The early European explorers found African porters to be invaluable for their forays inland, serving both as guides and porters. A new division of British forces known as Carrier Corps was created during World War 1 to provide military labour to support the East African Campaign against the German military forces led by Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck.
The Carrier Corps consisted of a conscripted African labour force and the recruitment and pay centre was at a place that soon became known as Kariokor (a mispronunciation of “Carrier Corps”), next to what was then the racecourse. In 1919, King George V formed a Commonwealth Graves Commission to recover as many bodies as possible of British soldiers in the battlefields and accord them decent burial. According to John Wilson, a historian, as the remains of Europeans were being collected in 1922, it was discovered that Africans and Indians had been forgotten.