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Part 5: Papers of Frederick William Hugh Migeod and Mary Ward from the Royal Commonwealth Society Library at Cambridge University Library

This fifth part brings together the Frederick W H Migeod Papers and the Mary Ward Papers. Both provide illuminating evidence on life in early twentieth century Africa.

Migeod became assistant transport officer in the West African Frontier Force at Lokoja in 1898. He entered the Colonial Office in 1900 and served in the Gold Coast until 1919, spending much of this time as Chief of the Transport Department. He was also involved in a series of African expeditions which are recorded in his books.

We include his Letter Books, Semi-Official Correspondence and Private Letters, official papers on transport and labour issues as well as letters to Migeod from native West Africans, 1904-1934, correspondence as churchwarden at Sekondi, and letters to Migeod from Alice Werner (first Professor of Bantu Studies at SOAS) concerning linguistic matters, 1910-1934.

Mary Ward spent 38 years in West Africa. From 1899-1917 she was in government service as a Nursing Sister in Nigeria. She organized the nursing services at Cape Coast base hospital during the Ashanti War in 1900 and worked in various government hospitals in Nigeria over the next 18 years. We cover her correspondence, Annual Reports of the Princess Christian Hospital in Sierra Leone, Diary extracts, Photographs and other papers.

These materials throw much light on the problems these two individuals encountered, the people they met and their inter-action with the growing forces of African nationalism, their views on the labour situation in Africa and the influence of Islam.

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