Page 125 - The-History-of-the-Royal-West-African-Frontier-Force

Basic HTML Version

TOGOLAND AND THE CAMEROONS CAMPATGNS
99
whether he was to be given a free hand in forward movements. A reply
came that pending further instructions a forward movement could not be
sanctioned.
While this had been happening General Dobell had drawn up an
appreciation for the Offensive Sub-Committee based on the assumption
that the invading force would require a reinforcement of three companies
Sierra Leone W.A.F.F., which would need a naval escort, whose co–
operation in the attack on Lome would be of great value. The timing of
this offensive, he said, must be dependent on when the Navy could provide
the necessary ships. Hence the instructions to await sanction for a forward
movement.
On 7th August a wireless message in clear from the German Governor
to Berlin was intercepted saying he was evacuating Lome and withdrawing
towards Kamina to defend the wireless installation there . On receipt
of this news the British Government instructed Bryant to move two
companies and a section of guns by the quickest route to Ada, and if
Lome surrendered, to occupy it as a base for a subsequent advance on
Kamina.
At 1900 hours Barker, accompanied by Mr. Newlands, District Com–
missioner of Keta, and two orderlies, proceeded to Lome by Ford car,
where they were met by Mr. Clausnitzer, to whom Major V. Doering had
delegated full powers to surrender Lome and the coastline to Anecho with
territory extending 120 miles inland, i.e. as far as Khra village.
At the same hour Major Maroix, commanding the French troops in
Dahomey, occupied the frontier post of Agbanake without opposition
and next morning Captain Marchand entered Anecho.
It
having been ascertained that the French were ready to assist in an attack
on Kamina, and that Bryant considered the Anglo-French force sufficient
for the purpose, the Colonial Office sanctioned the operation, at the same
time putting Bryant in command of the whole force with temporary rank
of Lieutenant-Colonel on 9th August.
Meanwhile Barker and Newlands were spending an anxious time in
Lome awaiting the arrival of the troops from Ada and Keta. They duly
arrived on 9th, having marched over 50 miles in 50 hours, being conse–
quently in a very exhausted state.
On 12th August
l
Bryant arrived at Lome. On that date the situation
was as follows:
Germans
Northern Railway ; at railhead and north of
Khra River
Sansane Mangu, Yendi Kete Krachi and
Palime Railway
Europeans Rank and File
200
8oo
lOO
4oo
3oo
1,2oo
IOn th is date Regimental Sergeant-Major Alhaji Grunshi, D.C.M., M.M., fired the
first shot in the Campaign. It is said to
be
the first shot fied by any British soldier in
the 1914-18 War.