The British Empire Library

The Nigerian Field: A Short History Of The Nigerian Field Society 1930 - 2000

by Joyce Lowe

Courtesy of OSPA

Review by Anthony Kirk-Greene (N Nigeria 1950-66)
Many of us who served in West Africa, and in particular those with Nigerian experience, will know the high esteem in which The Nigerian Field was held (and still is, for the journal continues to this day). Literally, as the journal of the Nigerian Field Society, its principal focus was on flora and fauna, with a special interest in field observations; and so it published numerous, valuable articles on, to select topics almost at random, elephants, snakes and leopards, birds, bats and butterflies, fish, frogs and flowers, and every kind of West African shrub and tree. At the same time, and perhaps less obviously. The Nigerian Field provided an important outlet for interesting, first-hand articles on culture and history - for example, canoes on Lake Chad and the Imo River, local architecture and proverbs, dance festivals and musical instruments, and the memoirs of tin-mining pioneers on the Plateau or German legacies in the Cameroons. There was, too, a good number of authoritative accounts of historical events.

Over its lifetime, the Field comprised over 20,000 entries by authors such as M. D. W. Jeffreys and G. I. Jones, A. F. B. Bridges and R. W. J. Keay, and those stalwart "founding fathers", as it were, K. C. Murray, D. R. Rosevear and E. F. G. Haig. This is a first-class publication and should do much to make The Nigerian Field more widely recognised and more accessible as the scholarly source it has long deserved, but has too modestly not allowed itself, to be.

British Empire Book
Joyce Lowe
Nigerian Field Society


Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe