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On Call in Africa

On Call in Africa

Item #: 106585

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These memoirs are based on the diaries and handwritten memoirs of Dr. Normal Jewell. They offer an intriguing view of the life of a young doctor in the Seychelles in 1910. After four idyllic years in this tropical Eden, Norman waved goodbye to his pregnant wife and two baby sons and set sail for Mombasa, to join the World War One campaign in East Africa.

He was posted, as a Captain in the British Army, to Kisumu on Lake Victoria and then to the 3 East African Field Ambulance. This took him into German East Africa via circuitous routes and battlefield skirmishes following the famous undefeated German commander, General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.

Faced with the risk of injury and death from warfare he also battled hunger, recurrent dysentery and bouts of malaria through to 1917 when a particularly bad attack of malaria forced him to return to the Seychelles, via Bombay, to convalesce. There he met his new daughter who was born in 1915 after he had left for war.

Upon his return to East Africa after six weeks he was posted back to the Field Ambulance and served in the continuing campaign in the southern part of former German East Africa where he was awarded the Military Cross.

Post war, after surviving Bloody Sunday in Dublin in 1920, he rejoined the Colonial Medical Service in the new Kenya Colony and his stories of the development of medicine, managing smallpox and other epidemics, his social surroundings in Mombasa and Nairobi and the people he met provide a fascinating professional and personal picture of life at the time in British East Africa.

This book is based on his diaries and richly illustrated with his photographs before, during and after the war and will be of interest to historians of the period in Africa. Transcripts of his archived war diaries are reproduced and a section which provides more background to his wife Sydney and the family provides an account of extraordinary lives in a fascinating historical period.

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