Archive for September, 1941

NEWS FROM 50 YEARS AGO (1941)

The following excerpts were included in Issue 40 (Sept 1991):

MAIL LOST BY ENEMY ACTION
The Post office has announced that letter mail posted from Dar es Salaam between April 15th and 26th and mail from Tanga posted between 15th April and May 1st has been lost by enemy action – Tanganyika Herald, September 12. 1941.

BROADCAST BY HIS HIGHNESS THE SULTAN OF ZANZIBAR
On the occasion of Ramadhan His Highness the Sultan of Zanzibar said in a radio broadcast: “We thank Our God that Our Island Dominions have, through His great mercy and the might of the British Empire been spared the horrors of war…. We rejoice when we recollect that the forces of the British Empire have, during this year, saved three Muslim countries – Syria, Iraq and Iran – from domination by the German tyrants. Now they are protected by their true friends and at the end of the war they will be free sovereign states” – Tanganyika Herald, September 12, 1941.

THE GREAT NORTH ROAD
The British War Office has announced that, in order to improve the line of communications between South Africa and Kenya, a sum of £355,000 is to be made available to reconstruct the Great North Road from Broken Hill, Northern Rhodesia via Tunduru, Iringa and Arusha to Nairobi. The road will be reconstructed to 24ft width of which 16ft will be gravelled and all water courses will be crossed by bridges or drifts. 50% of the funds for the two-year task will be allowed for the 809 miles of the road which runs through Tanganyika.. …. Owing to the high cost in money, manpower and in administering, guarding and rationing, it will be possible to use prisoners of war on only a few sections of the road – Tanganyika Herald, October 10, 1941.

WAR TIME OFFICE DRESS
The Government has stated that, in the interests of economy, sanction has been given for the wearing in government offices, for the duration of the war, of the following form of dress: White shirt, open at the neck, worn with shorts and stockings, which may be white or khaki or with trousers of ordinary cotton material. – Tanganyika Herald, November 7, 1941

ESCAPED ITALIAN PRISONERS
Seven Italian prisoners of war who had escaped from the Athi River Prisoners of War Camp, Kenya, on 31st October were captured in Rufiji on November 7th. Their escape had been facilitated by the theft of a PWD lorry and an ample supply of petrol in large drums. On one occasion, asking the way from a Native and speaking in broken English, they said that they were Greeks, When necessary, all but the driver hid in the back of the lorry. But when they attempted to cross the Rufiji ferry after dark, an unusual proceeding, they were noticed by the sharp witted District Commissioner who took them into custody. Their destination had been South Africa where they intended to give themselves up – Tanganyika Herald – November 11, 1941.

TANGANYIKA’S CONTRIBUTION TO THE WAR

The Acting Governor of Tanganyika spoke in the Legislative Council about Tanganyika’s contribution to the Second World War. The date was December 8, 1941 the day after Japan entered the war. The previous Governor, Sir Mark Young, had just been posted as Governor of Hong Kong. “Like every good general who is given the chance, he had marched towards the sound of the guns” the Acting Governor said. “We extend to him the thoughts, the hopes and the confidence of this Council”. The Acting Governor announced that there were, on June 14th 1941, serving under the General Officer Commander-in-Chief, East Africa, the following personnel from Tanganyika:
Europeans 450
Asians 330
Africans 17,500
At the recent last battle against the Italians in Ethiopia two Tanganyika battalions of the Kings African Rifles had played an important part and fought with great courage.
Tanganyika had also contributed to the war effort by paying the full cost of maintaining hundreds of enemy aliens arrested in Tanganyika at the beginning of the war. 475 had been sent to South Africa, 600 to Southern Rhodesia and 948, two thirds of whom were missionaries, and 200 of whom were Jews, both groups on parole, remained in Tanganyika.
£170,000 had been invested in war securities and had been put aside towards post-war work of reconstruction. Voluntary contributions during war Weapons Weeks had raised £51,000. Gold output had been increased by 12.5% compared with 1940 and 75,000 cattle had been supplied to the armed forces – Tanganyika Standard, December 12, 1941

COMPULSORY LABOUR
During l940 42,724 men were called up for work on essential public
services. Of these, 4,660 worked on porterage and 37,550 for 10-day periods
of communal work against soil erosion and tsetse fly. The number of men
working to pay their poll tax was 22,205 in 1940 compared with 17,255 in
1933 – Tanganyika Standard. September 19, 1941

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