Sunday, November 12, 2006

Forgotten Soldiers

The other day I was having a conversation with a friend she was telling me that her daughter didn’t believe that black people fought in the first and second world wars, when told, her daughter answered back in disbelief “How come it doesn’t say that in my history books” So this being remembrance Sunday I just had to post this.

The 1914-18 war brought to an end German colonial rule in Africa, saw up to two million Africans make sacrifices for Europe, Africans from many countries served with the Allied forces during the First World War, as front line troops and in auxiliary roles.

Participants came from Nigeria, the Gambia, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), South Africa, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Nyasaland (now Malawi), Kenya and the Gold Coast (now Ghana). Many saw active service in their home continent, taking part in the campaigns to capture the German-controlled territories of Togo, Cameroon, German South West Africa (now Namibia) and German East Africa (now Tanzania). France used African troops more than any other European power, including Senegalese riflemen who fought in the victorious battle to take the German colony of Togo and were also shipped to fight at Gallipoli in what was to become Turkey.

15,600 men of the British West Indies Regiment served with the Allied forces. Jamaica contributed two-thirds of these volunteers, while others came from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Bahamas, British Honduras, Grenada, British Guiana (now Guyana), the Leeward Islands, St Lucia and St Vincent. Nearly 5,000 more subsequently volunteered to join up.

For more info click on the links below

Memorial Gates Trust
Institute of Common Wealth Studies
channel4 History

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have a listen to the Remembrance podcast on iTunes or on the Royal British Legion blog. It's a good way to remember.