This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: AYY 1173).


START 10:45:20 Filmed sometime early in 1946, a train carrying men of the 11th (East African) Division returning from active service in Burma pulls into Nairobi railway station. A band belonging to the King's African Rifles plays on one of the station platforms. Lieutenant-General Sir Kenneth Anderson, Commander-in-Chief East Africa Command, and senior officers from the East African Division are present to greet the returning troops. Looking lean and fit, African soldiers wearing tropical battledress and in Full Service Marching Order, except for their weapons, disembark from a railway coach and deposit their kit bags on the platform. Close-up shots of a shoulder patch carrying the double-horned rhinoceros insignia of the 11th (East African) Division, the 'CMP' shoulder flash on a Military Policeman and his bronze sergeant's chevrons. The African soldiers line up on the station platform and are inspected by Anderson, who prods each man he speaks to with his swagger stick. The men file out of the station with all their portable belongings. Led by the King's African Rifles' regimental band, the Burma campaign veterans march smartly along a road leading from Nairobi station.

10:47:44 Views of rows of coffee bushes in a plantation next to the army camp outside Nairobi where Sergeant Wernham was stationed. Wernham's Army Film and Photographic Unit section officer, Lieutenant Morniment (wearing a black beret with a 4th Hussars cap badge), an AFPU driver and Wernham himself lark about in front of the camera before getting into their Ford 15-cwt truck and heading off on an assignment. This section includes close-ups of AFPU shoulder flashes on their army tunics.

10:49:24 Jungle warfare training for troops serving with the King's African Rifles in a forest near the Aberdare mountains (?): a Universal carrier emitting a thick plume of smoke from its exhausts as it is driven about among the trees. Smoke shells expode, adding to the smoke screen produced by the carrier's exhaust. African infantrymen advance with fixed bayonets into a replica Burmese village, using 'fire and movement' tactics to seize it and relying on smoke to screen their advance. A British battle instructor gets one infantryman to hurl a smoke grenade and goes over to give instructions to a Bren gunner nearby. A Japanese flag flies from one of the replica huts. Afterwards, members of a KAR carrier platoon wearing their steel helmets line up for inspection by a British Kenya Government official wearing a solar topee (the local District Commissioner ?); surveying the scene from the back of trucks parked nearby are several Askaris. Lieutenant-General Anderson and several other senior army officers are also present, as is a local African chief, wearing headgear consisting of ostrich feathers and a round metal badge that identifies him as a native magistrate for the Laikipia-Samburu District.

10:53:23 At another East African Command infantry training establishment outside Nairobi, senior British Army officers, officials and African tribal leaders watch African soldiers perform physical training exercises and take part in team games. African soldiers wearing steel helmets and in full marching order manhandle an Ordnance QF Mk IV 6-pounder anti-tank gun. They tackle an assault course designed to simulate a built-up area, hurl hand grenades at dummy buildings and crawl on their bellies across open ground and underneath barbed wire entanglements. They negotiate obstacles designed to accustom them to traversing ruined buildings and cross a gap with the help of ropes. Anderson and several other senior officers observe African infantrymen putting in a section attack under the cover of smoke grenades.

10:57:21 A small herd of thoroughbred horses, including a grey, graze on land owned by a British settler, a man in his fifties, who is joined by his teenage son for a gallop on horseback around a field. A zebra (possibly a hybrid) grazes contentedly with horses.

10:58:08 A European bookmaker chalks up the betting odds for an event at the Nairobi racecourse. Africans line up to place their bets. Views across the spectators show that there are separate enclosures for Whites and Non-Whites. Two smartly-dressed European women and their male escort study their racing programmes. The Union Jack flies above one of the racecourse's pavilions. A military band from the King's African Rifles plays in the racecourse's grounds. The jockeys (the majority European) ride their horses around the paddock and along the race course itself all the way down to the starting line itself. The jockeys and their mounts gallop around the course. At the end of the race, the jockeys ride their horses back to the paddock where they are met by their African grooms and their European owners and trainers.

END 10:02:15

African troops return from the war in the Far East. Battle training for African infantry. The Nairobi races.


Summary: John Wernham recorded audio commentary over this film on 14 May 1992, DVD Reel 4 "Reel 13" from 1.30 to 12.51.

Lieutenant-General Sir Kenneth Anderson, who led 1st Army in Tunisia from November 1942 to May 1943, served as Commander-in-Chief East Africa Command from January 1945 to October 1946.

Remarks: This material, together with the rest of Wernham's film record of his time in East Africa, constitutes a valuable and possibly unique pictorial record at this time in the region's colonial history.




Technical Data

Running Time:
16 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
423 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Directorate of Public Relations, War Office
Wernham, John (Sergeant)
Production company
Army Film and Photographic Unit