Historic Unveiling On Armistice Day 2014 Of Europe’s First African & Caribbean War Memorial
On the 11th of November 2014 at 11 minutes past 11am, a two minute silence will be observed on London’s Windrush Square in Brixton, honouring the fallen soldiers of the First and Second World Wars. This will be followed by the unveiling of the first African and Caribbean War Memorial to be installed in Europe commemorating the 100th anniversary of the First World War.
The two and a half ton monument sculptured from rare Scottish Wint, was created by the Nubian Jak Community Trust in partnership with the West Indian Association of Service Personnel. The memorial is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lambeth Council and the Black Cultural Archives. The War memorial will be unveiled in the presence of High Commissioners from seven African and Caribbean Countries, the Mayor of Lambeth, Members of Parliament, Business and Community leaders, Other VIP’s, Members of the Public, and international media.
Engraved on the war memorial are the names of all the African and Caribbean regiments which contributed to Great Britain’s war effort during both wars. This historic unveiling is being done in remembrance of those African and Caribbean servicemen and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the mother country during its greatest hour of need.
Mr Tedwin Herbert, Acting High Commission for Trinidad and Tobago said “This memorial will make a lasting and engaging legacy for the men and women from Africa and the Caribbean who contributed to both World Wars; men and women who set tone for future generations.’”.
Her Excellency, The Honorouble Aloun Ndombet-Assamba, High Commissioner for Jamaica said “This year, as the one hundredth anniversary of the start of the First World War is observed, it is fair to say that the role played by the Caribbean, Africa, India and other parts of Asia is still not widely known by many in Britain. The Caribbean and Africa were profoundly affected by the war as manpower, materials, and funds were sent by them to the aid the war effort to protect Britain and Europe. Although troops from the Caribbean and Africa played a critical role in the war, they were never properly compensated or recognized and their work and sacrifices are still treated as a footnote. This memorial is a fitting permanent tribute to those thousands of men and women from Africa and the Caribbean. I hope that it will go some way to highlight that we were also an important part of this shared history”.
Cllr Adedamola Aminu, The Worshipful Mayor of Lambeth said: “BCA Trustees and Director Paul Reid, are honoured to share in this commemoration of African and Caribbean Service Personnel on this auspicious day 11th November. It is indeed fitting that it will be installed in Windrush Square, Brixton. It will establish a constant source of inspiration to our Black & Minority Ethnic communities of the valuable contribution made to Great Britain and the continuing heroic role of our soldiers in the present day”.
Sue Bowers – Head of Heritage Lottery Fund London said “This memorial project will help to tell stories that are often overlooked in the history of the two World Wars and will engage audiences of all ages.”
Vince McBeam – Chair of WASP said “The West Indian Association of Service Personnel are honoured and pleased to present this memorial in memory and dedication to the sacrifices and contributions made by African and Caribbean Servicemen and women. Stand tall our brave hero’s as this befitting monument is unveiled in recognition of your contributions and ultimate sacrifices and that you gave your yesterdays for our todays democracy and world peace. ”
Dawn Hill – Chair of the Black Cultural Archives said “BCA Trustees and Director Paul Reid, are honoured to share in this commemoration of African and Caribbean Service Personnel on this auspicious day 11th November. It is indeed fitting that it will be installed in Windrush Square, Brixton. It will establish a constant source of inspiration to our Black & Minority Ethnic communities of the valuable contribution made to Great Britain and the continuing heroic role of our soldiers in the present day”.
Jak Beula – Chair of the Nubian Jak Commemorative Plaque Scheme said: “The efforts of military contribution to both World Wars by African and Caribbean have for too remained overlooked and unheralded. This memorial will correct that omission and give justice and dignity to the 10’s of 1000s of African and Caribbean service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for the mother country”.
Date: Tuesday 11th November 2014
Time: 10:30am – 12pm (Plaque ceremony), The Black Cultural Archives, Brixton, London, SW2 1EF
Reception: (12:00pm – 2pm) Black Cultural Archives.
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