26.5.09

Flying Wednesday May 27, 2009.



The flag of Uganda was adopted on 9 October 1962, the date that Uganda became independent from the United Kingdom. It consists of six equal horizontal bands of black (top), yellow, red, black, yellow, and red; a white disc is superimposed at the centre and depicts the national symbol, a Grey Crowned Crane, facing the hoist side. The three colours, derived from those of the Uganda People's Congress, are representative of African peoples (black), Africa's sunshine (yellow), and African brotherhood (red being the colour of blood, through which all Africans are connected). The Grey Crowned Crane is fabled for its gentle nature and was also the military badge of Ugandan soldiers during British rule.

I have no particular connection with Uganda, but I really like the bold design and colours.  My tenuous connection is that in 1942 my great uncle, Kenneth Wallis (41), from Long Eaton, a British Government analyst in colonial service, his wife Sadie (40), and their 2 children Judy-Ann (10) and Peter (3) were en route from Georgetown, Guyana to Uganda where he was due to take up a post as Government Analyst. They were on a small ship S.S. Argo, 1,995 tonnes, which traded between Argentina and Cape Town, and since 1939 had been owned by the Argonaut Shipping Co. Ltd. (Eugene Eugenides, manager), of Greece.  On the journey from Buenos Aires to Cape Town it was torpedoed and sunk by the Italian submarine R Smg Ammimaglio Cagni at 20.16 GMT on Sunday November 29, 1942, and sunk in position 34 53S 17 54E. That is about 60 miles south west of Cape Town. 18 died, 12 crew, my great uncle and his family, and the two other pasengers.  A further 18 crew survived. Minesweepers were despatched from Cape Town at 21.30 GMT. Two lifeboats were reported to have been seen to be launched, but only one was ever found.