Vestiges: Traces of Record 2017 Volume 3


       
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A Small Part of Which Empire?: Swaziland’s Combatants in the First World War, 1914- 1918

Estella Musiiwa

Abstract

Based on archival material, this study explores the participation of Swaziland’s combatants in the First World War between 1914 and 1918. At the outbreak of the war it was imperative that Swaziland, as part of the British Empire, supports the British War effort. Caught up in South Africa’s long standing imperial motives, most of the combatants from Swaziland served in the war through the South African Overseas Expeditionary Force. Except for a few individuals who joined the war front in Europe on their own, the rest of the participants had to prove that they had participated in German South West Africa in order to qualify to serve on the war front in Europe. Most of them therefore served in German West Africa and Europe, or in German East Africa and Europe because South Africa had imperial interests in German West Africa and German East Africa. In serving the British Empire, Swaziland’s white combatants implicitly served South Africa’s conceptual or anticipated empire.  

Citation

MUSIIWA, Estella. A Small Part of Which Empire?: Swaziland’s Combatants in the First World War, 1914- 1918. Vestiges: Traces of Record, v. 3, n. 1, p. 45-64, june 2017. ISSN 2058-1963. DOI (Digital Object Identifier): 10.6084/m9.figshare.6248942

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