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

History of War - - AN INTERVIEW WITH ALLAN WILMOT -

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

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