21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Artistic
The Triumphant

This is to remember the sacrifice made in World War I and World War II by our gallant African soldiers in the British African Colonial units. In June 1863, two years after Lagos Island was ceded to the British Empire by King Dosunmu under the threat of bombardment, what would become the West African Frontier Force was formed. It was made up of 30 tribesmen who were tasked with the responsibility of protecting the empire's interests, protect the inhabitants of Lagos from kidnappers and put an end to the slave trade. Who would have imagined that these 30 trained soldiers would grow into a formidable fighting force 50 years later that would be called upon by the British Empire to fight in three different European wars, which they came out of triumphant. Many of these brave Nigerian soldiers left their families and loved ones to heed the call of the empire, which for many would have been their last trek, their last fight, their last expedition far away from their motherland never to return. Their devotion to the empire and the vivid tapestry of life they wove cannot be adequately conveyed through words alone; it must be etched in the annals of history through their deeds. They were, without a doubt, our triumphant ancestors.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 05.2023
Date Uploaded: 10.2023
Photo Location: Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Copyright: © olufemi olaiya