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Campaign begins to record black contribution.

A fundraising campaign to finally record the contribution of African and Caribbean people to Britain in the two world wars was launched yesterday.

Former House of Commons speaker Baroness Boothroyd, newsreader Sir Trevor McDonald and MPs Oona King and Diane Abbott were among the supporters of the Black British Heritage (BBH) campaign launched at the Imperial War Museum.

During the First World War more than 15,000 West Indian volunteers enlisted in the British West Indies Regiment, battalions from which served in France, Palestine, Egypt and Italy.

People from the region also supported the war effort through financial donations, raising some pounds 2 million, as well as providing nine aircraft for the Royal Flying Corps and 11 ambulances for the Red Cross.

African troops were heavily involved in the campaign in Togoland, the Cameroons, German South West Africa and German East Africa.

Some 372,000 Africans fought for Britain in the Second World War, with 90,000 playing a key role in the defeat of the Japanese in Burma.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:May 12, 2004
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