Roll of Honour for Nigerian War Dead goes on Display
28 November 2012
The CWGC has placed a roll of honour on public display at its
Head Office in Maidenhead in Berkshire, to commemorate Nigerian
servicemen who fell during the two world wars.
The Roll of Honour, taking the form of a memorial book,
commemorates all the casualties previously commemorated on the
Nigeria and Lagos Memorials. These formed part of the Nigerian
National Memorial in Lagos, which was dismantled some years ago.
There are now plans to build a new memorial.
The Nigerian National Memorial commemorated 944 First World War
casualties and 1158 African soldiers from Nigeria who died during
the Second World War and whose graves could not be maintained or
The majority of those who died during the First World War were
commemorated on the Lagos Memorial. They served as carriers with
Commonwealth regiments that fought in Cameroon and East Africa. The
war, in both theatres, was one of constant movement over harsh
terrain against a formidable enemy. The African carriers suffered
from shortages of food and water. Very few carriers lost their
lives to enemy fire; most died as a result of disease, exhaustion
or malnutrition. It's feared the actual number of Nigerian dead was
much higher than that originally recorded on the memorial.
The 1,158 men commemorated on the Nigeria Memorial all saw
service in the Royal West African Frontier Force during the Second
World War. They were deployed in East Africa and in Burma, with one
brigade operating behind Japanese lines.
This form of alternative commemoration is not new to the CWGC.
There is a similar Roll of Honour on display listing all casualties
buried and commemorated in Iraq.