SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM" |
Rifleman J TODD.
703, 2nd, South African Rifles
who died on the 20th of January 1917.
Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery,
German East Africa, now Tanzania.
J Todd appears on the North Skelton War Memorial and on the plaque in Skelton Church.
On the 1901 census there is a John Todd living at 3 Bolckow St, N Skelton.
He is aged 18 at the time and working as a grocer's apprentice.
The British had forced the Germans to surrender in West Africa in 1915.
The German colony of East Africa included what is now Burundi, Rwanda, and the mainland part of Tanzania.
It came into existence during the 1880s and ended during World War I, when the area was taken over by the British.
Colonial trade and jealousy over possessions was one of the causes of the war.
General Paul Erich von Lettow-Vorbeck, the colony's military commander with only a force of 3,000 Europeans & 11,000
native levies, called Askaris, opposed a British/Imperial army 300,000 strong.
The country was ideal for the hit and run guerilla tactics he used.
Up to the end of 1916 the Allied army was under the command of the former Boer War Commander Jan Smuts.
The Germans fought here until after the armistice in Europe and cost some 60,000 allied casualties.
East Africa was a region where tropical diseases could take a heavy toll of unacclimatised troops and for every men
the Allies lost in battle during the campaign, a further thirty were lost through sickness.
How North Skeltoner John Todd came to be in the S African Rifles and how he met his end amid all this is not known.