Caribbean Soldiers on the Western Front

Saturday 14th November 2015
Time: 3:00pm – 4:30pm

The Hopkins Room
Stratford Library
3 The Grove
London E15 1EL

This event features the work of independent researchers CHERYL EL and LYSETTE JAMES on the contribution of Caribbean soldiers during World War One. In 1915 Britain’s War Office, which had initially opposed recruitment of Caribbean troops, agreed to accept volunteers. A new regiment was formed, the british West Indies Regiment (BWIR), which served in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The formation of the BWIR did not give soldiers from the West Indies the opportunity to fight as equals alongside white soldiers. Instead, the War Office largely limited their participation to ‘labour’ duties. The use of BWIR soldiers in supporting roles intensified during the Battle of the omme as casualties among fighting troops meant that reinforcements were needed on the front line.

Q & A led by Arthur Torrington