Caribbean Soldiers on the Western Front Workshop Presentation

by | Nov 3, 2018 | WW1

The First British military operation of World War One was launched from the Gold Coast against Germany’s Colony, Togoland. Glenford Howe, Race, War and Nationalism. A Social History of West Indians in the First World War.
The Togoland Campaign (9–26 August 1914)

Where is the information?

  • British Library
  • National Museum
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Senate House Library
  • The West India Committee


An individual is taken to the British Library, taken through membership process then taken into the media library and shown how to look through the journals. Anyone is invited to do this if they wish.

Chaplain Horner;
“As long as soldiering mean bands and uniform and a certain element of mild heroism all was well; but when it meant smartness, neatness and above all, punctuality – a thing the West Indian knows but slightly – and again, not ‘answering back’ for he loves to argue, it was not so well. There was ‘too much of rules’ as it was put.”

Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig;
“[Their] work has been very arduous and has been carried out almost continuously under shell-fire. In spite of casualties the men have always shown themselves willing and cheerful workers, and the assistance they have rendered has been much appreciated by the units to which they have been attached and for whom they have been working. The physique of the men is exceptional, their discipline excellent and their morale hig”



  • Recruitment Strategies
  • Treatment of persons once recruited
  • Separation Allowance
  • What happened to the injured?
  • Pensions and aftercare
  • Repatriation


  • What do you think about the stories found so far?
  • How should we preserve these stories?
  • What stories would you like to hear?
  • How would you like the stories told?

Interesting Stories So Far
The following images are courtesy of the National Archives, London. Researched by African Heritage Forum, London.