Overview of the Lagos Period

Nigeria was a British colony at the time William Laurence Krieg served as Vice Consul there, from December, 1941, to February, 1944. Lagos, the capital, was William's third overseas assignment, following Stuttgart, Germany, and Milan, Italy. His next assignment was to Caracas, Venezuela.

Laura Philinda Campbell Jones met William in July, 1941, in Lisbon, Portugal. Both had been evacuated from the perils of World War II: Philinda from Nazi-occupied Paris, France, and William from Fascist Italy. When they met, Philinda was married to James Jones, but was apparently disillusioned with him. She and William fell in love, and Philinda resolved to end her marriage to James in order to marry William. She returned to the United States in early November, 1941.

William was assigned to Lagos in November, but because of wartime transportation difficulties he did not arrive there until late December. (A more detailed chronology with background information and links to letters is provided in the index for each of the four years.)

1942 was a year-long struggle to find a way to get to Lagos and complete Philinda's divorce proceedings.

1943 was a year of joyful fulfillment for William and Philinda. Philinda made the perilous sea voyage from New York to Lagos, where she and William were married on February 6, 1943. Both worked at the American Consulate in Lagos and experienced an intense social life with British, American, and international civil and business families, and the many allied military staff taking part in the war effort.

1944 was a year of retrenchment brought about by Philinda's serious illness. She and William returned to the United States in February for four months of treatment and recuperation, after which they were able to continue to William's next post in Venezuela.


Photos: Lagos, Nigeria 1941-1944

You can browse Lagos-era photos in two ways:

  1. Photo Album (PDF 130 Mb) is available to download (and print, if you like — 53 pages). Adjusted (digitally enhanced) versions of the better photos have been selected for inclusion in the Album.
  2. Look at thumbnails of all pictures below, click to view full-size (and download or print if you like)

Thumbnail-Display Sections

  1. People in Lagos
  2. Philinda in America
  3. Africa Scenes
  4. Sala Ceremony in Kano
  5. Getting There
    1. M/S Siranger Then and Later
    2. Other Ships that Called at Lagos
    3. The Atlantic in World War II
    4. Seaplanes
  6. 1940s Money in Nigeria

Documents: Lagos, Nigeria 1941-1944

Lagos documents are indexed separately for each year. The majority are scanned images, and so not computer searchable. The links below will bring up the index for the listed year.

Momentous Changes
(25 documents)
(185 documents)
(160 documents)
(12 documents)