Seaford paid tribute to the tens of thousands of Caribbean soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the UK during WWI with the first commemorative plaque for the British West Indies Regiment.
Many tens of thousands of men and women from Commonwealth countries in Africa and the Caribbean sacrificed their lives for the UK during the First World War.
In November 1915, a special regiment was formed in Seaford made up of soldiers entirely from the Caribbean, who went on to serve in Egypt and Palestine for King and Empire.
Nubian Jak Community Trust has been working in partnership with Lewes District Council and other organisations to formally recognise the selfless contribution of these soldiers known as the British West Indies Regiment.
Councillor Ruth O’Keeffe, Chair of Lewes District Council, said: “Lewes District Council has been working in partnership with Nubian Jak Community Trust and other organisations, to formally recognise the selfless contribution of soldiers known as the British West Indies Regiment.
“The commemorative blue plaque unveiled at Seaford Cemetery on Tuesday, November 10 marks the war graves of 19 of these commonwealth soldiers, who died between October 1915 and January 1916, and who are interned within the cemetery.
“The plaque and the associated ceremony of its unveiling recognises and honours all those who gave their lives.”
Jak Beula, Chair of Nubian Jak Community Trust, said: “It is great that Lewes District Council as well as Seaford Town Council and East Sussex County Council have agreed to work with our organisation and put together this historic and timely tribute to these brave servicemen.”
Councillor David Argent, Mayor of Seaford Town Council, said: “The people of Seaford welcomed soldiers from across the world during the dark days of the great war. Today, 100 years later, we remember the West Indies soldiers who travelled for thousands of miles to serve their king and empire. It is an honour to have been invited to unveil the two commemorative plaques to mark this significant moment of history.”
The first commemorative blue plaque was unveiled at a ceremony at Seaford Cemetery, Alfriston Road, Seaford on Tuesday, November 10.
Following the unveiling of the first, privately-located blue plaque on the chapel wall at Seaford Cemetery, the second more public blue plaque was unveiled at Seaford Railway Station.
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