Why Are West Indians In This Country News

VJ Day Commemorations in Birmingham

VJ Day Commemorations in Birmingham

The war in Europe officially ended on May 8th 1945 when Germany signed a surrender document. Japan refused to accept unconditional surrender and so war continued in the Pacific.

It was not until 15th August that Japan announced its surrender, following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ended one of the worst episodes in British military history.

It is anticipated that there were 71,000 British and Commonwealth casualties of the war against Japan, including more than 12,000 prisoners of war who died in Japanese captivity.

400 years of Caribbean Contribution to British Heritage and Culture

400 Years - Educational Exhibition

Our new educational exhibition goes on display at the Heritage Gallery (Solihull Central Library) from Monday 1st June - Friday 31st July 2015.

400 years of Caribbean contribution to "British heritage and culture", aims to provide an insight into why thousands of volunteers from the British speaking West Indies answered Britain's call in defence of her Empire. Our timeline covers: The Napoleonic Wars, the First World War, Second World War, Women at War and the Home Front, concluding with the poppy and its relevance to all communities.

Project Newsletter - 2014

Photo courtesy of Sam Vaughan - WAWI Committee member


We began 2014 with Standard Bearer training delivered by the Royal British Legion and ended with the Federation of Ex-service Associations Christmas dinner. In between the Project supported a variety of events, went back to school and even paraded on the pitch at Villa Park. 

Bringing History to Life

Who was Arthur Wharton?

Unveiling of Arthur Wharton Statue

A statue of Arthur Wharton; the world's first black professional footballer; has been unveiled at St George's Park National Football Centre in Burton.

The plaque reads: Arthur Wharton: October 1865 - December 1930 "This statue commemorates Arthur Wharton, the world's first black professional footballer, and one of the early pioneers and trailblazers in sport. Wharton was also a professional cricketer, cycling champion, rugby player and the world's first official sprint champion achieving unparalleled success in the face of adversity."

Pilots of the Caribbean Launch - RAF Museum Cosford

WAWI Project attend Pilots of the Caribbean

A brand new exhibition entitled 'Pilots of the Caribbean: Volunteers of African Heritage in the Royal Air Force' opened at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford on 6th October 2014.

Coinciding with this year's Black History Month; in partnership with the Black Cultural Archives and with additional input from the WAWI Project; this informative exhibition commemorates the contribution of brave volunteers from Africa and the Caribbean Islands, who came to Britain's defence; receiving no less than 100 Gallantry Medals.

1st World War Commemoration - Glasgow

1st World War Commemoration - Glasgow

Monday 4th August 2014 the WAWI Project was part of the Centenary Commemorations in Glasgow. At the Cathedral WAWI member joined Prince Charles, Prime Minister David Cameron, Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmon and other distinguished guests.

The service was conducted by the Reverend Dr Laurence Whitley, Minister of Glasgow Cathedral.

"Gathering as citizens of the Commonwealth we join in the service of Commemoration; and we do so in the company of countless others across the world who able in this broadcast to share it with us.

Annual memorial Services

Annual Memorial Services

There are many annual memorial services held throughout the year including;

  • St Georges Day
  • Federation Day
  • National Service Veterans as well as many others.

British Caribbean Veterans will again be on parade at the Memorial for the Battle of Britain on 15/09/13 at Centenary Square, 10.30 and again at St Martins Church on 21/09/13 at 10.30 for the annual service of remembrance of the Birmingham Air Raids.