or 
interest him, and have long ago ceased to excite 
his wonder, much less his fear. The arrival of a 
German Zeppelin at this juncture would have been 
welcomed by the men of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
for instance, as a bright spot breaking the drab 
monotony of their days ; while the British airmen, 
who by now were heartily sick of the practical 
inutility of most of the work that they were doing 
in East Africa, would have hailed its coming with 
even greater joy. The Zeppelin is believed to 
have actually made a start from Aleppo, or from 
some other place in Asia Minor, but if so it was 
recalled before it had proceeded far upon its 
journey. Perhaps von Lettow- Vorbeck, who 
throughout received frequent messages from his 
Government by wireless, and who may occasionally 
have been able to communicate with it in his turn, 
warned the Great General Staff that an airship 


could produce no effect, military or moral, that it 
was pretty certain to be wrecked, and that, in a 
word, the game was not worth the candle. 

The mission station at Mwiti, unlike most of 
its counterparts in East Africa, has been built 
upon flat land, shut in toward the north and east 
by a semicircular range of hills ; and from this 
place the Pioneer Company of the Gold Coast 
Regiment was sent on the 15th November to 
patrol to Manyambas, six and a half miles to the 
south-east, which is connected with Mwiti by a 
track skirting the base of the hills. The Pioneers 
left half a company at Maruchiras, a place on this 
track beyond the Miwale River, a left affluent of 
the Mwiti, which in its turn is a left tributary of 
the Rovuma ; for the enemy had now been driven 
south of the Mambir, the last river of note in erst- 
while German East Africa, and had been definitely 
pushed into the valley of the Rovuma, which is 
the northern boundary of the Portuguese posses- 

Meanwhile, at 2 p.m., the rest of the Gold 
Coast Regiment marched out of camp at Mwiti, 
and breasting a long slope in an easterly direction, 
ascended to the summit of a hill lying immediately 
under the lee of the escarpment which, across a 
deep valley, leads up to the Makonde Plateau. 
The latter rising directly to the north of Miwale 
Hill, the eminence occupied by the Gold Coast 
Regiment, soared above it to a height of perhaps 
2000 feet. 

The object of this movement was, if possible, 
to locate a German camp which was believed to 
exist at Luchemi, in the ravine between Miwale 


Hill and the slope leading up to the plateau ; but 
looking down from this height, the valley was 
revealed as a sea of tree-tops and vegetation to the 
depths of which the eye could not penetrate. At 
6.15 p.m. a camp was selected on a spur jutting 
out into the valley. To the east, however, there 
rose yet another and a higher spur, connected with 
that upon which the camp was pitched by a saddle, 
the whole covered by grass and trees. This spur 
was reported by a patrol from a picket of the 
55th Rifles, which had taken up a position on the 
northern flank of Miwale Hill prior to the arrival 
of the Gold Coast Regiment on its eastern summit, 
to be held by the enemy. This rendered the 
position of the camp somewhat precarious, and 
that night no lights or fires were permitted. 

Word was received that evening that the 
Nigerians had occupied Chiwata, five miles to the 
north, at one o'clock that afternoon, and that on 
the morrow they would operate from that place 
against the enemy camp at Luchemi. 

At dawn on the 16th November, Captain Briscoe 
with twenty rifles drawn from A Company set 
out from the camp to patrol down into the valley 
in a northerly direction ; and Captain McElligott 
started at the same time, in command of a similar 
patrol, to reconnoitre the high spur across the 
saddle to the east of the camp. Captain Briscoe's 
patrol was fired upon very shortly after he left 
camp ; and a little later a party of the enemy were 
seen moving about down in the valley. It was 
one of the many trials of the campaign in 
East Africa that even a glimpse of the folk 
against whom they were fighting was very rarely 


vouchsafed to the attacking forces. It was the role 
of the former to keep well under cover at all times, 
to let their pursuers discover their whereabouts if 
they could, and to make them pay as heavy a price 
as possible for the knowledge so obtained. The 
spectacle of a number of German soldiers, visible 
to the naked eye, and scuttling about in the valley, 
accordingly created considerable excitement, and 
fire was at once opened upon them with the Gold 
Coast Regiment's machine-guns. There are few 
feats more difficult, however, than accurately to 
find the range of an object situated far below and 
aimed at from a considerable height above it. 
Almost invariably the fire is not sufficiently de- 
pressed, and the bullets fly well over the target. 
It may be doubted, therefore, whether on this 
occasion much execution was done. The enemy, 
however, quickly took cover, and was presently 
seen to be in action with the 55th Rifles, who were 
working up the valley from west to east. 

Between eight and nine o'clock in the morning 
the rest of No. 1 Column joined the Gold Coast 
Regiment on Miwale Hill ; and the 1st Battalion 
of the 3rd Regiment of the King's African Rifles 
was sent south to work round the high spur on 
the east, which was being patrolled by Captain 
McElligott and his party. 

The latter had reached the spur without en- 
countering any opposition, but he reported that 
the northern slopes were occupied by the enemy, 
and that patrols sent out by him in that direction 
had been fired upon. At 1.45 p.m. Captain 
McElligott, signalling by flag-wagging from the 
western slope of the spur, confirmed this report ; 


and in the meantime B Company had been dis- 
patched to reinforce his patrol. With B Company 
also flag- communication was established, and the 
55th Rifles and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles were sent forward to occupy 
the spur. 

No sooner had Captain McElligott's signaller 
set to work on the western slope of the spur than 
the enemy from the bottom of the valley began 
shelling the British position with quite extraor- 
dinary accuracy. The first shot was aimed at 
Captain McElligott's signaller and scored a direct 
hit, blowing the poor fellow to pieces. The shell- 
ing which followed was no less accurate, and the 
target this time was the crowded perimeter camp 
in which No. 1 Column had that morning joined 
up with the Gold Coast Regiment. As all the 
carriers and troops were inside the perimeter, the 
position was rendered peculiarly vulnerable, and 
great commotion and consternation were caused 
among the non-combatants Jby the extreme pre- 
cision of the enemy's aim. As soon, therefore, as 
the 55th Rifles and the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles had established themselves 
upon the spur to the east, the whole of the re- 
mainder of No. 1 Column moved across to that 
less dangerous spot, where another perimeter camp, 
sheltered this time from the guns in the valley, 
was formed. During the night the enemy retired 
from his positions on the northern flank of this 

It is not thought that any large body of the 
enemy was present on this day, but a strong rear- 
guard for such it probably was had been able to 


check the British advance, and had succeeded in 
giving von Lettow-Vorbeck's main body the time 
it needed to escape from a desperate situation, and 
to slip away in the direction of Newala. 

The casualties sustained by the Gold Coast 
Regiment on the 16th November were 1 colour- 
sergeant, who had been attached to the Gold 
Coast Regiment from the South African Infantry, 
killed, and Captain Dawes and 1 colour- sergeant 
wounded, 3 soldiers and 1 carrier killed, and 9 
soldiers and 8 carriers wounded. 

On the 17th November No. 1 Column moved 
forward in an easterly direction to a camp which 
had been occupied on the preceding night by the 
1st Battalion of the 3rd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles; and the latter marched east and 
occupied a big water-hole near Luchemi. On the 
following day Luchemi was occupied by No. 1 
Column, no resistance being offered by the enemy ; 
and on the 19th November the column pushed on 
to Mkundi, which lies almost due west of the hills 
upon which Massassi is situated, and at a distance 
of perhaps two and a half miles from that station. 
It will be remembered that Massassi had been 
chosen by von Lettow-Vorbeck, after he had been 
driven across theRufiji, as his General Headquarters. 
He had now, however, abandoned it and was basing 
his present operations upon Newala, which is distant 
only a dozen miles from the Portuguese frontier on 
the Rovuma River. It was for Newala that the 
enemy's forces were now believed to be heading ; 
and it was understood that the troops under von 
Tafel's command, who had been driven in a south- 
easterly direction by the advance of the Belgians and 


of General Northey's column, had been ordered to 
join forces with von Lettow-Vorbeck at this place. 

At Mkundi information was received that the 
Nigerians had captured a German hospital on the 
previous day, containing 25 British, 2 Belgian and 
5 Portuguese officers prisoners, and 250 German 
and 700 natives, most of whom, however, were 
believed to be carriers, though there were 100 or 
more Askari among them. Twenty German 
officers and 242 Askari, and 4 European and 10 
native non-combatants had also surrendered on this 
day. Von Lettow-Vorbeck, with the Governor of 
German East Africa Herr Schnee were believed 
to have with them some 800 to 1200 men, and to 
be about to quit the erstwhile German colony and 
to cross over into Portuguese territory. 

On the evening of the 19th November the 
disposition of the British forces operating in this 
area was approximately as follows. No. 2 Column 
had reached Nairombo on the left bank of the 
Mwiti River, twelve miles south of Chiwata. One 
battalion of the Nigerians was at Mpoto, on the 
main road from Massassi to Newala, and distant 
about fourteen miles to the north-west of the 
latter place. Two Nigerian battalions were at 
Manyambas, the village to which the Pioneer 
Company of the Gold Coast Regiment had 
marched from the mission station at Mwiti on 
the 15th November; No. 3 Column was halting 
further north with orders not to advance for the 
present ; and the 25th Cavalry were near Lulindi, 
fourteen miles east of Mpoto. 

On the 20th November No. 1 Column marched 
from - Mkundi, in a south-easterly direction, to 



Lulindi, a distance of fourteen miles ; and here in- 
formation was received that Lieutenant Isaacs, who, 
it will be remembered, had been captured by the 
Germans during the fight at Nkessa in the Uluguru 
Mountains on the 12th}September, 1916, was among 
the British officers who had been released by the 
Nigerians on the 18th November. During his 
fourteen months' captivity Lieutenant Isaacs had 
lost about two stone in weight, and had suffered 
severely from the shortage of all supplies, by which 
the Germans themselves had for many months been 
acutely pinched. Apart from these inevitable hard- 
ships, however, he and his fellow-European captives 
appear to have been well treated. The absence of 
any British native soldiers among the men released 
was, however, of sinister significance. 

On the 21st November No. 1 Column advanced 
with the intention of making a reconnaissance in 
force towards Newala for the purpose of attacking 
and capturing this the last of the enemy's strong- 
holds in his African colonies. The advance was 
led by the 55th Rifles and the 1st Battalion of the 
3rd King's African Rifles, the Gold Coast Regiment 
following in support. The 55th Rifles, however, 
occupied Newala without resistance, and it was 
there ascertained that von Lettow-Vorbeck, with 
the remainder of his war-worn forces and carrying 
the unhappy Herr Schnee with him, had early 
that morning marched south to Nakalala on the 
northern bank of the Rovuma, where a number of 
canoes had been assembled, and intended thence to 
cross over into Portuguese territory. 

At Newala 126 Germans surrendered to No. 1 




THE actual movements and whereabouts of von 
Lettow-Vorbeck and his troops were, as usual, still 
largely a matter of conjecture, but every base 
which he had possessed in German East Africa 
was now in the hands of the British. He was 
known to be short of supplies, of food, of equip- 
ment, and of ammunition; the end of the dry 
season was drawing near, and the Portuguese were 
aware that he was approaching the frontier, and 
were strongly encamped at Ngomano, on the right 
bank of the Rovuma, about fifty miles upstream 
from the point at which the German force had 
crossed the river. The Rovuma is here a fine river, 
with a bed of sand and shingle, about half a mile 
wide from bank to bank. At this season, however, 
it was shrunken to such an extent that the running 
water measured only a hundred yards or so across, 
and was easily fordable at many points. The 
banks of the Rovuma were low and water- worn ; 
the country in the vicinity was flat and covered 
with vegetation, which owed such fertility as it 
possessed to annual extensive inundations. In the 
rainy season the valley of the Rovuma would 
clearly be even more uninhabitable than the basin 
of the Rufiji had proved to be in 1916-17. 



There were many sanguine people in the British 
camp who held that with the expulsion of von 
Lettow-Vorbeck from the territory that had once 
belonged to Germany the campaign in East 
Africa which had already, nearly a year before, 
been publicly declared to have been practically at 
an end was now at last definitely concluded. Since 
the first pronouncement to that effect was made, 
the enemy, quite unperturbed by this pious 
expression of opinion, had kept the field con- 
tinuously, had fought a series of vigorous rear-guard 
actions, among which those at Njengao and Mahiwa 
on the Lindi road were of considerable magnitude, 
and had incidentally cost the British taxpayer an 
average of over twelve millions sterling per mensem. 
Now, even if fighting did not cease, the campaign, 
it was thought, could henceforth be conducted 
upon a much more modest scale ; but most of the 
men who had fought against von Lettow-Vorbeck, 
and who had had opportunities of gauging the 
resolution, the determination, the resourcefulness, 
and, if you will, the dogged obstinacy of the man, 
were convinced that he would carry on the fight 
so long as he had an Askari to fire a rifle, and a 
cartridge to be discharged. It was also regarded 
as probable that he and von Tafel might still be 
able to join forces. 

On the night of the 21st November the Gold 
Coast Regiment, which had not entered Newala, 
camped on the road halfway between that place 
and Lulindi, and on the following day retraced its 
steps to the latter. On the 23rd November, No. 1 
Column marched from Lulindi to Luatalla, where 


it was joined by the 55th Rifles and the 1st 
Battalion of the 3rd King's African Rifles from 
Newala. Word was here received that von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's column was moving down the right, or 
Portuguese, bank of the Rovuma, and it was 
reported by natives that von Tafel had recrossed 
the river to the left bank, and was moving slowly 
and with great difficulty through the bush in the 
neighbourhood of Miesi, which lies halfway between 
the Mwiti and Bangalla rivers, both of which are 
left tributaries of the Rovuma. No. 1 Column 
was ordered to proceed to the mouth of the 
Bangalla River, by forced marches, for the purpose 
of trying to cut off von Tafel, and of preventing 
him from effecting a junction with von Lettow- 
Vorbeck. The Cavalry was to move in advance of 
No. 1 Column, and No. 2 Column was simul- 
taneously to march down the Bangalla River from 
the north. 

At 4 p.m. on the 24th November, therefore, 
No. 1 Column, with the Gold Coast Regiment 
leading the advance, set out for the mouth of the 
Bangalla, and at midnight bivouacked in column 
of route along the roadside. At 5.30 a.m. on the 
25th November, the march was resumed, and the 
junction of the Bangalla with the Rovuma was 
reached at 10.30 a.m. During the march a solitary 
bull buffalo, outraged by this intrusion upon his 
privacy, savagely charged the column, went through 
it like a clown through a paper hoop, knocking 
over two carriers, and so vanished into the 

During the march a distance of 24 miles was 
covered, and it was calculated that since leaving 


Ruponda, nine days earlier, the main body of No. 1 
Column had marched no less than 174 miles an 
average of over 19 miles per diem while many of 
the units composing it, of which the Gold Coast 
Regiment was one, had materially exceeded that 
average. This would have been a sufficiently fine 
performance anywhere and in any circumstances 
for a body of infantry impeded at every step by a 
large number of carriers ; but in the East African 
bush, at the fag-end of the dry season, when every- 
thing is at its dryest and hottest, it represented a 
really considerable feat. 

On the 26th November, word having been 
received that an enemy force, composed of thirty 
white men and an unknown number ofAskari, had 
cut the Column's line of communication to the 
north-east, the 129th Baluchis were dispatched 
toward Luatalla for the purpose of dislodging it ; 
and at 9 a.m. the remainder of the column marched 
from Bangalla to Miesi by the road which it had 
followed on the preceding day. On arrival here it 
was learned that the 129th Baluchis, who at this 
time consisted of only about 130 rifles, had had a 
sharp engagement with the enemy on the banks of 
the Mwiti River, that they had had the worst of the 
encounter, and that they had been compelled to 
retire, leaving a considerable amount of small-arms 
ammunition in the hands of the Germans. This, 
however, was subsequently recovered, the enemy 
having had no means of carrying it away. 

The 2nd Battalion of the 2nd King's African 
Rifles were sent to a place called Jumbe Nambude, 
with half of A Company of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, to form a flunk guard to the Column ; 


but at 6 p.m. this half-company returned to Miesi, 
having seen nothing of the enemy. 

During the night the enemy with whom the 
129th Baluchis had come into collision retired, and 
communication with Lustalla was restored. Half 
of B Company, under Captain McElligott, was 
sent to patrol the Mbalawala hills, to the north of 
Miesi, and thence to send out parties to reconnoitre 
to the north and north-west. It was thought that 
von TafeFs camp was near Nambingo, to the west 
of Miesi, between the Bangalla and Mwiti rivers. 

On the 28th November No. 1 Column marched 
back to Bangalla, at the junction of the river of 
that name with the Rovuma, where the perimeter 
camp formed on the 25th November was re- 
occupied. Here Captain McElligott with his 
patrol rejoined the Gold Coast Regiment. Very 
shortly after the arrival of the column in camp, a 
British aviator effected a landing on the sand and 
shingle of the Rovuma 's dried-up bed, and when 
he came up to the camp it was found that he was 
Lieutenant Nash, who, in 1913-14, had been 
engaged in surveying the line of the projected 
railway extension in the Gold Coast from Kofori- 
dua to Kumasi. After he had partaken of such 
frugal fare as the mess of the Regiment afforded 
for at this time the whole force had for some days 
been on greatly reduced rations Lieutenant Nash 
resumed his journey, a squad of Gold Coast men 
being sent out to give his machine a " push off," as 
the sand and shingle of the river-bed proved to be 
rather heavy going. Nash flew down the river for 
a few miles, and then finding that his stock of 
petrol was running short and that his machine 


must be lightened, he dropped all the bombs he 
had with him into the Rovuma. Thus in a double 
degree the Gold Coast may claim to have had a 
special share in the surrender of von Tafel and his 
forces ; for the explosion of Nash's bombs led the 
German Commander to believe that von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's troops were heavily engaged with the 
British between him and Newala. He had already 
learned that the latter place had been evacuated ; 
his whole force had consumed practically all its 
supplies ; ammunition was running very short ; and 
now it seemed that he was separated from von 
Lettow-Vorbeck on the left bank of the Rovuma 
by a British column. This decided him to 
surrender, and that afternoon he sent in his Chief 
Staff Officer and another member of his staff with 
a white flag. They were received by a detachment 
of the Pioneer Company of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, and were forthwith conducted to 
Colonel Orr, the Column Commander. 

The German officers, one of whom spoke 
English perfectly, stated that von Tafel had 
destroyed his last ammunition and buried or 
burned all his arms of precision. He asked to be 
allowed to surrender unconditionally, and suggested 
that his force should be marched into the British 
camp, and should occupy near it any area that 
might be chosen for the purpose. These conditions 
were approved, and late that afternoon the German 
force, consisting of 190 Europeans and about 1,200 
Askari, with their carriers and camp-followers, 
waded across the Rovuma which they had crossed 
the preceding evening and came into camp. 

The whole movement was carried out with 


machine-like precision. The little column marched, 
as though on parade, to the area which had been 
allotted to it for its encampment, in which each 
company at once took up the position habitually 
assigned to it. Baggage having been deposited 
in a most orderly fashion, the men of each com- 
pany instantly set to work to construct bush-huts 
for their European officers, while the carriers cleared 
the grass and underwood with their matchets, 
and prepared less elaborate huts for the Askari. 
The work was done with great rapidity, and on a 
system which had evidently become so instinctive 
that each cog knew to a nicety the precise place 
which it occupied in the elaborate mechanism. But 
what chiefly impressed the British spectators was not 
only the discipline and the order, but the almost 
unbroken silence which prevailed throughout. 
Silence in the ranks is easy enough to secure 
among men subject to strict military discipline, 
but no Englishman has yet learned the secret of 
imposing a like silence upon a mob of male and 
female African carriers. The result was impressive, 
but it may perhaps be hoped that the British 
never will achieve this particular miracle. Those 
who know the natives of Africa will agree that 
it is only to be wrought by means of methods 
that have always found greater favour in Prussia 
than they are ever likely to secure in Great Britain. 
The cowed and silent carrier was the inevitable 
adjunct to the German Askari, an analysis of 
whose privileged position has been attempted in 
an earlier chapter of this book. 

Though von Tafel's men did not appear to be 
at all near starvation, they, and especially the 


Europeans, had not been full-fed for many days. 
In illustration of this it may be mentioned that 
a Tabora sovereign the handsome gold coin, 
bearing the Prussian arms on the obverse and an 
African elephant on the reverse, and with no 
bevelling to its edge, of which von Lettow- 
Vorbeck had caused a few thousand to be coined 
at Tabora during the early days of the campaign 
was freely offered that afternoon for a tin of 
honest bully-beef. No. 1 Column, however, was 
itself very hard-up for rations ; and on the morrow 
von Tafel's men, under the escort of the 55th 
Rifles, were sent up the bed of the Bangalla River 
to join the Lindi road at a point to the south- 
west of Massassi, and thence to march along 
it to the sea. They were fed by means of the 
consignments of rations which were being dis- 
patched from Lindi for the use of the British 
columns in the field ; and the latter accordingly, 
for a space, went shorter of supplies than 

On the 29th November, orders were received 
to break up No. 1 Column. All the Indian units 
were directed to proceed to Massassi, and all the 
African units the Gold Coast Regiment, the 2nd 
Battalion of the 2nd and the 1st Battalion of the 
3rd King's African Rifles to Naurus, where they 
were to join up with No. 2 Column. The Indian 
and African troops were designated A Column 
and B Column respectively ; and the command of 
the latter was entrusted to Colonel Rose, Lieu- 
tenant S. B. Smith acting as his Staff Officer. 

B Column started upon its march on the 30th 


November, and moving via Nambere and Mapa- 
rawe, reached Naurus, without incident, on the 
2nd December. 

The strength of the Gold Coast Regiment at 
this time was as follows. There were actually 
present in the field 19 British officers, including 
2 doctors and 2 officers attached to the transport ; 
8 British non-commissioned officers, of whom 3 be- 
longed to the transport ; 850 rank and file, includ- 
ing 18 signallers and 84 Gold Coast Volunteers, 
the majority of the latter being employed as 
orderlies ; 106 gun and ammunition-carriers ; 35 
stretcher-bearers, 21 servants, 5 clerks, and 1305 
carriers. The potential strength of the Regiment, 
however, largely exceeded these figures, for 11 
British and 2 British non-commissioned officers 
were now available at Mpara, Mingonyo or Lindi, 
some of whom had returned from leave, while 
others were newly posted for service with the 
corps; and new drafts having arrived from the 
Gold Coast, 510 rank and file and 106 gun and 
ammunition-carriers were in readiness to join the 
Regiment. The total available force, therefore, at 
this time, numbered 1360 rank and file and 212 
gun and ammunition-carriers, and it was once 
again very fairly well officered. The Regiment 
also possessed, in addition to its machine-guns, 2 
Lewis and 4 Stokes guns. 

On the other hand, the quality of the rank 
and file was not quite up to the standard of the 
original force which the Gold Coast had put into 
the field in July, 1916. The men at that time 
composing the Regiment were seasoned soldiers, 
all, or nearly all, of whom had recently seen active 


service. They were " made " soldiers to a man, 
and had every one of them been subjected to a 
long process of training and discipline. Gaps in 
their ranks, after the arrival of the first fully- 
trained draft which had joined the Regiment 
in December, 1916, had been filled, in the first 
instance, by hastily collected levies of greatly 
inferior quality, and as early as the fight at 
Nahungu, at the end of September, 1917, it had 
not been thought expedient to make use of all of 
them in the firing-line. Subsequent drafts were far 
superior to these, and had also undergone a more 
prolonged training, but they, of course, lacked 
the experience of the men belonging to the original 
Exeditionary Force and of those who formed the 
first draft of reinforcements. On the whole they 
acquitted themselves very well ; but' the Gold 
Coast Regiment at the end of December, 1917, 
though numerically stronger than it had been at 
any period during the whole campaign, was not, 
perhaps, such a homogeneous and thoroughly 
efficient force as it had been on its first arrival 
in East Africa. 

On the 3rd December, the Pioneer Company of 
the Gold Coast Regiment, under Captain Arnold, 
was sent to Wangoni, on the banks of the Ro- 
vuma, to relieve the 1st Battalion of the 3rd 
King's African Rifles, and the rest of the Regi- 
ment was employed during the next few days in 
road-making, in cleaning up old camping grounds, 
and on other fatigues. On the 5th December a 
draft consisting of 5 British officers, 2 British non- 
commissioned officers, and 401 men, nearly all of 


whom were new drafts from the Gold Coast, 
reached the Regiment from Mpara. 

On the 9th December, Colonel Rose, who had 
been summoned by General Van der Venter to 
General Headquarters, which were established at 
that time at the mission station at Ndanda, 
handed over the command to Major Goodwin, 
and set off for his destination by motor-car ; and 
it was announced that the Gold Coast Regiment 
was about to be sent by sea from Lindi to Port 
Amelia in Portuguese East Africa. It also leaked 
out that von Lettow-Vorbeck, having reached a 
point on the left bank of the Rovuma near 
Ngomano, had waded across the river, his men 
having at that time barely fifty rounds of small- 
arms ammunition per head, and being to all in- 
tents and purposes at the end of their resources. 
He had then surprised the Portuguese camp at 
Ngomano so effectively that he succeeded in 
capturing inter alia a million rounds of small-arms 
ammunition, several guns, and a supply of canned 
European provisions sufficient to meet the require- 
ments of his force for at least three months. 
Having thus secured to himself a new lease of 
life, he was now proceeding to make things as 
unpleasant as possible for the Government of 
Portuguese East Africa. 

On the 9th December the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment marched to Bangalla not the place where 
the river of that name debouches into the Rovuma, 
but the spot where that stream is bridged by the 
road which leads through Massassi from Makochera, 
on the Rovuma, to Lindi on the sea. From this 


point the Regiment marched up the main road, 
reached Massassi Mission Station on the 12th 
December, picking up at that place a signal 
section of Royal Engineers, and pushing on to 
Chigugu the same day. Marching distances which 
varied from nine to sixteen miles daily, the Regi- 
ment, on the 15th December, reached Mahiwa, 
where General O'Grady's Column from Lindi had 
fought one of its big battles. On the morrow at 
Mtama, nine miles further up the road, it was 
learned that Major Shaw, with Captains Harris 
and Watts, and Lieutenants Pike, Smith and 
Biltcliffe and 250 men of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
had already sailed from Lindi for Port Amelia. 
On the 17th December Mtua was reached, and 
Lieutenant Withers, Colour- Sergeant Thornton, 
and A Company, with two machine-guns and their 
teams, were then dispatched to Lindi by motor-car 
to embark for Port Amelia. The authorities were 
evidently in a hurry, and von Lettow-Vorbeck was 
reported already to have two companies of his 
Askew i within ten hours' march of Port Amelia. 

Next day, the Regiment moved on two miles 
to Mingoya, where it held itself in readiness to 
embark at Arab House, the landing-stage at Lindi, 
which lay some six miles further up the road. 

Meanwhile Colonel Rose had reported himself 
to General Van der Venter, the Commander-in- 
Chief, and to General Sheppard, the Chief of Staff, 
at Ndanda Mission on the Lindi main road. He 
was here informed that it had been decided to send 
a column forthwith to assist the Portuguese at 
Port Amelia, where much consternation had been 
caused by the approach of von Lettow-Vorbeck's 


forces ; that the column would be composed mainly 
of the Gold Coast Regiment ; and that the com- 
mand would be entrusted to Colonel Rose. 

The Gold Coast Regiment had now been serving 
continuously in East Africa since its arrival at 
Kilindini on the 26th July, 1916. During the 
seventeen months that had thereafter elapsed the 
Regiment had been constantly on the march or in 
action, save when it had been camped, as for 
instance at Njimbwe, at Mnasi, at Rumbo or again 
at Narungombe, in close proximity to the enemy, 
with whom its patrols and outposts had been in 
almost daily collision. Thanks to the efforts of 
the Government of the Gold Coast, and to the 
highly efficient work performed by Lieutenant- 
Colonel Potter, D.S.O., who had assumed com- 
mand of the training depots in that colony, the 
Regiment had been constantly and regularly rein- 
forced; but after the remainder of the regular 
force, originally left behind in the Gold Coast, had 
been sent to East Africa, the quality of some of 
the drafts had by no means equalled the high 
standard at which the Regiment had always 
hitherto aimed. The Nigerian Brigade, which 
had reached East Africa some months after the 
arrival of the Gold Coast Regiment, was about to 
be sent back to Lagos ; but the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment, which had enjoyed less than three months' 
rest at Kumasi after the conclusion of the campaign 
in the Kameruns, was still to be kept in the field. 

It was realized by all, however, that a great 
compliment to the Regiment, and a tacit recogni- 
tion of the fashion in which it had borne itself, 
were implied in this selection of it, out of all the 


available troops, to undertake yet one more cam- 
paign ; and if there were some who thought that 
the men were being tried almost too severely, the 
rank and file accepted the new duties which were 
about to be imposed upon them with their usual 
philosophy and good temper. 



WITH the transfer of military operations from 
German to Portuguese territory the campaign 
against von Lettow-Vorbeck assumed a somewhat 
new aspect. Until now the German Commander- 
in-Chief had been operating in country that had 
long been subject to German rule, throughout 
which German mission stations and German 
administrative posts had been established, and 
where every corner and cranny of each district 
was familiarly known to Europeans or natives 
resident in the German camps. The enemy troops, 
moreover, had possessed bases both for military 
purposes and for the accumulation of supplies ; and 
so long as this continued to be the case points 
existed here and there which it was important 
should be maintained as long as possible, and 
which the movements of von Lettow-Vorbeck's 
forces were to some extent designed to defend. 
With the abandonment of Newala, the last of 
these permanent posts had been evacuated, and 
with it any prisoners of war he had taken and the 
German sick and wounded, who had hitherto been 
under the treatment of their own doctors, had been 
suffered to fall into the hands of the British. 
Thereafter von Lettow-Vorbeck occupied a position 



of complete independence and irresponsibility. 
He was situated very much as de Wet and his 
commando were situated during the concluding 
months of the South African War ; and his troops 
had similarly been transformed from an army in 
the field into a mobile band of fugitive marauders, 
whose only objects were to avoid capture, to cause 
to their pursuers and to all connected with them 
the maximum amount of loss and trouble, and 
simultaneously to maintain themselves by seizing 
any supplies upon which, from time to time, they 
could contrive to lay their hands. The business 
of the British, on the other hand, was rendered 
more difficult than ever. The object to be aimed 
at was to wear down the enemy's forces, to reduce 
them by gradual attrition, and for this purpose to 
bring them to action whenever and wherever this 
could be achieved. There were now, however, no 
important places, such as Newala, to be threatened 
by the British advance, and von Lettow-Vorbeck 
having got rid of all impedimenta, and having no 
preoccupation save that of maintaining himself in 
the field as long as possible, was able to place his 
opponents in a very embarrassing position. This 
he was now about to do, compelling " Pamforce," 
as the Expeditionary Force dispatched to Port 
Amelia was officially designated, to extend its lines 
of communications from the coast into the interior 
for any distance that he might elect to fall back 
before it ; diminishing by this means the strength 
of the striking force which it could actually bring 
against him, since lines of communications have to 
be garrisoned and guarded ; multiplying with evei 
additional mile the difficulties surrounding transpoi 


and supply ; while he carefully husbanded his own 
forces, and contented himself with delaying and 
harassing the advance by nieans of small patrols 
whose occasional losses could not seriously diminish 
his military strength. 

The estimate formed of the strength of von 
Lettow-Vorbeck's troops at the moment when he 
evacuated Newala viz. that they only amounted 
to about 800 to 1200 men was certainly incorrect, 
and subsequent operations clearly showed that he 
had at his disposal not less than 2000 soldiers, 
10 per cent, of whom perhaps were white men. 
These were now nearly as well armed and equipped 
as they had ever been ; and in von Lettow- 
Vorbeck's able hands they were capable of 
leading their opponents as tantalizing a dance 
through the jungle-covered plains and hills of 
tropical East Africa as de Wet had led the British 
troops across the veldt to the south some seventeen 
years earlier. 

He in the first instance established his Head- 
quarters at Nanguari, a place on the right bank 01 
the Lujendi River, which is one of the principal 
right affluents of the Rovuma. The Portuguese 
camp, which von Lettow-Vorbeck had so success- 
fully surprised, had been pitched at Ngomano, at 
the junction of the Lujendi with the Rovuma ; 
and Nanguari, nearly a hundred miles up the former 
river, had for von Lettow-Vorbeck the advantage 
of being one of the most inaccessible places in the 
northern part of Portuguese East Africa. From 
Nanguari, he dispatched raiding parties, some of 
which threatened Port Amelia, while others pene- 
trated down the coast as far as Nkufi and Lurio, 


at the mouth of the Luri River, where they gutted 
the shops and stores of their stocks of European 
provisions. It is possible that the report which 
was current with regard to von Lettow-Vorbeck's 
intention to attack and sack Port Amelia may 
have been true, but if so, this project was aban- 
doned when word reached him that British forces 
had landed at that port. He, however, placed 
some of his forces astride the road which runs 
westward inland from the shores of Pomba Bay, 
so as to frustrate any attempt that the British 
might make to convey troops to the south of him 
by sea, and so to slip them in behind him, as they 
had earlier attempted to do by landing a force at 
Lindi while he was still operating actively in the 
Kilwa area. 

Major Shaw's detachment of 250 men which, 
as we have seen, had been dispatched from Lindi 
to Port Amelia in the middle of December, had 
reached the latter place in time to save it from 
attack, if an attack upon it indeed formed part of 
von Lettow-Vorbeck's plans. Major Shaw, how- 
ever, was not provided with carriers, and none 
were forthcoming at Port Amelia. His force, 
therefore, was reduced to a condition of complete 
immobility, and he was forced to content himself 
with putting Port Amelia in a state of defence by 
forming an entrenched camp in its vicinity. 

After the arrival of the Gold Coast Regiment 
at Mingoya, it was joined on the 18th December 
by Captain Harman, D.S.O., who had been absent 
for several months on sick leave, with whom were 
Captain Duck, D.S.O., and 150 details. On the 


following day, at 3 a.m., A Company marched to 
Arab House, and thence was ferried across the 
bay to Lindi. On the 23rd December Colonel 
Goodwin with the Regimental Headquarters and 
620 men, including the Battery, with 4 Stokes guns 
and 100 personnel, marched to Arab House, where 
they were embarked in lighters. Captain Harman 
remained behind at Mingoya in charge of details. 
At 2 p.m. the Gold Coast Regiment was tran- 
shipped from the lighters on to H.M. transport 
Salamis, and immediately set off down the coast on 
their journey to Port Amelia, which is distant from 
Lindi a matter of 180 miles. They had been 
joined on board the Salamis by A Company, and by 
Colonel Rose and the Headquarters of " Pamforce." 
Shortly after midnight a slight shock was felt, 
and the Salamis came to a standstill with that 
peculiar sensation of finality which always conveys 
the impression to those on board a stranded ship 
that the vessel has of a sudden been welded 
indissolubly into a neighbouring continent. The 
Salamis thereafter behaved precisely as though this 
had actually occurred, and every effort to move 
her proved to be unavailing. There was nothing 
to be done, therefore, but to await the next high 
tide, which was due at about 9 a.m. ; and at this 
hour, two whalers having arrived in the interval, 
fresh attempts to get her afloat were made. The 
Salamis obstinately declined, however, to budge an 
inch ; and late in the afternoon H.M.S. Lunkwa, 
an armed merchantman commanded by Captain 
Murray, R.N., having meanwhile come upon the 
scene, it was decided to transfer the Gold Coast 
Regiment to her. This was accomplished by 


midnight, and the members of the little force spent 
a dismal Christmas Day steaming back up the 
coast to Lindi, mourning their separation from 
many of their stores and much of their private 
gear a great deal of which, as it subsequently 
turned out, they were destined never to see again ; 
and on their arrival they took up their quarters in 
the crowded detail camp. 

On the 27th December 250 men of the Gold 
Coast Regiment, with 2 Stokes guns and the 50 
rank and file and the carriers attached to them, 
under the command of Captain Duck, returned on 
board the Lunkwa, and once more set for Port 
Amelia. For lack of transport the remainder of the 
Regiment had perforce to be left behind at Lindi, 
but Colonel Rose and the Headquarters of " Pam- 
force " accompanied Captain Duck's detachment. 

Colonel Goodwin and the Headquarters of the 
Regiment, with 500 rifles and 300 carriers of the 
Sierra Leone Carrier Corps, embarked on H.M. 
transport Hongbee on the 5th January, 1918, 
and followed the two detachments, under Captain 
Shaw and Captain Duck, which had preceded 

The Portuguese Estado d'Africa Oriental, like 
Gaul in the time of Julius Caesar, is divided into 
three parts Lorenco Marquez, Mozambique, and 
the territory of the Nyassa Company, The last- 
named, which is really the northern portion of 
Mozambique, comprises all the country situated 
between the Rovuma and the Lurio, or Luli, 
rivers, and between the eastern borders of British 
Nyassaland and the sea. It is leased to a chartered 


company, which appoints its own Governor, 
subject to the approval of some Portuguese 
authority, and depends for its revenues upon a 
poll-tax and a hut-tax. Both of these impositions 
are for the most part paid in kind, and they are 
collected by agents or revenue-farmers, who occupy 
the entrenched forts, locally called bomas, which 
are dotted about the country at fairly frequent 
intervals. The smaller fortified posts, similarly 
occupied by the native agents of the revenue- 
farmers, are called mborio. The population is 
comparatively speaking dense, but there is little 
trade and even less prosperity. It is of the 
territory exploited by this chartered company 
that Port Amelia is the capital. 

At Port Amelia there is an inlet of the sea, 
roughly circular in shape, which measures about 
six miles across at its widest part, and bears the 
name of Pomba Bay. The entrance to this bay is 
about a mile broad and on the southern side a 
cliff, two hundred feet or more in height, juts out, 
narrowing the mouth of the inlet. It is at the foot 
of this cliff that the commercial portion of Port 
Amelia and the native town are situated; and on 
its summit is the house of the Governor, flanked 
by the building in which the officers of the 
Portuguese Government at once live and work, 
with a rather ramshackle set of police barracks 
facing it. The landing-place at Port Amelia 
consists of a short, snub-nosed stone pier, which 
leads to a sandy beach, beyond which there is a 
single line of rather mean-looking shops and com- 
mercial buildings. These are for the most part 
constructed of mud, lime- washed or colour-washed, 


red or blue, fitted with green shutters and roofed 
with corrugated iron. Near their centre, however, 
there are two fairly substantial houses built of 
wood, one of which was subsequently used as a 
rest-house for British officers passing through Port 
Amelia. To the left, as you face the town, the 
native quarter adjoins the commercial buildings 
a cluster of squalid mud huts roofed with grass. 
The total population of the place does not exceed 
fifteen hundred souls. 

From the lower town a steep motor-road climbs 
the hill till the summit of the cliff is reached, where 
it passes between the Governor's house and the 
police barracks.^ The former is a two-storeyed 
building, raised on piles, with stone or concrete 
verandah pillars, but for the rest constructed 
entirely of wood. The block of Government 
offices in which the officials live and work is built 
of similar materials ; but the police barracks are a 
mud structure colour-washed a dull red. All these 
buildings, like those in the commercial town at the 
foot of the cliff, are roofed with corrugated iron. 

Judged from the aesthetic standpoint, these tin 
roofs are always an abomination ; but in the tropics 
they are peculiarly hateful. They are most efficient 
conductors of heat, and with a vertical sun beating 
down upon them, they produce in the buildings 
which they cover an atmosphere resembling that of 
an oven. Moreover, exposure to the sea air causes 
rapid corrosion, and they speedily cease to be even 
water-tight. For the rest, the extensive use of 
corrugated iron roofing in the tropics always marks, 
in a European settlement, a very primitive stage 
of development. It proclaims the phase of make- 


shifts and of temporary expedients the period of 
comfortless picnicking which must always pre- 
cede, though it is not always followed by, an era 
of advancement and prosperity. Where corrugated 
iron roofing is found .predominating in any tropical 
settlement which has been in European occupation 
for more than a very few years, the fact may be 
accepted as a sure indication that local enterprise 
has so far produced very indifferent results. 

From the flat ground on the top of the cliff 
a grassy slope runs down in a long slope to the 
waters of the Indian Ocean. Turning one's back 
on this and looking out across the bay, a rather 
pretty view is obtained of hills rising inland behind 
the little fishing village of Bandari, six miles away. 
The shores of the bay are stretches of sand varied 
by patches of black-green mangroves ; and seen 
from the sea, Port Amelia a line of mean white 
and colour-washed buildings, surmounted by 
glaring tin roofs, and flanked by a cluster of native 
hovels devoid of vegetation, and sweltering 
beneath a tropical sun, appears as undesirable a 
specimen of a European outpost as it would be 
possible anywhere to light upon. 

Major Shaw's detachment, which had been the 
first to arrive, had established a camp on the top 
of the high ridge, which has the sea on one side of 
it and the waters of the bay upon the other, at a 
spot distant about a mile from the residence of the 

The motor-road, which ascends to the top of 
the cliff, runs on, dropping down again to the level 
of the bay, through masses of very thick, fine grass ; 
and by this route Mtuge, which lies about two 


miles inland from Bandari, is distant eight and 
twenty miles from Port Amelia. A quicker means 
of reaching this place, however, is to sail across the 
bay to Bandari ; but here there is a sloping beach 
and shoal water which prevent even a rowing-boat 
being brought close to the shore. The journey to 
Bandari was usually accomplished by sailing across 
the bay in dhows, such as have plied in the Red 
Sea, the Persian Gulf, and upon the waters of the 
Indian Ocean ever since the days of Hippalus and 
before. When the wind was favourable this was 
easy enough, but often, in the sheltered area of the 
bay, these sailing-boats would be becalmed for days 
at a time, and they still more often had to be 
warped out from the shore for several hundreds of 
yards to a point from whence they could catch 
enough breeze to set them moving. This operation 
was affected by shipping the anchor and placing it 
on board a gig, which then rowed ahead of the 
dhow and dropped the anchor overboard. Next all 
hands and the cook tugged on the anchor-chain, 
till the dhow had been brought short up to her 
moorings, when the anchor was once more shipped, 
retransferred to the gig, and the tedious process 
was repeated. By this means a couple of hours 
were sometimes occupied in covering a distance of 
as many hundred yards. 

When the dhow had at last been got under 
way, and the six miles of sea separating Port 
Amelia from Bandari had been crossed, all her 
contents had to be man-handled to the shore for a 
distance of about two hundred yards. Between 
Bandari and Mtuge, whence the main road runs 
inland in a westerly direction, there lies a swamp 


which rendered the two-mile journey a matter of 
still further difficulty; and at a later period this 
slough became spattered with derelict motor-lorries 
which had become engulfed in it past all possibility 
of salvage. These facts are worth noting as illus- 
trating some of the initial difficulties which impeded 
the transport and supply of " Pamforce " ; for 
Mtuge was destined to be the base of its operations 
during its thrust into the interior of the Nyassa 
Company's territory. Mtuge, as we have seen, 
could also be reached from Port Amelia by the 
road which ran round the bay. 

Though Port Amelia had been reported to be 
threatened by von Lettow-Vorbeck's marauders, 
the arrival of the British troops caused no apparent 
excitement ; but Signor Abilio de Lobao Soeiro, 
the Governor of the Nyassa Company's territory, 
was very civil and obliging, and on the day follow- 
ing Colonel Rose's arrival he placed the Portuguese 
gunboat Chaimite at his disposal to transport him 
and Major Shaw and to tow three or four dhows 
containing 250 men of the Gold Coast Regiment 
across the bay to Bandari. 

Colonel Rose, however, found himself almost 
as completely paralyzed as Major Shaw had done, 
for still no carriers were forthcoming ; and though 
alarming rumours were current concerning the 
doings of von Lettow-Vorbeck's raiding parties at 
Mkufi and Lurio, it was only possible to send an 
Intelligence Department agent with forty scouts 
down the coast to report what was going on. This 
agent kept in touch with Colonel Rose by tele- 
phone, and the reports which he sent back were 
very far from being reassuring; but as a matter 


of fact the German patrols sent to loot the coast 
stores to the south of Port Amelia were never 
more than thirty or forty men strong, though they 
brought with them or impressed sufficient porters 
to carry away everything likely to be of service to 
them upon which they could lay their hands. This 
was the report returned from Mkufi by Captain 
Harris, who, with a party of thirty rifles, was sent 
to that place from Port Amelia to ascertain the 
real state of affairs. 

The main body of the Gold Coast Regiment 
reached Port Amelia without further jmishap on 
the 7th January. It was forthwith disembarked 
and marched up the hill to the camp which had 
been established by Major Shaw. On the following 
day A Company, under Captain Wheeler, marched 
down the coast road from Port Amelia to Mkufi. 
Captain Wheeler was instructed to patrol the 
country in the neighbourhood of the Magaruna 
River and of Chiure, which lies about forty miles 
inland from Mkufi. He was also to send patrols 
south along the coast as far as Lurio and Lurio 
Bay. A post consisting of thirty rifles, under 
Captain Harris, had already been established at 
Mkufi before the arrival of the main body of the 
Regiment, and it was instructed to remain there 
with Captain Wheeler and A Company. 

On the 9th January two Stokes guns and the 
Battery, under Captain Parker, were sent across 
the bay to Bandari by dhows, and from that place 
they joined Major Shaw's detachment at Mtuge. 
On the following day the Headquarters of the Gold 
Coast Regiment with I Company and details left 
the camp at Port Amelia at 6.30 a.m. en route 


for Mtuge. They marched along the motor-road 
already described, descending to the level of the 
bay and thereafter skirting its shores. The grass on 
either side of the road was impenetrable, the black 
loam underfoot made heavy going, and the heat 
and the exhausted atmosphere, which in the tropics 
is peculiar to a narrow path through grass, rendered 
the march more than ordinarily trying. The road 
itself was much overgrown symptomatic of the 
decay by which Port Amelia appeared to be 
stricken ; but it was later cleared and repaired, 
and throughout the expedition to this part of 
Portuguese East Africa, it was the only route 
available for the passage of motor-vehicles from 
Port Amelia to the troops at the front. The Regi- 
ment camped for the night at a point fourteen 
miles along the road, and reached Mtuge next day. 
The Pioneer Company and two Stokes guns re- 
mained at Port Amelia, and the other details left 
there were formed into a sub-depot under the 
command of Captain Watt. 

The force at Mtuge, after the arrival of Colonel 
Goodwin on the llth January, consisted of the 
Headquarters of the Regiment, I Company, B Com- 

ty, and two Stokes guns. 

From Mtuge two roads run inland in a westerly 
direction. Of these one is the main road from 
Mtuge to Medo, which place is distant about 
eighty-four miles from Mtuge. The other is a 
jlegraph road, originally designed for motor traffic, 
>ut at this time much overgrown, which also runs 

a westerly direction, rejoining the main road at 
Nanunya, a place distant some seven and twenty 
miles from Mtuge. From Nanunya the telegraph 


line follows the main road as far as Meza, which is 
about thirty-four miles further on. 

Major Shaw's detachment had been patrolling 
the country in the neighbourhood of Mtuge since 
its establishment at that place, but on one occasion 
only had the enemy been met, a patrol under Lieu- 
tenant Robertson having come into contact with 
a small party of Askari on the telegraph road 
above mentioned. 

On the 12th January a party consisting of 145 
rifles, 1 Lewis gun and 1 machine-gun, under 
Captain Dawes, left Mtuge to patrol by native 
paths to Pumone, a place which is situated about 
ten miles to the south of the main road and some 
forty-five miles south-west by west of Mtuge. 
Here it was known that the enemy had a post, 
and Captain Dawes was ordered to eject him from 
it if possible. 

On the 13th January Captain Foley reached 
the camp at Mtuge with two Stokes guns from 
Port Amelia, and assumed command of the Battery. 

On the 14th January a party of fifty men be- 
longing to 1 Company was sent, under Lieutenant 
Clarke, to patrol toward Sanananga, which lies on 
the telegraph road about ten miles to the south of 
the main road and is distant about sixteen miles 
from Mtuge. At Sanananga Lieutenant Clarke 
came into contact with an enemy patrol, and a 
fight took place in which one carrier was killed 
and two soldiers wounded. The enemy was be- 
lieved to have lost five killed, the number of his 
wounded being unknown ; and he retired, Lieu- 
tenant Clarke remaining at Sanananga and con- 
solidating his position. 


On the 15th January, A Company, under Cap- 
tain Wheeler, arrived at Mtuge from Mkufi, having 
left Colour-Sergeant Hart and thirty rifles at the 
latter place. No traces of the enemy had been 
seen in the neighbourhood of Mkufi. 

On the same day, I Company, under Captain 
Harman, was sent up the main road to establish 
a camp at Mahiba, a place about twelve miles from 
Mtuge. Here some high ground suitable for the 
purpose was found, in the neighbourhood of which 
a sufficient water supply could be obtained by dig- 
ging in a sort of rocky grotto. The country all 
around was an undulating expanse of grassy land, 
set fairly thickly with small trees, and studded 
with patches of scrub and frequent clumps of 
bamboos in a word, the usual featureless, unin- 
teresting bush country so common in Africa beyond 
the limits of the belts of forest. 

The country up the road as far as the Sovar 
River, about six miles further on, was reported by 
Captain Harman to be clear of the enemy. 

On the 16th January I Company established 
a post at Sovar River ; and Lieutenant Clarke 
reported from Sanananga that the country was 
occupied by the enemy as far as Bulu, a village 
five miles up the telegraph road from the former 

On the 17th January the Regimental Head- 
quarters were removed from Mtuge to Mahiba, 
the Pioneer Company and two Stokes guns ac- 
companying it; and on the same day Captain 
Dawes reported that he had moved toward 
Pumone at dawn on the 15th January with the 
intention of attacking it. While still three miles 




distant from his objective, however, he had en- 
countered an enemy patrol, and though it was 
driven in, it had succeeded in delaying his progress 
for a considerable time. Accordingly, Captain 
Dawes did not come within sight of Pumone till 
near midday, and he then found that it was a 
strong post, prepared for defence and with well- 
constructed entrenchments occupied by the enemy. 
Having regard to the scanty supply of small-arms 
ammunition in his possession, and to his distance 
from reinforcements, Captain Dawes did not 
consider it advisable to attempt an attack. He 
consequently withdrew to Koloi, the place from 
which he had started that morning, and was thence 
actively patrolling the country in the neighbour- 

On the 20th January motor transport between 
Mtuge and Mahiba was established, for all this 
time every effort was being made to improve the 
road between Port Amelia and the front ; and 
Lieutenant Barrett who, with twenty rifles, had 
been sent up the main road on the preceding day 
to examine Nanunya as a suitable site for a camp, 
reported that he had found a party of the enemy 
at that place, and that in the encounter which 
followed one of the Intelligence Department 
scouts attached to his patrol had been killed. 
Lieutenant Barrett had later fallen back to the 
post at Sovar River. 

On the 21st January Lieutenant Bisshopp, with 
fifteen men of I Company, one Intelligence Depart- 
ment agent and ten scouts, left for Sovar River to 
reinforce Lieutenant Barrett ; and on the same day 
two officers, a hundred rifles of A Company, one 


machine-gun and one Stokes gun were dispatched 
from Mtuge to reinforce Captain Dawes at Koloi. 
News was also received that the Depot Company 
of the Gold Coast Regiment had at last arrived at 
Port Amelia. 

On the 22nd January Lieutenant Bisshopp 
reached Nanunya without encountering opposition, 
and he there learned from the local natives that the 
enemy post at that place had only consisted of 
one German and five Askari. On his way back 
Lieutenant Bisshopp, in accordance with instruc- 
tions, left a post consisting of Lieutenant Barrett, 
twenty rifles and one Stokes gun at Namarala, 
and brought in the men who had hitherto been 
stationed at Sovar River. 

On the 25th January Captain Dawes, who had 
advanced to within six miles of Pumone on the 
previous day, attacked and occupied that place at 
noon, expelling the enemy without difficulty and 
capturing and destroying five tons of native food- 
stuffs which had been accumulated there by him. 
In the course of this operation one soldier and one 
carrier were wounded. 

On this day the post at Namarala, which had 
been established by Lieutenant Bisshopp, was 
strengthened ; and a detachment of the newly- 
formed King's African rifles Mounted Infantry 
arrived at Mahiba en route for Nanunya. Instruc- 
tions were then sent to Captain Dawes at Pumone 
to get into touch with the Mounted Infantry, and 
to patrol toward Ankuabe, which lies twelve miles 
up the main road beyond Nanunya, for the purpose 
of finding a suitable position for a camp within 
striking distance of the former place. 



On the 28th January the post at Namarala was 
moved forward to Nanunya, the former being occu- 
pied by twenty rifles of the Pioneer Company 
under Lieutenant Wilson. On the following day 
the King's African Rifles Mounted Infantry occu- 
pied Ankuabe without opposition, and Captain 
Dawes next day moved to that place, leaving thirty 
rifles under Lieutenant Norris to garrison Pumone. 
On the.SOth January the Regimental Headquarters, 
with the Pioneer Company and I Company, marched 
up the road to Namarala, and on the following day 
established their camp at Nanunya. On the 3rd 
February the Headquarters of the Regiment, with 
which also was Colonel Rose and the Headquarters 
of " Pamforce," A and B Companies and two guns 
of the Battery, moved forward to Ankuabe, leaving 
the rest of the Battery, the Pioneer Company, 
I Company and two Stokes guns to garrison 
Nanunya. The site chosen for the camp at 
Ankuabe was overlooked by a big bluff of rock, 
but its sides were so precipitous as to be unscale- 
able, and it therefore presented no menace to the 
security of the camp. 

On the 4th February the Post at Pumone was 
withdrawn to the Maguida River, five miles south 
of Ankuabe ; and though reports were received 
that the enemy were advancing, he failed to put 
in an appearance, the natives subsequently stating 
that he had been checked by an unfordable river, 
and that two of his white men had been badly 
mauled by lions. 

On the 8th February an enemy patrol, con- 
sisting of two Europeans and forty Askari, came 
out of the bush on to the main road between 


Nanunya and Ankuabe at a point where a post 
manned by six men of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
under Lance-Corporal Etonga Etun, had been 
established. The men of this post opened fire 
upon the enemy, and led by Etonga Etun, charged 
him so hotly that the Germans and their Askari 
and carriers did not stop to find out the small 
numbers by which they were opposed, but drop- 
ping some of their loads, took refuge in precipitate 
flight. Among the articles picked up by Etonga 
Etun's party were some belts of machine-gun 
ammunition and a couple of European loads con- 
taining among other things a number of official 
papers. Etonga Etun, who showed such dash on 
this occasion, was a native of Jaunde, and was 
originally enlisted during the 1914-16 campaign in 
the German Kameruns. In East Africa he won 
both the Distinguished Conduct Medal and the 
Military Medal. 

An attempt was made from Ankuabe to cut 
off the retreat of this enemy patrol, but the latter 
made good its escape, dispersing into the bush 
in great haste when overtaken by the Mounted 
Infantry. The captured documents showed that 
the object of this party had been to harass the 
British lines of communication and especially to 
capture mails and ammunition. 

During the next few days nothing of any in- 
terest occurred, but on the 17th February the 22nd 
D.M.B. arrived in camp, and on the 25th Feb- 
ruary the Gold Coast Regiment, less one hundred 
rifles of 1 Company and two Stokes guns, marched 
out of Ankuabe with half a section of the 22nd 
D.M.B., and camping for the night at Muapa, 


fourteen miles up the road, next day advanced on 

The start was made at 6 a.m., fifty men under 
Lieutenant Bisshopp being left in charge of all the 
supply carriers in the camp at Muapa. Just before 
7 a.m. an enemy patrol was met, which retired 
hurriedly, and nothing more happened until one 
o'clock, when the enemy, posted in some thick 
bush about three-quarters of a mile east of Meza, 
opened fire with a machine-gun upon the advancing 
troops. He retired after an engagement which 
lasted about half an hour, during which only one 
man of the Gold Coast Regiment was wounded ; 
and at 2.30 p.m. Meza was occupied. Two camps 
which the Germans had established a little beyond 
Meza village were found to be deserted. The 
supply convoy came into camp at 5 p.m. 

On the 27th February a post was established 
on the main road eight miles beyond Meza, and 
about 1200 carriers were sent back to Muapa to 
bring up supplies. 

During the first ten days of March nothing 
occurred, the troops being employed in patrolling 
the country around Meza, where on one or two 
occasions they came into contact with small parties 
of the enemy. The task of accumulating supplies 
was now chiefly engrossing the attention of the 
Headquarters [staff of " Pamforce," which, on the 
llth March, established itself at Meza. Indeed, 
the question of transport was the hinge upon which 
at this junction everything turned. The advance 
was favoured by the fact that no definite break had 
yet occurred in the weather, though a good deal of 
rain had fallen since the camp was advanced to 



To face p. 230. 


Ankuabe. Moreover, no difficulty with regard to 
water had as yet been encountered, though the 
quality of the supply obtained was not always very 
satisfactory. For the rest, however, the advancing 
force was tethered to its base at Mtuge by the 
sixty odd miles of road along which it had ad- 
vanced ; and though the highway had been im- 
proved and motor traffic established, the indifferent 
landing facilities at Port Amelia, the uncertain sea 
communication between that place and Bandari, 
and the fact that everything taken to the latter 
had to be man-handled from the dhows to the 
shore, caused endless vexatious delays. The deep, 
black "cotton" soil, moreover, was quickly re- 
duced to a quagmire by even a moderate amount 
of rain ; and eventually it had to be " corduroyed " 
with small tree-trunks along its entire length. 
Every advance, of course, added to the distances 
over which supplies had to be conveyed, and more 
than two months had been occupied in pushing 
some sixty-four miles up the main road to Meza, 
without it having once been found possible to 
bring the enemy to action. 

The German Commander-in-Chief, who was 
now engaged in playing out time, had so far 
completely succeeded in attaining the objects he 
had in view. 



ALTHOUGH the Great War had now been in 
progress for more than three years and a half, 
the time-honoured British practice of attempting 
to effect a military purpose while employing there- 
for a wholly inadequate force had once more been 
resorted to. The difficulties which had been ex- 
perienced in feeding and supplying the columns of 
" Linforce " and " Hanforce " during the operations 
which led to von Lettow-Vorbeck's retreat across 
the Rovuma, probably convinced the British Com- 
mand that any direct pursuit of the enemy into 
the country beyond that river, at a time when 
the beginning of the rainy season was almost 
due, would be attended by too great risks. The 
Germans, as they retired, always swept the country 
clear of supplies of every description and of 
practically all its able-bodied inhabitants, so an 
advancing British force would depend entirely 
upon the provisions that could be conveyed to it 
from Lindi along many miles of unmetalled motor- 
road, and thereafter by head-carriage over tracks, 
most of which would be submerged as soon as the 
waters of the Rovuma had been sufficiently swelled 
by the first freshet to cause them to overflow their 

Direct pursuit being therefore out of th 



question, an advance westward from Port Amelia 
had been determined upon, but unfortunate delays 
had occurred, as we have seen, and by the time 
" Pamforce " had begun its march inland, the 
enemy had been able to complete his arrangements 
for its embarrassment and for his own security. 

Towards the end of February, therefore, it was 
decided that " Pamforce " must be strengthened if 
anything practical were to be achieved, and a 
second column was dispatched to Port Amelia, 
the whole force being placed under the command 
of General Edwards. It was General Edwards, it 
will be remembered, who, x while commanding the 
lines of communication when the extended attack 
upon the Dar-es-Salaam-Lake Tanganyika Rail- 
way was in progress in 1916, had inspected the 
Gold Coast Regiment immediately after its arrival 
in East Africa. 

" Pamforce " was now divided into two columns, 
one, under the command of Colonel Rose, being 
composed of the Gold Coast Regiment, the 4th 
Battalion of the 4th Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles, the 22nd D.M.B., and a body of 
the King's African Rifles Mounted Infantry, and 
the other, under the command of Colonel Giffard, 
comprising the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the 2nd 
Regiment of the King's African Rifles. The first 
was designated " Rosecol " and the second " Kar- 

A good deal of rain fell during March, deepening 
the swamp between Bandari and Mtuge, which 
had already caused so much trouble, filling the 
nullahs all along the road, and reducing the surface 


to a quagmire which, in many places, made traffic 
very difficult, even though the track had now been 
" corduroyed " from end to end. The journey up 
the road from Mtuge to Meza, though the distance 
was only some four-and-sixty miles, often took 
more than a week, and after the striking force had 
been strengthened by the addition of " Kartucol " 
the work of moving the new troops up to the front 
and of accumulating sufficient supplies to render 
an advance in any degree continuous, when it could 
at last be undertaken, proved to be at once slow 
and difficult. 

Until the 27th March, therefore, the Gold Coast 
Regiment remained in camp at Meza, sending out 
patrols in all directions, doing its best to familiarize 
itself with the topographical features of the country 
in its neighbourhood, and having occasional brushes 
with small parties of the enemy, which more than 
once attempted to cut its lines of communication. 

On the 27th March half the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment with the Stokes Battery and half the 2nd 
Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the King's 
African Rifles, marched up the road, and camped 
for the night at Natovi eleven miles distant- 
pushing on the next day to Namarika, some seven 
miles further on. Heavy rain fell on both days 
very soon after the camp was formed, and the 
bush-huts, called banda in East Africa, constructed 
of sticks and grass, afforded indifferent protection 
from the tropical downpour, which turned the 
trodden mud of the camp into deep slush. 

From Natovi Lieutenant Clarke, with a patrol of 
thirty rifles, had been sent out to try to intercept 
an enemy foraging party, and on the following day 


Captain Leslie-Smith and fifty men had been left 
at Namarika, when the rest of the Regiment ad- 
vanced eight miles along the road to Manambiri. 
On the 29th March patrols under Lieutenant 
Chaundler and Lieutenant Beech were sent out, 
the first along the main road as far as Kitambo, 
distant four miles from Manambiri, and the other 
along the Nicoque-Medo road, which branches off 
to the north-west from the latter place. Neither 
of these parties found any traces of the enemy, and 
Lieutenant Clarke's report, when he reached 
Manambiri the same afternoon, was similarly 
negative. During the night, however, shots were 
exchanged between an enemy patrol and an out- 
post furnished *by the 4th Battalion of the 4th 
King's African Rifles. 

On the 30th March Lieutenant Chaundler 
again patrolled to Kitambo, but found that an 
enemy camp, which had been established just 
beyond that village, was deserted. During the 
day Manambiri camp, which by now had become 
a mere mud-hole, was rearranged, an endeavour 
being made to pitch it upon higher ground. 

On the 2nd April, an enemy patrol having fired 
upon a party of sappers and miners near Namarika 
at about 7 a.m., Lieutenant Bisshopp with fifty rifles 
was sent out to try to intercept him, marching 
through the bush on a compass-bearing for a dis- 
tance of eight miles. It was a toilsome and com- 
fortless task, cutting and forcing a way through 
dripping-wet bush, but it led to no result. 

On the 5th April Captain Harman patrolled 
along the main road to Medo with half of I Com- 
pany, and reached Namaaka, which is distant 


about four miles from Manambiri. From Namaaka 
he sent out a small party which engaged an enemy 
patrol, composed of about thirty men and two 
machine-guns, which retired before it, though two 
men of I Company were wounded. 

On the 7th April the Headquarters of the 
Gold Coast Regiment, with A and I Companies, 
advanced to Namaaka. This place was reached 
without incident, but two miles further on the 
advanced guard came up against a party of the 
enemy, about fifty strong with two machine-guns. 
A fight ensued which lasted for about two hours, 
in the course of which one man of the advanced 
guard was killed, and five men, two machine-gun 
carriers and four carriers belonging to the Sierra 
Leone Carrier Corps were wounded. The enemy 
was driven back to a position behind a large swamp, 
from which it would have been very difficult to 
eject him unless he could be outflanked. The 
advanced guard was not strong enough to attempt 
this, and it accordingly fell back upon the main 
body. A patrol was then sent round the north 
side of the swamp, only to find that the enemy 
had retired. 

On the 8th April, half of I Company, under 
Captain Webber, was sent forward in the direction 
of Medo, and came into touch with the enemy at a 
place about half a mile beyond the position behind 
the swamp which the latter had evacuated on the 
preceding evening. As usual, the first intimation 
received on this occasion of the proximity of the 
enemy was a volley fired from cover, the men 
forming the advanced point being shot down. 
This accomplished, the enemy blew his bugles and 


sounded the charge. It had been previously 
arranged that, in the event of a fight developing, 
the supporting section, under Lieutenant Bisshopp, 
should move to the side of the road upon which 
the enemy appeared to be the more numerous, in 
order to support the leading section, which was 
under the command of Lieutenant Clarke. As the 
enemy came on, the shouting and cheering which 
accompanied his charge indicated that he was 
strongest on the left of the road, so Lieutenant 
Bisshopp with his party pushed forward in that 
direction at the double, receiving a volley in partial 
enfilade from the Askari who were engaging 
Lieutenant Clarke's section, and whose onset had 
already been almost stopped by the latter. As 
Lieutenant Bisshopp's section continued at the 
double, they presently met the enemy, who were 
also delivering an attack upon Lieutenant Clarke's 
flank; whereupon the Askari faced about and 
bolted. Many of them were wearing the green 
caps which are part of the service kit of the men 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, and so confused at 
all times is fighting in the bush, that one of 
Lieutenant Bisshopp's party, seeing his officers 
aiming at a retreating Askari, pulled his rifle 
down, crying out that the fugitive was one of their 
own corps. The next moment, this soldier fell, 
shot through the ankle, ejaculating many and 
bitter things about the manners and morals of the 
" Germani." I Company then attacked and drove 
the enemy down the road for several miles, and the 
other half of I Company having been sent forward 
to reinforce, a strong post was established about 
two miles west of Namaaka, with a picket thrown 


out a mile ahead of it. On this day I Company 
lost three men killed and five men wounded. 

In the afternoon the rest of the column arrived 
at Namaaka, and on the 9th April it went forward 
through I Company's post, the 4th King's African 
Rifles being the advanced guard. The enemy were 
driven back about four miles further down the 
road, and the column camped for the night at a 
point to which the name of Rock Camp was given, 
on account of a large isolated bluff which was 
situated near to it on the northern side of the road. 

From Rock Camp Lieutenant Reid was sent 
out to try to locate the road to Kimone toward the 
south, and Lieutenant Gumming took out a patrol 
in a north-easterly direction to the Montepuez 
River, which falls into the sea about forty-five miles 
north of Port Amelia, and on the right bank of 
which Medo is situated. 

This place was now the immediate objective of 
" Pamforce," the enemy being believed to have 
occupied it in some strength, and to have accumu- 
lated there a considerable quantity of supplies. 

General Edwards and his Staff reached Rock 
Camp at 7.30 a.m. on the 10th April, and at 
1.30 p.m. the Gold Coast Regiment moved out 
towards Medo, which was distant about seven 

The boma, or entrenched camp, at Medo 
originally a stronghold of a Portuguese revenue- 
farmer occupied a situation on a piece of rising 
ground some six or seven miles up the main road 
from Rock Camp. To the south of the boma, and 
about three-quarters of a mile from it, lay the 
village of Medo ; and the country, which is here 


to a: 





% '1 ^ at,n \ 

V\ N /ilj /^ '" a ""^ rtM co/ V \ 5^ 

,o^\ /I < 5j^ \ ?l 

li \l 



both rocky and hilly, was for the most part park- 
land, studded with frequent trees and covered with 
grass and patches of bush. Though some of it had 
the appearance of being fairly open, it proved to 
be what is called " very blind," no extended view 
being obtainable in any direction. 

The main road runs east and west from Rock 
Camp to Medo, passing through broken country, 
and flanked on the left or southern side by 
Chirimba Hill. This is an eminence several 
hundred feet in height and about two miles in 
length a mass of slate-grey rock rising out of a 
tangle of bush and low forest, which clothes its 
lower slopes and overflows to the very edge of the 
road. The summit of this hill is razor-edged and 
deeply serrated throughout its length, rising into 
three principal peaks divided by ravines ; and its 
nature was such that no attempt could be made to 
advance along it. Running parallel to the main 
road at a distance of only a few hundred yards 
from it, Chirimba Hill commanded it for a matter 
of about two miles, and completely dominated the 

As usual, the enemy had selected a very 
awkward place in which to offer this, his first 
serious resistance to the British advance in Portu- 
guese East Africa. He was six companies strong 
say about eight hundred men with twelve machine- 
guns and one field gun which he had captured from 
the Portuguese at Ngomano. The whole force 
was under the command of Major Kohl, the ablest 
of von Lettow-Vorbeck's lieutenants, to whom 
throughout the campaign the task of harassing 
and delaying the British advance, and of fighting 


rear-guard actions, was most frequently confided 
by his chief. He had posted men in the thick bush 
along the base of Chirimba Hill, and had occupied 
a strong position on high ground astride the road 
on a very extended front, and most effectually 
concealed in the bush. 

When the Regiment moved forward on the 
afternoon of the 10th April, Captain Harris with 
fifty rifles was sent out on the left to try to 
establish himself on the eastern extremity of 
Chirimba Hill. This patrol ran into an ambush 
before it had proceeded far upon its way, Sergeant 
Flatman and one soldier being killed and several 
of the party wounded. Though, after this, Captain 
Harris was at first forced to retire, he succeeded 
in collecting his rather scattered men, and, ad- 
vancing again, made good a post on the slopes of 
the hill which had been his objective. 

Meanwhile the advance-guard had come into 
action about three miles down the road from Rock 
Camp, and it speedily became evident that the 
enemy could not be ejected from the position he 
had taken up until Chirimba Hill had been 
occupied. The Gold Coast Regiment accordingly 
camped at a place two miles from Rock Camp, 
with an advanced post thrown out a mile further 
down the road. Its further losses during the 
afternoon were 1 man killed, 10 wounded, and 1 
carrier missing, who was believed to have been 

On the llth April the rest of " Rosecol " moved 
forward to the camp which the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment had established over night, and at dawn the 
advanced guard, consisting of I Company and two 


Stokes guns, advanced to the forward post a mile 
further down the road. From this point an officer's 
patrol consisting of one section of I Company 
under Captain Webber was sent out on the left 
to occupy the peak at the eastern extremity of 
Chirimba Hill, at the foot of which a post had 
been established by Captain Harris on the pre- 
ceding evening. His right rested on the road, the 
section being thence strung out through the bush 
to the foot of the hill. 

Simultaneously another section of I Company, 
under Lieutenant Barrett, was pushed out on the 
right of the road, its left keeping touch with 
Captain Webber's right. Yet a third section of 
I Company, under Lieutenant Bisshopp, was 
deployed on Lieutenant Barrett's right. Lieu- 
tenant Barrett's section was the first to come into 
action, a small party of the enemy opening fire 
upon it and then retiring. It was also seen by 
one of the enemy's observation-points posted on 
Chirimba Hill, for it was shelled by the Portuguese 
field-gun, which was posted in the bush somewhere 
in the neighbourhood of Medo boma to the right 
front of the advance. A section of A Company 
was sent out still more to the right to move along 
a track to the north which ran parallel to the main 
road, and was often described as "the telegraph 
road," as there were vestiges on it of a line which 
had been constructed by the Portuguese and 
utilized by the enemy. 

Major Shaw, who was in command of the 
advance, decided that it was not possible to push 
on further until Chirimba Hill had been cleared of 
the enemy, and a section of A Company was sent 


out to the left to reinforce Captain Webber's 
party. This part of the line came into action early 
in the afternoon, and was engaged with the enemy, 
posted in the thick bush and low forest on the 
lower slopes of Chirimba Hill, until about 4.30 p.m. 
By the end of the day all that had been achieved 
was the establishment of a post, occupied by half 
of I Company under Captain Webber, on the 
slopes of Chirimba Hill, the eastern extremity of 
which had been cleared of the enemy ; while on the 
right of the road a small post had been established 
under a native non-commissioned officer, about 
four hundred yards in advance of the point reached 
by Captain Webber on the left of the line. 

At 4 p.m. "Kartucol" advanced from Rock 
Camp through the bush to the south of Chirimba 
Hill, for the purpose of taking up a position from 
which to join on the morrow in a general attack 
upon Medo ; and an hour later " Rosecol " received 
orders to advance at 6 a.m. on the following 
morning, the attack to be delivered by the Gold 
Coast Regiment, the 4th Battalion of the 4th 
King's African Rifles forming the force and column 

On the 12th April the advanced guard, con- 
sisting of B Company with two Stokes guns, under 
Major Shaw, moved forward at 6 a.m., the 22nd 
D.M.B. covering its advance by shelling the bush 
in which the enemy was believed to have established 
himself. The broken, bush-covered country lent 
itself to defence, and the enemy's machine-gun and 
rifle fire from the lower slopes of Chirimba Hill 
was persistent and galling, nor could even his main 
position be accurately located. Early in the day, 


however, three or four men of I Company scaled 
the higher peak of Chirimba Hill, which overlooked 
that cleared of the enemy the night before, and 
succeeded in ejecting therefrom a solitary Askari, 
who had evidently been engaged in observing for 
the enemy's gun. 

At this time the advance of "Rosecol" was 
being opposed by about two companies of the 
enemy, the remainder being held in reserve, though 
the movement of " Kartucol " round the southern 
side of Chirimba Hill had not yet been discovered 
by Kohl. The resistance offered was, as usual, of 
a very determined character, and tbe progress 
made by the attacking force was proportionately 

During the whole of the advance the Stokes 

guns belonging to the Gold Coast Regiment were 

of the greatest assistance. Under the command 

of Captain Foley and Lieutenant Lamont, these 

guns had been almost continuously employed in 

all recent actions, and while the companies of the 

Regiment had taken it in turn to bear the brunt of 

the work, the Stokes gun team and their officers 

had a record of almost continuous activity. On 

this occasion they had opened fire as soon as 

ever the machine-guns came into action, throwing 

their shells about one hundred and fifty to three 

hundred yards to the right and left of the advance 

on both sides of the road. When the line halted 

to fire, fifteen minutes were allowed the Stokes 

guns to take up fresh positions, generally about 

fifty yards in the rear of the firing-line. This 

worked very well, and the advance, though slow, 

was practically continuous until about 12.30 p.m., 


when the enemy developed a very stout resistance, 
and held the Gold Coast Regiment up for nearly 
three hours. 

At 2 p.m. two sections of A Company, under 
Captain Wheeler, were sent forward to reinforce 
Major Shaw, and to extend the line on the right 
of the advance ; and an hour later the Headquarters 
of the Regiment, with two sections of I Company, 
advanced, and Colonel Goodwin took over the 
command from Major Shaw. The latter then went 
forward and assumed the command of the firing- 
line, which at this time had worked its way along 
the northern face of Chirimba Hill, and was getting 
clear of its western extremity. Simultaneously 
fifty rifles of I Company, with one machine-gun 
and one Lewis gun, under the command of Captain 
Harman, were sent out to the right of the two 
sections of A Company, under Captain Wheeler, 
with orders to extend the line to the right and 
to be prepared to swing the right flank round so 
as to enfilade the enemy when the advance was 

At about 3 p.m. " Kartucol," on the southern 
side of Chirimba Hill, was heard to be heavily 
engaged with the enemy, and the resistance offered 
to the advance of the Gold Coast Regiment per- 
ceptibly slackened. Major Shaw therefore worked 
round the western end of the hill and succeeded in 
getting into touch with the King's African Rifles, 
who had dug themselves in in a hastily made peri- 
meter camp. At the moment of Major Shaw's 
arrival the enemy was delivering a strong counter- 
attack upon the leading troops of " Kartucol," 
which were very hard pressed. Major Shaw at 


once attacked vigorously, and a very sharp engage- 
ment ensued, which resulted in the Gold Coast 
Regiment and the King's African Rifles driving 
the enemy back with considerable losses. 

Meanwhile half of I Company, under Captain 
Harman, which, as we have seen, had been sent 
out on the extreme right of the advance, had met 
a large open swamp, the negotiation of which caused 
some delay ; and as the firing-line, commanded by 
Major Shaw, was wheeling steadily to the left, 
following the configuration of the ground at the 
western extremity of Chirimba Hill, touch with 
A Company was presently lost. Captain Harman 
crossed from the right to the left of the main road, 
still without regaining touch with A Company ; 
and soon after firing broke out in front of him. 
Advancing in the direction from which the sound 
came, touch with the right of A Company was at 
last regained ; but as the whole line pushed forward 
the wheel to the left became more and more pro- 
nounced, Major Shaw being engaged at this time 
in moving round the western extremity of Chirimba 
Hill to go to the assistance of " Kartucol." Just 
as this movement began, fire was opened upon 
Captain Harman's half- company from the right 
flank and right rear, the enemy company, which 
had hitherto been held in reserve, having been sent, 
it is probable, to join up with the other companies 
which were delivering a heavy attack upon the 
roughly made perimeter camp in which " Kartucol " 
was defending itself. The half-section of I Company 
on the extreme right of Captain Harman's little 
party was hastily faced about to resist the attack 
from the right rear, and the section bombers on its 


left drove the enemy off from its right front. The 
attacking party to the right rear, however, was 
more persistent, and Colour-Sergeant Thornett, 
with three of his machine-gun team and three 
carriers, who at the moment when fire was opened 
upon them had just loaded up in order to move 
forward, were all hit, Colour- Sergeant Thornett 
being killed on the spot. These losses were caused 
by a machine-gun which the enemy had captured 
from the Portuguese. The reserve gun-team and 
carriers, however, behaved with their usual coolness, 
and they succeeded in getting their gun away, only 
leaving one box of ammunition behind them, which 
was recovered next day. 

Sergeant Mudge was wounded badly in the 
groin and died in the course of a few minutes, 
while Lieutenant Barrett was slightly wounded in 
the thigh. 

Meanwhile the half-section of I Company on 
the immediate left of the 'party which had been 
thus roughly handled, had gone on with the main 
advance, leaving only about twenty-five men to 
deal with the surprise attack which had been de- 
livered upon them. They succeeded, none the less, 
in driving the enemy off; but recognizing the 
necessity of guarding the right flank of the main 
advance against a possible renewed attack, and 
hampered in his movements by the number of 
his casualties, Captain Harman decided to remain 
where he was, and not to attempt for the moment 
to regain touch with the troops on his left. 

The wounded men were carried back to the 
place where Colonel Goodwin had established his 
Headquarters, the work being done in difficult 


circumstances, no stretchers or stretcher-bearers 
being available. Darkness fell, and Captain Har- 
man's little party, having found no further trace of 
the enemy, gathered together and began to work over 
to the left with the intention of regaining touch with 
the men under Major Shaw's command. These had 
now joined up with " Kartucol," as already men- 
tioned, and had thereafter established themselves 
in the perimeter camp which had been hastily dug 
earlier in the day by the King's African Rifles. 
Here, guided by the bugle-call of I Company, 
Captain Harman's party presently joined them ; 
and the weary men of both columns dossed down 
for the night on the bare ground to sleep as 
best they might, without food or cover of any 

While the engagement was in progress Colonel 
Rose and several members of his staff had a very 
narrow escape. They had been walking up and 
down the road at some distance to the rear when 
a loud explosion occurred within a few feet of 
them, and a man of the 22nd D.M.B., who a few 
moments before had been coming down the road 
toward them, was blown into the air, receiving 
terrible injuries from which he shortly afterwards 
died. It was a road-mine which he had touched 
off a road-mine constructed, as usual, of one of 
the 4*1 shells from the Koenigsberg and Colonel 
Rose and his companions, who as it was were only 
spattered from head to foot with mud, had during 
the last quarter of an hour repeatedly passed 
within a few inches of the spot where the slightest 
pressure upon the surface of the road would have 
ignited the charge. These road-mines were found 


with considerable frequency, and the men of the 
Gold Coast Regiment had a rather embarrassing 
habit of digging them up, and carrying them 
to their officers for inspection, live-fuse and all, 
handling the lethal things with a reckless familiarity 
which it was hair-erecting to witness. On the 
whole, however, extraordinarily little damage was 
done by these man-traps. 

Mention has been made of the good work done 
by the Stokes guns under Captain Foley and Lieu- 
tenant Lamont. These guns, one of the notable 
inventions of the Great War, proved to be the ideal 
artillery for bush-warfare. Their discharge causes 
so slight a report that, when rifle-fire is going on, 
it is practically inaudible, and it was therefore very 
difficult for the enemy to locate the positions from 
which the guns were shelling them. On the other 
hand, the Stokes guns were very handy and could 
be got into action with great rapidity, while the 
shells thrown by them burst with a particularly 
loud report that was not without its moral effect, 
and threw a very effective charge. 

The losses sustained by the Regiment from the 
10th to the 12th of April amounted to 4 Europeans 
Colour-Sergeant Thornett, Sergeant Mudge, and 
Sergeant Flatman killed, and Lieutenant Barrett 
wounded ; 10 men killed and 40 wounded ; and 1 
carrier killed and 14 wounded in all 69 casualties. 
Unfortunately the losses among the rank and file 
included a number of old soldiers and section com- 
manders, all of whom were at this time doubly 
valuable owing to the experience which they had 
gained during nearly four years of almost con- 
tinous warfare. 


During these three days a great strain was 
imposed upon Captain J. M. O'Brien, of the West 
African Medical Staff, and upon his assistants ; and 
Captain O'Brien, by no means for the first time, 
displayed almost reckless courage while attending 
to the wounded under fire. 

On the 13th April scouting parties sent out 
from the camp found that, as usual, the enemy 
had retired. His primary object had been to delay 
and embarrass the British advance, and to make it 
pay as heavily as might be for its passage over 
a few miles of road lying through particularly 
difficult country. This he had achieved; and if 
indeed the boma at Medo had contained any accu- 
mulation of supplies, he had also succeeded in re- 
moving them before he was compelled to evacuate 
that place, for none were found when the troops 
occupied Medo on the 13th April. Meanwhile 
" Pamforce," which throughout the three days' 
fighting had been engaged in attacking and being 
attacked by an enemy who, from beginning to end, 
remained practically invisible, was no nearer the 
fulfilment of its purpose the wearing down or 
rounding up of von Lettow-Vorbeck's forces 
than it had been when, more than three months 
earlier, it had first landed at Port Amelia. 



ALL that remained of the Portuguese boma at 
Medo was the deep ditch by which it had been 
surrounded, and the mound or earthwork fashioned 
from the earth that had been excavated from it. 
Any buildings that these fortifications may have 
been designed to protect had long ago been burned 
to the ground, and save for a big red-brick store, 
with an iron roof, situated outside the ditch, there 
was no habitable place in the immediate vicinity. 
It can never have been of much military value, 
except against attacks delivered by natives armed 
with primitive weapons, and its capture and occu- 
pation by the British conferred upon the latter no 
material advantage. Medo, however, or rather the 
place a few miles east of it where Rock Camp 
had been formed, marks the beginning of a stretch 
of very blind and difficult country, where big 
clumps of bamboos are numerous, where bamboo- 
brakes of considerable extent are not infrequently 
encountered, and where elephant grass nine feet 
high is a common feature. Further on along the 
road, as the columns advanced, more broken 
ground was met with, and numbers of isolated 
rocky hills, often fantastically shaped the solitary 



curved horn of the rhinoceros being one of the 
forms most commonly represented provided the 
enemy with excellent observation-posts from which 
every movement of the British troops could be 
watched and provided against. 

On the 13th April the two columns camped at 
Medo, and on the following day a strong officer's 
patrol of the 4th Battalion of the 4th King's 
African Rifles went down the road toward Mwalia, 
and speedily found itself engaged with the enemy. 
Von Lettow-Vorbeck and Kohl had allowed the 
British, very slowly and painfully, to work their 
way inland from the coast from a distance of 
eighty-four miles to Medo ; and having now drawn 
them on into a very difficult belt of country, they 
were preparing to ambush the advance once or 
twice daily, to make the troops fight as often 
as possible and in disadvantageous circumstances, 
for the camping-ground and for their supply of 
water, and to withhold from them any chance of 
dealing a very effective blow at their ubiquitous 
and elusive enemy. 

The campaign was at once more harassing and 
less hopeful than had been the advance from Narun- 
gombe to Lukuledi in the preceding year, for then 
" Linforce " had been working its way inland from 
Lindi, and there had always been a chance of the 
enemy being enveloped by the converging columns ; 
and the country, though thick and difficult, had 
not been so blind and so impenetrable as that 
through which " Pamforce " was at present en- 
gaged in making its way. Now, too, there was 
no British force closely co-operating with " Rose- 
col " and " Kartucol " to threaten the enemy's 


flank and rear, though some of General Northey's 
troops had made their way in a south-easterly 
direction from Mahenge, and were known to have 
crossed the Rovuma, and Colonel Rose, while still 
in command in Portuguese East Africa, had suc- 
ceeded in getting the 3rd Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles dispatched to Mozambique, 
where, under Colonel Phillips, they were brigaded 
with a Portuguese force under Major Leal. There 
was, however, no immediate prospect of bringing 
von Lettow-Vorbeck to a definite action, for there 
no longer existed German posts, such as Ruponda, 
Massassi and Newala, the defence of which was 
important to him because their capture would 
work him a measure of moral and even of material 
injury. [Instead von Lettow-Vorbeck, at this time, 
seemed to have the whole of the vast continent of 
Africa into which to retreat, and the prospect of 
surrounding or cutting off any large body of his 
forces was felt by all to be more remote than 

None the less, " Pamforce " continued to move 
forward down the road from Medo to Mwalia and 
from Mwalia to Koronje, with ever-lengthening 
lines of communication stringing out behind it, 
and with daily ambushes delaying its progress. 
These, often enough, were laid for it by small 
enemy posts consisting of one native non-com- 
missioned officer and half a dozen Askari, but in 
such blind country it was on each occasion neces- 
sary to clear up the situation before the advance 
could be continued, lest the column should find 
themselves caught in some more elaborate trap 
with results that might well prove to be disastrous. 


Moreover, the character of the country, which 
greatly favoured the tactics that the enemy was 
now adopting, practically confined the British to 
a series of frontal attacks, as it did not admit of 
flanking movements being successfully carried 

On the 15th April " Rosecol " left the camp 
at Medo, and began to advance down the road in 
the direction of Mwalia. The 4th Battalion of the 
4th King's African rifles formed the advanced 
guard, the Gold Coast Regiment being in reserve. 
The former's advanced points were attacked, as 
usual, and the Battalion engaged a small enemy 
rear-guard, the progress made during the day 
amounting to only four and a half miles. From 
this time onward, the Gold Coast Regiment and 
the 4th Battalion of the 4th King's African Rifles 
took it in turns to lead the advance, and each was 
preceded at a short distance by an advanced de- 
tachment consisting of 300 rifles with the usual 
complement of machine and Lewis guns, and two 
Stokes guns of the Gold Coast Regiment. This 
leading detachment had points thrown out ahead 
on each side of the road and a line of skirmishers 
deployed behind them, the remainder of the de- 
tachment advancing in open order on both sides 
of the road, with connecting files between them 
and the main body in their rear. 

On the 16th April the advanced detachment 
was supplied by A Company and two sections of 
I Company, under the command of Major Shaw. 
During the day small engagements were fought 
with an enemy rear-guard, consisting of one 


company, but the Stokes guns proved very useful 
and effective, the enemy being shelled out of suc- 
cessive positions from which, but for these guns, 
it would have cost much delay and probably many 
casualties to eject him. As it was, only two men ot 
the Regiment and one Sierra Leone carrier were 
wounded. The column camped at 2 p.m., Major 
Shaw's detatchment digging itself in about a mile 
further down the road. 

On the 17th April the 4th Battalion of the 4th 
King's African Rifles furnished the advanced de- 
tachment, that regiment being at the head of the 
column, with the Gold Coast Regiment following 
in reserve. During the afternoon the King's 
African Rifles became heavily engaged with the 
enemy, who had been reinforced and was now 
opposing the advance with three companies and 
six machine-guns. The road here ran through 
elephantfgrass nine feet in height, and it was found 
impossible to locate the enemy's positions. On the 
other hand, the King's African Rifles had dug 
themselves in across the road, the lie of which was 
accurately known to the Germans, and the former 
consequently sustained many casualties. The 4th 
Battalion of the 4th King's African Rifles was a 
newly raised force, largely composed of recruits, 
and the ordeal of being fired upon by an invisible 
enemy, against whom no | effective retaliation was 
possible, was very severe. However, they held on, 
and in the afternoon A Company was sent forward 
to reinforce them. This company and the two 
Stokes gun-teams, which had been with the 4th 
Battalion of the 4th King's African Rifles all day, 
sustained 28 casualties before dark, losing 3 men 


and 1 battery gun-carrier killed, and 13 men, 6 
battery gun-carriers and 5 Sierra Leone carriers 

Next morning the Gold Coast Regiment took 
over from the King's African Rifles the position 
which the latter had occupied during the night, 
and was directed to hold the enemy in front while 
a strong detachment from " Kartucol " attempted 
a wide flanking movement on the right. Captain 
Duck with thirty rifles was sent forward from the 
position held by the Regiment to get in touch with 
the enemy in order to give the flanking detachment 
an objective. He speedily found and engaged the 
enemy, whereupon the rest of " Kartucol " advanced 
through the Gold Coast Regiment and joined in 
the fight. The enemy, however, had once again 
reduced his rear-guard to a single company, and on 
the 19th April " Kartucol" continued the advance, 
" Rosecol " following in the rear. On the following 
day the two columns were to have exchanged 
places, but the rations expected from the rear 
arrived so late on the night of the 19th April that 
this arrangement could not be carried out. The 
delay had been caused by the convoy being 
attacked by the enemy near Rock Camp. The 
officer commanding this convoy was killed, and 
much confusion was wrought by the ambush, 
though the carriers and their escort contrived to 
get through with the loss of a few bags of mails. 
There were many Europeans in camp who would 
far more willingly have foregone their dinners. 
In a captured diary Kohl was subsequently found 
complaining with disgust that the mails taken on 
this occasion contained no information concerning 



the progress of the war in Europe, and mainly 
consisted of " love to dear Jack." 

" Kartucol," therefore, continued the advance 
and occupied Mwalia, while " Rosecol " camped 
for the night at Kalima, about four miles short of 
that place. The distance from Medo to Mwalia is 
not quite five-and-twenty miles. The column had 
left Medo on the 15th April and " Kartucol" had 
reached Mwalia on the 20th April, the average 
daily progress being therefore little more than four 

On the 21st April " Rosecol " remained in camp 
at Kalima, where it was joined by General Edwards 
and his staff. "Kartucol" during the day was 
shelled by the enemy, and on the 22nd April it 
moved forward and occupied an enemy position 
two miles in front of the camp at Mwalia. Both 
columns remained in these positions until the 
26th April, when " Rosecol " moved forward and 
occupied Makuku, about twelve miles down the 
road, " Kartucol," which had preceded it, having 
advanced three miles further to a place called 
Mbalama. At Makuku the main road, hitherto 
followed, which leads from Mtuge to Lusinje, is 
crossed by another which runs south-west to 
Koronje ; and Mbalama is situated some three 
miles down this latter track. 

On the 27th April " Rosecol " advanced through 
" Kartucol," and marched down the road towards 
Koronje, with Nanungu, some forty miles further to 
the west and slightly south of the former place, as 
its ultimate objective. The advanced detachment, 
under Major Shaw, consisted of the Pioneer Com- 
pany and A Company of the Gold Coast Regiment 


with two Stokes guns. A small party of the 
enemy was engaged and driven back ; " Rosecol " 
camped for the night about four miles west of 

Next day, 28th April, the advance was con- 
tinued, being led this time by the 4th Battalion of 
the 4th King's African Rifles, two Stokes guns of 
the Gold Coast Regiment, as usual, accompanying 
the advanced detachment. About six miles were 
covered during the day, and as " Rosecol " was 
forming camp at about 3.30 p.m., patrols from the 
advanced detachment came into touch with the 
enemy, and Lieutenant McEvoy was wounded in 
the hand by a stray bullet, and a trumpeter 
belonging to the Stokes Gun Battery was killed. 

On the 29th April the enemy was found to 
have abandoned the positions which he had occu- 
pied the night before ; and at 7 a.m. the advanced 
detachment, consisting of half I and B Companies 
with two of the Gold Coast Stokes guns, advanced, 
the rest of " Rosecol " following half an hour later. 
Major Shaw, who was, as usual, in command of the 
advanced detachment, came into contact with the 
enemy at about 10.30 a.m., and thereafter the latter 
fought an intermittent rear-guard action a series 
of harassing ambushes until 4.30 p.m., when 
camps were formed for the night, Major Shaw's 
men occupying a position about a mile in advance 
of the rest of the column. In the course of the 
day only two men of the Gold Coast Regiment 
were wounded, the Stokes guns once more proving 
very useful in dislodging the enemy from successive 

On the 30th April, " Kartucol " passed through 


" Rosecol " with the intention of attacking an 
enemy position, which was known to be held by 
four companies and one gun. The Headquarters 
of the Gold Coast Regiment, with half the Stokes 
Battery, the Pioneers and I Company, marched in 
the rear of " Kartucol " as reserve troops. Touch 
was not gained with the enemy until the afternoon, 
but owing to the country traversed being very 
difficult and blind, the progress made was so slow 
that no attack could be delivered upon the German 
position owing to the lateness of the hour. The 
two columns, therefore, formed a perimeter camp 
at about 4.30 p.m. at a place on the Koronje road 
about four hundred yards west of the Montepuez 
River. One Battalion from " Kartucol " occupied 
an advanced camp about one thousand yards further 
down the road leading to Koronje. 

On the 1st May, the 1st Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles advanced along the road to- 
ward Koronje, while the 2nd Battalion of the same 
Regiment went out on the right to attempt to 
outflank the enemy's left. The country was still 
very difficult and extremely blind, and progress 
was again very slow. It was subsequently dis- 
covered, moreover, that from an observation post 
on the summit of Koronje Hill, to the left of the 
road, the enemy could follow every movement of 
the British troops. While, therefore, the 2nd 
Battalion of the 2nd King's African Rifles was 
laboriously working its way round to the right, its 
attempt to surprise and outflank the enemy was 
foredoomed to failure from the outset. Meanwhile, 
of course, this movement greatly delayed the 
advance of the rest of the force. 


The detachment of the Gold Coast Regiment 
which, under the command of Major Shaw, was 
with " Kartucol," was employed to escort the 
22nd D.M.B. and the ammunition column of that 

At about 5 p.m. the 1st Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles became heavily engaged, and 
simultaneously an enemy party of about forty rifles, 
which had worked its way through the bush to the 
rear, attacked the D.M.B. which was being escorted 
by fifty rifles of I Company. The latter, under 
Lieutenant Kay, acted with great steadiness and 
promptitude. At the moment when the attack 
was delivered, the Mountain Battery, which had 
just come out of action, was limbered up. For a 
moment the guns were in peril, but Lieutenant 
Kay held the enemy and beat off the attack while 
the mules and their loads were got away in safety. 

The sound of the firing misled the 2nd Battalion 
of the 2nd King's African Rifles, which was out on 
the right, with the result that it rejoined the 
column in the rear of the enemy. 

A perimeter camp was formed for the night, 
the 1st Battalion of the 2nd King's African Rifles 
digging themselves in at a point about eight hundred 
yards in advance of the main body. 

On the 2nd May, the 1st Battalion of the 2nd 
King's African Rifles pushed out patrols which 
quickly came into touch with the enemy, who was 
soon after engaged by " Kartucol," which drove 
him back. No progress, however, was made during 
the day, and on the morrow it was found that, 
while the enemy's rear-guard was fighting " Kartu- 
col," the position at Koronje had been evacuated. 


" Kartucol " then advanced and camped near 
Koronje, the detachment of the Gold Coast 
Regiment under Major Shaw rejoining " Rosecol " 
in the afternoon, 

On the 4th May " Kartucol " again advanced 
and located a strong enemy position near the 
Milinch hills, about six and a half miles west of 
Koronje, through which the road passes. On this 
day three officers and ten British non-commissioned 
officers belonging to the Gold Coast Regiment 
arrived from Port Amelia. 

On the 5th May, "Rosecol" advanced and 
took over from " Kartucol," which then fell back 
to the camp which the former had hitherto 
occupied. The 4th Battalion of the 4th King's 
African Rifles encamped at a point down the 
road about a mile in advance of the main body 
of " Rosecol " ; and patrols were sent out to the 
right and left to try to find a way round the 
enemy's position on the Milinch Hills. Both 
these patrols were furnished by A Company of 
the Gold Coast Regiment, that on the right being 
commanded by Captain Harris and that on the 
left by Lieutenant Withers. 

On the 6th May Captain Harris returned and 
reported that the country to the north was much 
more open than that through which the columns 
had recently been advancing, and that it would be 
almost impossible to make a flanking movement 
from the right side of the road. On the 7th May 
Lieutenant Withers came in from the south 
bringing a similar report ; and meanwhile patrols 
sent out by the 4th Battalion of the 4th King's 
African Rifles had on both days come into touch 


with the enemy just east of the Milinch Hills, and 
reported that the position which he was occupying 
was a very strong one. This was indeed the case, 
for the enemy was posted on the crests and slopes 
of two hills, both of which commanded the gut 
between them through which the road runs ; yet 
on the 8th May it was discovered that the Germans 
had retired, and two companies of the 4th Battalion 
of the 4th King's African Rifles went forward and 
occupied the position which he had evacuated. 

Meanwhile the lines of communication were 
lengthening behind the columns, and now 
measured approximately one hundred and forty 
miles from Mtuge, which in its turn is twenty- 
eight miles by road from Port Amelia. Also 
the heavy and increasing traffic over the road had 
not tended to improve it ; and though road corps, 
recruited from South Africa and East Africa, toiled 
ceaselessly at its repair, the difficulties of transport 
and supply were becoming daily more and more 
acute. At this time, the columns at the front had 
been on very short commons for a considerable 
period, and the company officers of the Gold Coast 
Regiment reported that their men were not getting 
enough food to keep them fit to take part in active 
operations of so trying and arduous a character as 
those at present in progress. 

On the 9th May the Gold Coast Regiment 
took over the Milinch Hills from the 4th Battalion 
of the 4th King's African Rifles ; and on this day 
local natives reported to Colonel Rose that von 
Lettow-Vorbeck, with a large enemy force, was 
moving in a north-easterly direction toward Lusinje. 
This place lies about thirty-seven miles almost 


due north of Nanungu, on the main road from 
which the columns had branched off in a south- 
westerly direction at Makuku, as already noted. 
Accordingly the 4th Battalion of the 4th King's 
African Rifles was dispatched across country to 
Msalu Boma, which is situated on that road at a 
point, as the crow flies, about twenty-three miles 
north-west of Koronje, and twenty-seven miles east 
by south of Lusinje. The orders issued to this 
battalion of the King's African Rifles were that 
they should deal with any enemy parties weak 
enough to enable action to be taken with effect, 
but to avoid any serious engagement with his 
numerically superior forces. 

It was believed that a fairly strong party of the 
enemy were occupying a hill on the right side of 
the road at a place called Jirimita, about five or 
six miles down the road from the pass through the 
Milinch Hills, and at dawn on this day two patrols 
were sent out, one under the command of Captain 
Leslie- Smith and the other under Lieutenant 
Bisshopp. Each patrol consisted of seventy-five 
rifles, drawn respectively from A and I Companies ; 
and Captain Leslie-Smith, who went out on the right 
of the road, had orders to make a flanking move- 
ment and to come back to the highway at a point 
about four miles beyond Jirimita. Lieutenant 
Bisshopp, on the left, was instructed to make a 
wider and longer sweep, and to strike the road 
about three miles further on. It was hoped thus 
to outflank the enemy and to cut off his retreat. 
It was a difficult task in the broken country through 
which these two patrols had to work, at once to 
maintain a correct sense of direction, and accurately 


to estimate the distance traversed. However, both 
these small parties started off, expecting to be a 
night or two in the bush, and each in the end 
succeeded in exactly carrying out the orders issued 
to it. 

Meanwhile, during the morning of the same 
day Lieutenant Wilson, with a patrol of twenty 
rifles drawn from the Pioneer Company, got touch 
with an enemy outpost of about the same strength 
at a point some two miles west of the Milinch 
Hills ; and at 4.45 p.m. a second officer's patrol, 
under Lieutenant Beech, was sent out down the 
road in the same direction for a distance of two 
and a half miles without coming into contact with 
the enemy, whose outpost had retired since the 

At 6 a.m. on the 10th May, Lieutenant Withers, 
with fifty rifles and one Lewis gun of A Company, 
was sent down the road with orders to brush aside 
any small party of the enemy that he might en- 
counter, and thereafter to try and ascertain the 
real strength of the force which was opposing the 
advance of the column. 

Three and a half miles from the Milinch Hill 
Lieutenant Withers met a small party of the 
enemy, which he drove back ; and about five miles 
out he found an enemy camp, strongly entrenched, 
which had evidently been designed to accommodate 
some four companies, but which had been recently 
burned. As far as it was possible to judge, this 
camp had been destroyed and abandoned two days 
earlier ; and though the tracks leading from it were 
at once confused and confusing, conveying at first 
the impression that the enemy had retired in a 


northerly direction, it was subsequently ascertained 
that he had retreated down the main road. Just 
beyond the burned camp this road was found to 
bifurcate, one fork leading west-north-west and the 
other west-south-west. It was the latter route 
which the enemy had taken. 

The main patrol camped at a point where the 
road bifurcated, and sent out small parties to 
reconnoitre along each of the forks, but neither 
of them came into touch with the enemy. 

On the llth May the patrols under Captain 
Leslie-Smith and Lieutenant Bisshopp, which had 
been sent out on the 9th May, rejoined the Regi- 
ment. As has already been noted, they had achieved 
the difficult feat of striking the road at the points 
aimed at, but for the rest, though Lieutenant 
Bisshopp's patrol had surprised and killed one 
enemy Askari, who had probably been left behind 
to watch the movements of the British, nothing 
more had been seen of the enemy, who must have 
passed down the road while these patrols were still 
making their way through the bush. 

On the 12th May one of the battalions of the 
2nd King's African Rifles from " Kartucol " took 
over from the Gold Coast Regiment, which re- 
turned to the main camp occupied by " Rosecol." 
On the following day the latter marched across 
country, in the wake of the 4th Battalion of the 
4th King's African Rifles, which had preceded 
them on the 9th May, in the direction of Msalu 
Boma. The way led along a native footpath which 
only admitted of men marching in single file, but 
in order to beat out a track for the transport 
through the high grass and standing crops of maize 


and millet, the column advanced four abreast a 
hard task for troops who had been insufficiently 
fed for many days, and who were now required to 
cover between daybreak and dusk a distance of 
eighteen miles. The column camped in the bush, 
and on the following day it joined up with the 
4th Battalion of the 4th King's African Rifles at 
the boma at Msalu. This place, too, had once 
been a stronghold of a Portuguese revenue-farmer, 
and had been fortified against attack by the natives, 
but it had now been completely destroyed by fire. 

At Msalu news was received that von Lettow- 
Vorbeck and the whole of his main force were at 
Nanungu, and that so far they had given no signs 
of any intention to move to the north toward the 
Rovuma River, or south to the Lurio, which divides 
the territory of the Nyassa Company from the 
Province of Mozambique. It was also learned that 
the King's African Rifles Mounted Infantry were 
at Lusinje, some six-and-twenty miles along the 
main road west by north of Msalu, and about 
thirty-two miles almost due north of Nanungu. 

" Rosecol " remained at Msalu on the 14th and 
15th May, the neighbourhood being clear of the 
enemy, but much infested by lions. The proximity 
of these brutes got upon the nerves of some of 
the inmates of the camp, and on the night of the 
13th 14th May a carrier, who had had a nightmare 
in which they played a prominent part, awoke in 
a panic, shattering the silence with his yells and 
outcry. Instantly an indescribable scene resulted. 
Tumbling over one another to get at the camp- 
fires, the porters fought and scrambled for fire- 
brands which they waved wildly, and impeded by 


which they made desperate efforts to climb into 
neighbouring trees. The country here is orchard- 
bush, and the only trees available are small and 
stunted altogether inadequate as places of refuge 
from the onslaught of a lion. The terrified carriers, 
however, were long past reason, and appeared to 
consider that their one chance of salvation lay in 
getting even a foot or two above the ground. The 
lions on this occasion existed only in their imagi- 
nation, and order and confidence were presently 
restored. During the same night, however, the 
4th King's African Rifles lost two sentries, one 
killed and one badly mauled by these brutes, so 
the terror of the carriers had at any rate some 
measure of justification. 

With the arrival of " Rosecol " at Msalu the 
second phase of the advance, which had its be- 
ginning with the fight at Medo, may be regarded 
as concluded. The enemy had offered a persistent 
and fairly effective resistance to the progress of the 
columns along the main road through the difficult 
country which lies between Medo and the Milinch 
Hills. His main force, which was believed to be 
at Nanungu, was really encamped at Wanakoti, 
about three and a half miles to the north of that 
place ; and against him were advancing " Kartucol " 
from the east, " Rosecol " from the north-east, and 
a weak column of perhaps 800 rifles, which General 
Northey had dispatched across the Rovuma in a 
south-easterly direction, under the command of 
Colonel Griffiths. Von Lettow-Vorbeck still had 
the choice of several lines of retreat, for at Wana- 
koti many tracks cross one another, and though 
the road to Koronje on the east and to Chisona 


on the north-west were closed to him by the 
British advance, the track leading south-west to 
Mahu was still open, and while retreating along it 
he would have opportunities of breaking off, should 
it suit his convenience to do so, in almost any 



ON the 16th May "Rosecol" left Msalu, and 
marching along bush paths in a westerly direction, 
leaving the road to Lusinje on the north and 
having the Msalu River on its right, began a move- 
ment which was designed to cut the main road 
between Lusinje and Nanungu. Camping for two 
nights in the bush orchard country which, though 
the soil was of a rocky character, was broken by 
frequent patches of cultivated land the column 
crossed this road on the 18th May, and pushed 
on toward Chisona. On reaching the Lusinje 
Nanungu road, a patrol was dispatched to examine 
the ford across the Msalu River, and on approaching 
it was fired upon by a party which proved to be 
composed of scouts belonging to the Rhodesian 
Native Regiment part of the weak column which 
General Northey had sent out across the Rovuma 
River. Connection was thus established for the 
first time with this force. 

On the 19th May " Rosecol " continued its 
inarch to Chisona, where it camped on the banks 
of the Msalu River at a place about two miles from 
the column from " Norforce " above mentioned, 
which was under the command of Colonel Griffiths. 



The river was unfordable at this season of the year, 
but the battery-carriers quickly constructed a 
bridge under the personal supervision of Colonel 
Goodwin, who, as a former commander of the 
Pioneer Company, had proved himself, both in the 
Kameruns and in East Africa, to possess a special 
gift for such improvizations. 

On the 20th May the column crossed the Msalu, 
and marched due south to within five miles of 
Chilonga, I Company leading the advance and 
doing what it could to widen and improve the 
existing paths so as to facilitate the passage of the 
column. On the 21st May the latter pushed on 
twelve miles in a westerly direction and camped 
at a spot some three miles to the north of the road 
to Mahua. Five companies of the enemy, under 
Kohl, were reported to be on this road ; and it 
was here learned that " Kartucol " had entered and 
occupied Nanungu without opposition, and was 
advancing along the Mahua road. This advance 
had been opposed by Kohl during the day, one 
company of the enemy with one gun having been 
in action, while the rest of his force was held in 
reserve. Meanwhile Colonel Griffiths' column was 
marching parallel to " Rosecol," on a line a few 
miles to the north of it. 

At this juncture General Edwards hoped to 
surround Kohl from the west, east, and north ; and 
with this object in view " Kartucol " was ordered 
to advance along the Mahua road, Colonel Griffiths' 
column to march in a south-westerly direction, so 
as to get astride that road in the rear of the enemy, 
while "Rosecol" was instructed to march on a 
line about three miles to the north of the Mahua 


road and roughly parallel to it with the object of 
turning the enemy's left. 

During the afternoon of the 22nd May Colonel 
Griffiths' force was heard to be heavily engaged, 
and " Rosecol " continued its march until 10 p.m., 
when it camped, Major Shaw in command of the 
Pioneers and B Company of the Gold Coast Regi- 
ment, and two Gold Coast Stokes guns, forming 
an advanced detachment encamped on high ground 
a few miles forward, overlooking the place where 
Colonel Griffiths was entrenched. During all these 
operations " Rosecol " was separated from " Kar- 
tucol " by the Mwambia Ridge a high barrier of 
grey, granite hills, with unscalable, cliff-like sides, 
rising abruptly from the grass and bush and orchard 
forest at their base which flanks the main road on 
the north for a matter of more than a dozen miles. 

Colonel Griffiths' column, it appeared, had 
struck the Mahua road, and had entered and 
occupied Kohl's camp at Mwariba, meeting with 
very little resistance. Here he had possessed him- 
self of practically all Kohl's heavy baggage a 
really severe loss to the enemy at this juncture ; 
but almost immediately afterwards he had been 
vigorously attacked, his small column being com- 
pletely surrounded and suffering many casualties. 
Failing to push home his attack, however, the 
enemy had drawn off during the night and had 
then retired in a southerly direction. 

Yet another attempt to envelop him had 
definitely failed. 

The Gold Coast Regiment this day came into 
contact with the enemy for the first time since it 
had quitted the main road near Koronje on the 

23RD TO 25TH MAY 271 

13th April. Its only casualty, however, was one 
man wounded. 

On the 23rd May " Bosecol " advanced through 
Colonel Griffiths' camp, with Major Shaw's detach- 
ment about one mile ahead of it ; and very shortly 
afterwards the latter became engaged with the 
enemy, who, with one company and two machine- 
guns, was covering the retirement of Kohl's main 
force. Major Shaw drove this enemy party back a 
matter of two miles, when he was relieved by the 
4th Battalion of the 4th King's African Rifles, who 
now formed the advanced detachment of " Rosecol," 
supported as usual, however, by two guns of the 
Gold Coast Regiment's Stokes Battery. 

On this morning the Regiment lost one British 
non-commissioned officer, Sergeant Kent, and one 
soldier killed, and three men wounded. 

On the 24th May the 4th King's African Rifles 
advanced at 6 a.m., and forthwith became engaged 
with the enemy, whose strength had now been in- 
creased to at least two companies with four machine- 
guns. All day long the Germans fought a series 
of very stubborn rear-guard actions, and the pro- 
gress made by dusk was only two miles. In the 
course of the day Lieutenant Percy and two 
battery gun-carriers, attached to the Gold Coast 
Stokes guns, were wounded. 

On the 25th May " Rosecol " advanced along 
the Mahua road in the direction of Korewa, with 
" Kartucol " following in its rear ; Colonel Griffiths' 
column having marched west on the preceding day 
with the object of once again getting astride the 
road behind the enemy, this time on the other 
side of Korewa. The enemy was not met with, 


however, Major Shaw occupying Korewa in the 
afternoon without opposition, and during the night 
news was received that Colonel Griffiths had struck 
the road at the point aimed at, and that he, too, 
had seen nothing of the enemy. 

From Korewa patrols were sent out in several 
directions, and by the 27th May, it having by then 
become pretty evident that von Lettow-Vorbeck 
with the main body, followed at a short distance 
by Major Kohl and his redoubtable rear-guard, 
had crossed the Lurio River into the province of 
Mozambique, Colonel Griffiths' column marched 
that evening in pursuit. 

On the 28th May B Company, less one machine- 
gun and one Lewis gun, left the camp at 6 a.m. 
for Wanakoti, thirty miles to the east, acting as 
escort to the 22nd D.M.B. The rest of the 
Regiment remained in camp at Korewa, where it 
was rejoined by B Company in due course. 

With the retreat of von Lettow-Vorbeck south- 
ward across the Lurio River, the expedition into 
the Nyassa Company's territory, which had been 
begun five months earlier by the landing of Major 
Shaw's advanced detachment at Port Amelia, 
reached its natural termination. Yet another 
campaign, based so far as the British were con- 
cerned upon the port of Mozambique, was about 
to begin, though as yet no very extensive prepara- 
tions had been made for its effectual initiation. 

The Gold Coast Regiment, as it has been seen, 
had been transferred straight from the pursuit of 
von Lettow-Vorbeck through the Kilwa and Lindi 
areas and on to the banks of the Rovuma, to the 


very trying inland march from Port Amelia. 
Other units subsequently engaged in that enter- 
prise had in the interval been afforded a period of 
rest, the 2nd Battalion of the 2nd Regiment of the 
King's African Rifles, for example, having been 
allowed to return for a space to their cantonments 
and to their womenkind at Nairobi. The men of 
this corps and those of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
who had done so much hard fighting in company, 
had learned greatly to trust and value one another, 
and though they were drawn from such widely 
different parts of the African continent and though 
the Gold Coast soldiers' knowledge of Swahili was 
still rather elementary, a species of blood-brother- 
hood had come to be recognized as existing 
between them. When the " Second Second," as 
this battalion of the King's African Rifles was 
familiarly called, had made its appearance in 
Portuguese East Africa, it had been warmly wel- 
comed by the men of the Gold Coast Regiment, 
and the latter, it may be surmised, had listened not 
without envy to the accounts which their friends 
had to give them of the good time the former had 
enjoyed during their stay at Nairobi. Were the 
war-worn veterans of the Gold Coast Regiment 
never to enjoy a similar respite from patrols, 
attacks, counter-attacks and endless toils and 
fatigues? The men put the question to their 
officers. They would fight on if they must, 
embarking forthwith upon this new campaign 
which was clearly about to begin ; but they would 
fight better, they felt, if in the interval they might 
have a taste of the delights of rest and home in 
their cantonments at Kumasi. Colonel Goodwin, 


who was now commanding the Regiment, and 
Colonel Rose, who was commanding the column 
to which the battalion was attached, shared the 
men's opinion, and General Edwards agreed that 
the Regiment had fairly earned a rest. 

Accordingly, at 7 a.m. on the 1st June, the 
Gold Coast Regiment left the camp at Korewa, 
and began its march back to Port Amelia. From 
Medo to Ankuabe a distance of five-and-twenty 
miles it was conveyed by motor-cars, but the rest 
of that weary journey was accomplished on foot 
over a road which had been knocked to pieces by 
the traffic passing over it. A standing camp was 
established at Gara, between Mtuge and Bandari, 
which was reached on the 13th June, Colonel Rose 
having, on the preceding day, relinquished the 
command of " Rosecol " and resumed that of the 

The rest of June, July and the first twelve days 
of August were spent in refitting, and men of the 
Regiment who were doing duty at various points 
along the lines of communication were gradually 
recalled and collected. On the 29th July Colonel 
Rose and Major Read sailed for South Africa from 
Port Amelia on board H.M. Transport Hymettus ; 
and on the 13th August Major Hornby with 37 
officers, 17 British non-commissioned officers, 862 
rank and file, and 135 stretcher-bearers, gun-carriers, 
etc., embarked on board H.M.T. Magdalena and 
on the 14th August set sail for West Africa. 

At Durban, reached on the 18th August, Colonel 
Rose and Major Read rejoined the Regiment, and 
both here and at Capetown, where the transport 
arrived on the 27th August, several officers were 


landed who were taking leave in South Africa, 
Australia or Tasmania. 

Accra, the capital of the Gold Coast, was 
reached without incident late on the 5th September, 
and on the following day the Governor, who had 
seen the Regiment off from Sekondi exactly two 
years and two months earlier, came on board the 
Magdalena to welcome and inspect the troops, and 
to thank them on behalf of the Colony whose 
name they bear, for the splendid fashion in which, 
through all the trials and dangers of the East 
African campaign, they had upheld its reputation. 

Colonel Rose and Major Read disembarked at 
Accra, but the Regiment sailed on the evening of 
the 6th September for Sekondi, where it arrived 
early next morning. 

From this port to Kumasi, whither the Regi- 
ment at once proceeded in special trains, its journey 
was a triumphal progress. At Sekondi itself a 
feast of native foods, such as these soldier-exiles 
had not tasted for two years, had been prepared 
for their consumption ; and at every halting-place 
crowds had assembled to greet and acclaim the 
Regiment and to load the men with gifts. All 
along the line little knots of natives shouted and 
danced their welcome, and even after darkness had 
fallen every station at which the trains stopped was 
crammed by eager crowds of Europeans and natives 
alike, bent upon showing the men what pride the 
colony felt at the reputation which they had won 
for themselves, and how deep was the popular 
sympathy for all they had suffered and endured. 

It was a royal home-coming, and when at dawn 
the men, worn out with excitement and fatigue at 



last arrived at Kumasi, their women met them at 
the station in a clamorous mob, and accompanied 
them in triumph to their cantonments, with the 
songs and dances wherewith the warriors of West 
Africa have always been greeted on their return 
from a victorious campaign. 

But, alas ! there were waitings and keenings too, 
mingling with the joyful tumult, for many a 
woman there was lamenting some poor fellow who 
lies buried far away on the other side of Africa, 
and would not be comforted because he was not. 

The casualties sustained by the Gold Coast 
Regiment during the campaign in East Africa 
were as follows : 

Killed In 



Died of 


British officers , . 
British non-commis 
sioned officers . 
Rank and file . . 
Gun-carriers . . 
Stretcher-bearers . 



















Total ..... 






The strength of the Gold Coast Regiment 
actually in the field never much exceeded 900 rifles. 
The total of effectives belonging to the Regiment 
at any one time in East Africa never numbered 
much more than 3000, and from first to last the 
total number of officers and men of all ranks 
dispatched did not amount to much more than 
3800. When these facts are remembered, the 


above table will be found strikingly to illustrate 
the severity of the fighting in which the Regiment 
took so active a part, and to indicate the ravages 
caused by disease to which prolonged strain and 
hardship exposed it. 

Meanwhile the recruiting efforts made by the 
Government of the Gold Coast, to which during 
1917-18 Captain Armitage, C.M.G., D.S.O., the 
Chief Commissioner of the Northern Territories, 
had devoted special energy and enthusiasm, had 
resulted in the collection of a very large number of 
recruits at the various training-depots throughout 
the Colony, Ashanti, and the Northern Territories ; 
and the Regiment had proved itself to possess such 
fine qualities that, as the early end of the war was 
not at that time anticipated, the War Office 
decided to convert it from a battalion to a brigade. 
This consisted of four full battalions with a battery 
of four 2 '75 guns, and a battery of eight Stokes 
guns, and it was constituted a brigade as from 
the 1st November, 1918, under the command of 
Brigadier-General Rose. It was an open secret 
that, as soon as its organization was complete, the 
Second West African Brigade, as it was now called, 
was to be dispatched on active service to Palestine. 

Then, during the closing days of October and 
the first half of November, came the dramatic 
collapse of the Central Powers and of their Allies 
the debacle in the Balkans, the surrender of Turkey, 
the rout of the Austro-Hungarian armies on the 
Italian front, the succession of hammer-blows 
delivered on the western front from the Swiss 
frontier to the sea, and finally the Armstice granted 


to a defeated, crime-stained enemy, the terms of 
which exactly reflected the magnitude of the 
Allies' victory, and the extent to which Germany 
and Germans had forfeited the trust and the 
respect of all mankind. 

The reading of those terms from the balcony of 
the Public Offices at Accra to a large concourse of 
people, almost beside themselves with enthusiasm 
and delight, was recognized as closing the short 
career of the Gold Coast Service Brigade ; and by 
the end of the following December its disbandment 
was completed. It had existed long enough, how- 
ever, to enable the Gold Coast to boast that it, 
no less than its neighbour the huge territory of 
Nigeria, had been able to raise by voluntary 
enlistment a full brigade of soldiers for the service 
of the Empire in the Great War. 



THERE is another Gold Coast unit, which never served with 
the rest of the Regiment, and which remained behind in 
Portuguese East Africa when the remainder of the battalion 
returned to the West Coast, and of its short but adventure- 
some career some brief account must here be given. 

At the end of February, 1918, nearly two months after 
the arrival of Colonel Goodwin with the main body of the 
Gold Coast Regiment at Port Amelia, Lieutenant G. H. 
Parker, who has been mentioned in an earlier chapter as 
having been in temporary command of the Battery, was 
chosen by Colonel Rose to raise and train a small body of 
Mounted Infantry. He was told to pick out for this purpose, 
from a newly arrived draft of recruits from the Gold Coast, 
170 men ; and to him were attached Lieutenants Drummond 
and Saunders, and five British non-commissioned officers. 

The men chosen were natives of the Hinterland of the 
Gold Coast, to whom, since they for the most part live 
beyond the range of the tsetse fly and the Trypanosoma, 
horses are more or less familiar animals. About 10 per cent, 
of them could ride in the hunched-up, Tod Sloan-like fashion 
peculiar to folk to whom saddles are unusual luxuries ; but 
not a man among them had the vaguest ideas concerning 
horse-mastership and management. 

Four riding-schools were constructed near the camp, upon 
the top of the hill which slopes on the one side to the 
waters of the Indian Ocean, and on the other falls in a sheer 
cliff to the beach at Port Amelia ; and daily for hours at a 
time the European officers and non-commissioned officers 



shouted themselves hoarse, while the men bumped round the 
maneges. A certain number were incurably horse-shy, and 
had to be "returned to store," but the majority were quite 
fearless and enjoyed their daily ride, and though horses had 
not been received at Port Amelia until the end of March, by 
the 30th May No. 1 Troop of the Mounted Infantry of the 
Gold Coast Regiment was declared to be fit to take the field. 

This troop, under the command of Lieutenant Drummond, 
consisting of 1 British non-commissioned officer, 41 rank and 
file, 51 horses, 2 mules, and 2 camp-followers, left Port 
Amelia on the above-mentioned date, and rode up the 
well-worn track from Mtuge to Medo, and thence to 
Wanakoti, General Edwards 1 Headquarters. The troop 
arrived at this place just as the Gold Coast Regiment was 
about to begin its march back to the coast from Korewa. 

It is not possible to follow the history of this troop in 
detail without embarking upon a full account of the campaign 
in the Province of Mozambique, to which the British were 
committed after the Germans had retreated across the Lurio 
River, and this forms no part of the plan of the present work. 
It must, therefore, suffice to note that " Kartucol " from this 
time onward followed hard upon the heels of the enemy 
forces, pursuing them without intermission nearly as far 
south as Kilimane. A little north of this place one and a 
half companies of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd King's 
African Rifles, with a much larger force of Portuguese 
encamped at Nhamaccura, were attacked by the enemy, who, 
having possessed himself of the guns belonging to the 
Portuguese, nearly annihilated the small British detachment, 
Colonel Gore Brown, who was in command, being himself 
killed with a large number of his men. 

After this the enemy went north once more, still pursued 
by " Kartucol," which had now cut loose from its transport 
and was living on the country; and the Germans shortly 
afterwards attacked and invested Namirrue, a place near the 
centre of the province, which was being held by a company 
of the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd King's African Rifles, under 
Captain Bustard. 

DrummoncTs Troop of Gold Coast Mounted Infantry had 


worked its way down in a southerly direction from Wanakoti 
to Namirrue, scouting for the columns, and doing some 
excellent work ; and it had joined up with Captain Bustard's 
little force just before the latter was surrounded. 

Finding that the position which he occupied at the 
moment of the enemy attack was commanded by the German 
guns, Captain Bustard occupied a higher hill near at hand ; 
and, though hopelessly outnumbered, cut off from water, and 
bombarded by a Stokes gun which had been captured by the 
Germans, he made a gallant fight of it, and held out for 
three days. 

Meanwhile the three remaining troops of the Gold Coast 
Mounted Infantry, under Captain Parker, had sailed from 
Port Amelia on the 1st July, arriving on the following day 
at Mussuril Bay, in the entrance to which lies the island of 
Mozambique. The force consisted of 8 British officers, 10 
British non-commissioned officers, 137 rank and file, 84 East 
Africans, % Indians, 11 other details, with 133 horses, 50 
mules, and 141 donkeys. 

The Mounted Infantry were disembarked at Lumbo, on 
the northern shores of the bay, and on the 5th July marched 
twenty miles to Monapo, where their depot was established. 
On the 8th July the Squadron began its march to Nampula, 
eighty miles further inland, where at this time General 
Edwards had his Headquarters ; and travelling an average of 
about twenty miles a day, it reached its destination on the 
afternoon of the llth July. Here Captain Parker learned 
that No. 1 Troop was with Captain Bustard at Namirrue, 
and that it was thought that the small post established there 
would embarrass the retreat of the enemy, who was known to 
be advancing from the south. 

On the following days the Squadron pushed on in the 
direction of Chinga, which lies five-and-forty miles to the 
west of Nampula, walking and leading most of the time, for 
sore backs among the horses were already giving occasion for 
anxiety. From Chinga on the 15th July the Squadron 
marched sixteen miles to Marrupula ; and here on the 
following day Captain Parker received orders to press forward 
as rapidly as possible to Metil, and thence to take up certain 



positions on the Ligonha River. Three days' rations were 
drawn, and though the nights were very cold, the capes and 
spare clothing were all left behind, the men being cut down 
to their body-clothes and one blanket each, in order to ease 
the horses of as much weight as possible. 

On the 17th July the Squadron covered a distance of 
thirty-three miles to Calipo, and on the morrow reached 
Pequerra, and pushed on thence to the banks of the Lighona 
River, travelling on that day thirty-six miles between dawn 
and dusk. 

The geography of the country was very imperfectly 
known, and the only available maps were grossly inaccurate. 
Moreover, whereas it had been anticipated that the Ligonha 
River would only be fordable in a few places, which the 
Squadron had been ordered to hold, it was found that the 
stream was quite shallow for a distance of at least twenty 
miles. This was discovered on the 19th July, on which day 
Metil was reached, the Squadron having marched one hundred 
and two miles to that place from Murrupula in fifty-seven 
hours a very good performance for a newly raised body of 
Mounted Infantry. 

From Metil one troop, under Lieutenant Poole, was sent 
eastward to Napue ; a second, under Lieutenant Viney, went 
toward Muligudge, five miles south-east of Metil ; and a third, 
under Lieutenant Saunders, back along the track towards 
Pequerra, twenty men and Lieutenant Broomfield remaining 
at Metil with Captain Parker. All these mounted patrols 
had orders to try to locate the enemy and to keep touch as 
far as possible with one another and with Captain Parker. 

On the 23rd July news was received that Namirrue was 
invested by the enemy, and that though it was still holding 
out, Colonel Fitzgerald's column, consisting of the 4th 
Battalion of the 4th and the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd King's 
African Rifles, had had to retire when attempting to move 
to Captain Bustard's relief. As Captain Parker was in- 
structed to get as many of his men together as possible in 
order to scout in the direction of Namirrue, the troops under 
Lieutenants Poole and Viney were recalled, and on the 
24th July, Captain Parker moved back to Pequerra, and 


thence proceeded through dense bush to the banks of the 
Ligonha. From here Lieutenant Viney with twelve troopers 
crossed the stream and went scouting in what was believed to 
be the direction of Namirrue. On the 26th July Lieutenant 
Broomfield with twenty men were sent to Lulete, Captain 
Parker and Lieutenant Saunders with twenty-eight men all 
that remained at their disposal moving up the left bank of 
the Ligonha. At 4 p.m. they came upon a track, surprised an 
enemy baggage-train, and captured nine porters, the baggage- 
guard making off. Lieutenant Saunders with a few rifles 
was left to watch the trail, and late that afternoon he had a 
brush with the enemy, and captured a German, an Askari, 
and about a dozen more porters, also killing one or two 
enemy soldiers. 

On the 27th July Captain Parker set off for Pequerra 
with the prisoners, leaving Lieutenant Saunders with a few 
men to watch the track and to snipe and harass the enemy. 
Captain Parker fell in with a superior force of the enemy, 
lost all his prisoners and a good many of his men and horses, 
and was himself reported missing for three days. At the 
end of that time, however, he and the surviving remnant of 
his troop contrived to rejoin. Meanwhile Lieutenant 
Saunders also came into touch with the enemy, was wounded 
and had several of his men and nearly all his horses shot ; 
while Lieutenant Viney, who was surprised and attacked just 
as he had off-saddled, was killed, his men, acting on his 
orders, dispersing into the bush. Immediately afterwards 
word was received that Captain Bustard at Namirrue had 
been compelled to surrender, and with him Lieutenant 
Drummond and what was left of No. 1 Troop of the Gold 
Coast Mounted Infantry. 

This meant that the Gold Coast Mounted Infantry, which 
on the 5th July had numbered, including Lieutenant 
Drummond's troop, about one hundred and sixty-five rank 
and file, was now reduced to sixty-five men ; and Captain 
Parker returned to the depot at Mnapo to train and equip 
further drafts, while Lieutenant Broomfield remained in the 
field in command of the handful of mounted men still effective 
as a fighting force. 


Though the enemy had won successes at Nhamaccura and 
at Namirrue, in both of which places he had succeeded in 
cutting off small British forces, he was now being hunted by 
" Kartucol " from the south into the grip of six converging 
columns ; and for the first time in the history of the whole 
campaign he was so completely cornered that in the neigh- 
bourhood of Chalana a place some five-and-forty miles 
inland from the coast of Antonio Annes he was compelled 
to concentrate all his troops, combining them into a single 

It was while the meshes of the net appeared at last 
to be securely drawn around von Lettow-Vorbeck, that 
Lieutenant Broomfield and his little body of sixty men of 
the Gold Coast Mounted Infantry specially distinguished 
themselves. It was of great moment to General Edwards 
that he should be kept fully and frequently informed of the 
exact position and movements of the enemy, and this service 
was rendered to him by Lieutenant Broomfield. For a week 
the Gold Coast Mounted Infantry maintained close touch 
with the enemy's main body. The country is here very 
thickly populated. The Germans, who were paying for all 
their supplies with cloth which they had looted from the 
Portuguese stores, had made themselves very popular with 
the local natives, who witnessed the wholesale destruction of 
the Portuguese bomas with ecstatic delight. The British, 
who they were assured were hired bravos engaged by the 
Portuguese to capture their deliverers, were proportionately 
unpopular, and the movements of Broomfield's two troops 
were again and again betrayed by the natives to the enemy. 
Often he had to change his resting-place three and four times 
a day ; he was engaged with the enemy almost as frequently ; 
yet his active patrolling continued without interruption, and 
General Edwards was kept regularly informed as to every 
move which the enemy was making. It was, in its way, an 
outstanding little bit of work, carried out with great coolness, 
persistency and skill, and it by itself would abundantly have 
justified all the labour which had been expended in raising 
and training the Gold Coast Mounted Infantry. 

At Numarroe which lies much further to the west and 


must not be confused with Namirrue von Lettow-Vorbeck 
surprised and captured at the end of August a small British 
detachment from what had formerly been one of General 
Northey's columns ; but at Liome on the 31st August and 
on the 1st September he came in for the worst hammering 
he had experienced in the whole course of the campaign, 
losing some fifty of his Europeans and several hundreds of 
his Askari killed, wounded and captured. On this occasion 
Lieutenant Drummond and a number of other captives were 
able to make their escape. 

Thereafter, as is now well known, von Lettow-Vorbeck 
broke away north, succeeded in crossing the Lurio River, and 
thence treked through the Nyassa Company's territory to 
Ngomano on the Rovuma, where at the end of November in 
the preceding year he had re-equipped and refitted at the 
expense of the Portuguese garrison. Crossing the Rovuma, 
he once more entered German East Africa, still hotly pursued 
by battalions of the indefatigable King's African Rifles ; but 
when after the signing of the Armistice he finally surrendered, 
he made his submission to a small police post in Northern 

The Gold Coast Mounted Infantry, once more reinforced 
and under the command of Major Parker, joined in the 
pursuit as far north as Ngomano, but on this occasion saw 
no fighting. On the 3rd October, however, orders were 
received for them to return to the Gold Coast in order to 
rejoin the 2nd West African Brigade ; and as soon as the 
necessary arrangements could be completed, the men of the 
Gold Coast Mounted Infantry were embarked at Port Amelia, 
and on their arrival at Accra were disbanded, and reabsorbed 
into the Gold Coast Regiment. 




Brevet Lieut. -Colonel 

Brevet Major on pro- 
motion to Captain 


Bar to D.S.O. 

M.C. . 



Temporary Lieut. -Colonel 

R. A. de B. Rose, D.S.O. 7/2/17 

Major G. Shaw, M.C. ... 5/8/18 

Lieut. (Temporary Captain) 

T. B. C. Piggott, M.C. ... 5/8/18 

Major H. Goodwin 10/6/17 

Captain H. A. Harman ... 10/6/17 

Lieut.-Colonel R. A. de B. 

Rose, D.S.O 5/8/18 

Captain (now Lieut.-Colonel) 

G. Shaw 24/11/16 

Captain A. J. R. O'Brien ... 24/11/16 

Captain R. H. Poyntz ... 24/1/17 

Captain J. Leslie-Smith ... 13/8/17 

Captain J. G. Foley ... 29/10/17 

Captain H. B. Dawes ... 5/8/18 

Lieutenant T. B. C. Piggott 10/6/17 

Lieutenant G. H. Parker ... 11/3/18 

Lieutenant R. F. Beech ... 11/3/18 

Lieutenant G. B. Kinley ... 30/4/18 

Lieutenant L. B. Gumming 27/7/18 

Captain (now Lieut.-Colonel) 

G. Shaw, M.C 13/8/17 




Bar to M.C... 

Legion d'Honneur 
Croix d'Officier ... 

Croix de Guerre 
Italian Silver Medal 



Captain A. J. R. O'Brien, M.C. 13/8/17 
Captain E. B. Methven, M.C. 5/11/17 
Captain J. G. Foley ... 17/10/18 

Lieut.-Colonel R. A. de B. 
Rose, D.S.0 22/10/17 

Major H. Goodwin, D.S.O. 4/1/17 

Lieutenant. T. B. C. Piggott, 

Major H. Read 




Bar to D.C.M. 

(Russian) Cross St. 
George (3rd Class) 

7024 Corpl. J. Campbell ... 24/1/17 

9532 R.S.M. F. C. Medlock 10/6/17 

28399 Sergt. E. Thornton ... 19/7/17 

69845 Pte. S. G. Radford 

(R.A.M.C.) ... 19/7/17 

1847 Sergt. C. A. Thornett 17/6/18 

7024 Corpl. J. Campbell ... 19/7/17 

69845 Pte. S. G. Radford ... 12/11/16 



... 3948 Corpl. Akanno Ibadan 19/7/17 

113 M.G.C. John Lagos ... 19/7/17 

3844C.S.M:MumuniMoshi 19/7/17 
6727 Corpl. Yessufu Koto- 

koli 19/7/17 

5827 Sergt. Moriambah 

Moshi 19/7/17 

5737 Corpl. Musa Fulani ... 6/7/17 

and 19/7/17 
6557 Temporary Corpl. Seti 

Frafra 24/11/16 

8427 Pte. Yaw Kuma ... 19/7/17 
5493 Corpl. and Tern. Sergt. 

Chililah Grunshi , No date 



D.C.M 8581 L/Corpl. Granda Di- 

kale 19/7/17 

7339 Trptr. Nuaga Kusase 18/4/17 

5048 Corpl. Sandogo Moshi No date 

5397 Dr. Musa Karaki ... No date 

5655 Sergt. Alhaji Grunshi 19/7/17 

7817 Pte. Seidu Chokosi ... 20/9/17 
5860L/Corpl. (Acting- 
Corpl.) Issaka Da- 

garti 18/10/17 

4188 Sergt. Yessufu Mam- 

prusi 18/10/17 

7426 Bugler Nufu Moshi... 1/10/17 

4157 C.S.M.MusaWongara 11/4/17 

5225 Sergt. Mamadu Moshi 25/5/17 

Bar to D.C.M. ... 4961 Sergt. BukaraKukawa 24/11/16 
6557 Temporary Corpl. Seti 

Frafra 15/8/17 

Military Medal ... 4188 Sergt. Yessufu Mam- 

prusi 19/7/17 

6689 Ft. Akuluga Moshi 19/7/17 
6414 Sergt.Palpuku Grumah 19/7/17 

182 M.G.C.Kwenjeh Moshi 19/7/17 

109 M.G.C. Dogali ... 19/7/17 
7842 Pte. Adama Baza- 

berimi 19/9/17 

7248 Pte. Allassan Grumah 15/12/16 

4765 Sergt. Braima Dagarti 15/12/16 

6690 L/Corpl. Kuka Moshi 15/12/16 
6756 Corpl. Timbala;Busanga 15/12/16 
6675 Corpl. Yero Fulani ... 15/12/16 

13 H.G.C. Imoru Dodo 6/2/17 

5593 Corpl. Nuaga Moshi 11/4/17 

6688 Pte. Nubela Busanga 11/4/17 

6833 Pte. Sebidu Moshi ... 11/4/17 

4388 B.S.M. Bukare Moshi 23/5/17 

137 Hdm. G. C. Kwesi John 23/5/17 

94 G. C. Lawani Ibadan 23/5/17 

959 Sergt. Member ... 23/5/17 


To face p. 288. 




Military Medal ... 8481 L/Corpl. Ntonge Etun 24/11/16 

3851 Sergt. AH Wongara... 24/11/16 

170 S. B. Bawa Hausa ... 24/11/16 

200 S. B. Musa Kano ... 24/11/16 

5658 L/Corpl. Sulley Ibadan 24/1/17 

Meritorious Service V. 103 Corpl. J. W. H. 

Medal Amartey ... ... 17/6/18 

O.R.S. G. M. Fraser ... 17/6/18 
31 Qr.Mr.-Sergt. S. Amonoo 

Aidoo 17/6/18 


ON JULY 31ST, 1916. 

Officers 55 

British non-commissioned officers 13 

Rank and file . 1702 

JULY 6TH, 1916. 

Officers 36 

British non-commissioned officers ... ... ... 15 

Clerks 11 

Rank and File 980 

Carriers (battery) ... 177 

Carriers (other) 204 

Storemen ... ... 1 

Officers (R.A.M.C.) 4 


First draft- 25th November, 1916 : 

Officers 4 

Clerks 1 

Rank and file 402 

Second draft 21st April, 1917 : 

Officers 2 

British non-commissioned officers ... ... ... 1 

Rank and file 500 



Third draft 5th July, 1917 : 

Officers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 3 

British non-commissioned officers 2 

Rank and file 799 

Fourth draft 6th October, 1917 : 

Rank and file 401 

Fifth draft 10th December, 1917 : 

Rank and file 500 

N.B. Date shown in each case is that of departure from the 
Gold Coast. 



Letter from the General Officer Commanding " Pamforce " to 
the Officer Commanding the Gold Coast Regiment. 


THE departure of the Gold Coast Regiment from my Com- 
mand furnishes me with a fitting opportunity to place on 
record my high appreciation of the distinguished and gallant 
services which the Gold Coast Regiment has never failed to 
render me within the period that I have had the honour to 
command Pamforce. 

The greatest testimony to the excellence of the services 
rendered by the Gold Coast Regiment is to be found in the 
fact that during the period which the Regiment has formed 
an integral part of Pamforce, it has assisted in reducing the 
enemy forces by at least one-half of his former strength, and 
the measure of the achievement of the Regiment is the 
contrast between the strength of the enemy force when 
Pamforce was formed and his strength to-day. 

I would desire at this juncture to pay a high tribute of 
my regard to the Officer Commanding, Officers, British Non- 
Commissioned Officers, and the Native Ranks, for the initiative, 
resource, and daring which has characterized the service of 
all during this particularly difficult phase of the campaign, 
while I would wish expressly to place on record my high 
appreciation and gratitude for the able and efficient support 
that has been so loyally extended to me by Colonel R. A. 
De B. Rose, D.S.O., to whose soldierly qualities I feel I owe 

I bid good-bye to the Regiment with deep regret, but 



nevertheless with confidence that, no matter in what other 
theatre of war the Regiment may be called on to serve, the 
Gold Coast Regiment will ever prove itself worthy both of 
the confidence of King and Country by upholding the highest 
traditions of British arms, and the sacred heritage of the 
Flag of Saint George. 

I wish you all God-speed, good luck, and a safe return, 
and so farewell. 

(Sgd.) W. F. S. EDWARDS, 

General Officer Commanding Pamforce. 

3rd June, 1918. 

Letter addressed to the Officer Commanding the Gold Coast 
Regiment by the Acting Colonial Secretary. 

No. 5276/M.P.11393/18. 

Colonial Secretary's Office, Accra, Gold Coast, 
6th September, 1918. 


On the occasion of your return to the Colony with 
the first portion of the Gold Coast Regiment which is now 
on its way back from active service in East Africa, I am 
directed by the Governor to convey to you and to ask you 
to transmit to the Officers, European and Native Non- 
Commissioned Officers and the men of the Gold Coast Expe- 
ditionary Force under your command, the thanks of the 
Government of the Gold Coast for the brilliant and gallant 
services which they have rendered, and His Excellency's 
warm congratulations to them on their safe return. 

2. The fine reputation which the Regiment won for 
itself in Togoland and subsequently in the Kameruns has, 
I am to add, been confirmed and enhanced by its behaviour 
during the campaign in East Africa ; and the whole Colony 
is proud of the record of the Regiment which bears its name 
and is recruited from its inhabitants. 

3. The heavy losses in Officers, Non-Commissioned 


Officers, and men which the Regiment has sustained since 
it left the Colony on the 6th July, 1916, though they are 
the inevitable result of its prowess, are deeply mourned in 
the Gold Coast and its Dependencies, and I am to take this 
opportunity of expressing His Excellency's heartfelt sym- 
pathy with you and with the Officers, Non-Commissioned 
Officers, and men of the Expeditionary Force, which you 
have commanded with such conspicuous success. 

4. His Excellency hopes that the Regiment will now, 
for a period, be able to enjoy the rest which it has so nobly 
earned, but that, if the war continues, a further opportunity 
may be afforded to it, at no very distant date, once more to 
render active and valuable assistance to the Empire, 
I have, etc., 

(Sgd.) C. H. HARPER, 
Acting Colonial Secretary. 

Lieutenant-Colonel R. A. De B. Rose, D.S.O., 
Officer Commanding Gold Coast Regiment, 

Resolution passed by the Legislative Cotmcil on the %8th 
October, 1918. 

That this Council do record its proud appreciation of 
the reputation as a fighting force won by the Gold Coast 
Regiment in East Africa ; and that this Council do request 
His Excellency to convey to Lieutenant-Colonel Rose, D.S.O., 
and to the Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and men of 
the Regiment its congratulations on the distinguished record 
of service in the field, which the Regiment has maintained 
throughout the Great War, and its deep sympathy with all 
ranks in the heavy casualties which the Regiment has 


A COMPANY of the Gold Coast Be- , 
giment, 4, 31, 35, 37, 38, 50, 53, ! 
61, 82, 84, 119, 131, 135, 215, 
222, 236, 244, 253, 260 

Accra, 4, 275, 278 ; volunteers from, 
56 ; school at, 64 

JEneas, the transport, 5 

Aeroplane, British, shot down, 155 

Aeroplanes, use of, 111 

Africa, East, climate in August, 
18 ; bush fires, 18 ; commence- 
ment of the dry season, 71 ; the 
carrier, 151 

African, an ancient, acts as guide, 

Aidoo, Quarter-Master Sergt. S. 
Amonoo, awarded the Meri- 
torious Service Medal, 289 

Airship, German, 188 

Aleppo, 189 

Amartey, Corpl. J. W. H., awarded 
the Meritorious Service Medal, 

Ankuabe, 227 ; capture of, 228 

Ant-bears, 111 ; size of holes, 112 

Antonio Annes, 284 

Arab house, 208, 215 

Armistice, terms, 277 

Armitage, Capt., Chief Commis- 
sioner of the Northern Terri- 
tories, 277 

Armoured Car Battery, the 7th 
Light, 167, 174 

Arnold, Captain, 206 

, Lieut., death, 39 

Ashanti, 4 

Askari, the German native soldier, 
22; reasons for the fidelity, 74, 
77 ; result of the military system, 
75-77, 203; reputation, 77; de- 
sertion, 166 

Austro-Hungarian armies, rout, 

Avenell, Colour- Sergt., 112 
Awudu Arigungu, Sergt., killed, 96 

Bakano, Sergt.-Major, killed, 


B COLUMN, march to Naurus, 204 

B Company of the Gold Coast Re- 
giment, 4, 20, 29, 35, 37, 50, 64, 
61, 78, 79, 82, 93, 95, 101, 121, 
131, 138, 153, 156, 167-169, 172, 
175, 201, 228, 242, 270, 272 

Bagamoyo, 10, 39 

Baillie, Lieut., 112, 124, 167, 172 ; 
wounded, 174, 178; brought to 
safety, 177 

Baldwin, Lieut., 146 

Baluchis, the 129th, 47, 58, 142, 
144, 154, 155, 156, 164; at Ma- 
kangaga, 94 ; casualties, 145 ; 
engagement at Mwiti, 200 

Baluchis, the 130th, 40 

Banda, or bush -huts, 234 

Banda Hill, 49, 51, 53 

Bandari, 219 

Bangalla, 207 ; river, 199 

Barrett, Lieut., 226; advance on 
Chirimba Hill, 241 ; wounded, 
246, 248 

Baverstock, Colour - Sergt., 
wounded, 105 

Bazaberimi, Pte. Adama, awarded 
the Military Medal, 288 

Beattie, Colour - Sergt., 56 ; 
wounded, 32 

Beaumont's Post, 86, 87, 89, 90, 94 

Beech, Lieut. R. F., 82, 235, 263; 
awarded the Military Cross, 286 

Beka, 131, 332 

Belgian troops, advance on Ma- 
henge, 108 

Benharn, Captain, illness, 181 

Berry, Lieut., 40 



Beves, General, in command of the 

Division, 91 ; plan of attack, 93 ; 

at Narungombe, 107; at Lindi, 

Biddulph, Capt., 51 ; wounded, 51 ; 

death, 56 
Biltcliffe, Lieut., 90; at Port 

Amelia, 208 
Bisshopp, Lieut., 226, 235, 237; 

at Muapa, 230 ; advance on Chi- 

rimba Hill, 241 ; patrol -work, 

Bliss Hill, 44 
Bogoberi, gun-carrier, 84 
Bomas, or entrenched forts, 217 
Bompkin, Major von, taken pri- 
soner, 59 
Brady, Capt., 112 
Bray, Lieut., 30; killed at the 

battle of Nkessa, 39 
, Lieut., 89; at Lingaula Ridge, 

91 ; wounded, 105 
Briscoe, Capt., 112, 191 
British columns in East Africa, 

disadvantages in fighting, 148- 

152 ; transport, attack on, 87 
Brits, Brig. -General, in command 

of South African mounted troops, 


Broomfield, Lieut., 282, 283, 284 
Brown, Colonel Gore, killed, 280 
Buckby, Capt., 135, 136 
Buffalo, charges through No. 1 

Column, 199 
Bukari, Acting- Sergeant, awarded 

theD.C.M., 30; death, 30 
Bulu, 225 

Busanga, Corpl. Bila, 139 
, Pte. Nubela, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 
, Corpl. Timballa, wounded, 

69 ; awarded the Military Medal, 

Bush fighting, 3, 151, 158; fires, 

18, 110 ; huts, 234 
Bussell, Lieut., 131 
Bustard, Capt., 280, 281 ; sur- 
render, 283 
Butler, Capt. Jack, at the battle 

of Kikirunga, 26-29 ; killed, 29, 

32 ; characteristics, 29 
Bweho Chini, engagement at, 


CALIPO, 282 

Campbell, Corpl. J., 112, 131; 
awarded the D.C.M. and Bar, 59, 
287 ; bravery, 103 

Capetown, 274 

Cavalry, the 25th, destruction of 
the camp, 183 ; at Lulindi, 195 

Chaimite, the, 221 

Chalana, 284 

Chaqual, canvas bag of water, 117 

Chasi, 16 

Chaundler, Lieut., 235 

Chemera, 44, 46, 71 

Chigugu, 182, 186, 208 

Chikukwe, 180 

Chilonga, 269 

Chinga, 281 

Chingwea, 166, 185 

" Chini," meaning of the word, 47 

Chirimba Hill, 239; advance on, 
240-244 ; action at, 244-247 

Chisona, 266, 268 

Chiure, 222 

Chiwata, 191, 195 

Chokosi, Pte. Seidu, awarded the 
D.C.M., 288 

Chuplies, meaning of the word, 9 

Clarke, Lieut., 224, 234, 237 

Clifford, Sir Hugh, Governor of 
the Gold Coast Colony, 4 ; ban- 
quet to the officers, 4 

Column, No. 1 : 98, 101, 117, 126, 
132, 134, 142, 143, 153, 157, 159, 
163, 164, 166; at Ukuli, 94; 
march to Ruponda, 184 ; at 
Ndanda, 187 ; occupy Mwiti, 
187; Luchemi, 194; at Lua- 
talla, 198; charged by a bull 
buffalo, 199 ; at Bangalla, 201 ; 
broken up, 204 

, No. 2 : 94, 96-98, 102, 103, 

104, 118, 127, 166, 195 

, No. 3 : 94, 99, 102, 195 

Gumming, Lieut. L. B., 238 ; 
awarded the Military Cross, 286 

Cuneen, Colour-Sergt., 167, 172; 
killed, 173, 178 

Cunliffe, General, 108 


" D. M. B.," the Indian Mountain 

Battery, 94, 96, 233, 242, 247, 

259, 272 



Dadorna, 11, 12, 109 

Dagarti, Sergt. Braima, awarded 

the Military Medal, 288 
, Corpl. 'Issaka, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 
Dakawa, 16 
D'Amico, Capt., 55 
Dar-es- Salaam, 10, 12, 20, 40, 41 
Dar - es - Salaam - Lake Tanganyika 

Railway, 72, 109 
Dawes, Capt. H. B., 144, 224, 

225 ; wounded, 194 ; captures 

Pumone, 227 ; at Ankuabe, 228 ; 
awarded the Military Cross, 286 
Dep6t Company, 78 ; mobilized, 

87 ; at Port Amelia, 227 
Derajat, 94 

Dhoiv, or sailing-boats, 220 
Dikale, Corpl. Granda, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 

Dobell, Major-General, in com- 
mand of the British and French 

troops, 1 ; at Liome, 1 
Dodo, Imoru, awarded the Military 

Medal, 288 
Dogali, M. G. C., awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 
Donho, 34 
Downer, Lieut., 56, 112; at Gold 

Coast Hill, 58 

Drummond, Lieut., 279, 280, 285 
Duck, Capt., 214, 216, 255 
Duncan, Lieut., killed, 61 
Durban, 5, 274 

EAST African Brigades 1 : the 1st, 
10; the 2nd, 10, 35; the 3rd, 
60; Mounted Rifles, 21 ; capture 
Germans, 22 

Edwards, Brig.-General W. F. S., 
Inspector-General of Communi- 
cations, 8; inspects the Gold 
Coast Regiment, 8, 12 ; at Port 
Amelia, 233 ; Rock Camp, 238 ; 
Kalima, 256 ; plans to surround j 
Kohl, 269; at Nampula, 281; \ 
farewell message, 292 

Eglon, Lieut., 93; at Lingaula 
Ridge, 95 ; killed, 101, 105 

Enslin, General, 17 

Etun, Corpl. Ntonge, 229; awarded 
the Military Medal, 289 

FITZGERALD, Colonel, 282 

Flatman, Capt., killed, 240, 248 

Foley, Capt. J. G., 56, 82, 224, 
243, 248 ; at the battle of Rumbo, 
83-86; awarded the Military 
Cross and Bar, 89, 286, 287 ; at 
the battle of Mitoneno, 145 

Foster, Lieut., exploit at Ruangwa 
Chini, 155 ; act of heroism, 176 ; 
awarded the Military Cross, 177 ; 
the D.C.M. and Bar, 287 

Fra Fra, Temp. Corpl. Seti, 
awarded the D.C.M. and Bar 
287, 288 

Fraser, G. M., awarded the Meri- 
torious Service Medal, 289 

Fulani, Corpl. Amandu, killed, 69 

, Corpl. Musa, awarded the 

D.C.M., 287 

, Corpl. Yero, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 

Fulanis, 56 

G COMPANY of the Gold Coast Re- 
giment, 4, 31, 35, 36, 38 ; broken 
up, 44, 46 

Gara, 274 

German East Africa, mission sta- 
tions, 22 

Germans, surrender at Kamina, 1 ; 
retreat, 24, 121, 124, 139, 146; 
casualties, 32, 81; evacuate 
Nkessa, 39 ; bombard Kibata, 48 ; 
attack on Gold Coast Hilt, 53 ; 
accuracy of firing, 56 ; evacuate 
it, 58 ; treachery, 63 ; attack on 
Njimbwe, 67 ; headquarters at 
Massassi, 72, 162, 194 ; expelled 
from the Rufiji, 72, 74 ; reasons 
for the fidelity of the native 
soldiers, 74, 77; result of the 
military system, 75-77, 203; 
ambush against, 79-81 ; flag of 
truce, 81, 86 ; fire on a British 
transport, 87 ; attack on Narun- 
gombe, 98-104 ; retire to Mi- 
hambia, 109, 120, 124; at 
Ndessa, 116 ; defeated at Bweho 
Chini, 130; rear-guard actions, 
131, 271 ; engagements at Na- 
hungen, 134-139 ; Mitoneno, 
144-146; advantages of their 
position, 148-152; at Ruangwa 



Chini, 156 ; stores captured, 159, i 
164 ; defeated at Buponda, 164 ; 
capture of their correspondence, i 
165 ; fear of their Commander- i 
in-Chief, 165, 166; attacked at j 
Lukuledi, 172-178; at Nangus, ! 
185; taken prisoners, 195; sur- 
render, 196, 202 ; evacuate Medo, 
249 ; campaign in Mozambique, 

Germany, declaration of war, 1 ; ; 
armistice terms, 278 

Gifford, Colonel, in command of 
Pamforce column, 233 

Gold Coast Colony, 4 ; recruiting ' 
campaign, 277 

Gold Coast Hill, 49 ; attack on, 53- < 
55 ; evacuated, 58 

Gold Coast Mounted Infantry, I 
campaign in Mozambique, 279- i 
285 ; at Accra, 285 

Gold Coast Regiment, mobilized, 1 ; j 
invasion of Togoland, 1 ; the I 
Kameruns, 2 ; courage and en- ' 
durance, 2, 105; at Sekondi, 4, I 
275 ; appearance, 4, 9 ; on board i 
the JEneas, 5 ; inspection at ; 
Durban, 5 ; at Kilindini, 6 ; jour- 
ney to Ngombezi, 6-8; service 
kit, 8 ; characteristics, 9, 15 ; 
join up with the Royal Fusiliers, 
11 ; march to Msiha, 12-15 ; at 
Dakawa. 16; march to theNgere- 
Ngere, 17-20; transport burnt, 
19 ; at Metomba, 22-24 ; the 
battle of Kikirunga, 25-32; cas- 
ualties, 32, 39, 55, 67, 104, 132, 
139, 146, 178, 181, 194, 248, 
276; at Kiringezi, 34; occupy 
Nkessa, 39 ; march to Dar-es- 
Salaam, 40 ; on board the Ingoma, 
41 ; at Kilwa Kisiwana, 44 ; 
march to Chemera, 44-46 ; re- 
duction in the personnel, 46 ; 
march to Mtumbei Chini, 47 ; 
attack on Gold Coast Hill, 50- 
55; reinforcements, 56, 112; 
total strength, 57, 88, 89, 92, 
113, 205, 276, 290; at Ngararnbi 
Chini, 61 ; Njimbwe, 65, 69 ; 
shortage of food, 68, 261 ; dis- 
cipline, 68, 129 ; march to 
Mitole, 70, 78; at Mnasi, 79; 

Migeri-geri, 82 ; Rumbo, 86, 89 ; 
Ngomania, 95 ; Makangaga, 95 ; 
join up with No. 2 Column, 95 ; 
retransferred to No. 1 Column, 
98 ; attack on Narungombe, 101- 
104 ; at Mikikole, 110 ; Liwinda 
Ravine, 117 ; sufferings from 
thirst, 125-129 ; at Mbombomya, 
127 ; Ndessa Juu 129 ; Kitandi, 
130 ; march on Nahungen, 131 ; 
attack on, 134-139 ; meeting 
with the Nigerian Brigade, 140 ; 
attack on Mitoneno, 144-146 ; 
bathing and washing, 147 ; in 
reserve, 153 ; advance on Ru- 
ponda, 163, 185 ; march to Luku- 
ledi, 167, 168 ; at Lulindi, 198 ; 
Bangalla River, 199, 207; se- 
lected for service in Portuguese 
East Africa, 209 ; at Mingoya, 
214; transferred from H.M. 
Salamis to H.M.S. Lurikwa, 215 ; 
at Port Amelia, 222, 274, 279 ; 
Meza, 280, 234 ; at the battle of 
Chirimba Hill, 244-247 ; advance 
on Mwalia, 253; at Milinch 
Hills, 261 ; respite from fighting, 
273 ; reception at Kumasi, 276 ; 
list of honours and decorations 
awarded to, 286-289; farewell 
message from Brig.-Gen. Ed- 
wards, 292. 

Gold Coast Service Brigade, 277 ; 
disbanded, 278 

Goodwin, Lieut.-Colonel H., 31, 35, 
37, 58, 207; wounded, 53; in 
command of the Gold Coast 
Regiment, 60 ; appointed Acting 
Lieut.-Colonel, 89 ; awarded the 
Croix de Guerre, 89, 287; the 
D.S.O., 90, 286 ; invalided to the 
base, 91 ; in command of Com- 
panies, 141 ; advance on Mi- 
homo, 141 ; at the battle of 
Mitoneno, 144, 146 ; attack on 
Lukuledi, 174; voyage to Port 
Amelia, 215, 279; on board 
H.M. Hongbee, 216; advance 
on Chirimba Hill, 244 

Grant, Colonel, 94 

Greene, Capt., 82 

Greene, Capt., killed at the battle 
of Nkessa, 39 



Green's Post, 61 

Gregg's Post, 110, 113, 119 

Griffiths, Colonel, 266 ; in com- 
mand of " Norforce," 268 ; cap- 
tures Mwariba, 270 

Grumah, Pte. Allassan, awarded 
the Military Medal, 288 

Grumah, Sergt. Palpuku, awarded 
the D.C.M., 57; the Military 
Medal, 288 

Grunshi, Sergt. Alhaji, awarded 
the D.C.M., 288 

Grunshi, Corpl. Chililah, awarded 
theD.C.M., 287 

Gush, Capt., 167; wounded, 177, 

HANDKNI, base at, 11, 15 

" Hanforce," 118, 153 

Hannyngton, Brig. - General , in 
command of the 2nd East African 
Brigade, 10; telegram of con- 
gratulation, 33; military opera- 
tions at Kilwa, 43 ; plan of at- 
tack, 49, 113, 153; awards 
decorations, 57 ; resumes com- 
mand, 107 

Harman, Capt. H. A., 47, 50; 
wounded, 53; awarded the 
D.S.O., 90, 286; at Minoya, 
214, 215; Mahiba, 225; Na- 
maaka, 235; advance on Chi- 
rimba Hill, 244, 245 

Harman' s Kopje, 50, 51, 55 

Harper, C. H., letter from, 294 

Harris, Capt., 260; at Port 
Amelia, 208; Mkufi, 222; ad- 
vance on Chirimba Hill, 240 

Hart, Colour- Sergt., at Mkufi, 

Hartland, Capt., 112 

Hassan Bazaberimi, Company 
Sergeant-Major, killed, 87 

Hausa, S. B. Bawa, awarded the 
Military Medal, 289 

Hellis, Capt., 56 

Hill, Major, 104 

Hongbee, H.M., 216 

Hornby, Major, 112, 274 

Hoskyns, Major-General, in com- 
mand of the First Division, 10 

Hymettua, H.M., 274 

I COMPANY of the Gold Coast 

Regiment, 4, 31, 35, 36, 38, 40, 46, 

89, 90, 135, 144, 164, 177, 222, 

225, 228, 236, 242-247, 253, 269 
Ibadan, Corpl. Akanno, awarded 

theD.C.M., 287 
Ibadan, G. C. Lawani, awarded 

the Military Medal, 288 
Ibadan, Corpl. Sulley, awarded the 

Military Medal, 59, 289 
Igumi, 186 

Indian Cavalry, the 25th, 158 
Indian Mountain Battery, or the 

"D.M.B.," 94, 96, 233, 242, 247, 

259, 272 

Indian Ocean, 219, 279 
Ingoma, the transport, 41 
Isaacs, Lieut., taken prisoner, 39 ; 

released, 196 
Issaka, Kipalsi, Corpl., bravery, 



Jerimita, 262 

John, Hdm. G. C. Kwesi, awarded 

the Military Medal, 288 
Jumbe Nambude, 200 
Jumbe Nwinama, mission station, 

" Juu," meaning of the word, 47 

KALIMA, 256 

Kameruns, 1 ; fighting in, 2 

Kamina, wireless installation at, 1 

Kano, S. B. Musa, awarded the 
Military Medal, 289 

Karaki, Dr., Musa, awarded the 
D.C.M., 288 

" Kartucol," 233 ; advance on Chi- 
rimba Hill, 242, 244; Mwalia, 
255; Koronje, 258-260; pursuit 
of the Germans, 280 

Kassanga, 34 

Kay, Lieut., 259 

Kelton, Capt., 50, 55 

Kent, Sergt., killed, 271 

Kerr, Hauptmann, 116 

Kibata, mission station, 43, 47, 57 ; 
shelled by the Germans, 48 

Kibega river, 65 

Kidugato, 41 

Kigome, 11 

Kihendye, 97 



Kihindi Hill, 142, 143 

Kihindo Juu, 127 

Kihumburu, 98, 99, 100 

Kikirunga Hill, 25, 26 ; battle of, 

Kilageli, 96 

Kilirnane, 280 

Kilima-njaro, 7 

Kilindini, 6, 11, 209 

Kilney, Lieut., 53 

Kilossa, 11, 12, 109 

Kilwa Kisiwani, 42, 44, 78, 87 

Kilwa Kivinje, 73, 78, 79 

Kimamba, 17 

Kingani Eiver, 10 

King's African Rifles, 48, 50, 58, 
65, 94, 97, 142, 143, 157, 166, 
168, 177 ; at the battle of Kiki- 
runga, 30 ; advance, 33 ; at the 
battle of Nkessa, 37; Eumbo, 
87; Narungombe, 101-104; Mi- 
hambia, 117, 119; Nahungen, 
134 ; occupy Lukuledi, 180 ; ad- 
vance on Massassi, 182 ; at 
Ndanda, 186 ; Mahiba, 227 ; dis- 
patched to Mozambique, 252; 
advance on Mwalia, 254; Ko- 
ronje, 258; Jerimita, 262; Nai- 
robi, 273 

Kinley, Lieut. G. B., 95 ; encounter 
with Germans, 79-81 ; awarded 
the D.S.O., 82; the Military 
Cross, 89, 286 

Kiperele Chini, 158 

Kipondira, 98 

Kiringezi, 34 

Kirongo, 78, 79, 96 

Kirongo-Ware, 96 

Kissalu, 34 ; mines on the road, 40 

Kisserawe, 41 

Kitambi, 47, 55, 71, 78, 235 

Kitandi, 128, 130 

Kitiia, 109, 113, 116, 119 

Kiwambi, 63 

Kiyombo, 61, 65 

Koenigsberg, 48 

Kohl, Major, at Chirimba Hill, 
239; plans to surround, 269; 
loss of his baggage, 270 ; retreat 
to Mozambique, 272 

Koloi, 226 

Kondoa-Irangi, 11 

Korewa, 271, 272 

Korogwe, 11, 44 

Koronje, 252, 256; advance on, 

258 ; evacuated, 259 
Kotokoli, Corpl. Yessufu, awarded 

the D.C.M., 287 
! Kukawa, Sergt. Bukara, Bar to 

D.C.M., 288 
Kuma, Yaw, awarded the D.C.M., 


Kumasi, 2, 4, 276 
Kusase, Nuaga, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 
Kwevi Lombo, 16 

LAGOS, John, awarded the D.C.M., 

Lamont, Lieut., 112, 243, 248 

Leal, Major, 252 

Legislative Council, resolution, 294 

Leslie- Smith, Capt. J., wounded, 
105; at Namarika, 235; patrol 
work, 262-264 ; awarded the Mili- 
tary Cross, 286 

Lettow-Vorbeck, von, Commander- 
in-Chief, 59; at Massassi, 72, 
133, 148, 162 ; attack on a British 
transport, 87; defeat at Bweho 
Chini, 130; pluck and resource, 
151, 166, 198; forces, 152; at 
Buwanga, 163 ; refuses to sur- 
render, 166 ; actions, 181 ; con- 
certed movements, 182 ; at Ne- 
wala, 194 ; expelled from German 
East Africa, 196, 198; captures 
ammunition at Ngomano, 207 ; 
march on Port Amelia, 208 ; cha- 
racter of his military operations, 
212, 251 ; at Nanguari, 213 ; raid- 
ing parties, 213,' 221; at Na- 
nungu, 265; Wanakoti, 266; 
retreat to Mozambique, 272 ; 
surrender, 285 

Ligonha River, 282 

Lihonja, 159 

Likawage, 79 

Lindi, 73, 108, 118, 133, 148, 207 

" Linforce " Column, 148, 161, 251 ; 
joined by the Nigerian Brigade, 
162 ; advance to Mtama, 167 ; 
actions, 181, 185 

Lingaula Ridge, 91, 93, 95 

Liome, 285 

Lions, at Msalu, 265 



Liwale, 73, 78, 118 

Liwinda Bavine, 109, 110, 111 ; 

water depot at, 113, 117 
Lome, 1, 76 
Loren9o Marquez, 216 
Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 

10, 35, 37 
Luatalla, 198 
Luchemi, 190, 194 
Lugomya Eiver, 61 
Lujendi River, 213 
Lukigura River, 10 
Lukuledi, mission station at, 167, 

169-171; attack on, 168-178; 

destruction of the church, 183 

River, 169, 186 

Lulete, 283 

Lulindi, 195, 198 

Lumbo, 281 

Lunkwa, H.M.S., 215 

Lurio, 213, 222, 265; River, 214, 

272, 285 

Lusinje, 256, 261 
Lustalla, 201 

MACPHERSON, Capt., 86, 87 ; at the ! 

battle of Nkessa, 36; Rumbo, 90 
Mafisa, 17, 41 
Magaruna River, 222 
Magaura River, 86, 91 
Magdalene, H.M.T., 274 
Magogoni, 41 
Maguida River, 228 
Mahazi, 15 
Mahenge, 109 
Mahiba, 225 

Mahiwa, 208 ; action at, 181, 198 
Mahu, 267 

Makangaga, 79, 94, 95 
Makindu River, 16 
Makochera, 207 
Makonde Plateau, 188, 190 
Makotschera, 78 
Makuku, 256, 262 
Mama Juma, Sergt.-Major, 173 
Mambir River, 190 
Mamprusi, Sergt. Yessufu, 173 ; 

wounded, 175 ; awarded the 

D.C.M. and the Military Medal, 


Manambiri, 235 
Manasara Kanjaga, Sergt.-Major, 

awarded the D.C.M., 57 

Mangano, 159 

Manyambas, 190, 195 

Marenjende, 127 

Marrupula, 281 

Maruchiras, 190 

Massambassi, 20 

Massassi, mission station at, 72, 
133, 148, 182, 208 ; headquarters 
of the Germans, 72, 162, 194 

Matandu River, 43 

Matombo Mission Station, 22, 24, 

Mawerenye, 127 

Maxwell, Lieut., 112 

May, Colour-Sergt., killed at the 
battle of Nkessa, 39 

Mbalama, 256 

Mbalawala hills, 201 

Mbemba, 158 

Mbemkuru River, 118, 131, 132, 
133, 135, 141, 144, 147, 153, 157, 
159, 160 ; valley of, 132 

Mbombomya, 110 ; water-holes at, 
115, 117, 127 

Mborio, or fortified posts, 217 

McElligott, Capt., 112, 123, 124, 
135, 138, 144 ; patrol work, 191- 
193, 201 

McEvoy, Lieut., wounded, 257 

Mecklenburg, Duke Adolf Fredrich 
of, Governor of Togoland, 76 

Medlock, Sergt.-Major F. C., 
awarded the D.C.M., 90, 287 

Medo, 223, 235, 238, 250; en- 
gagement at, 236; evacuated, 

Member, Sergt., awarded the Mili- 
tary Medal, 288 

Methven, Capt. E. B., 112; at 
Liwinda Ravine, 113; scouting 
expedition, 114 ; advance on Mi- 
hambia, 122, 123; attack on, 
Nahungu, 136; gallant deed, 
139 ; at the battle of Mitoneno, 
145 ; attack on Ruangwa Chini, 
156 ; march to Lukuledi, 167 ; 
attack on, 171-173; wounded, 
173, 178; awarded a bar to the 
Military Cross, 179, 287 

Metil, 281, 282 

Meza, 224, 230 

Mgeta River, 39, 40 

Miesi River, 199, 201 



Migeri-geri, 82 

Mihambia, 109, 115, 119; attack 

on, 117, 120 ; evacuated, 124 
Mihomo, 141 
Mikesse, 73 
Mikikama, 99 
Mikikole, 110, 113, 117 
Milinch Hills, 260 
Mingoya, 208, 214 
Minokwe, 97 
Mission stations in German East 

Africa, 22 

Mitole, 45, 46, 71, 78 
Mitoneno, 142; advance on, 143; 

engagement at, 144-146 
Miwale HiU, 190 ; Eiver, 190 
Mkufi, 222 

Mkundi, 194, 195 ; Eiver, 17 
Mnapo, 281, 283 
Mnasi, 78, 79, 89 
Mnero, mission station at, 159 
Mnindi, 95 

Mnitshi, 110, 114, 115, 117, 127 
Mombassa, 6 

Montepuez Kiver, 238, 258 
Moon, eclipse, 93 
Morogoro Mission Station, 11, 12, 


Moschi, 10 
Moshi, Pte. Akuluga, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 
, Sergt. -Major Bukare, 86 ; 

awarded the D.C.M., 57; the 

Military Medal, 288 
, Corpl. Kuka, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 
, Kwenjeh, awarded the Mili- 
tary Medal, 288 
, Sergt. Mamadu, 84 ; awarded 

the D.C.M., 288 
, Sergt. Moriambah, awarded 

the D.C.M., 287 
, Mumuni, awarded the D.C.M., 

, Corpl. Nuaga, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 ; 
, Bugler Nufu, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 
, Corpl. Sandogo, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 
, Pte. Sebidu, awarded the 

Military Medal, 288 
Mountain Battery, the 24th, 58 

Mountain Battery, the 27th, 94, 

117, 119, 134, 142, 157, 177 
Mozambique, 216, 272; campaign 

in, 280 

Mpara, 44, 78 
Mpepo, 109 

Mpingo, 110, 114, 121, 122, 126 
Mpoto, 195 
Msalu Boma, 262, 264 ; Eiver, 268 ; 

bridge across, 269 
Msiha, 12 

Mtama, 167, 181, 208 
Mtandula, 97 
Mtua, 208 

Mtuge, 219, 221, 223, 225 
Mtumbei Chini, 47, 71 
Juu, Mission Station, 43, 47, 

Muapa, 229 

Mudge, Sergt., killed, 246, 248 
Mule, the transport, character, 151 
Muligudge, 282 
Murray, Capt., in command of 

H.M.S. Lurikwa, 215 
Murray, Lieut., 86 
Murrupula, 282 
Musa Fra-Fra, Corpl., instinct 

for discovering water, 70 
Mussuril Bay, 281 
Mwalia, 251 ; advance on, 258-256 
Mwambia Eidge, 270 
Mwariba, 270 
Mwengei, 57, 58 
Mwiti Mission Station, 187, 190, 

200; Eiver, 195 

NAHUNGU, 131 ; attack on, 184- 
139, 206 

Naiku Eiver, 182 

Nairobi, 7, 273 

Nairombo, 195 

Nakalala, 196 

Namaaka, 235 ; fight at, 236-238 

Namarala, 227, 228 

Namaranje, 46 

Namarika, 234 

Namatwe, 61, 70 

Nambingo, 201 

Nambunjo Hill, 121, 126; peri- 
meter camp at, 122 

Namburage, 61 

Namehi, 158 

Nampula, 281 



Namirrue, 280, 281, 282, 284 

Nanguari, 218 

Nangus, 185 

Nanungu, 256, 265, 269 

Nanunya, 223, 226, 228 

Napue, 282 

Narungombe, 98, 107, 109 ; attack 

on, 99-104 
Nash, Lieut., 201 
Natovi, 234 
Naurus, 205 

Naylor, Colour- Sergt., 136 
Ndanda, mission station, 186, 207 
Ndessa, 110, 116 ; attack on, 118 
Ndessa Juu, 129; water-holes at, 


Ndomondo, 186 
Nelson, Colour- Sergi, 61, 63 ; shot, 

64 ; discovery of his body, 67 ; 

burial, 68 

Nerungombe, engagement at, 94 
Newala, 78, 188, 194; Germans 

surrender, 196 ; abandoned, 211 
Ngarambi Chini, 60, 61, 70 
Ngaura Eiver, 83, 86 
Ngere-Ngere, the, 17, 20 
Ngomania, 95 
Ngomano, 197, 207, 285 
Ngombezi, 8, 12 
Nhamaccura, 280, 284 
Nicholl, Bev. Captain, 68 
Nigerian Brigade, 74, 127; at , 

Kufiji, 108; advance on Buale, j 

118; engagement at Bweho Chini, i 

130; meeting with the Gold ; 

Coast Begiment, 140 ; march to ' 

join up with " Linforce," 161 ; 

actions, 181 ; occupy Chiwata, 

191 ; capture a German hospital, 


Nigeri-geri, 78 
Nivanga, 78 

Njengao, action at, 181, 198 
Njijo, 78 

Njimbwe, 61, 63, 65, 66, 69, 70, 74 
Nkessa, battle of, 35-39, 196 
Nkufi, 218 
" Norforce," 268 
Norris, Lieut., at Pumone, 228 
Northey, General, 252 ; advance on 

Mpepo, 109 
Nuaga Kusasi, battery trumpeter, 

Numarroe, 284 

Nyassa Company territory, 216 

O'BRIEN, Capt. A. J. B., 47; 
awarded the Military Cross and 
Bar, 56, 286, 287 ; wounded, 105 

O'Brien, Capt. J. M., 249 

O'Grady, General, 20, 50, 57, 181 

One-Stick HiU, 58 

Orr, Colonel, 202 ; in command of 
the 3rd East African Brigade, 
91, 93; in command of No. I 
Column, 94 ; attack on Buangwa 
Chini, 157 

PAKHALS, or long tins, 114, 126 

Palestine, 277 

"Pamforce," 212, 221; at Meza, 
280; division of, 233; advance 
to Koronje, 252 

Parker, Capt. G. H., 123, 222; 
trains the Mounted Infantry, 
279 ; at Mussuril Bay, 281 ; 
awarded the Military Cross, 286 

Path, cutting a, 97 

Pathans, the 40th, 64, 55, 56, 59, 
65, 74, 82, 94, 102; casualties, 
67 ; at the battle of Bumbo, 88- 

Payne, Sergt., 131 

Pequerra, 282, 283 

Percy, Lieut., 56; wounded, 182, 

Phillips, Colonel, 252 

Piggott, Capt. T. B. C., wounded, 
53; awarded the Italian Silver 
Medal, 89, 287; the Military 
Cross, 90, 286 

Pike, Lieut., at Port Amelia, 208 

Pioneer Company of the Gold 
Coast Begiment, 4, 85, 36, 38, 
51, 65, 70, 78, 94, 101, 119, 126, 
135, 186, 164, 174, 190 ; at the 
battle of Kikirunga, 26-82 ; Mi- 
geri-geri, 89; ambush against, 
90 ; at the battle of Mitoneno, 
146; Wangoni, 206; Port 
Amelia, 223 

Poer, Capt, H. C. C. de la, Special 
Service Officer to the Gold Coast 
Begiment, 8 

Pomba Bay, 214, 217 

Poole, Lieut., 282 



Pori Hill, 135, 136, 139 

Tort Amelia, 207, 208, 217, 279 ; 
defence of, 214 

Portal, Sir Gerald, on the East 
African carrier, 151 

Portuguese East Africa, 72 ; am- 
munition at Ngomano captured, 
207 ; division of, 216 

Potter, Lieut. -Col., in command 
of the training depots, 209 

Poyntz, Capt. R. H., 31; at the 
battle of Nkessa, 86-88; ad- 
vance on Gold Coast Hill, 51 ; 
wounded, 53 ; awarded the Mili- 
tary Cross, 59, 286 

Pretorius, Major, 17 ; acts as guide 
to the Nigerian Brigade, 161 

Pumone, 224, 225, 227 

Punjabis, the 29th, 37 

Punjabis, the 33rd, 90, 94, 102 

Pye, Capt,, 51 ; killed, 53 

RADFORD, Pte. S. G., awarded the 
D.C.M. and Cross of St, George, 

Eead, Major H., 44, 87 ; voyage to 
Accra, 274 ; awarded the O.B.E., 

Reid, Lieut., 238 

Bidgeway, Colonel, in command of 
No. 2 Column, 96 

Rifles, the 55th, occupy Newala, 

Road-mine, explosion, 247 

Robertson, Lieut., 224 

Rock Camp, 288 ; convoy attacked, 

Roofs, corrugated iron, result, 218 

Rose, Lieut.-Col. R. A. De B., in 
command of the Gold Coast Ex- 
peditionary Force, 4, 274 ; tele- 
gram of congratulation, 33; 
knocked over by a shell, 53 ; re- 
connaissance, 58 ; in temporary 
command of the 3rd East African 
Brigade, 60; Brevet Lieut.- 
Colonel, 71 ; attack of dysentery, 
91 ; rejoins the Regiment, 112 ; 
attack on Mihambia, 117 ; occu- 
pies Nambunjo Hill, 121 ; in 
command of B Column, 204, 207 ; 
on board H.M. Salamis, 215; 

at Port Amelia, 221; at An- 
kuabe, 228; in command of 
"Pamforce" division, 233; 
escape from an explosion, 247 ; 
at Accra, 275 ; in command 
of the Second West African 
Brigade, 277 ; awarded the Bar 
to D.S.O., 286; Legion d'Hon- 
neur Croix d'Omcier, 287 ; letter 
from C. H. Harper, 294 

"Rosecol," 233; advance on Chi- 
rimba Hill, 240, 242; Mwalia, 
253-256; at Kalima, 256; ad- 
vance on Milinch Hills, 260 ; at 
Msalu, 265, 266, 269; advance 
on Korewa, 271 

Rovuma River, 72, 73, 130, 187, 
188, 197, 199, 207, 265, 285 

Royal Fusiliers, join up with the 
Gold Coast Regiment, 11 

Ruale, 118 

Ruangwa Chini, 154 ; attack on, 

Rufiji River, 12, 24, 43, 61, 71, 72, 
108, 109, 197 

Rumbo, engagement at, 82-86 

Rungo, 97 

Ruponda, 160, 163, 164, 185 ; food 
depots at, 181 

Ruwanga, 163, 181 

Ruwu, the, 17, 39, 40 

SALAMIS, H.M., stranded, 215 

Sanananga, 224 

Sandani, 10 

Sassaware, 73 

Saunders, Lieut., 279, 282; 
wounded, 283 

Saunderson, Lieut. R. de Bedick, 
killed, 175, 178 ; career, 175 

Schnee, Herr, Governor of German 
East Africa, 195, 196 

Schutzen Company, the 8th, 163 

Scott, Lieut., wounded, 96 

Sekondi, Port of, 4, 275 

Shaw, Colonel G., 50, 54; at the 
battle of Kikirunga, 29, 30; 
awarded the Military Cross and 
Bar, 56, 106, 286; at Rumbo, 
85 ; appointed Acting Major and 
Second in Command of the Gold 
Coast Regiment, 91 ; in com- 



inand of No. 2 Column, 96 ; 
attack on Narumgombe, 101 

Shaw, Lieut., 131 

Shaw, Major, advance on Miham- 
bia, 119 ; at Kitiia, 119 ; march 
on Nahungu, 131 ; attack on, 
137 ; march to Chingwea, 167 ; 
attack on Lukuledi, 177 ; at Port 
Amelia, 208, 214, 219; advance 
on Chirimba Hill, 241, 242, 244 ; 
occupies Korewa, 272 

Shepperd, Brig. -General, in com- 
mand of the 1st East African | 
Brigade, 10; Chief of Staff, 

Shields, Lieut. George Billiard, 61 ; 
attack on Gold Coast Hill, 53 ; 
treachery of the Germans, 63; 
killed, 64; head-master of the 
Government Boy's School at 
Accra, 64 ; discovery of his body, 
67 ; burial, 68 

Sierra Leone Carrier Corps, 91, 236 

Smith, Lieut. S. B., 112, 167, 172, 
174 ; attempt to surprise the 
signal-station at Mpingo, 121 ; 
failure, 122; surrounded, 123; 
Staff-Officer, 204; at Port 
Amelia, 208 

Smuts, General, Commander -in- 
Chief, Headquarters at Luki- 
gura, 10 ; plan of attack, 11 ; at 
Dakawa, 16 

Soeiro, Signer Abilio de Lobao, 
Governor of the Nyassa Com- 
pany, 221 

Songea, 73, 109 

South African Infantry, the 7th, 
94, 97, 102 ; the 8th, 94, 102 

Sovar River, 225, 226 

Stokes Battery, 104, 117, 185, 243, 
248, 254 

TABORA, gold coin, 204 

Tafel, Major von, 109, 194, 198; 

surrender, 202 
Tanga, fall of, 10 
Tanga-Moschi Eailway, 7, 10, 11, 


Tanganyika, Lake, 11, 73 
Taylor, Colonel, in command of 

No. 8 Column, 94 

Taylor, Lieut., 53 ; wounded, 54 
Thornett, Colour-Sergt. C. A., 

killed, 246, 248; awarded the 

D.C.M., 287 
Thornton, Colour-Sergt. E., at 

Port Amelia, 208 ; awarded the 

D.C.M., 287 
Thirst, sufferings from, 18, 45, 107, 


Togoland, invasion of, 1 
Transport of the army, need for 

protection, 149 
Tulo, 34, 36, 40 
Turiani, 16 

Turkey, surrender of, 277 
Tyndall, Colonel, 83, 85 

Ujui, 11 

Ukuli, 91, 94 

Ulanga, 109 

Uluguru Mountains, 23, 24, 25, 26, 

34, 43, 196 
Unguara, 65 
Utete, 61, 63, 66 

VENTER, Major-General Van der, 
in command of the Second 
Division, 11 ; Commander-in- 
Chief, 207, 208 

Viney, Lieut., 282 ; killed, 283 

Voi, 7 

WAMI River, 10 

Wanakoti, 266, 272, 280 

Wangoni, 206 

Watercourses, tropical, eccen- 
tricities, 47 

Water depot, attempt to establish 
at Liwinda Ravine, 114 ; short- 
age of, 13, 45, 107, 123, 125- 

Watt, Capt., 223 

Watts, Capt., at Port Amelia, 208 

Webber, Capt., advance on Medo, 
236 ; Chirimba Hill, 241, 242 

Wet, General de, 212 

Wheeler, Capt., 81, 87, 50; 
wounded, 58; at Mkufi, 222; 
Mtuge, 225; advance on Chi- 
rimba Hill, 244 



Wiedhafen, 73 

Willoughby, Lieut., 112 

Wilson, Lieut., 263; at Naina- 

rala, 228 
Withers, Lieut., 260, 263 ; at Port 

Amelia, 208 
Wongara, Sergt. AH, awarded the 

Military Medal, 289 
Wongara, Musa, awarded the 

D.C.M., 288 
Woods, Lieut., reconnaissances, 

114, 115 ; patrol on the Mboni- 
bomya road, 121 ; attack on, 128 ; 
at the battle of Mitoneno, 145 ; 
advance on Lukuledi, 167, 171 ; 
killed, 173, 178 

Wray, Captain. 56, 124 ; attack on, 
125 ; wounded, 125, 132 

ZANZIBAR, island of, 39 
Zeppelin, recalled, 189