Smith, Edwin W.

Missionary and anthropologist

E.W. Smith was my maternal grandfather;  my mother Matsidiso was born in N. Rhodesia.  The Smiths had a son Thabo, who died and is buried there.  I have an album of photos taken by EWS during his time at Nanzhila and Kasenga.  These, together with other papers, were gifted to the Methodist Church Overseas Division, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5JR in 1996 by myself and my brother.  They are kept at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where they are available for research.

The photographs, all taken by EWS and developed and printed by him are unique in that they show the Africa of the time and many photos of the Ila people.  He was a remarkable man of many parts, and I am proud to have known both him and my grandmother, Julia.

If anyone wishes to know more, please email me.



Comments about this page

  • Hi Mr Howard Jones
    I have tried your email address but the email was not forwarded.
    It seems that the address is not correct. Could you please send me another email address which I can use to contact you?
    Johannes van der Weijden

    By Johannes van der Weijden (06/09/2020)
  • Hi Mr van der Weijden,
    I have received your message, but have no other way of contacting you. I would be very happy to supply you with photos originating with my grandfather, E.W.Smith, but I have to tell you that the great majority of his photos are now held by SOAS in London, and are available to researchers. I feel sure that these are expertly catalogued and more easily accessible than mine and therefore more suitable for your needs. BUT if you feel I can help in any way, please let me know. I am certain that my grandfather (who was more of a father to me, following the death of my own father in October 1945) would be delighted to hear of your plans and wish me to assist in any possible way.
    My email is “” so please don’t hesitate to contact me as necessary.
    Best regards,

    By Richard Howard Jones (13/01/2020)
  • Hi Mr Howard_Jones
    I am writing a book on Ila History, the area where your grandfather worked. With the book I hope to support the initiative to found a Ila Museum and Cultural Centre. The Methodist Missonaries played a very important role amongst the Ila people and your grandfather was probably the most prominent missionary. I am very interested in the pictures you mentioned and would like to add a few of them in this book.

    By Johannes van der Weijden (11/01/2020)

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