• 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
National Army Museum
  • 10am - 5.30pm
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Black History Late

Women of the West Indies Auxiliary Territorial Service, c1944

Connect with stories of African and Caribbean soldiers past and present in a special evening of discussions, performances and activities.

Discover the extensive history of African and Caribbean service both in and alongside the British Army at this unique late event.

Explore the Archives

Delve into our archive to uncover photographs and records relating to soldiers of African and Caribbean heritage.

Soldiers’ Stories

7.00pm to 8.00pm

Hear what it's been like to serve in the British Army throughout its history in this unique discussion featuring soldiers, veterans and black history experts.

Following an introduction from Blondel Cluff, Chair of the West India Committee, the panel will be chaired by Garry Stewart. Contributions will be made by:

  • Garry Stewart joined the Army and served in the Royal Signals, including on operations in the Falkland Islands, the Gulf and across Europe. After a career spanning nearly 30 years in mobile telecommunications, he is now the Founder and Director of Recognize Black Heritage and Culture, and is engaged in preserving and sharing the stories of African Caribbean service personnel.
  • Lieutenant Colonel Glyn Williams has served in the British Army for 36 years, deploying around the world to locations including to Kosovo, Cyprus, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently Head of Establishment and Deputy Garrison Commander at Larkhill Garrison.
  • Corporal Kerry-Ann Knight is a serving soldier in the Adjutant General’s Corps. Corporal Knight joined the British Army in 2011, beginning her career in the Royal Artillery. Her current role is as an instructor, training new recruits.
  • Pauline Milnes joined the Women’s Royal Army Corps (WRAC) in 1970 and trained as a supply controller at Blackdown Barracks. She spent time in Germany where she helped track Russian movements and ensured depots across Germany were adequately supplied. She left the WRAC in 1974. She is the chair of the National Caribbean Monument Charity.
  • Selena Carty is a cultural and ancestral historian, Afrocentric genealogist and founder of Black Poppy Rose. Black Poppy Rose was founded in 2010 with the aim of enlightening people of all nations about the contributions of African, Black, West Indian and Pacific Island communities to history.

Exhibition Tours

6.30pm, 7.15pm, 8.00pm, 8.30pm

Get after-hours access to our West Indian Soldier exhibition, which documents the fascinating, 300-year story of the recruitment and role of West Indian servicemen and women in the British Army.

David Wells, Director of Research and Heritage at the West India Committee and co-curator of the exhibition, will be providing short, guided tours throughout the evening.

Meet a West Indian ATS Soldier

6.45pm, 7.30pm, 8.15pm

Witness exclusive performances from our live interpretation character, Shirley Hamilton, who will describe her journey from Jamaica to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) during the Second World War.

Poppy Making

Craft a black poppy to remember those soldiers of African and Caribbean heritage who have lost their lives serving with the British Army and plant it in our remembrance field.

Music

Hear pre-recorded music from Gospel singer and serving soldier Corporal Yvonne Asamoah-Tawiah, who won the UK Based Gospel Artist of the Year Award at the Ghana Music Awards UK.

You will also be able to hear songs of The King's African Rifles playing at the start of the evening. The songs are drawn from the National Army Museum’s sound archive.

Unknown Soldier

8.00pm 

Alison Ray will discuss her project 'Unknown Soldier', a dance piece that recounts the various stories of men and women of Black British heritage who fought in the First and Second World Wars.

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"First time @NAM_London today. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Thought the presentation & interpretation made the subject accessible..."