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Photographs of the German South-West Africa [i.e. Namibia] Campaign, 1915

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3057A

Scope and Contents

A collection of loose photographs (modern prints from original glass negatives probably taken by Stanley Archibald Markham Pritchard), most measuring approximately 190 x 140 mm and showing scenes connected with the occupation of Windhoek and a trip to Ovamboland undertaken by Pritchard later in the same year. Originals of these photographs (3-4 and 7-9) were used to illustrate a talk given by Pritchard to the African Society on May 11 1916 and the same captions are used here. The captions may include language which is offensive, inaccurate or inappropriate. They have been retained to reflect the context of the collection's creation. Captions for the remaining prints have been composed for this catalogue and are enclosed in square brackets.

Colonel Stanley Archibald Markham Pritchard (born 1874) served in the Cape Mounted Rifles 1894-98, the Basutoland Mounted Police 1898-1901 and was Private Secretary to the Commissioner for Native Affairs in August 1901. The rest of his documented career in Africa appears to have remained within the field: he was appointed Director of Native Labour in December 1909. At the period these photographs were taken, Pritchard was also the 1st Administrator for Native Affairs in the newly mandated territories. It has been assumed that he took the photographs of the surrender of Windhoek but the photographs of German officers on patrol are more likely the work of another hand. The occupation had been a relatively trouble-free one: on the declaration of war, the Union Government had telegraphed to the British Government its willingness to help the British war effort (and thus free imperial troops stationed in South Africa for duty elsewhere) and both sides agreed that the acquisition of German South-West Africa would be an important strategic move. Complications ensued with an abortive attempt by General De Wet and Manie Maritz to ally with the Germans and proclaim a Free South African Republic, but the campaign was ordered smoothly and efficiently by General Botha and the Germans were soon overcome.

After the surrender of Windhoek (May 12 1915) Pritchard, in his capacity as officer in charge of Native Affairs, was sent on August 4 to establish friendly relations with the Ovamba chiefs in the north of the territory and to persuade them to move south to work in the mines and also to decongest the famine-stricken areas. This he achieved with the help of Chief Martin of the Ondongas, the largest group in Ovamboland. In a second visit to Ovamboland in November of the same year he accompanied the new administrators to the area and took up the first batch of relief supplies. During the years 1916-18 Pritchard was Colonel (Staff Officer) of the South African Labour Contingent and was awarded the C.M.G. His later movements have not been established.


  • Creation: 1915


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 (


13 item(s) (13 images)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Good condition.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The negatives were presented by the Royal African Society and prints were made by the Imperial War Museum in 1973.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: Africa, fiche number 180.


A summary of Pritchard's talk is reproduced in: Experiences in German south-west Africa (1916-1917) 'Journal of the African Society', vol. xvii, pp. 1-6.


This item level description was entered by SG and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Imperial War Museum

Includes index.
2004-01-06 09:26:53+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