Book tells tale of World War I Hull gunners in Africa

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A new book tells the tale of a unit of the Hull Pals who served as artillerymen in Africa during World War I, reports the Hull Daily Mail.

Rupert Drake, whose grandfather Jack was one of those soldiers, has written a book called The Road To Lindi: Hull Boys In Africa.

Drake says: ‘My grandfather had a notebook with details about it but when he died, it was accidentally thrown away so I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to find out any more.

‘When I started to look into the history of the unit, I found there is actually very little written about it. But I was determined to try to fill in some of the blanks.

‘Luckily, I was corresponding with some cousins in America and it turned out they had a photocopy of his notebook. That was my starting point.’

The Hull Heavy Battery fought in what is now Tanzania and Kenya. Disease was rife. Rupert estimates that in excess of one third of all troops in East Africa were permanently unfit for duty during the rainy season due to illness.

Jack Drake enlisted in Hull in December 1914. Due to his skill with horses, learnt living on a farm, he was posted to the 1st Hull Heavy Battery instead of to an infantry unit.

The Road To Lindi: Hull Boys In Africa is published by Reveille Press, priced £17.99. Visit reveillepress.westernfrontassociation.com

For the original Hull Daily Mail story, click here.

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