Galton-Fenzi Memorial

I find it rather strange that I possess the only photographs of the Galton-Fenzi Memorial that search engines link to on the internet. I’m left wondering why that is, and why there is nothing to describe the various markings on the memorial. I have heard that the Memorial is now surrounded by a cage. Such a shame.

Shortly after these two images appeared on this web site, I was approached by email by a self-described Galton-Fenzi family member. He asked if I would provide unmarked copies of these images. I was happy to do so. Once the images were sent, I never so much as received an acknowledgment of their receipt or a thank-you email in response. With a sense of entitlement such as that, it’s no surprise that the Monument has been unrecognized for such a long time. It deserves to be, since the completely useless pile of rocks wastes much more valuable real estate in Nairobi.

Noblesse oblige, indeed.

The Galton-Fenzi Memorial, commemorating the man who pioneered automobile routes across Kenya and Africa. Fenzi founded the Royal East Africa Automobile Association in 1919. In the background, above the globe, is the bell tower of the Holy Family Cathedral Basilica.


There wasn’t much standing water, if any, within the area we were working. All of the wadis were dry, although there was water beneath the surface to allow for the green foliage pictured here. At that time – 1975 – Somalia was having the worst drought in its history up to then.


The worst drought in the country’s history was occurring during 1974 and 1975, thus the lack of any surface water whatsoever in this wadi.

Life in camp

Camp life was pretty good. We had an excellent cook. The men who helped us out on the helipads were excellent workers. Our tents were of the best quality, the cots were soft and the water in the shower was always hot. You can’t beat that.

If I remember right, water was about a half-day’s trip, there and back.

Some of the people we worked with in camp

When something broke down, it was never for very long. The operators of all of our camp equipment could repair anything to keep the camp running.

What’s not to like about this tent camp? We had everything we needed.

Eyl geography

This one was taken just off the edge of the fort. You can barely see the old fort on the left edge of the photograph.

Another wadi

Much of the foliage had been eaten clean by the huge herds that were heading east to the drought relief centre in Eyl.

Mogadishu beach

Mogadishu coastline

Nearing sunset on the Mogadishu shoreline – 1975

Mogadishu was a beautiful city, and I felt safe there. I walked everywhere I could, experiencing the sites and the sounds and the restaurants throughout the city. I would have taken more pictures there, but I was cautioned against doing by embassy personnel. It was forbidden to take photographs back then.