Armed Forces Covenant Silver Award 2021

Armed Forces Covenant Silver Award

Members of the WAWI Project

It gives me great pleasure to write to inform you formally that the WAWI Project has been selected for a Silver Award under the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme. I am very conscious of the work that goes on behind the scenes to gain this level of recognition, and I offer sincere congratulations on behalf of the West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadets Association.

Windrush Day 2021 - Wales

Mrs Roma Taylor (nee Greaves), founder of the Windrush Cymru Elders is a prime example of a forgotten British Army veteran and hero of her local community in Cardiff.  She came to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation and took up the vocation of a nurse within the NHS, like so many others in Britain’s hour of need.  In 1959, Roma joined 203 Field Hospital (formerly known as 203 General Hospital in the Territorial Army) as a Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) Nurse.  She combined her day job in the NHS with serving the nation (twice the citizen) in what is now known as t

West Indies Calling

West indies Calling, 2nd World War

'West Indies Calling' made in 1944 is a short BBC broadcast whereby West Indians' living in Britain explain to the British public the West Indians' contribution to the Second World War. Contributions include West Indian cricketer Learie Constantine who worked as a Welfare Officer for the Ministry of Labour during the war. Flying Officer Ulric Cross from Trinidad who was a Bomber Navigator with RAF Bomber Command whose illustrious career included flying over 80 bombing missions, and was awarded both the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Service Order.

Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith

1st World War Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Article by Bill Hern and Steve Charlton

In November 2020 the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Museum (Warwickshire) paid £10,540 to secure a plaque commemorating the man believed to be the first British regiment officer from an ethnic background to die in World War 1. That man was Lieutenant Euan Lucie-Smith and this is his remarkable story.

Euan Lucie-Smith was born in St Andrew, Jamaica on 14th December 1889.

100th Anniversary of the Unknown Soldier

100th Anniversary of the Unknown Soldier

As Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon walked up the aisle of Westminster Abbey in 1923 to marry the future King George VI, she released her father’s arm, stepped aside, and tenderly placed her bouquet on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior before approaching the altar.

It was a touching tribute to her brother Fergus Bowes-Lyon, a captain in the 8th Black Watch who was killed at the Battle of Loos on 27 September 1915, aged 26. Elizabeth's tribute to the Unknown Warrior became a tradition followed by every royal bride since.

WAWI signs Armed Forces Covenant

As we continue our educational journey highlighting and celebrating the positive links between West Indians and UK Armed Forces, we are proud to have become one of the latest signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant.

Reinforcing our support to those who have served, those currently serving and those who will serve in the future.

We salute you all.

Lerel McDonald leaves a lasting legacy

Warwickshire Regiment says farewell to one of their own

The WAWI Project was founded in 2009 answering the question “Why are West Indians in this Country”. Following a meeting in 2011 with the then County Chairman of the Royal British Legion Dave Gooding we were put in touch with the British and Caribbean Veterans Association.

We took with us a Standard of the West India Regiment to showcase our work and Lee quickly volunteered to carry the Standard on our behalf at the 90th Annual Poppy Parade.

Shot at Dawn Memorial

Shot at Dawn Memorial

The Great War was by far the most brutal in history and it is no wonder many of its soldiers were unprepared for the horrors they would encounter.

Before the end of the war, the army would deal with approximately 80,000 cases of shell shock. This condition accounted for one seventh of all medical discharges from the British Army.

However, 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers were executed for crimes such as desertion and cowardice; many of whom may well have been suffering with what is known today as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  

Mona Baptiste and the Empire Windrush

Mona Baptise

Bill Hern of Historycal Roots recently made a trip to Trinidad to research the life of Trinidadian singer/actor Mona Baptiste who came to England on the Empire Windrush in 1948. One of the mysteries he hoped to solve was why Mona elected to move to England and not, for example, the United States? Mona had family in the States and was already popular with an American audience through her appearances on the US Forces Radio in Trinidad. Mona was a blues singer and the States was the birthplace of the blues as well as the home of her idol, Lena Horne.


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