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King's African Rifles - A History, Malcolm Page

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King's African Rifles - A History, Malcolm Page

King's African Rifles - A History, Malcolm Page

The King's African Rifles was one of the most important of the military units raised across the British Empire in Africa. With a mix of Africa soldiers and European officers, the King's African Rifles fought in both World Wars,

Much of the book covers the achievements of the King's African Rifles during the two World Wars. The KAR took part in the long campaign in East Africa during the First World War, and fought against the Italians in Somaliland and Ethiopia, against the Vicky French on Madagascar and against the Japanese in Burma, performing well on each occasion, during the Second World War.

These sections, and the chapter on the Malay Crisis, are presented as narratives, with the KAR's involvement set against its historical background. The potentially more controversial chapter on the Mau Mau is rather different - a short outline of events is followed by a series of personal memories of the fighting. The same approach is taken for the chapter on the end of Empire. These final chapters are thus less detailed, but give a better feel for the nature of life in the unit. There are also some interesting appendices, in particular the discussion of the songs of the King's Africa Rifles.

This is a useful study of a part of the British army that is now receding into the past, with most of its regiments going in the early 1960s, half a century ago.

Chapters
1 - How it All Began
2 - The 'Mad Mullah' Campaign 1900-1920
3 - From German East Africa to Tanganyija 1914-1918
4 - Between the Wars 1919-1940
5 - Italian East African Empire - Part I
6 - Italian East African Empire - Part II
7 - Madagascar and Mauritius
8 - Burma
9 - Victory and Afterwards
10 - Malaya
11 - Kenya and Mau Mau
12 - Imperial Twilight
13 - The Kenya Regiment, Len Weaver CBE

Appendices
A - Lt Col H Moyse-Bartlett
B - 'They Went Singing'
C - The Royal East African Navy
D - East African Artillery
E - The Royal Wajir Yacht Club

Author: Malcolm Page
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 298
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011 edition of 1998 original



King's African Rifles - A History, Malcolm Page - History

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Whatever one may think about the rights and wrongs of colonial rule, it is hard to deny that during the first half of the this century those African countries, which then came under British administration enjoyed a period of stability which most now look back upon with a profound sense of loss. Paradoxical though it may seem, one of the bulwarks of that stability was each country&rsquos indigenous army. Trained and officered by the British, these force became a source of both pride and cohesion in their own country, none more so than the King&rsquos African Rifles. founded in 1902 and probably the best known of the East African forces.

In this, the first complete history of the East African forces, Malcolm Page, who himself served in the Somaliland Scouts for a number of years, has had access to much new material while researching the history of each unit from it&rsquos foundation to the time of independence.

Historians in several fields will be grateful to him for having put on record this very important period in the annals of both Great Britain and East Africa while the memories of many who served there were still fresh, and they themselves will perhaps be most grateful of all for this lasting tribute to the men they served and who served them, for in that shared sense of duty lay the true spirit of East African Forces.

Much of the book covers the achievements of the King's African Rifles during the two World Wars. The KAR took part in the long campaign in East Africa during the First World War, and fought against the Italians in Somaliland and Ethiopia, against the Vicky French on Madagascar and against the Japanese in Burma, performing well on each occasion, during the Second World War.
These sections, and the chapter on the Malay Crisis, are presented as narratives, with the KAR's involvement set against its historical background. The potentially more controversial chapter on the Mau Mau is rather different - a short outline of events is followed by a series of personal memories of the fighting. The same approach is taken for the chapter on the end of Empire. These final chapters are thus less detailed, but give a better feel for the nature of life in the unit. There are also some interesting appendices, in particular the discussion of the songs of the King's Africa Rifles.
This is a useful study of a part of the British army that is now receding into the past, with most of its regiments going in the early 1960s, half a century ago.

History of War

In the King's African Rifles: A history of the King's African Rifles and East African Forces, Malcolm Page, a retired British Army Brigadier General and veteran of the Somaliland Scouts, presents us with the first complete account of the history of the King's African Rifles (KAR). Created on 1 January 1902, the KAR would, by the time of its final disbandment in 1964, form the core military capability of the armies of at least five newly independent African states, namely Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, Uganda and Tanznia.

This book serves as the first port of call for most serious readers interested in the Regiment's history. A constant thread throughout the book is the affection and pride members of the KAR display towards the regiment as well as fellow members and veterans.

All in all, Page's book is an excellent introduction to arguably one of the most influential regiments in the history of the African content. As such it comes highly recommended.

African Armed Forces Journal - June 2011

In the first complete history of the East African forces, Malcolm Page, who himself served in the Somaliland Scouts for a number of years, researches the history of each unit from its foundation to the time of independence.

Military Times

THE King’s African Rifles (KAR) are recognised as one of the most effective colonial units formed under British administration. The author has produced a detailed and well-illustrated history of what has been until recently a much overlooked regiment. The officers and soldiers of the KAR fought in both World Wars and were deployed far beyond East Africa. They also figured prominently in the post-war guerrilla conflicts that preceded the British withdrawal from Africa. This comprehensive and complete history charts the story of the East Africans from their formation in 1902 through to the drawdown of the British Empire.

Soldier

K.A.R. - A HISTORY OF THE KING'S AFRICAN RIFLES

Page, Malcolm

Published by Leo Cooper, 1998 1st edition (1998)

From: Yesterday's Books (BOURNEMOUTH, United Kingdom)

About this Item: large 8vo, 20+298 pages, bibliography, maps, photographs, Foreword by Lord Alport : a comprehensive history of the King's African Rifles and East African Forces hardback Fine Fine dw isbn 0850525381 east africa kar kenya african rifles east african armies military kenyan tanganyika mad mullah mau mau italian african war. Seller Inventory # 18273


Formation

Six battalions were formed in 1902 by the amalgamation of the Central Africa Regiment (CAR), East Africa Rifles (EAR) and Uganda Rifles, with one or two battalions located in each of Nyasaland, Kenya, Uganda and British Somaliland:

  • 1st (Nyasaland) Battalion [1902�] with eight companies (formerly 1CAR)
  • 2nd (Nyasaland) Battalion [1902�] with six companies (formerly 2CAR)

The 1st and 2nd Battalions were also known as the 1st and 2nd Central African Battalions.

  • 3rd (Kenya) Battalion [1902�] with seven companies and a camel company (formerly the East African Rifles)
  • 4th (Uganda) Battalion [1902�] with nine companies (formerly the African Companies of the Uganda Rifles)
  • 5th (Uganda) Battalion [1902�] with four companies (formerly the Indian Contingent of the Uganda Rifles) — the senior battalion as it was the first to be raised.
  • 6th (British Somaliland) Battalion [1902�] formed from three infantry companies, the camel corps, militia and mounted infantry of the local forces in British Somaliland. [3]

On formation, there was no regular staff system in connection with these six battalions beyond the usual regimental staff and an Inspector-General who made two annual tours and reported to the Foreign Office. [4]

The 5th and 6th battalions were disbanded by 1910 as a cost-saving measure by the Colonial Office and out of white-settler concern over the existence of a large indigenous armed force.


Operational history [ edit | edit source ]

The King's African Rifles took part in the campaigns against Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan in Somalia during the early 1900s. Hassan was known to the British as the "Mad Mullah", though he was neither mad nor a mullah. The KAR were part of the British air and ground force that defeated Hassan in 1920.

First World War [ edit | edit source ]

The KAR began the First World War with 21 small companies in three battalions (each with up to eight companies following the British pre-1913 half-company establishment): the 1st Nyasaland (half of the battalion was located in northeast Nyasaland), 3rd East Africa (with one company on Zanzibar) and the 4th Uganda, both of the latter included a 4th platoon of Sudanese with the 4th platoons of 4th battalion being led by Sudanese officers. Additionally the companies were scattered all over British East Africa.

Full strength of the KAR in 1914 was 70 British officers, three British NCOs, and 2,325 Africans. There were no organic heavy weapons (each company had only one machine gun), including artillery or organised reserves and the companies were in reality large platoons of 70 to 80 men.

In 1915 the KAR was expanded by having the three battalions reorganised into standard four-company battalions, which were then brought up to full strength at 1,045 men each. It was not until early 1916 that the 2nd Nyasaland and 5th Kenya battalions [1916–1963] were re-raised, this had more to do with white settler and South African sensitivities about arming and training large numbers of black African troops. Later in 1916 the 2nd, 3rd and 4th battalions were expanded into two battalions each through recruiting in their home areas. It was not until General Hoskin (formerly the Inspector General of the KAR) was appointed to command British East African forces in 1917 that genuine expansion began. The 1st Battalion was doubled and the 6th (Tanganyika Territory) Battalion was raised from askaris of the former German East Africa and then it too was doubled. The 7th was formed from the Zanzibar Armed Constabulary and the Mafia Constabulary. Later in 1917 many other duplicate battalions were created as the first four battalions (now called regiments in the British tradition) each raised a 3rd battalion and a 4th or Training Battalion. The 4th Regiment raised an additional two battalions, the 5th and 6th through recruiting in Uganda. The KAR Mounted Infantry Unit (on camels), originally part of the 3rd regiment and the KAR Signals Company were also raised.

Thus in late 1918 the KAR consisted of 22 battalions as follows:

  • Western Force: 1st KAR Regiment with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions plus 1st and 2nd Battalions 4th KAR Regt
  • Eastern Force: 2nd KAR Regiment with 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions plus 3rd and 4th Battalions 4th KAR Regt
  • German East Africa Garrison: 3rd Battalion of the 3rd KAR, 5th battalion of the 4th KAR, 2nd battalion of the 6th KAR, 1st Battalion of the 7th KAR.
  • British East Africa Garrison: 1st Battalion of the 5th KAR, 1st Battalion of the 6th KAR
  • KAR Training Force: 4th Battalion 1st KAR, 4th Battalion 2nd KAR, 4th Battalion 3rd KAR, 6th Battalion 4th KAR

Part of the KAR's expansion involved bringing up unit strengths to the same size as British and Indian Army Imperial Service units, while also increasing the numbers of white officers and NCOs. The increase in cadres was difficult due to the shortage of Swahili speaking whites, as many white settlers had already formed segregated units such as the East African Mounted Rifles, the East African Regiment, the Uganda Volunteer Rifles and the Zanzibar Volunteer Defence Force.

The regiment fought in the East African Campaign against the German commander Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck and his forces in German East Africa. Transport and support into the interior was provided by over 400,000 porters of the Carrier Corps.

By the end of the Great War the KAR comprised 1,193 British officers, 1,497 British NCOs and 30,658 Africans (33,348 total) in 22 battalions, including two made up of former German askaris, as noted above. In Armies in East Africa 1914–18, Peter Abbot notes that the KAR units recruited from former prisoners of war were used as garrison troops by the British, to avoid any conflict of loyalties. However, one of these battalions was involved in the pursuit of a force under Hauptman Wintgens from February to October 1917.

KAR casualties in the First World War were 5,117 killed and wounded with another 3,039 dying from diseases.

Inter-war period [ edit | edit source ]

During the interwar period, the KAR was slowly demobilised to a peace time establishment of 6 battalions, at which strength the Regiment remained until the Second World War. In 1938, the Regiment was composed of two brigade-strength units organised as a "Northern Brigade" and a "Southern Brigade." The combined strength of both units amounted to 94 officers, 60 non-commissioned officers, and 2,821 African other ranks. After the outbreak of war, these units provided the trained nucleus for the rapid expansion of the KAR. By March 1940, the strength of the KAR had reached 883 officers, 1,374 non-commissioned officers, and 20,026 African other ranks. ΐ]

Second World War [ edit | edit source ]

The KAR fought in several campaigns during the War of 1939–1945. It fought against the Italians in Italian East Africa during the East African Campaign, against the Vichy French in Madagascar during the Battle of Madagascar, and against the Japanese in Burma during the Burma Campaign.

Initially the KAR was deployed as the 1st East African Infantry Brigade and the 2nd East African Infantry Brigade. The first brigade was responsible for coastal defence and the second for the defence of the interior. (See 1st SA Infantry Division) By the end of July 1940, two additional East African brigades were formed, the 3rd East African Infantry Brigade and the 6th East African Infantry Brigade. Initially a Coastal Division and a Northern Frontier District Division were planned, but, instead, the 11th African Division and the 12th African Division were formed.

The two divisions included East African, Ghanaian, Nigerian, and South African troops. The Ghanaian and Nigerian troops came from the Royal West African Frontier Force. Under the terms of a war contingency plan, a brigade each was provided from the Gold Coast (now Ghana) and from Nigeria for service in Kenya. A Nigerian brigade, together with two East African brigades (the KAR brigades) and some South Africans, formed the 11th African Division. The 12th African Division was similarly formed, but with the Ghanaian brigade instead of the Nigerian brigade.

In 1941, during the East African Campaign, Sergeant Nigel Gray Leakey of the 1/6th Battalion was awarded the regiment's first and only Victoria Cross (VC).

Troops of 11th East African Division on the road to Kalewa, Burma, during the Chindwin River crossing.

The 11th African Division was disbanded in November 1941 and the 12th African Division was disbanded in April 1943. In 1943, the 11th (East Africa) Division was formed and it fought in Burma. In addition, two independent infantry brigades were sent from East Africa to India for service in Burma. The 22 (East Africa) Infantry Brigade served in the Arakan under command of XV Indian Corps, while the 28th (East Africa) Infantry Brigade served under IV Corps, playing a crucial role in the crossing of the Irrawaddy River.

By the end of the war the regiment had raised forty-three battalions (including two in British Somaliland), nine independent garrison companies, an armoured car regiment, an artillery unit, as well as engineer, signal and transport sections.

After the Second World War [ edit | edit source ]

The regiment played a major role in operations against the insurgents during the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya. In 1952, the 7th (Kenya) Battalion was reformed. It was renumbered as the 11th (Kenya) Battalion in 1956. 2nd/3rd Battalion, a reserve unit, was raised during the military phase of the emergency in Kenya and was under consideration for disbandment by 1957. Α]

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalions saw service in the Malayan Emergency, where they were heavily involved in fighting Communist rebels, suffering 23 dead.

The regiment was retitled the East African Land Forces in 1957. The last Colonel-in-Chief of the KAR was HM Queen Elizabeth II.

When the various territories from which the KAR was recruited became independent, the regiment began to break up:

  • 1st Battalion—1st Battalion, Malawi Rifles
  • 2nd Battalion—2nd Battalion, Northern Rhodesia Regiment (subsequently Zambia Regiment)
  • 3rd Battalion—3rd Battalion, Kenya RiflesΒ]
  • 4th Battalion—1st Battalion, Uganda Rifles (later formed basis of the military of Uganda)
  • 5th Battalion—5th Battalion, Kenya Rifles Β]
  • 6th Battalion—1st Battalion, Tanganyika Rifles
  • 11th Battalion—11th Battalion, Kenya Rifles
  • 26th Battalion—2nd Battalion, Tanganyika Rifles

The extent to which KAR traditions influence the modern national armies of the former East African colonies varies from country to country. In Tanzania, a mutiny in 1964 led to a conscious decision to move away from the British military model. In Kenya, on the other hand, the title of Kenya Rifles survives and the various campaigns in which the KAR distinguished itself in both World Wars are still commemorated.


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I purchased this book thinking it would be much like most histories, with sufficient narrative to make the contents accessible to someone who was there, but not in the military. It opens with several pages of acronyms and abbreviations, which should perhaps come as a fold-out insert from the back flap, as it is essential to keep referring to it throughout.

Many people will have heard of the KAR. It was evidently a somewhat fluid organisation, with units drawn from various parts of British Africa, and given unit designations in a typically military fashion only the initiated can properly follow the story, as units get re-designated and parts of units temporarily lent to other units. The book scrupulously follows every twist and turn in the campaigns in which sections of the KAR were engaged, from its beginnings through two world wars and up to independence. Within this dense mass of abbreviated material there are some surprises - the inclusion of forces from South and West Africa, several peoples of East Africa, and from as far as India. Exactly how all these elements managed to move around so apparently swiftly is, unfortunately, omitted.

Also left out are periodic overviews. Campaign follows campaign at breakneck speed, which may very well have been what serving officers and askaris experienced, but leaves one wondering what the units not involved were up to. And what did happen to those hurriedly despatched to North Africa, for example. There is no clear view of which elements were based where, and almost no mention of the considerable support and supply effort required to keep the front-line troops active. Additionally, Kenya was a key transit and supply depot in WWII not just for the KAR, but for the North Africa and Far East campaigns. How this part of the armed forces interacted with the local brigades (which it certainly did) is unexplored.

Fighting is something soldiers do, and needs to be included, obviously. I had been hoping for a much broader picture of why the KAR existed at any given time, and how it developed to respond to different strategic demands over its honourable history. Unfortunately, this has to be extrapolated from the myriad details, and what is missing is a sense of what the KAR as a whole was like, rather than individual parts of it.


Notable servicemen

  • Idi Amin, future Ugandan dictator, had joined the KAR in 1946.
  • Roald Dahl
  • Robert Fraser, art dealer
  • General Sir George Giffard
  • Freddie de Guingand, Major-General, KBE, CB, DSO, seconded to KAR 1926–1931. Chief of Staff to Sir Bernard Montgomery during operations from Egypt to Northern Europe during the Second World War.
  • David Gordon Hines, later in East African Colonial Service
  • Waruhiu Itote, "General China" in the Mau Mau rebellion
  • Nigel Gray Leakey, VC
  • P. J. Marshall, historian of the British Empire in the eighteenth century
  • Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen
  • Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Mitchell – "Mad Mitch"
  • Hussein Onyango Obama, U.S. President Barack Obama's paternal grandfather
  • Captain Henry Alexander Walker, 1st Battalion KAR
  • Eric Wilson, VC

King's African Rifles - A History, Malcolm Page - History

Author: Malcolm Page
Publisher: Casemate Publishing, May 2011
Binding: Softcover
ISBN: 1-84884-438-7

More Information
Whatever one may think about the rights & wrongs of colonial rule, it is hard to deny that during the first half of the this century those African countries, which then came under British administration enjoyed a period of stability which most now look back upon with a profound sense of loss. Paradoxical though it may seem, one of the bulwarks of that stability was each country?s indigenous army. Trained & officered by the British, these force became a source of both pride & cohesion in their own country, none more so than the King?s African Rifles, founded in 1902 & probably the best known of the East African forces.

In this, the first complete history of the East African forces, Malcolm Page, who himself served in the Somaliland Scouts for a number of years, has had access to much new material while researching the history of each unit from it?s foundation to the time of independence.

Historians in several fields will be grateful to him for having put on record this very important period in the annals of both Great Britain & East Africa while the memories of many who served there were still fresh, & they themselves will perhaps be most grateful of all for this lasting tribute to the men they served & who served them, for in that shared sense of duty lay the true spirit of East African Forces.


History

The roots of the Regiment originate with the clashes with Arab slave traders and warlike native tribes, which compelled the African Lakes Corporation to employ armed natives, under British officers, to protect their stations. It was a Captain F D Lugard (Norfolk Regt.) who, in 1888, volunteered to lead a military expedition against the slave trader Mlozi. Nyasaland became a Protectorate in 1889 and the Government formed what was to become 1st Battalion, The Central African Rifles (CAR). A second Battalion was formed and sent to Mauritius, and then on to Somaliland to operate against the Mullah. Lugard later became Governor of Uganda.

CAR Battalion was sent to Ashanti in the Gold Coast in the June of 1900 where they distinguished themselves in action, and several companies were sent to the Gambia. Detachments from both Battalions came to England where King Edward VII presented medals for the Ashanti and Gambia campaigns. At about the same time the East African Rifles (EAR) was formed to support the civil powers of the new British East African Protectorate. Lugard formed a similar force in Uganda, which, in 1894, after the declaration of The Uganda Protectorate, became The Uganda Rifles (UR).

Finally, on 1st January, 1902, all these various Battalions were amalgamated into a new regiment, to be known as: THE KING’S AFRICAN RIFLES . There were to be six Battalions: 1st and 2nd Nyasaland, 4th Uganda, 3rd and 5th Kenya, and 6th Somaliland.

THE MAD MULLAH

The first and longest campaign fought by the new Regiment, KAR, was in Somaliland from 1900 to 1920 against Seyed Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan, the “Mad Mullah”. The Mullah’s revolt threatened the stability of the whole Somali region. All the KAR Battalions (except 4 KAR) were involved.

THE GREAT WAR

The 1914-18 war was fought in German East Africa, now Tanzania, and the enemy did not lay down their arms until November, 1918. By the end of the war the KAR strength had risen to 22 Battalions. This included a “new” 6 KAR formed from the ex-German askari of the Schutztruppen. The total strength of the KAR was 35,500, of whom 11% were European. Casualties were 8225, including 22.6% of the officers. The total troops involved were 114,000, with casualties of 62,000. There were between 400,000 and 500,000 native porters – The Carrier Corps, of whom 40,000 were unaccounted for at the end of the campaign.

Regimental Colours were awarded to the four senior Battalions in 1923.

King George V became Colonel in Chief on 15th September, 1925,

a tradition which has been followed by King Edward VIII,

King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth II.

Between the two World Wars, though substantial economies of men and materials were made, organisational changes meant that at the outbreak of the 1939 conflict, the Regiment was in a good position to defend the northern borders of East Africa from invasion.

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

Other arms of the military were developed, particularly Signals, but also Artillery, Ordnance, Engineers, REME, Transport, Education and Medical.

The first active campaign was that fought against the Italians in Somaliland and Abyssinia. After a short period of defensive action when the Italians invaded Northern Kenya, in February 1941 the 11th and 12th African Divisions attacked northward into Somaliland and Abyssinia. They advanced at great speed, and after much hard fighting and exhausting pursuits of the enemy completed the campaign by July in the same year. Two Victoria Crosses and many other gallantry medals were awarded during the campaign.

The second campaing joined by the KAR was the invasion of Madagascar in 1942. The island was held by the Vichy French, and was the key to the safety of the Indian Ocean. Had the Japanese been able to use the island as a submarine base, the consequences to Allied shipping from the Cape to the Middle East would have been most serious. As it was, Madagascar was taken in six weeks, at the end of which a detchment of 6 KAR broke the record of a forced march by covering 80 miles in 21 hours, a record which held for many years. The detachment was commanded by Major General (then Captain) Rowley “Toto” Mans, immediate Past President of the KAR & EAF Association. General Mans died in 2002.

Towards the end of 1943, the East African Scouts joined 81 West African Division in Burma and went into action in the Kaladan Valley. The 11th East African Division which had moved to Ceylon in February 1944, joined XIV Army at Imphal in July. The Division fought its way down the great river system of Burma, 25 Brigade advancing through the height of the monsoon to cross the Chidwin. 26 Brigade struck down the Kabaw Valley 21 Brigade played a major part in forcing the Japanese to abandon the gateway to Mandalay. 22 Brigade suffered heavy battle casualties on the exposed right flank of 2 Corps. The Division returned to East Africa at the end of 1945. By the end of the war there were 44 KAR Battalions.

In 1951 1 KAR in Lusaka and 3 KAR in Nanyuki were alerted to move to Malaya for action against the Malayan Races Liberation Army, a communist force mainly made up of Straits Chinese insurgents attempting to take over the country.

1952 saw 1 KAR in Bentong and 3 KAR in Triang. 3 KAR later moved to Kuantan. They stayed until 1953.

In 1953 3 KAR was relieved by 2 KAR and 1 KAR returned to Central Africa.

1953 to 1954 2 KAR in Kuantan

1954 2 KAR was relieved by 1 NRR.

1955 1 NRR was relieved by 1 RAR who stayed until 1956 before returning to Southern Rhodesia.

After serious outbreaks of disorder among the Kikuyu tribe of Kenya, a State of Emergency was declared by the Governor on 29th September, 1952. Once again the KAR was heavily involved in operations against Mau Mau. The campaign involved five KAR Battalions, including 23 KAR which had only been formed in 1951 as a second line to 3 KAR which was leaving Kenya (the first time African troops had served outside Africa in peace time) for Malaya with 1 KAR, and which distinguished itself notably in operations, gaining the honour of the award of Regimental Colours in 1956. 26 KAR was formed during the Mau Mau period. Also engaged were two British Brigades, The Kenya Regiment, 21,000 Police and 250,000 loyal Kikuyu Guard. The Army was on active service for four years in the operational areas.

INDEPENDENCE

The few years that followed the end of Mau Mau insurrection saw the coming of Independence to the East African Colonies and Protectorates, and with this, the eventual disbandment of the King’s African Rifles. During its existence, it had fought with honour in many and varied theatres of operation many of its European officers and African askari were killed or injured, and many received bravery awards.


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