The Botswana society to present �Africa�s First World War�

Dr. Jeff Ramsay
Dr. Jeff Ramsay

The Botswana Society will present ‘Africa’s First World War 1914-16, An Illustrated Presentation’ by Dr. Jeff Ramsay

No armed conflict had a greater impact on Africa as a whole than the First World War. This conflict reached every corner of the continent, including Botswana.  Between 1914 and 1918, c. 500,000 Africans served in the battlefields and trenches of Europe and the Middle East, while here in Africa millions were involved in military action.  As many as 750 000 African combatants perished, many from the SADC region. Millions of civilians were also put in harm’s way. In some areas, 1 out of 10 civilians died as a result.

Yet, a century later the large scale presence of African troops on the Western Front is not acknowledged in popular images of the war, while the widespread horror it caused in Africa is often dismissed or treated as a sideshow.

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