Black British Soldiers

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

  1. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    A black Briton served with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in the BEF (1st Bn I think). He was not treated any differently in the regiment but was sufficiently unusual for visiting press to feature him in a photo article. I can't recall where it was published however the contemporary editions of the regimental magazine 'Iron Duke' ran the photos and captions.

    Musician and post-war band leader Geoff Love was a Yorkshireman with a Black American father. He served in the KRRC.

    Keith Matthews
     
  2. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Royal Navy

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Making a Difference - Experiences of a Black British Serviceman
    Interesting read too.
    Anyone find a website for the West Indian Ex-servicemen Association?
    I can only find references, no solid page.

    Strange to link to the sun, but Allan Willmott's name turns up this:
    Windrush immigrants look back at the sixty years since they arrived in Britain | The Sun |News
    Maybe even stranger for me to link to the Grauniad :unsure:, but this is good:
    Soldiers of the empire | UK news | The Guardian
    And now the bleedin' Mirror (I feel odd):
    Prime Minister launches Daily Mirror snapper's Black Britannia exhibition - mirror.co.uk
    (Picture #18.)
     
  3. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Found this from a interview by a guy from Jamaica, who came to Britain in WW2 and joined the RAF.
    Vivian recalls: "When we got there it was a very large station and we found there were different sections for blacks and whites and blacks weren't supposed to be able to join certain regiments like paratroopers.

    BBC - WW2 People's War - Birthday Fib gets Jamaican Schoolboy into the RAF
     
  4. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Paul, outstanding reply

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


    best

    I think Jason has just about nailed it mate with post #17 :D

    All the best...........:)
     
    Ubberley215 likes this.
  5. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

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

    As I'm sure you know mate there were a number of Irishmen in 1st Airborne (see Brotherhood of the Cauldron by David Truesdale) and the 21st Ind Coy had a large number of German Jews serving with them. Louis Hagen of the GPR was also a German Jew etc etc.........

    There was also a Frenchman, Lt Frantz Yves Hacart, who was attached to 156 Para at Arnhem. He was KIA on the 18/9/44 near Ginkel Heath.

    Then there are the Canadian CANLOAN officers, of which, again, I'm sure you're aware and the Americans (Todd and Harvey) and Dutchman (Groenewoud) of Jedburgh Team Claude. The Dutch Liaison Officers, Walters and Knottenbelt also served at Arnhem. The list is quite long! I'm sure this topic was discussed on another thread somewhere ????

    It seems 1st Airborne was a truly "multi-national" force! :D

    All the best..........
     
  6. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    As I'm sure you know mate there were a number of Irishmen in 1st Airborne (see Brotherhood of the Cauldron by David Truesdale) and the 21st Ind Coy had a large number of German Jews serving with them. Louis Hagen of the GPR was also a German Jew etc etc.........

    There was also a Frenchman, Lt Frantz Yves Hacart, who was attached to 156 Para at Arnhem. He was KIA on the 18/9/44 near Ginkel Heath.

    Then there are the Canadian CANLOAN officers, of which, again, I'm sure you're aware and the Americans (Todd and Harvey) and Dutchman (Groenewoud) of Jedburgh Team Claude. The Dutch Liaison Officers, Walters and Knottenbelt also served at Arnhem. The list is quite long! I'm sure this topic was discussed on another thread somewhere ????

    It seems 1st Airborne was a truly "multi-national" force! :D





    All the best..........



    Thanks Paul,Jason has sent me some nice references,it was the obscure I was interested in,like Norwegians for example or anything like that.

    Apologies for the temporary thread hijack.
     
  7. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    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 ;) ).

    You don't know what you're missing!! :lol:

    There was a "mixed race" chap called "Darkie" Reynolds who was a member of Medium Machine Gun Platoon, S Coy, 10 Para. He was wounded on the drop zone at Ginkel Heath.

    Also, Cpl Roland James "Knocker" West 5122842 of No.5 Platoon, A Coy, 156 Para was a black guy. He was wounded and died on 20/9/44. He has NKG and is remembered on the Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 8.

    That's all I can remember mate :unsure:

    All the best..............:)
     
    Jonathan Ball likes this.
  8. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    another photo of Ken

    http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/25816056/photo/Z4GLhIOXuqGXcR4O0XkJQTZIwmeLBbEDs5gU7R6YgjwnkIajI81AP5SBU2DODwYj
     
  9. englandphil

    englandphil Very Senior Member

    Plaque in Ken's memory

    http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/25816056/photo/Z4GLhIOXuqEEr34B8Ds7w8jFMm5F7vBrsL5590BQ6Qlfgxby4zSTV4A0WsKCsAAN
     
  10. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Top pictures Phil.
     
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  12. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    Great picture of Roberts boxing Phil, thanks!
    Is it me or does the picture I first posted (from the Paradata website) look very different to the others of him :unsure:

    All the best..........:)
     
  13. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Great picture of Roberts boxing Phil, thanks!
    Is it me or does the picture I first posted (from the Paradata website) look very different to the others of him :unsure:

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

    I was thinking that myself Paul,but felt unqualified to comment.
     
  14. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Great picture of Roberts boxing Phil, thanks!
    Is it me or does the picture I first posted (from the Paradata website) look very different to the others of him :unsure:

    All the best..........:)
    Here is the Paradata pic you posted Paul and the pic from the SFROH link I posted, have to admit there is a bit of a difference but the beret and facial expressions are both different...... and in the lower pic he looks younger although the more I look im not sure its the same person!
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    They are not the same - One is of African Carribean descent and the other is of African descent.

    A black Briton served with the Duke of Wellington's Regiment in the BEF (1st Bn I think). He was not treated any differently in the regiment but was sufficiently unusual for visiting press to feature him in a photo article. I can't recall where it was published however the contemporary editions of the regimental magazine 'Iron Duke' ran the photos and captions.

    Keith Matthews


    Any idea of his name? I have the Dukes WW2 history in front of me and all the Bn's 1940 war diaries on my hard drive.
     
  16. At Home Dad (Returning)

    At Home Dad (Returning) Well-Known Member

    I was going to mention that too. It's the nose.
    You cant really alter a black persons nose too
    much. I was wondering if it was a mixture of
    youth (not quite grown into it yet) or whether
    he got his nose broken during P-Coy or whatever
    they did back then - or both!

    And now the pics are side by side, I'd say they're
    different people!


    have to admit there is a bit of a difference but the beret and facial expressions are both different...... and in the lower pic he looks younger although the more I look im not sure its the same person!
     
  17. Paul Pariso

    Paul Pariso Very Senior Member

    I was going to mention that too. It's the nose.
    You cant really alter a black persons nose too
    much. I was wondering if it was a mixture of
    youth (not quite grown into it yet) or whether
    he got his nose broken during P-Coy or whatever
    they did back then - or both!

    And now the pics are side by side, I'd say they're
    different people!

    I think I'll email the curator at Duxford and ask him to comment.

    All the best............ :)
     
  18. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

  19. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    I think I'll email the curator at Duxford and ask him to comment.

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

    It seems we have possibly unearth a little mystery here,this is turning into a very interesting thread indeed.
     
  20. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Here is the Paradata pic you posted Paul and the pic from the SFROH link I posted, have to admit there is a bit of a difference but the beret and facial expressions are both different...... and in the lower pic he looks younger although the more I look im not sure its the same person!
    Looking at the pics in this post first pic could be Roland (Nocker ) West 156 Para........ that Paul mentions in a earlier post, look at his features then read this..... born India
    resided India
    son of Jock and Margaret West
    grandson of Mrs E.M. Fleming,Dehra Dun,India
    KIA Arnhem Roland James West - PARAS - Special Forces - Roll Of Honour
     

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