Born Under the Gun
Born Under the Gun

Born Under the Gun

A History of Kamerun, WWI, Christian Missions and the Internment Camps of Fernando Po


224 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Paperback, ebook: EPUB, Mobipocket

Paperback, $34.95 (US $34.95) (CA $46.95)

Publication Date: January 2019

ISBN 9780824599621


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This is the fascinating story of Cameroonian and German refugees on the island of Fernando Po 1916 - 1919; perhaps the only group of Europeans to be refugees in Africa. The story begins in Cameroon in 1965 and travels back in time to Germany and colonial Kamerun, the arrival of Christian missions, and then into World War I, followed by the removal of the missionaries and life in internment. These pages contain stories of the explorers, soldiers and traders, missionaries and planters, and Africans part of the colonial expansion. This book contains many stories from Cameroonians who shared their memories with the author. As the author states ... "it is in their words that the image of God is revealed present in the heart of each one of them."


"Fr O'Neil's account of events leading up to internment of Germans, Cameroonian troops, servants, and families on the island of Fernando Po during World War I fills in a blank in Cameroon history, and highlights a remarkable encounter between internees and the Christian message." —Fons Eppink,

Author Biography

Rev. O'Neil spent his first years as a Catholic priest on mission in Cameroon, Africa and wrote a PhD dissertation on the Moghamo people of the North West Region of Africa. (Columbia University, 1987). He maintained his connection to Cameroon over many years while based first in the UK and then in the archdiocese of New York, at St Mary's on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Born in Bridgeport Connecticut, Fr. O'Neil studied at Fairfield and Fordham Universities, and at St Joseph's College, Mill Hill, in London. He was ordained in Westminster Cathedral in July 1965. While On mission in Cameroon from 1965 to 1978, he taught in a secondary school but was mostly in rural areas of the North West Region. He spent 1984 in Moghamo country doing field research for his PhD. He returned again in 1988 and 1989 and then in 1991 wrote Mission to the British Cameroons. In 1995 he completed a biography of the founder of the Mill Hill Missionaries, Cardinal Herbert Vaughan, and in 1997 a book on the Uganda, Mission to the Upper Nile. From 1995 he was Assistant Pastor at St Mary's Parish on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a community with a large population of Spanish speaking members from Latin America. He has held various positions in the administration of his missionary congregation in the USA and has lived in Hartsdale, New York, since 2014.