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From West to East through Africa

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y304F

Scope and Contents

Bound volume 'for Private Circulation only' of 50 pages of typescript reproduced on thin card, illustrated by photographs, measuring 105 x 60 mm, taken (with the exception of plate 1) by the writer. All are dated and, in most cases, timed. The captions have been amplified in some cases from the text of the diary.

This book is the record of a car journey, February-March 1928, when he went on leave by driving from Kano to Mombasa via French Equatorial Africa, the Belgian Congo, the Sudan, Uganda, and Kenya, a journey of nearly 3,500 miles. It provides a lively account of the problems of travel in Africa at that time. There is also an itinerary of the 1927 journey from Lagos (where he bought his car) to Zaria, thence to Katsina, and from Katsina to Kano before the start of his trans-continental journey. A torn fragment of letter suggests that copies were sent to his friends after his death.

This volume is stored at RCMS 123.


  • Creation: 1928-02 - 1928-03


Conditions Governing Access

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 (

Biographical / Historical

Christopher Matthew Barlow was born in 1898; he was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery at the age of seventeen, served in France 1917-1919 and Egyptian Expeditionary Force Palestine 1919-1920, and was awarded the Military Cross. After graduating at Cambridge, he entered the Nigerian Administrative Service in 1924, becoming an Assistant District Officer serving in the Northern Provinces. He was killed at Shendam on 9 February 1930 - 'His death in an affray with pagans in the Plateau Province was a great loss to Nigeria' wrote his friend and colleague Francis de Forest Daniel.


1 volume(s) (30 images in 1 volume)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition apart from slight fading.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented in October 1961 by Francis de Forest Daniel, a friend and colleague of Barlow.


This collection level description was entered by SG using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Barlow, Christopher Matthew, 1898-1930

Includes index.
2004-07-28 15:58:01+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom