Monday, December 15, 2008

Are you/do you know a Burma vet?

Forwarded enquiry - an interesting research project:

Over 90,000 African volunteers fought against the Japanese in Burma during World War II, in the two-year jungle warfare campaign in which allied forces reconquered Burma. The majority of these soldiers, of the Royal West African Frontier Force's 81st and 82nd divisions, came from Nigeria. Many of them became important community leaders and activists on their return home. Yet despite their central contribution to the war in Asia, their contribution has largely been forgotten. This self-funded (ie shoestring) project aims to interview as many as possible of the surviving 'Burma Boys', to record for posterity their life-changing experiences of war and empire. We (a UK-based phd student and a freelance film-maker) plan to eventually produce a TV history programme to give this subject wider coverage; while the recordings we make will be deposited in university archives in the UK and Nigeria.

We are very keen to hear of any Nigerian veterans of WWII's Burma campaign who might be willing to be interviewed sometime in January – we plan to make the research trip in 2nd and 3rd week of January. If you have a relative, family friend or know of anyone who fought in Burma, please mail [email protected] or call our Nigeria contact Henry Mang on 0806 645 9532 .


Anonymous,  9:17 pm  

I am Ghanaian, my dad who is eighty four is a Burma vet.

Mike,  10:38 am  

Not too many years ago WAFF Road in Kaduna was renamed Buhari Way - seems Nigeria wants to forget. At the time it was not a popular move except, of course, amongst political sycophants.

There is a war memorial and military graveyard in Aliyu Akilu Road (the extension of WAFF Road as I recall).

Anengiyefa 2:56 pm  

Well, this PhD student and the film-maker might have left this a bit too late now. Life expectancy in sub-saharan Africa is not what is is in the developed world. Although while growing up decades ago there were several veterans of WW2 around, including close relatives whom I was privileged to have met while they were still alive, most of these people are now deceased. I recall their lively stories and remember how intriguing it was to hear of their worldview. They were loyal subjects of the British monarch and were proud of it. Its interesting how different from them we are in modern times.

Anonymous,  8:52 pm  

Alot of the soldiers came from 'Numan' local govt area, Adamawa state.... apparently it had the highest number of soldiers in Nigeria. My mom always told me about a few soldiers from there who told her and other kids tales of the war...

If your docu makers can get there, they wont be disappointed. if the soldiers themselves are dead, their chidren may be able to narrate stories...

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