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LAYING WREATH CEREMONY ON 12TH NOV. 2017, TO COMMEMORATES THE FIRST WORLD WAR (1914-18) AT SOKOINE OLD POST OFFICE IN DAR ES SALAAM - THE EAST AFRICA SIGNALS MEMORIAL AND HISTORICAL CENTER

Richard Painton an Ex- South Africa Corps Engineer blowing the bag pis as a official signs to open the ceremony. 
One of the officials from British High Commision (L), makes a welcome remarks to officiate the ceremony.
The acting Postmaster General, Deo Kwiyukwa (L), speaking during the ceremony.
The Acting Postmaster General Mr. Deo Kwiyukwa infront of memorial plague of ex-soldiers and members of Post Office whose died during the First World War (1914-1918).
The British High Comissioner M/s Sarah Cooke (L), adressing the audience.
The UK deffence attache Lt Col.Ally Kern laying wreath at Sokoine Drive- Old Post Office.
Acting Postmaser General and TPC- Dares salaam Regional Manager M/s Margreth Mlyomi laying a wreath at the Old Post office (Sokoine Drive Post ffice) during the ceremony.
Acting Postmaser General and TPC- Dares salaam Regional Manager M/s Margreth Mlyomi laying a wreath at the Old Post office (Sokoine Drive Post ffice) during the ceremony.

The British High Commissioner m/s Sarah Cooke (Center) with  defence attache Lt. Col. Ally Kern (L) and Acting  
Postmaster General Mr. Deo Kwiyukwa remembering  the  1914-18 East  African Signal  Service  at  the Sokoine drive -Old  Post Office, Dar es Salaam, on 12 November.
Acting Postamaster General Deo Kwiyukwa share a light moment with some of the guests.
Acting Postamaster General Deo Kwiyukwa and Ex-South African Corps Engeneer  Richard Painton  farewell after ceremony.
Group photograph of some TPC staff and members of Tanzania  legions & club.
 Group photograph of Acting Postmaster General (second left) and members of Tanzania Legion&Club.
Acting Postmaster General  and members of Legion&Club of Dar es salaam share a light moment as they leave the wreath laying ceremony.
Group photograph after ceremony. (All photos by Joseph Ngowi of TPC)


*Wartime Askaris, Porters and Signallers honoured in Tanzania

A WEARTH laying  ceremony  in the historical centre  of Dar es Salaam  on Sunday remembered  the First  World War’s East African campaign that claimed thousands of lives in the bitter battles fought in places such as Tanga, Bukoba and Kibata. The ceremony was held at the Old Post Office on Sokoine Drive which houses a monument dedicated to the 234 men of the Royal Engineers Signal Service who died across East Africa in the 1914-18 conflict. 

Communication remained difficult throughout the East African campaign. Most commanders relied on dispatch runners, occasionally supplemented by airplanes, or more frequently, dispatch riders on motorcycles. 

The British relied on heliographic signals in East Africa using an appliance by which the sun’s rays can be reflected by means of mirrors. Using telegraph networks in remote locations with limited resources proved especially challenging with forces sometimes improvising with barbed wire and using beer bottles or animal bones for insulation. 

Radio was used extensively in East Africa because of the distances involved while telephone lines were used over shorter distances. Overhead telephone lines, known as airlines, suffered from damage caused by giraffes running through them. Raising the height helped solve the problem.

RJ Katunda, chairman of the UK Alumni in Tanzania network, who co-organised the  ceremony  commented:  

‘I thank the CEO of the TPC and his team present today for remembering the work of the East African Signal Service that forms part of the postal and telecommunications history of this country.’ He also observed that many of the men who died had been postal or telegraph workers in civilian life across the UK, South Africa and India. Mr Katunda is keen to explore ways to digitise the life stories of the men named on the monument and contribute this to wider heritage initiatives across the city.

A special tribute was also paid at the ceremony to the men of the Tanganyika Labour Corps who lost an estimated 14,000 personnel in four years of conflict. “The vital military labour force provided support to the Royal Engineers and other units from the Commonwealth” explained Antony Shaw, co-organiser  of the  ceremony ahead  of the  event that  included  families of linked  to the  King’s  African  Rifles and  other British East African Forces, predecessors to the Tanganyika Rifles and present day  Tanzania  People’s  Defence  Force. 

British Legion Tanganyika Club Secretary David Sawe, who attended the occasion along with the British High Commissioner, explained that Britain’s Remembrance Sunday was observed across the world where Commonwealth forces have died in war. The men from Tanganyika who served with the British in both world wars should not be forgotten said Mr Sawe: ‘The relevance of Remembrance Sunday for modern day Tanzania is that this country’s existence was influenced by the wars that they fought.’ 

(Ceremony preparation in collaboration with Tanzania Posts Corporation, British High Commision and UK Alumni in Tanzania Networks)

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