The African and Caribbean War Memorial is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, to specifically honour Commonwealth soldiers from Africa and the Caribbean who fought alongside British troops and their Allies in World War I and World War II. The Memorial made up of two obelisks in Scottish Whin Stone erected on to a 12-foot pyramidal plinth weighing just over 5 tons, will be installed in Brixton, London and unveiled on 22 June 2017.
This project has been three years in the making. Originally conceived by the Nubian Jak Community Trust, as an extension of the 36 blue plaques installed around the country, commemorating iconic black figures in the United Kingdom’s history. The Nubian Jak Community Trust’s mission is to ensure there is a lasting legacy honouring the contribution made by African and Caribbean Military Servicemen and Servicewomen as well as addressing the historical omissions that have been made about their participation.
Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in a letter of support to the Nubian Jak Community Trust said:
“It is now over 70 years since the end of that war, but it is just as important to remember the ultimate sacrifice made by those men and women who were prepared to lay down their live for our freedoms.”
The Memorial’s unveiling ceremony will be the climax of a programme of commemoration events celebrating this historic event.
Tuesday 20th June – REMEMBERED: In Memoriam – Book Launch – Tate Brixton Library
This publication is a collection of essays, articles and narratives compiled and edited by Jak Beula and Nairobi Thompson. It is the most comprehensive account to date, of the contributions made by African and Caribbean Servicemen and Servicewomen during the two World Wars and has been produced as a Souvenir Journal to accompany the historic unveiling of the African and Caribbean War Memorial. For more info visit www.acmemorial.com
Wednesday 21st June – REMEMBERED – Theatre Play – Paul Robeson Theatre, Hounslow–7:30pm
A new work written and directed by playwright Richard Reid of Black Arts Production Theatre (BAP). The play will premiere at the Paul Robeson Theatre, and is a story of bravery and betrayal involving two families, two world wars, and a reality game show! BAP is celebrating 25 years! Tickets £15 concessions £11:50. For more info visit www.acmemorial.com
Thursday 22nd June – REMEMBERED – Unveiling of the African and Caribbean War Memorial
Windrush Square, Brixton, London – 2pm to 4pm
The unveiling of this historic Memorial will take place on Windrush Day, a day particularly fitting for this distinguished occasion. Windrush Day is a day of great significance to all British Nationals of African and Caribbean descent marking the arrival of the Empire Windrush in 1948.
This project has been partially funded by the Department of Communities and Local Government, Lambeth Council, The Heritage Lottery Fund as well as many generous private donations.
The African and Caribbean War Memorial Event will be followed by a World Celebration Concert at the Prince of Wales in Brixton.
“This memorial event will be a poignant yet celebratory experience and inspirational for all who attend. It is crucial that we don’t forget the historic role played by African and Caribbean Servicemen and Servicewomen who served during both Wars. We should be proud of their contribution.” Jak Beula CEO Nubian Jak Community Trust
“Britain owes an enormous debt to the African and Caribbean service men and women who fought alongside their British- based peers during the First and Second World Wars. These brave individuals, who came from what was formerly the British Empire, sacrificed an enormous amount to defend the freedoms that we now enjoy.” Sadiq Khan – Mayor of London