Fighting Their Own War: South African Blacks and the First World War

TitleFighting Their Own War: South African Blacks and the First World War
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1987
AuthorsGrundlingh, Albert
Number of Pages210
PublisherRavan Press

The author directs his attention to the much ignored Blacks in uniform recruited by South Africa for military service in the campaigns in South West and East Africa, and also for the European Western Front. Subject to discrimination in every respect the Black labourers, plucked from their homes by a combination of chiefs, army recruiters, and offers of financial reward, served and died with little official recognition. Government policy, local pressures, African responses, and the social and political impact of the war on Blacks, are all investigated and reconstructed by Grundlingh with skill and balance. This is an important contribution to the new social history of South Africa which helps further to correct the false view of the Great War as merely a 'white man's war'. [David Killingrey]

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