The Book

Welcome to the website for On Call in Africa, in War and Peace, 1910-1932.

The book contains the story and eye-witness account of events based on the personal diary, memoirs and extensive photography of Dr Norman Parsons Jewell who served as a Medical Officer throughout the first world war in East Africa, as well as a Doctor and Administrator in the UK colonial service in Seychelles (pre-war) and Kenya (post-war).

Relevant entries from Norman’s official diaries, held in the National Archives in the UK, provide exact dates, places, record of events and medical statistics to complement the personal memoirs, photographs and observations on the war that form the main Part 1 of the book. The National Archive data are summarized by Dr Anne Samson in Part 2 of the book to provide factual documentation to the main memoirs. Attention is drawn to the Pike Report on medical, supply and other matters during the East African campaign, a report that remains largely unknown due to secret/sensitive government classification for 100 years.

The story of Norman’s remarkable wife, Sydney Elizabeth Auchinleck, their period together at Trinity College Dublin, where she was among the first women to be admitted in 1904 and the first to graduate in Chemistry, and their children John, Norman, Norah and Daphne, born in the Seychelles and Kenya, is summarized in a short Part 3. The School of Chemistry at Trinity College recently inaugurated the Sydney E. Auchinleck Postgraduate Research Studentship in her honour (November 2016).

This website provides information on early 20th century East African and WW1 history based on the eye witness account and unique photographs by Norman Jewell.

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The book Editor Dr Tony Jewell before his presentation at the LSHTM. An interview about the book and this period of East African and medical history is available at Away from the Western Front.

The book contains 145 photos, many maps and illustrations, and is 416 pages long (book Flyer). The high quality, hardback First Edition was published on 31st March 2016 and may be purchased directly from the publisher at 50% off the recommended retail price (postage included) through this website.

The book is available from UK bookshops, including at the National Archives in Kew, the National Army Museum in London and the National WW1 Museum in USA. The book is available at low cost for Kindle,  iBook and other ebook reader formats (worldwide).

A selection of 210 original photographs by Norman Jewell are available from the Mary Evans Picture Library accessible for either educational or commercial uses.  A downloadable catalogue provides a convenient listing for the On Call in Africa Photo Collection.

This period of East African history and the events during WW1 in Africa are topics of important public and historical interest; we provide Useful Links to published books, documents, video and online resources, including the 1914-1918 WW1 encyclopedia, for information and further research.

A concise summary of the main events during WW1 in East Africa is provided in this Infographic.

Updates on current events, conferences and news on the history may be found at the Great War in Africa Association run by Dr Anne Samson, who has written about her research work for the book.

A recent article in Old Africa Magazine Aug-Sept 2016 describes the genesis of the book and another describes events at the Battle for Taveta excerpted from the book.

A recent review was published in the Kings African Rifles magazine Rhino Link October 2016 and in CoastWeek in Kenya Fast and fascinating memoir of medical man in Kenya 1914-32. Also a recent review from the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

Please see many other Reviews as well as Comments from book purchasers.

The Book Index and the list of Contents and Illustrations are useful pages to check for specific people, places and events described in On Call in Africa.

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