Weapons. H.M Stanley Expedition 1870s

Contributed by Guildhall Museum Rochester

Tribal axe and club. Souvenirs of H.M. Stanley's Second African (Congo) Expedition, 1870s. Copyright: Medway Council

These African objects were given to the father of Edward and Francis Pocock of Strood who died during the expedition.Two of explorer H.M. Stanley's assistants on his second expedition to trace the Congo River from its source to the sea were Edward and Francis Pocock born at Upnor, Kent. Edward died (aged 22) in the early days of the expedition of typhoid. His brother Francis drowned (aged 27) in dramatic circumstances on June 4th 1877 at the Zinga Falls. The African battle axe and club were sent home to Mr Pocock (the boy's father) by H.M. Stanley in 1892 to commemorate the role that his sons played in the expedition. These items are believed to be the only surviving souvenirs from Stanley's great expedition. A memorial at Upnor Church, Kent records that the brothers "...perished in Africa aiding to complete great discoveries and to bring light to the people that sit in darkness." These objects are a reminder of the great efforts expended in the 19th century to explore unknown regions, to map continents and to discover new resources and trade routes.

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The objects date from 1875-1877


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