Grave of Captain Lendy, Waiima

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Excerpt from D. Cummings, The National Monuments of Sierra Leone: A Brief Guide, Sierra Leone: Monuments and Relics Commission, n.d. (p.7):

Waiima is situated in the Fiama Chiefdom. It was here at Waiima in 1893 that the British and the French Forces who were allies fired accidentally on each other while pursuing Samory’s sofa warriors. It was a dark, misty morning, when the British fought the French, each party mistaking the other for the sofa warriors.

By the time the mistake was realised, Captain Lendy on the British side and Lieutenant Maritz on the French side had been killed. Some other soldiers also died together with these two officers. Both Lendy and Maritz were buried on the spot and afterwards their brother officers erected a memorial cross over them. In 1933 a new and larger memorial was erected incorporating the original cross. The new memorial was erected by the Sierra Leone Government in memory of the soldiers who perished that day.

Excerpt from T.J. Alldridge, The Sherbro and Its Hinterland, London: Macmillan, 1901 (pp.273-274):

Close by was a steep bare gradient of granite leading to a high hill; upon the summit of which, standing out in relief against the sky, were a number of armed war-boys who had been sent from the town of Waima, which was an hour’s march further on. As we approached them it seemed as if they were under some misapprehension as to who or what we were. They had evidently come out with the intention of fighting. The Governor, however, who was at the head of the column, went forward with the interpreter and reassured them of the peacefulness of the expedition. With this explanation they were satisfied and pleased, and subsequently conducted us to the town of Waima, which was situated in a valley with some large cotton trees around it.

The town consists of about fifty huts.

It was on the 16th of April that we arrived at Waima. This was about four months after the unfortunate collision between the French and the English had occurred. Many of the huts were riddled by bullets. It will be sufficient for the purpose of this narrative to mention the kindly care which the Governor bestowed upon the graves of French and English, officers and men alike, who fell in that much-to-be-regretted action. By his orders the burial ground was cleared and the graves fenced in before we took our departure from that melancholy town, with its sorrowful surroundings and its most painful associations.

Inspection 2007

The memorials are well maintained in a brushed enclosure a short distance from the present village of Waiima. A number of impressive cotton trees tower above the area, which is evidently the site of the old village of Waiima (see proximity of huts in Alldridge’s photograph). (PB)


Further Reading

  • Person, Y. 1965. ‘L'aventure de Porèkèrè et le drame de Waïma’, Cahiers d’études africaines 5(18): 248-316.
  • Person, Y. 1965. ‘Correspondances de la résidence du Kissi relatives à l’affaire de Waïma’, Cahiers d’études africaines 5(19): 472-489.