British Army in West Africa in WW2

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by brettarider, Nov 2, 2006.

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  1. Does anyone have any info on this forgotten side of the war? My granddad was with the RASC stationed with local soldiers in the Ivory Coast for a while before moving onto North Africa and Italy. I've seen a picture of him in what looks like a Sqn photo of him with the local troops not many white faces about 5 I think. I believe they were as a blocking force against the Vichy french to stop them linking up their colonies in Nth/West Africa
  2. My uncle who I am named after told my father on several occasions and me as a young lad that when he was stationed in West Africa during WW II that they where equipped with 'Bull' whips to encourage the local manual labourers.
  3. My Nigerian grandfather fought for the Brits in Burma and lost a leg for all his effort.
  4. My father served in Nigeria during the early 50’s. I know people there who said that the RAF flew flying boats from the creek in Appapa. I also believe the Nigerian troops served in Burma. I’m sure if you Google it you will come up with a load of info.

    Here is one link:-
  5. I know it must have been a severe threat as a family friend served on "dog boats" in the region with the RN
  6. The British launched an utterly farcical raid on the Vichy French at Dakar in 1940. Evelyn Waugh wrote about it.

    There was some fighting in West Africa in the Great War as well. British officerted troops from what is now Nigeria and Ghana captured the German Cameroons

    Here is a photo of Nigerian Artillery in East Africa
  7. The 81st, and at the latter end of the campaign, the 82nd West African Divisions (all volunteers) fought with great distinction during the war in Burma. One brigade of the 81st served as Chindits.

    The West African Divisions were formed from the Gold Coast, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia Regiments of the Royal West African Frontier Force. I remember the old RWAFF, particularly the Gold Coast Regiment, in the early 1950s. The relationship between the seconded British officers, WOs and SNCOs and their African contemporaries was one of mutual respect and affection. At no time did I ever hear of corporal punishment being meted out (though I was just a lad) nor would anyone have countenanced it.