Journal article

The multicultural First World War: Memories of the West Indian contribution in contemporary Britain

R Smith

Journal of European Studies | Published : 2015

Abstract

The experiences of West Indian soldiers in the First World War have received renewed attention during the centenary commemorations. By exploring how the West Indian contribution is imagined in the media and creative arts, this paper problematizes the historical memory linking military service to citizenship in multicultural Britain. During the conflict, West Indian participation was used to suggest that the British Empire stood united in the face of German aggression. Through the 1920s and 1930s, the contribution of West Indian volunteers was recalled to support many political campaigns, including West Indian self-government and pan-African campaigns opposed to the Italian invasion of Ethiop..

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