Seychelles in WW2

Discussion in 'General' started by Ticklishchap, May 24, 2021.

  1. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    I have just started reading a history of the Seychelles by Deryck Scarr (The Seychelles Since 1770; London: Hurst & Co., 2018). The book is written in a convoluted style with a lot of digressions, although it is interesting nonetheless. The index is terrible. I am still in the C18th and looking ahead I don’t think there’s much about WW2.
    This has made me curious about the extent to which Seychellois men participated in the War effort. Did some of them go to the East African mainland and join the King’s African Rifles, for instance? Surely some of them served in the Royal Navy?
    I shall research this a bit and I hope to learn more from the Scarr book, but I would be interested if anyone here knows anything.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    The Role of Seychelles in World War II | International Magazine Kreol

    Although the people of the Seychelles have never officially gone to war as a nation, that doesn’t mean that its people have not made contributions on the world stage when evil and hatred threatened to throw the world out of balance. As a member of the British colonial empire prior to and during World War II, some Seychellois people served in the British Army during the conflict. The most notable contribution of forces came from some 2,000 Seychellois men who served in the Pioneer Companies throughout Egypt, Palestine, and Italy.

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  3. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    Thank you very much for that TD. It is an interesting and very informative article. It makes clear that enough has been written about the strategic significance of the Seychelles or the contribution of Seychellois men to the War effort.

    I have joined the mailing list of International Magazine Kreol as I would be interested to learn some Kreol Seselwa; I know a bit of Antillean Kwéyòl, which is a fairly similar language.

    The IWM article refers to the Chagos Islands, which were I’m afraid treated shamefully in the 1960s.
  4. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    A curious (if irrelevant) fact I learned about the Seychelles is that their Rugger team play on an area flattened by a landslide from a cyclone. Apparently Rugby Union was introduced by British sailors during the colonial era (not sure when) and the country was a founder member of Rugby Africa in 1986.
  5. Richelieu

    Richelieu Well-Known Member

    Welcome James.

    Picking-up casualties at the CWGC is a bit hit and miss as the country of service for all the Seychellois that I found was given as the United Kingdom. The attached list includes those that I could find with an association with the Seychelles, regardless of nationality, and includes for instance, the crew of a FAA Walrus buried at Victoria (Mont-Fleuri) Cemetery. N.B. It may not be complete.

    Attached Files:

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  6. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    Thank you Richelieu for the welcome and for the fascinating list of Seychellois. There is a wide range of names reflecting the multiethnic nature of the islands. The Seychelles Pioneer Corps is a new line of inquiry. I am really grateful for this.
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  7. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  8. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    Thank you TD! There’s a lot to work through there. I can get to Kew from time to time but the two contacts are welcome. I see one of them is from my favourite northern county.
  9. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    I also notice that a few of the Seychellois men listed were indeed members of the King’s African Rifles, as I thought likely.
  10. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    This article offers a bit more information, including more details about the Seychelles Pioneer Corps. It also has some good photos of ex-Servicemen.

    Seychellois in the Second World War
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  11. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    A good source of information will be the Annual Reports by the Colonial Office. These were suspended 1940-45, but the 1946 edition presents a summary for the entire period.

    They provide a fascinating insight to the contemporary goings on in their respective colony through the lense of the colonial stuff running the place.
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  12. Ticklishchap

    Ticklishchap Politics and History Buff

    Thank you Mark. That’s very helpful and I’ll follow it up.


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