In Summary
  • Memorials were constructed after WW1 to commemorate all African soldiers and carriers who died in the 1914-18 war.

  • Mr McDonald said once the sculptures were complete, they were shipped to Africa and put up in prominent urban locations.

  • The second phase of the project is to begin in June, when the team will be back in Mombasa.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is undertaking a project to record and preserve the World War 1 African Memorials (the Askari memorials).

These memorials were constructed after WW1 to commemorate all African soldiers and carriers who died in the 1914-18 war and whose final resting place was unknown.

“As we are now approaching the centenary of the end of World War 1, this project is particularly important as it offers us the opportunity to remember those who lost their lives in this conflict,” said the commission’s Africa technical manager David McDonald in Mombasa.

He added: “The memorials were originally created in London, England, by sculptor James Alexander Stevenson who was appointed “lead architect” by the commission.”

SCULPTURES

Mr McDonald said once the sculptures were complete, they were shipped to Africa and put up in prominent urban locations beginning with Nairobi in 1924, Mombasa in 1926, Dar es Salaam in 1927 and Lagos, Nigeria, in 1931.  

The first phase of the project is being undertaken by 3D scanners specialists Luke Abbott and Ben Williams from the UK.

“The 3D scanning process allows us to create a digital replica of the memorials. This phase began in Dar es Salaam on February 7 and the team is currently in Mombasa before finishing work in Nairobi on February 18,” he said.

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