CO 1069-91-38

Download this image

More from this collection

Related by When

Support Pastpin!

Where: Unknown

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: Unknown

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
Description: 19.3.92 - 10

Date: 19 March 1892

Our Catalogue Reference: Part of CO 1069/91

This image is part of the Colonial Office photographic collection held at The National Archives, uploaded as part of the Africa Through a Lens project. Feel free to share it within the spirit of the Commons.

Our records about many of these images are limited. If you have more information about the people, places or events shown in an image, please use the comments section below. We have attempted to provide place information for the images automatically but our software may not have found the correct location.

Alternatively you could use the Suggestify tool to suggest the location of a picture.

For high quality reproductions of any item from our collection please contact our image library


Owner: The National Archives UK
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 745
thenationalarchivesuk africathroughalens tna:piecereference=co1069p91 tna:subseriesreference=co1069ss1 tna:iaid=c11443332 tna:seriesreference=co1069 tna:divisionreference=cod32 tna:departmentreference=co heremakono guinea kemobilalé anglofrenchboundarycommission

Add Tags
  • profile


    • 14/Jul/2014 08:11:31

    This photograph is one of a series that was researched as part of the ‘Archives, Histories, Landscapes: Surveying Sierra Leone’s Cultural Memoryscape’ project funded by the British Academy and led by Paul Basu at University College London. It was taken during the Anglo-French Boundary Commission of 1891-92, which sought to determine the boundary between French Guinea and what would become the British Protectorate of Sierra Leone. The British contingent was led by Captain A. H. Kenney of the Royal Engineers. Other members of the British expedition included Surgeon Major J. J. Lamprey, the botanist G. F. Scott-Elliot, three non-commissioned officers of the Royal Engineers (Sergeant Gibson, 2nd Corporal McGregor and Lance-Corporal Lines), and a Sierra Leonean interpreter named Mahmadu Wakka. They were escorted by a troop of the Frontier Police under the command of Captain Campbell. During the expedition Scott-Elliot collected around 2,000 botanical specimens for Kew Herbarium and prepared a parliamentary report on his findings. Due to disagreements between the French and British parties, the Boundary Commission itself was not successful and was abandoned by the French Commissioners. A second, more successful Anglo-French Boundary Commission was organised in 1895-96, which demarcated much of the existing boundary between Guinea and Sierra Leone. At the time of the 1891-92 expedition, the region was being destabilised not only by the expansion of British and French colonial interests, but also by the aggressive tactics of Samory Touré’s Sofa army as it fought to maintain the territory of the Wassoulou Empire. Kenney reported that they saw ‘abundant evidence of the devastation wrought by the Sofas when they over-ran the country in 1885’, and as they proceeded further inland there were also signs of more recent conflict. Despite the failure of the Commission, the British contingent continued inland as far as Farana on the banks of the River Niger, and met with the Sofa general Kemo Bilalé at Heremakono before returning to Freetown. The photographs in this album document the progress of the expedition. Although the locations were not written alongside the photographs, they can be identified with varying degrees of accuracy by comparing the dates with the itinerary described by reports prepared by Kenney and Scott-Elliot. On 19 March 1892 the Commission arrived in Heremakono, in present day Guinea. Kenney describes Heremakono as consisting of a 'very large and very strong stockaded war camp', occupied by the Sofa general Kemo Bilalé. Outside the town was what Kenney describes as a 'parade ground' and a large cleared area that was used for military 'drills and cavalry exercises'. When the Commission arrived, they were met by some 20 balangi (xylophone) players and dancers, as well as a demonstration of Bilalé's military prowess, including displays of cavalry and infantry manoeuvres. Kenney reckoned that the total force paraded before the Commission amounted to over 2,300 men, including 150 horsemen.