Black British Soldiers

Discussion in 'General' started by gunbunnyB/3/75FA, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    hey guys, just a quick question, not trying to be a racist or anything like that, but, from other research i know that there was a large number of blacks who were british citizens in the 40's, but my question is, if as british citizens they were liable for call up, why don't we ever see photos of them in uniform? the only pics i have found of blacks in brit uniforms are of the African regts. like the Kings Royal African Rifles.
     
    kingarthur likes this.
  2. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Pte Kenneth Roberts 10664491 served in No.1 Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company.
    Pte Roberts fought at Arnhem and during the night of 25-26th September 1944 he was successfully evacuated across the Rhine during Op. Berlin, along with the remnants of the 1st Airborne Division. It is believed that he then learnt that a good friend was still on the north side of the river having been wounded.
    Pte Roberts went back to rescue his friend but in the attempt he himself was wounded and captured. He later died in hospital as a result of his wounds and is buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery (15.B.3)

    Operation Market Garden memorials

    All the best..........:)
     

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    Ubberley215, wtid45, Owen and 2 others like this.
  3. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Though I can't offer anything on the topic, It does appear to be an interesting topic. :)
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Pte Kenneth Roberts 10664491 served in No.1 Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company.
    Pte Roberts fought at Arnhem and during the night of 25-26th September 1944 he was successfully evacuated across the Rhine during Op. Berlin, along with the remnants of the 1st Airborne Division. It is believed that he then learnt that a good friend was still on the north side of the river having been wounded.
    Pte Roberts went back to rescue his friend but in the attempt he himself was wounded and captured. He later died in hospital as a result of his wounds and is buried in the Jonkerbos War Cemetery (15.B.3)

    Operation Market Garden memorials

    All the best..........:)

    That is an excellent post and picture....Why haven't you posted it before mate ! ? !
     
  5. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    i have to admit that's a interesting post, and he was a para to boot,awesome, that just makes me wonder how many more of these men are out there hidden in plain sight.
     
  6. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    That is an excellent post and picture....Why haven't you posted it before mate ! ? !
    I second that great post Paul, and im sure I have read of other black soldiers in the paras, in the mentime here is a link for Gunbunny that covers his query quite well. [TMP] "Black soldier in WWII British Army" Topic
     
  7. gunbunnyB/3/75FA

    gunbunnyB/3/75FA Senior Member

    thanks for that link, so it seams i'm not the only 1 who has wondered about this topic.
     
  8. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  9. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Nice post Mr P, that's something new I have learnt today.
     
  10. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    There were a large number of black RAF personnel serving in WW2. Mostly from the West Indies originally and Jamaica in particular. They arrived in Britain from late 1943, early 1944.

    422 Officers and Airmen
    3972 Groundcrew

    I'm stuck at work right now, but there is an excellent website devoted to their service.
     
  11. Verrieres

    Verrieres no longer a member

  12. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    That is an excellent post and picture....Why haven't you posted it before mate ! ? !

    The honest answer to that, and I know this is going to sound terribly "PC", is that it never really occurred to me that Pte Roberts was any different to any of the other fellas that lost their lives as a result of Op. Market Garden. The fact that he was black just didn't "register" with me (if that makes sense :unsure:)

    I'm pretty sure that he wasn't the only black soldier in 1st Airborne at the time but the names of any others escapes me at the moment.

    I do remember reading of an incident involving a group of British paras going to eat in a canteen on an American base somewhere in the UK during WW2. There was a black guy in the British group (possibly Pte Roberts but I can't say for certain) and the canteen staff said that he would have to eat in a different area as this was a "whites only" canteen. The Brits "kicked off" as it were and there was a bit of a scuffle resulting in all the Paras leaving the canteen saying that if the black guy couldn't eat there none of them would.

    Looking at Pte Roberts through "1940's eyes", the fact that he served with the 21st Ind Coy is extra special as they were the Pathfinders for 1st Airborne Division and the men were all hand picked by the CO of the unit.

    All the best............:)
     
    Za Rodinu and 11th Armoured like this.
  13. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Nice post Mr P, that's something new I have learnt today.

    Cheers Dave and Jason............:)
     
  14. idler

    idler GeneralList

  15. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

  16. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    Paul, outstanding reply

    Do you have any other detail on Pte Roberts?
    Like where he was born, the parental heritage etc?


    best



    Pte Kenneth Roberts 10664491 served in No.1 Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company.
     
  17. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

  18. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    I note the use of (Darkie) as a nickname,I wonder if he was given that very un PC add on or he used it himself.I only mention this because, a very old family friend that arrived in this country on the Windrush also uses term with affection. He labelled himself, and because he had done so, he says he has never found it offensive.He even signs his Christmas cards 'love Darkie', I have always known as that and my kids call him 'uncle Darkie' and I can tell you he would not want it any other way.

    Message to the mods ' this is not a political statement or any attempt to start some debate,but feel free to remove if you its inappropriate.

    One for Mr P, I would be interested to know about any other nationally that served with 1st Airborne,not including the Poles.
     
  19. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

  20. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The reason I keep my interest up in forums, is the WW2 'nuggets' of info that appear from time to time...

    I had absolutely no idea about the Arnhem bloke/s.
    Sort of fascinating by general 1940s standards to see him listed.
    I'm pretty sure that he wasn't the only black soldier in 1st Airborne at the time but the names of any others escapes me at the moment.
    C'mon then Paul, get yer thinking cap on. This is a new nugget for me (and it's not often I'm intrigued by Airborne stuff ;) ).
     

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