Childhood in Africa: The Story of the Woodwards

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Cover for Childhood in Africa

Josiah Woodward, known to friends and family as Joe, was born in 1916, the eldest son of a railwayman with a hard hand. To support the family, Joe had to give up his education at 14 and start work as a railway porter at London Paddington. Despite several attempts to enlist, he became a signalman for GWR druing WWII. At the end of the war, tragedy struck when his wife died and Joe had to give his four children away into care.

With new love, Hilda, Joe was slowly able to reunite the family, as they embarked on a fresh start in British Colonial Africa.

Now parents and grandparents themselves, Joe’s children recall their memories of a childhood steeped in the red soil of Africa. From Nigeria to Rhodesia, and from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe, they shine a light on a child’s view of life during the transition from colonial administration to independent Africa.

Fully illustrated with family photographs.

ISBN: 978-1-911526-22-3

Paperback – 118 pages

RRP: £12.50

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A digital copy of the book can be read here at