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Barracks of No. 7 Coy. Mumias, 1899

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3045A/57

Scope and Contents

From the Fonds:

Two albums with two loose prints (which may not belong to this collection) inserted. The two albums were the property of Charles Edwin Collard, Captain, Royal Marine Light Infantry. The albums have been rebound, but the labels on the covers ‘Uganda 1898-1900’ have been retained. Most of the photographs are 115 x 90 mm. Collard was presumably the photographer except for the few prints in which he appears, and all the photographs are captioned. However, it appears likely that this was done by someone without first-hand knowledge, as there are numerous inconsistencies in names, etc. which have been corrected in brackets as far as possible. The captions have been recorded as found and may include language which is offensive, inaccurate or inappropriate. They have been retained to reflect the context of the collection's creation.

The last few years of the nineteenth century were a turbulent time in Uganda. Kabarega, King of Bunyoro, had been carrying on a guerrilla war since his country had been occupied in 1894, and in 1897, Mwanga, King of Buganda, also began hostilities. In September of the same year Sudanese troops mutinied. British forces in East Africa were reinforced; troops were brought from India and more British officers were drafted into the area. Captain Collard was in command of a company of Sudanese troops of the Uganda Rifles, and was commended for his ‘hard work and zeal’ in a despatch on operations in Unyoro by Major Martyr, 9 August 1898. His activities in 1898-99 have not been traced in official records, but an outline can be gathered from these albums. Most of the prints have a letter and number following the caption and from these it appears that the general order is good, except for B45-49 which belong to the period of, and in four cases duplicate, A75-78. At first, in November 1898, Captain Collard was at Dufile on the Albert Nile in northern Uganda, close to the Sudan border (A1-21). A22-30 show scenes on the Nile and crossing the Victoria Nyanza at the turn of the year. During January Collard reached Mumias in the Nzoia River; miscellaneous scenes there are in A31-94, 106-109, B13-14, 26-60, and events during a punitive expedition in Kavirondo at A95-105. In April 1899 a detachment (probably commanded by Captain Swayne) reached the town with Kabarega and Mwanga, who had been captured at Kangai in April (A110-113, B1-12). Other places photographed were Port Victoria (B15-25) and Port Ugowe (Kisumu) September 1899 (B61-74).

Collard was the senior military officer on the expedition in December 1899 against the Uyoma and other northern Luo peoples that set out from Mumias and Port Ugowe, but despite the date on the albums there are no relevant photographs. Other participants were Drs. Jackson and Pownall, Sergeants Ellison and Greenwood, H. Galt and C.W. Hobley. The house in B41 is probably that of Hobley, who was at Mumias as sub-Commissioner until June 1899 and thereafter spent his time between there and Port Ugowe. It is surprising that he does not appear in any of the photographs. Porters for this expedition were supplied by the Luo chief, Odera (A39).

It should be noted that the use of the word Kavirondo to describe the people in the area is somewhat misleading. There were two peoples: Abuluya (e.g. A31) and Luo (e.g. B16, 61).

Many of the photographs show military or civil officers in East Africa. Some were part of Collard’s command, others were stationed at places he visited. The following list gives brief identifications and the location of photographs of individuals concerned:

Anderson, Rowland James Percy (1873-1950), Lt. 11th Hussars: A63, 64. He was the nephew of Sir Percy Anderson who had been head of the African Department of the Foreign Office.

Carleton, Montgomery Launcelot (1861-1942), Captain R.A.: A3, 5.

Carre, L.J. Gerald, Doctor on Uganda Railway and with 27th Bombay L.I.: A15. He absented himself from his Uganda Railway post to join the Indian contingent on the relief operations.

Collard, Charles Edwin (1868-1942), Captain of R.M.L.I.: A3, 5, 8, 74, B51, 67.

Delme-Radcliffe, Sir Charles (1864-1937), Connaught Rangers; Brigadier-General in World War I, KCMG 1919: A70.

Dugmore, William Francis Brougham Radcliffe (1868-1917), DSO, Lt. North Staffordshire Regiment: B38.

Ellison, T.F., Col. Sgt. R.M.L.I.: A77, B33, 47, 49, 50.

Galt, Harry St George (c1872-1905), Govt. Officer, Uganda: B65, 67. He was at Port Victoria until July 1899 when he took charge of the new station at Port Ugowe.

Greenwood, Thomas (? - 1936), Sgt., Asst. Superintendent Police: B64, 67.

Knowles, Frederick Arthur (1872-1922), Assistant Collector: B67. He was stationed at Port Ugowe and did tours of duty at Mumias.

Macpherson, Dr. James Simpson (1863-1935). IBEACO and govt. service. A89.

Milne, Arthur Dawson (1867-1932), Medical Officer, Uganda: A3, 4, 5 , 7.

Moses, Michael (1874-1957), Clerk and interpreter: B36. Michael Moses was an Armenian who attached himself to the Uganda troops. He later took up transport work, became one of the leading businessmen in Kampala, and was awarded the OBE.

Osborne, F., Sgt. RHA.: A3.

Pereira, Sir Cecil Edward (1869-1942), Lt. Coldstream Guards: A53, 65, 66. He had been on Major Martyr's ‘Juba’ expedition and was at Mumias from January 1899 until he went to Port Ugowe in June, where he had a short spell until he built Fort Ternan.

Phelips, Hugh Richard (? - 1940), Auditor East Africa: A80. He was on a visit of inspection to Mumias.

Pownall, Graham S. Medical Officer, Uganda: B66, 67.

Scott, T. Bugler-Sgt. Uganda Rifles: B49.

Stong, A.W. Armourer-Sgt. Uganda Rifles: A3.

Swayne, Sir Eric John Eagles (1863-1929), Capt. Indian Contingent: B37. He returned to Mumias in July 1899.

Sykes, Clement Arthur (1871-1938), Lt. R.F.A.: A3, 6, 56. He wrote a book ‘Service and Sport on the tropical Nile’ (1903) including some account of life at Dufile, but it is lacking in detail of military activities.


  • Creation: 1899


Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Language of Materials


Finding aid date

2017-04-12 09:33:40+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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