Africa and the First World War by Melvin E. Page (eds.)

By Melvin E. Page (eds.)

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Melvin E. Page 15 Helter-skelter! Helter-skelter! Helter-skelter! Helter-skelter! What have you done, Sir? Germany has completely finished off our young men, Germany has completely finished off our young men, Have you waged [your] war, Major, Sir? Eee ... ay! Eee ... aye! Germany has finished off our young men completely. 65 Civilians, too, were concerned. One African chief expressed the worries of his people in a letter received by Hector L. Duff, wartime chief secretary of Nyasaland. 'This war has lasted perhaps three years -I don't know- and many men are dying, so we are wondering when the war will end ...

Tanga was the birthday of black independence'. The Ghosts of Africa (London, paperback edn, 1981) p. 57. Mitchell, African Afterthoughts, p. 50. 'A Somali Petition', Africa and Orient Review, 1, 6(1920) 33. Facing Mount Kenya (1938; reprint edn, London, 1959) p. 212. ), b. II, p. 197. J. E. T. Phillips, 'The Tide of Colour', Journal of the Royal African Society, 21(1921-2) 129; 134. J. Ayo Langley, 'Pan-Africanism in Paris, 1924-36', Journal of Modern African Studies, 7(1969) 76. Les Continents, 1 July 1924.

Feeling 'ashamed to see the children from lower houses [go to war]' (1,2,7) he believed that as one of his father's eldest sons military service was a primary responsibility. He reasoned that 'if a chief gives birth to you, and you show fear, you're not [worthy of being] a chief's son - you would be nothing but a bastard' (1,2,6). His stand against his father was reinforced by a final consideration·- his indignation over the French promise that 'every slave who went to war would be made a chief when he came back' (1,2,7) and the insulting prospect that men of such low origin might one day rule over his family.

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