the Caribbean Contribution during wwii
Thousands of Caribbean people volunteered To aid britain during The war and served in all areas of The armed forces
The UK was frequently beleaguered during WWII, but it was fully supported by considerable manpower from the British Empire. Thousands of volunteers from the Caribbean colonies alone travelled to Britain to assist the war effort, including over 100 women who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force and Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Many Caribbean volunteers served in the RAF in roles that ranged from fighter pilots, bomber crewmen, ground staff, administration or seaborne roles. A total of 103 of these RAF personnel received awards for bravery. The naval contribution was also significant, with thousands serving in the Royal Navy or, most dangerously, the British Merchant Navy, where the death rate was proportionally higher than the armed forces.
In the British Army, skilled West Indian technicians served in the
Royal Engineers while the Caribbean Regiment was formed from over 1,000 volunteers and served in the Middle East and Italy. 236 Caribbean volunteers were killed and 265 more were wounded during the war, and their valuable contribution was finally recognised in June 2017 with the unveiling of the African and Caribbean War Memorial in London.
Jamaican volunteer Sally Lopez shares a cigarette with Leading Aircraftman Carl Aitken before she joins the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, 9 February 1943 ABOVE: Sergeant Lincoln Lynch served in No. 102 Squadron as an air gunner, won a trophy for his performance during training and shot down an enemy Junkers Ju 88 on his first mission
Mortar crewmen of the 1st Battalion, Caribbean Regiment pictured in Egypt before they returned home, 21 August 1945