Published: 16th May 2011
:: Kings African Rifles ::
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From Pen & Sword Books
The King's African Rifles is a vital testimony to the history of colonialism in Africa and keeping the knowledge of British and African history in this era alive. Through the author's personal experience, this meticulously researched and engagingly written book on this subject, all military historians interested in the East African Forces shall find this truly fascinating.
Run by the British but staffed by local troops, the force was originally formed to protect territory gained by the British in the early 20th century but went on to see action as far from home as Malaya in the early fifties. Through previously unseen material, the author describes the changing political landscape clearly throughout the chaotic times of the regiment’s history, giving a clear background to the events described.
Although he acknowledges the mixed blessings colonial rule has bought to the countries covered by the East African forces, his history of the regiment offers a balanced view of the context and rationale of the nearly forgotten times in which the regiment was founded and its role in bringing continued political stability to a region which was in danger of becoming an international chessboard, as well as including an impassioned plea not to forget the contribution of those who fought with us and for us and because of the subsequent politics of their homelands, have not all fared equally well in the post colonial era.
Disappointed at not being able to continue with the Indian Army in 1947, Malcolm Page went to East Africa and found himself in the Somaliland Scouts, a unit then still heavily influenced by Indian Army traditions. He remained with them for four and a half years before returning to the British Army. Though long membership of KAR and East African Forces Dinner Club his acquaintanceship with other East African unit grew. Malcolm Page retired from the Army as a Brigadier in 1978, and spent the next thirteen years in the computer industry. He has written extensively on East African affairs.
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