Sharon's blog

The Military Service of Allan Charles Wilmot: Royal Navy & RAF during WW2

Allan volunteered first for the Royal Navy in 1941 when there was a call for service men from Jamaica. He saw an advertisement in the Jamaica Gleaner Newspaper when he was sixteen and a half years old and the advertisement stated that the British Government needed recruits for the Royal Navy. Allan applied, passed the test and was accepted.

Queen Elizabeth II - Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II - Britain's Longest Reigning Monarch

Queen Elizabeth II became Queen of Britain and the Commonwealth in 1952 following the death of her Father King George VI. Answering the call of duty, she is now the longest reigning Monarch in British History.

Prior to her ascension, people from across the Commonwealth remained loyal and steadfast to the British Monarchy, rallying to Britain's defence and aid whenever needed. In particular, the people from the British Speaking West Indies have continued to serve both the Monarchy and Nation for more than 400 years.

Johnny Smythe RAF World War 2

Johnny Smythe RAF World War 2

Johnny Smythe OBE 1915 - 1996

Following the declaration of War in 1939, Johnny Smythe born in Freetown, Sierra Leone volunteered for the RAF, training as a Navigator Officer. A year later he became Navigator of a bomber squadron  before being promoted to Flying Officer.

In 1943 he was taken prisoner after being shot down by enemy fighters. He spent the remainder of the war helping on the escape committee at Stalag Luft One in Pomerania, Germany until he was freed by the Russians in 1945.

3rd Battalion British West Indies Regiment

3rd Battalion British West Indies Regiment

The following article was contributed by Paul Finnegan Royal British Legion, Halesowen Branch July 2015

On a recent visit to Ypres I visited Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in the town, primarily to see the grave of VC recipient Brigadier General Francis Aylmer Maxwell. The information panel at the entrance to the Cemetery stated that there were six graves of men who served with the British West Indies Regiment So I sought to find one. 

SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday Service

HMS Forward Supports SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday

SS Empire Windrush Remembrance Sunday is an annual event held at Holy Trinity Church. As with all Services of Remembrance it offers us a moment of reflection, contemplation and celebration for the achievements made by the people from the Caribbean who once again answered England's call for help.

In 1948, skilled professionals joined returning military personnel to help rebuild, care and protect a war torn country.

ANZAC, Gallipoli and WW1

ANZAC Day - Cannock Chase

ANZAC Day (25th April) honours the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli against the Ottoman Empire. It also marks the anniversary of the first military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War.

ANZAC day is observed in the Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands and Tonga. It was previously a national holiday in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

In memory of the SS Mendi

In memory of the SS Mendi

On 21 February 1917, during the 1st World War, Mendi was transporting 823 personnel of the South African Native Corps to France. She had sailed from Cape Town to Lagos (Nigeria) where a gun was fitted to her stern, then on to Plymouth; before proceeding towards Northern France.

At 5am, while being escorted by the destroyer HMS Brisk, Mendi was struck amidships and almost cut in half by the SS Darrow, an empty meat ship bound for Argentina.

616 South Africans (607 of them black troops) plus 30 crew members, mostly British, died in the disaster.

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