The Northern Rhodesia Police Memorial at the entrance to Livingstone Police Camp remains in good condition. It includes the names of 106 Askari who died on active service in East Africa during the Great War 1914-18.
The Northern Rhodesia Police made a return visit to Zambia in 2004. It was on this visit that the members of the Northern Rhodesia Police Association gifted various musical instruments to members of the Zambian Police Band.
The Northern Rhodesia Police Memorial at Livingstone
By Tim Wright
Livingstone was the capital of Northern Rhodesia and held the Headquarters of the Northern Rhodesia Police, the Training Depot, CID, Livingstone Town & District Police Detachment and,, until it left for the Northern Border in August 1914, 'A' Company of the Military Branch. The Police Camp had been established in 1907 to the east of the railway line and remains to this day occupied by the personnel of Southern Divisional Headquarters and Livingstone District of the Zambia Police.
The entrance to the camp was the obvious place for the erection of the NRP's War Memorial which took place in 1922 at a cost of £760 contributed by members of the Force and friends. The site is at the junction of Akapelwa Street and Kazimuli Avenue about 400 yards beyond the modern Livingstone Central Police Station and adjacent to the entrance to Livingstone Golf Course. The Memorial consists of a pillar topped by a wreath and flanked by two German 0815 Maxim machine guns. These particular guns were not among those captured by the NRP during the War but together with two minenwerfers or trench mortars and a field gun were the gift of the British Government to commemorate the services of Northern Rhodesia during the Great War. Similar gifts of booty were made to all countries and territories in the British Empire and to a number of cities and towns in the British Isles. The field gun was placed to mark the scene of the final hostilities on the Chambezi River in November 1918. The minenwerfers were placed outside the headquarters building, later the Police Club, in the camp.
At the base of the pillar are bronze plaques bearing the then badge of the Northern Rhodesia Police, the crested crane, with the motto ‘diversi genere fide pares’ (many tribes the same loyalty). On the front plaque below the badge is the inscription ‘TO THE ETERNAL HONOUR AND UNDYING FAME OF THE OFFICERS, EUROPEAN AND NATIVE NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE NORTHERN RHODESIA POLICE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING AND COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918. THIS MEMORIAL WAS ERECTED BY THEIR COMRADES IN ARMS AND FRIENDS OF THE REGIMENT IN MEMORY OF DISTINGUISHED SERVICES RENDERED. “As men we are all equal in the presence of death” ‘ The other three plaques bear the names of the fallen.
An old photograph sent to Captain Bremner’s father on 19 April 1923 indicates that originally the names of only four Europeans and 35 Africans appeared. This had certainly been corrected by the time of the unveiling in August 1923 of Northern Rhodesia’s cenotaph at Victoria Falls which refers to ‘102 askari whose names are are recorded on the N R Police Memorial at Livingstone’. This total includes 10 who died after the cessation of hostilities either from wounds or the devastating worldwide ‘Spanish flu’ epidemic. 1839 Africans are said to have served with the NRP during the War and the greater part of the Force was on front line service in Northern Rhodesia, German East Africa (mainland Tanzania) or Mozambique with few breaks from 1914 until 16 November 1918. It is inconceivable that there were so few fatalities and it must be assumed that only those whose bodies were recovered and identified are named on the memorial.
The Memorial Plaques
Photographs kindly supplied by David Williams.
Those named are:-
ALASTAIR BRUCE BREMNER who was born in 1884. He joined the British South Africa Police as a trooper in 1907 and was commissioned in the Northern Rhodesia Police in 1911. He operated against slavers on the Angolan border and in 1913 commanded the escort to the Anglo-Belgian Boundary Commission. At the outbreak of war in August 1914 he was sent to recruit former police and King’s African Rifles askari around Kasama, as ‘special police’ to assist in the defence of the Northern Border and he later served in the defence of Fife. Bremner was promoted Temporary Captain 2 April 1916, as a company commander for the advance into German East Africa. He was on sick leave in the United Kingdom from 15 March until August 1917, his first trip home since 1907. He had been suffering, inter alia, from growths in the nose, and perhaps had not regained full fitness as on 9 October 1917 he became Officer Commanding the Depot at Livingstone. On 1 January 1918 he was leading a draft to entrain for the front when he was thrown from his horse and died not far from the site of the Memorial. He is buried at Kansenshi.
CHARLES COOPER HORNSBY was the son of Lt Col H F Hornsby of Kensington. He joined the BSAP in 1909 and was commissioned in the NRP in 1911. In August 1914 Lt Hornsby was sent with 25 African police under Lt Castle to Sesheke to watch the German fort at Schuckmannsburg across the Zambezi in the Caprivi Strip of German South-West Africa. On 16 September 1914 when the German resident agreed to surrender the fort, Hornsby led the combined force of BSAP and NRP across the river and on landing had to forcibly disarm a German askari sentry. From November 1916 he commanded ‘F’ Company NRP formed from Ngoni members of the Force, on operations in German East Africa until admitted to hospital at Lupembe in March 1917. He died there of enteric on 12 May 1917 age 31. He is buried at Iringa.
WILLIAM T HUSBANDS was the son of John Husbands of Carrington, Notts. He went to war as a corporal BSAP and was an acting warrant officer by 1 February 1916 when he was granted a temporary commission in the NRP ‘while Officer in Charge of Supplies, Northern Border, Kasama Base Depot’. He was mentioned in despatches for his work but died at Kasama on 24 December 1918 age 31. He is buried at Kansenshi.
LEONARD JOHN CHAMPION was the son of J I Champion of Burnham-on-Sea. He attested in the BSAP as Trooper no.1412 in 1911 and went to the Front with the Southern Rhodesia Column in 1915 becoming a sergeant. On 5 April 1917 he was commissioned Temporary Second Lieutenant, Northern Rhodesia Police. Lieutenant Champion was mortally wounded during the NRP Service Battalion's stand against von Lettow Vorbeck's main force at Fusi between Wiedhafen and Songea on 4 October 1918. He is buried at Dar es Salaam.
MAURICE DAFFARN was born in London the son of W G Daffarn of 14 Campden Hill Square, Kensington and Valewood, Woking. Young Daffarn was educated at Winchester and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was commissioned into the 16th Lancers on 3 November 1909 but resigned his commission on 7 February 1912. He joined the Northern Rhodesia Government Service in September that year and was an Assistant Native Commissioner when attached to the Northern Rhodesia Police as a Temporary Second Lieutenant on 17 December 1914. On 24 April 1915 Daffarn was with Lieutenant G P Burton, 82 NRP other ranks and 50 Belgian troops when they attacked a German transport column near Mwazye, 34 miles into enemy territory, dispersing the escort and capturing many carriers and their loads. Tracking the escort Burton found the path crossed some high hills. He sent out flankers and advanced slowly. About 100 yards from the top of the pass heavy fire was opened from three sides and a scout, 1117 Private FUNGULU NRP, was killed. Burton ordered his men to fix bayonets and charge. As they went forward Lieutenant Daffarn was mortally wounded by a bullet in the neck. He is buried at Kansenshi.
KENNETH FERGUSON was born in Gawler, Australia. He joined the Southern Rhodesia Constabulary in 1902 and became a sergeant in the North-Western Rhodesia Constabulary in 1906. In 1914 Regimental Sergeant-Major Ferguson NRP was appointed Sub-Inspector and Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigation Department. He was also Chief Immigration Officer from 1915 and was commissioned as a lieutenant on 1 April 1916. He died of influenza at Livingstone on 19 October 1918 aged 37. Although there is no evidence that he served at the Front and he is not named on the NR Cenotaph at Victoria Falls, he is recognised by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as among the war dead. He is buried at Kansenshi. His widow, Frances Marion Ferguson, returned to Australia.
ERNEST LUCIEN INGPEN was the son of a King’s Counsel and educated at the City & Guilds College, being a member of London University Officers Training Corps. He became a trooper in the BSAP in 1912 and was commissioned as a Special Service Officer NRP on 6 October 1914. On 7 June 1916 Lt Ingpen accompanied Dr Harold and a few BSAP to the gate of the German Fort at Bismarcksburg (Kasanga) under the mistaken belief that the garrison had surrendered. They were met by the Commandant, Leutnant Hasslacher who disabused them. Harold seized the German and the party withdrew under fire from three sides. Mortally wounded in the groin Ingpen cleared the abatis in one desperate leap. He is buried at Kansenshi.
HENRY WILLIAM TARBUTT was the son of H F Tarbutt of Woking. He joined the BSAP as a trooper in 1911 and was a sergeant with the Southern Rhodesia Column when commissioned into the NRP on 5 April 1917. On 9 August that year ‘A’ Company drove in two enemy piquets before assaulting a position at Tuturu. Leading the charge Tarbutt was bayoneted in the throat and fell into a German trench. 1380 Private KALUNGU, 1544 MUWITA, 1198 WAZIA and S.104 KATAKO also died, two of them within five yards of the enemy trenches. The prefix ‘S’ against his number indicates that Katako was one of the ‘special police’ recruited by Lt Bremner in 1914. Tarbutt is buried at Iringa.
BERTRAM HARPER of the BSAP was an Acting Company Sergeant-Major in the Rhodesia Native Regiment in hospital at Salisbury (Harare) on 25 October 1918 when he was commissioned as a temporary second lieutenant NRP. Sadly he died of disease the very next day so never actually served with the NRP. Having no other connexion with NR his name does not appear on the Cenotaph at Victoria Falls. Harper is buried at Harari (Pioneer) Cemetery.
Charles William SELL served as a trooper in the Bulawayo Field Force during the Matabele Rebellion of 1896. He then joined No.1 Division British South Africa Police as Trooper 2585 being wounded as a member of the Mafeking garrison on 27 March 1900. An elephant hunter in Northern Rhodesia in 1914 he volunteered as a scout for the NRP. The award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal to Scout Sergeant Major Sell was gazetted on 26 May 1917 'For conspicuous gallantry in performing dangerous reconnaissances on many occasions. On one occasion, with a small party of Scouts, he held up and inflicted many casualties on an enemy advanced guard, himself bringing a wounded man out of action'. Charlie Sell's luck ran out and he died of wounds on 29 May 1918 aged 41. He is buried at Mangochi Town Cemetery, Malawi.
0329 Sgt MITIMNGI distinguished himself in the repulse of the German attack on Fife on 27 December 1914. Apparently promoted to Colour Sergeant he was killed together with 0416 Pte CHIPANDI, 1117 KAWALEZA, 1421 KULEYA and S.99 SOLOMON and a machine gun porter
4677 Kaselelesele on 30 August 1917 in desperate fighting when C, E and F coys attacked a strong enemy position on a wooded hill near the Litete River at Likassa.
888 Sgt CHEOKO died on 13 August 1916 when two coys of the NRP were consolidating the occupation of the Bismarcksburg District, ‘E’ Coy was at Utengele, ‘A’ denying the enemy a crossing on the Great Ruaha River and ‘C’ Coy advancing on Iringa. It is not known how or where Sgt Cheoko died.
367 Sgt GWIRANIPAKAMWA was described as a ‘splendid NCO’ by Col Hodson, the Commandant after the successful defence of Saisi in 1915. On 23 March 1917 ‘A’ Coy was advancing to relieve the Rhodesia Native Regiment surrounded at St Moritz, when it encountered an enemy detachment blocking the road. This was dislodged and 2 Germans killed for the loss of Sgt Gwiranipakamwa.
1017 Sgt KOZA was promoted from corporal for his action in June 1915 when with four other NRP, a Belgian officer and 25 Congolese askari at Manika’s Village. Cpl Koza was on piquet when he realised he was being surrounded. He successfully extricated his men and alerted the officer. The enemy fled. Sgt Koza died on 16 September 1917 in unknown circumstances
A.225 Sgt JAMES FINERTY SIMPSON of the Southern Rhodesia Column was attached to the NRP by October 1916 when in command of 30 men he made contact with the advance guard of the South African Motor Cyclist Corps at Salimu north of Iringa. On 25 January 1917 he was with ‘F’ Coy which came up with a 50 strong enemy rearguard at a ford near Muesa on the Upper Ruhuje. In forcing the crossing Simpson was killed age 21 together with 3 Africans who appear to have been 1537 Pvte NGUNGA, S.111 PENSULO and 0282 ULEYA, Simpson is buried at Iringa.
808 Sgt WASAVILA died on 20 December 1918 either from wounds or influenza.
1077 Cpl KANGOMBE died on 7 October 1915 probably from enteric.
0346 Cpl MAKONDA died on 22 January 1917 together with 641 Bugler JOHNNY, 838 Pte MALIDADI and 1462 LAJONJO during an attempt to surround Major Kraut’s four enemy companies in the Upper Ruhuje Valley near Kafinga.
443 Cpl MASHONGA died on 29 July 1917 when half of ‘F’ Coy drove Hauptman Aumann’s troops out of old Rhodesian trenches at Mkapira and back across the Ruhuje.
1068 Cpl NGUNGU died on 23 December 1918 either from wounds or influenza.
0300 Cpl POTANI died on 28 March 1918 when the NRP Service Battalion was at rest at Mbamba Bay on Lake Nyasa.
1057 LCpl CHAPONDA died on 26 May 1917 when the main force of the NRP was close to Tabora in pursuit of Hauptman Wintgens.
551 LCpl GABRIAL died on 16 November 1915 perhaps during operations on the Northern Border.
0322 LCpl MPATA died from wounds or influenza on 16 December 1918.
S.89 LCpl MUNDALA no details found.
566 LCpl ULAYA of ‘B’ Coy had been wounded in the defence of Saisi in 1915. ‘B’ Coy NRP was with the Rhodesia Native Regiment when it was cut off and suffered severely near St Moritz. LCpl Ulaya was killed on 23 March 1917 and 21 others of ‘B’ Coy wounded or missing.
209 Pte BENJAMIN died on 26 December 1916. At that time all the NRP in the Field were engaged in driving the enemy through wet bush over the Kilombero River but were frustrated in three attempts to surround and destroy a force under Major Langen.
S.228 Pte BULANDA died on 10 December 1917 when the NRP in the Field were engaged in preventing von Lettow Vorbeck’s force which had entered Mozambique from returning across the Rovuma River.
559 Pte BULEYA died of wounds on 28 June 1915 after taking part in the repulse of a German attack on Saisi.
074 BWANALI was shot through the spleen by enemy scouts on the morning of 27 January 1915 When relieving the night piquet on Tunduma Hill near Fife, he had gone forward to reconnoitre the crest. He is described in a report as a corporal.
1201 BWANA-MAKOA was shot dead on 22 October 1915 when part of a patrol of 6 NRP and three scouts which engaged and killed four of an enemy patrol which had attacked Lundula’s Village killing three men, two women and a child. He is described in a report as a lance corporal.
S.96 Pte CHAMBEZI died on 9 September 1916. No other details found.
0112 Pte CHASESA & 190 Pte MADI were the first members of the NRP to die during the war, when on 9 September 1914 a German force fired 40 shells from a light gun into the gaol at Abercorn which had been converted to a fort.
071 Pte CHAZINGWA died of wounds or influenza on 13 January 1919.
1489 Pte CHESWENGA died on 3 February 1917. No other details found.
1601 Pte CHIKOWI died on 2 August 1918. No other details found.
0287 Pte CHIMAI was on 18 October 1917 when with ten others of ‘A’ Coy he rushed an enemy piquet east of Ngombere.
420 Pte CHINTHONA died on 3 November 1918, possibly at Mandala’s when the Germans passed through en route from Fife to Kasama.
377 Pte CHIPALAMWAZANI died on 9 March 1918. No other details found.
0318 Pte CHITINDI. No details found.
428 Pte CHIWAYA died on 10 October 1916. No other details found.
1890 Pte CHOMA died on 18 February 1918. No other details found.
1984 Pte DULANI died on 28 December 1918 of wounds or influenza.
861 Pte FOLOMANI died on 16 December 1917. No other details found
S.55 Pte JEREMANI died on 30 March 1917, one of seven African police who died while clearing Hauptmann Wintgens troops from around St Moritz, 1128 Pte KACHAZ died on 31 March 1917.
070 Pte JONASI died on 11 June 1916. No other details known.
1199 Pte KACHIKUMBA died on 9 November 1917. No other details known.
397 Pte KALIZA died on 24 October 1918, possibly in the defence of Fife.
0399 Pte KAMBOWE was killed on 21 May 1915 when a force of 12 NRP and 130 Congolese was attacked on the march from the Samfu River to Zombe. One Belgian sous-officier and three askari also lost their lives.
1510 Pte KAMBUWI died on 13 February 1917. No details found.
1573 Pte KASANTI died on 23 September 1916. No details found.
1203 Pte KUNDANGWI died on 31 March 1917 probably on operations around St Moritz.
2063 Pte KUNDIKERU died on 24 December 1918 from wounds or influenza.
535 Pte KUUMA died on 1 January 1917. No details found.
518 Pte KWATIWANI died on 24 November 1918 from wounds or influenza.
576 Pte LAFWAEDI died on 27 December 1916. No details found.
717 Pte LEMBERANI died on 29 July 1916. No details found.
1902 Pte LIBEBE died on 19 November 1917. No details found.
1804 Pte LUSALE died on 6 December 1918 from wounds or influenza.
1395 Pte MAKUNTA died on 20 July 1918. No details found.
1318 Pte MALAMBOKA died on 8 December 1916. No details found.
1185 Pte MALIZANI died on 29 July when 34 men broke through enemy lines to reinforce Saisi.
S.119 Pte MAMADI died on 12 May 1917. No details found.
1331 Pte MASIKINI died on 8 March 1918. No details found.
1211 Pte MINANGU died of dysentry at Takamali on 10 June 1917.
761 Pte MIPANDO died on 10 November 1916. No details found.
1184 Pte MSAPENDA died on 28 June 1915, a day of heavy fighting in the defence of Saisi in which 842 Pte MULUNDI was also killed.
1248 Pte MUMBWE died on 23 March 1916. No details found.
948 Pte MUNDATI died on 18 October 1916. No details found.
0410 Pte MUWANGO died on 31 March 1917. No details found.
S.33 Pte MWANAWAMBA was shot in the face and killed when his patrol encountered the advancing German force at Fusi on 4 October 1918.
91220 Pte MWAPI died on 22 April 1918. No details found.
2026 Pte NDANDALIKA died on 25 October 1918. No details found.
102 Pte NDARAMA was going through a doorway at Fife 6 December 1914 when he was killed by an enemy shell which hit him in the back.
824 Pte NDAWANI died on 15 October 1917. No details found.
1537 Pte NGUNGU died on 26 January 1917. No details found.
1365 Pte PANDAVIPA and 1539 TEBULO were killed on 6 September 1916 at Lukegeta (Dabaga) when concealed enemy machine guns opened fire on the advancing troops.
S.111 Pte PENSULO died on 24 January 1917. No details found.
1571 Pte PONDANI deid on 20 March 1917. No details found.
S.118 Pte SALIMU died on 31 March 1917 probably in operations around St Moritz.
1101 Pte SAMBO 15 April 1917. No details found.
1623 Pte SHAMONGA died on 31 March 1917 probably in operations around St Moritz.
1308 Pte SHIMATANDAWALA died on 24 July 1917. No details found.
1227 Pte SIANSINGU died on 8 May 1917. No details found.
A.76 Pte James SINCLAIR of Lomagundi SR was a member of the BSAP service coys. He drowned on 25 February 1916 on the Northern Border.
1699 Pte SIYEYA was killed on 4 October 1918 at Fusi.
953 Pte SUBUNI died on 13 February 1917. No details found.
1856 Pte TAKAMWENDO died on 17 December 1917. No details found.
251 Pte TEREKA died on 14 December 1918 from wounds or influenza.
0269 Pte THOMAS died on 5 August 1916. No details found.
1832 Pte TONANA died on 18 September 1917
0382 Pte ULEYA died on 25 January 1917.
1198 Pte WAZIA was killed at Tuturu on 9 August 1917.
603 Pte WAZIA was killed during the advance on Bismarcksburg on 7 June 1916 when No.1 Section of ‘A’ Coy crossed the Kalambo River under fire by the one remaining timber of a bridge the enemy had attempted to destroy.
1841 Pte WHALE died on 29 November 1918 of wounds or influenza.
530 Pte ZACHARIA died on 15 January 1917. No details found.
1474 Pte ZALILA was killed on 25 October 1917 during an attack on two German companies holding a hill at Sali Mission on the Ruaha.
0377 Pte ZINGANI died on 31 March 1917 probably in operations around St Moritz
514 Pte ZUZI died on 18 July 1917. No details found.
W ‘Joe’ BACON was Steward of the English Club at Elizabethville in the Belgian Congo in 1914 when he volunteered for service with the Belgian Forces later transferring to the NRP. On 17 March he was with an Anglo-Belgian patrol which was attacked at dawn by a larger enemy force one and a half miles from the Border near the headwaters of the Samfu River. The enemy were driven back over the Border for the loss of Volunteer Bacon and 3 Belgian askari killed. He is buried at Kansenshi.
In addition Scout Norman Sinclair was on a mission in Angola on 9 May 1915 when, armed only with a Bowie knife he met a lion. Both died. Norman Sinclair is buried at Dar es Salaam. 4870 Machine-Gun Porter Kwakila was killed on 16 August 1917 and 4873 MG Porter Gwalia by machine gun fire on 19 August 1917, both on operations around Mpepo.
Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission records, The History of the Northern Rhodesia Police by Tim Wright BECM Press 2001, the papers of Capt A B Bremner in the possession of his great-nephew, Jonathan Edwardes.