By Audrey Dewjee
The stories of the Windrush generation were once little known but, following the Windrush Scandal, the general public is now more aware of what happened to people who arrived from the Caribbean between the end of World War Two and the coming into force of the Immigration Act 1971. The arrivals’ experience was one of struggle – against racism in many quarters such as housing, education, employment, policing and from neighbours – and eventual success, as families settled and thrived despite the odds.
However, for at least one group of arrivals in the early days after the war, the experience was very different. Although not completely free from difficulties, some of the young men who arrived in Leeds found helping hands and a welcome to their new home.
Their story began to emerge when I interviewed Alford Gardner, a pioneer who had served in the RAF, gone back to Jamaica and then returned on the Empire Windrush and settled in Leeds. When I interviewed Allan Dawkins to record the story of his father, Charlie, who had served in the RAF and then decided to stay in Britain after the war, I learned a bit more.
If you would like to read more of this amazing story please see https://www.historycalroots.com/a-different-windrush-experience/