Africa General Service Medal, GV, Bar Nigeria 1918, 351471 Sergeant C.I. Richards, Royal Fusiliers, attached West African Frontier Force for the Egba Expedition or Adubi War.
Officially impressed: “351471 Sjt C.I. Richards. R. Fus.”
For service as an attached European NCO with the 2nd Battalion Nigeria Regiment during the Adubi War, known as the “Egba Expedition”.
Confirmed on the medal roll one of about 5 men present from the Royal Fusiliers.
Only 220 medals and 6 extra clasps earned for the 2nd Nigeria Regiment. About 52 men on the roll were European Officers or Sergeants attached from their parent regiments for the campaign.
Sergeant Richards had first entered the War in France on 27th October 1915 as 3946 Lance Sergeant With the 7th London Regiment.
Later transferring to the Royal Fusiliers as 351471, Sergeant.
The 7th (City of London) Battalion London Regiment, formed the 1/7th battalion for active service in France.
They went on to see significant war service in France, fighting at Festubert and the Battle of Loos and Vimy in the Winter.
The next year they were engaged on the Somme in July 1916. Later fighting at Butte de Warlencourt, Ypres and Bourlon Wood.
However in February of 1918, a number of British Infantry Battalions were disbanded due to a manpower crisis, alongside with the 1/7th Londons.
These men were dispersed and it seems that this is when he joined the Royal Fusiliers, being then posted on attachment to Nigeria.
The Egba “Expedition” is now very well known in England but famous in Nigeria, being the first Anti White Supremacy action of the Nigerians against the British, the only European Casualty of the war being the man who was beheaded that started off the war in Egbaland.
Known locally as the “Ogun Adubi”, in late 1918 the Nigerians of Egbaland rose up against the colonial taxation, in response on 7th June 1918, the British arrested 70 Egba chiefs and issued them an ultimatum to pay up the taxes and lay down their arms.
This escalated, on 11th June, a party of soldiers, recently returned from East Africa were brought into help police the are and keep the peace.
On 13th June, Egba Rebels then pulled up railways lines at Agbesi and derailed a train.
Other rebels demolished the train station at Wasinmi and murdered the British Agent, and the Oba Osile, the African Leader of the North Eastern Egba District.
The hostilities between the 30,000 Rebels and Colonial troops continued for 3 weeks at Otite, Tappona, Mokoloki and Lalako, but by 10th July, the rebellion had been officially put down, the leaders being either killed or arrested.
In the aftermath theres was 1 or 2 casualties for the British Empire and British Nigeria, but 600 killed for the rebels and 70 of their Egba chiefs taken under arrest.
The incident would lead to the abolition of Abeokutan independence in 1918 and the introduction of forced labour into the region.
It is noted as the beginning of the Nigeria Nationalist Movement that would later aid them with independence.
An interesting account online from the side of the Nigerian Youths who rose up can be read below: