Memorial – Commonwealth Servicemen and Women

Memorial for Ethnic Commonwealth Servicemen and women

The plaque honours BAME servicemen and women (Picture: Race Council Cymru).

A new plaque commemorating the black and ethnic minority soldiers who served during the Second World War with the British military has been unveiled at a war memorial in Cardiff.

Around 200 people attended the unveiling at the Welsh National War Memorial on Saturday.

Representatives on behalf of the Queen, the Armed Forces and Royal British Legion, as well as the Lord Mayor of Cardiff Daniel De’Ath, attended the service.

The unveiling ceremony was the culmination of a 26-year campaign by a woman who lost her father and brothers in the Second World War.

Patti Flynn campaigned for the acknowledgement and commemoration of black and ethnic minority soldiers during the war.

Ms Flynn said the¬†sacrifices of servicemen and women from diverse backgrounds had been “forgotten” and deserved special recognition

Patty Flynn

Saturday marked the finale of Black History Month Wales celebrations for 2019.

The theme of the year was ‘Movers, Shakers and Legacy Makers’ and was funded by the Arts Council Wales as well as by other contributors.

The historic unveiling of the monument at Alexandra Gardens in Cathays Park, Cardiff, was made by Ms Flynn and Elaine Campbell Clarke. 

“We are delighted that the selfless sacrifice of diverse minority ethnic people who gave their lives in battle and contributed so courageously in World Wars One and Two and continue to serve in the forces from Wales and the Commonwealth deserve to be remembered and honoured as Legacy Makers,” said Judge Ray Singh CBE, Chair of Race Council Cymru.

“To all who lost loved ones, we say Wales Remembers You and Your Sacrifices will never be forgotten for you all are our Legacy Makers,” he added.

servicemen and women

The Welsh Government played a leadership role in ensuring that the monument was installed and all the people from Wales and the Commonwealth who participated in the war efforts are duly recognised.

“As we stand side by side here today, we acknowledge and reflect on the contributions of Black and Ethnic Minority servicemen and women during the First and Second World Wars and to date,” said the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt.

The Chairman of the Royal Commonwealth Society Mr Rogeiro Verma said: “This is a historic moment that will ensure that for years to come, the families of commonwealth citizens who gave their lives in the World Wars and those who were left behind will know that Wales honours their sacrifices and recognises their selfless contributions and legacy.

“This monument is long overdue.”

Cardiff Lord Mayor unveiling the plaque in Cardiff

“It is with great privilege that The Royal British Legion have been able to support and part-fund the installation of the new memorial in Alexandra Gardens that recognised the contribution and sacrifice of those from diverse ethnic backgrounds who have supported our freedom since 1914,” said Antony Metcalfe from the Royal British Legion.

Lieutenant Colonel Jonah MacGill AGC (RMP), from Headquarters of 160th (Welsh) Brigade, said: “It is an incredible honour for the Army, and in particular the 160th (Welsh) Brigade, to be involved in this highly significant event today.

“At a time of her greatest need, Great Britain was supported by individuals from across the globe including those from the ethnic minorities we are privileged to honour today.

“We applaud the incredible determination of the many Community Elders from across Wales who have campaigned to make this memorial a reality.

“The Armed Forces seek to be reflective of society today and whilst recognising the mistakes of the past we are working hard to ensure our shared future.”