To mark the First World War remembrance period in East Africa (25 – 27 November), CWGC has commissioned a filmmaker to create this short film, documenting our work in Kenya.
Some of the first and very last shots of the First World War were fired in Africa, as German forces fought an effective guerrilla campaign that tied down a much larger Allied force for the duration of the conflict.
German forces were initially unaware of the armistice - only learning of its signing on 14 November. It took their depleted force a further ten days to march to Abercorn where they formally surrendered on 25 November. Hundreds of thousands of African carriers and labourers took part in the campaign
Filmed on location in Kenya and voiced by CWGC’s East Africa field team investigator and heritage expert Patrick Abungo, Kwaheri Mutava (Goodbye Mutava), explains more about the Commission’s work to honour those who died for the Commonwealth in the First and Second World Wars and were not commemorated at the time.
This is our Non-Commemoration Programme and its work means we are remain active in the field: mapping lost burial sites, engaging with communities about suitable memorials and documenting names.
The film also tells the true story of a Second World War widow who waited to receive official notice of her husband Mutava’s death. This story came to light through the work of our heritage team in Nairobi.
The film was shared in Taita-Taveta, Kenya at First World War commemoration events last weekend, as we continue our important work to find and memorialise the final resting places of African carriers and labourers in British service.