Index

Index
The153 Club
The Agades Cross
People of the Sahara
Saharan Landscapes
Books on the Sahara(1)
Books on the Sahara(2)
Books on African Art
Saharan Salt Trade
The Gundi
Illizi Festival 2000
Sahara Freeze-up
Camel Cheese
153 Club Newsletter
153 News Update
Join the 153 Club
Today's African News

Père de Foucauld
L'Arbre du Ténéré 1
L'Arbre du Ténéré 2
Saharan Forts 1
Saharan Forts 2
Saharan Rock Art
Giraffe Engravings
Leo Africanus
Battuta's Saharan travels
Shabeni's Timbuktu
Timbuctoo the Mysterious
Heroditus & Pliny on Libya
Timbuktu, a poem

Joliba Trust
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 1
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 2
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 3
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 4
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 5
Ibn Khaldûn quotes 6

Old Michelin Maps
Early NW Africa Map 1
Early NW Africa Map 2
Early NW Africa Map 3
Early NW Africa Map 4
Early NW Africa Map 5
Saharan Exploration

Henry Barth 1
Henry Barth 2
Henry Barth 3
Denham & Clapperton 1
Denham & Clapperton 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 1
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 2
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 3
Haardt & Audouin-Dubreuil 4

External Links

Jim Mann Taylor's Home Page
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Timbuktu

A poem by Peter Crews

Gazing at my shadow;
At the shadow of me and my camel
In the desert sand;
My gaze wandered over the graves
Of two British seamen,
Of the SS Allende,
Tended with compassion,
By the long arm
Of the War Graves' Commission,
Among the centuries' accretions
Of blown sand,
Burying the walls of the ancient city,
Point of convergence
Of the Tuareg caravans,
Goal of explorers,
Gordon Laing, then others.
How did they die, the British seamen,
Captives in that distant land?
Did they spill their blood,
Like Gordon Laing, in the sand?
Or did their humour spread,
Like Lyautey's 'tāche d'huile',
As they wound their water from the well?
Silently, I wondered, as I gazed
At the shadows of me and my camel,
Making patterns in the sand.

Rock Art Chariot

The two British seamen referred to in Peter's poem (Peter was a 153 member who died a few years ago) were in fact able seaman John Turnbull Graham, and William Soutter, 1st Engineer, both of the ss. Allende which was sunk by two torpedos from a subarmine on 17 March 1942 off the French Ivory Coast. They were taken via Bobo Dioulasso to Mopti and then on to Timbuctoo where they were put in the same camp as prisoners from the ss. Criton. John Turnbull Graham, aged 23, came from N Shields and died on 2 May 1942. The governor of Sudan (French West Africa) notified the French Vichy Government who then informed the British authorities. William Soutter who came from Aberdeen and was aged 60, died on 28 May 1942. His death was notified by the British Red Cross to the British government.

The graves have recently been attended to and restored on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission by Dr. Tim Insoll (another 153 member)

Have you yourself travelled in North West Africa? Then you should be interested in joining us. Join. See Newsletter for details of our all colour Newsletter issued four times a year to members. We have been going since 1978.