JIS News

A special service to remember and honour the achievements of all West Indians who served during the two World Wars, will be held on May 21 in London.
The service will be held at St. Peters Church on Clapham Manor Street, and will be followed by a reception at the West Indian Ex-Servicemen/Women Association (WIESA) headquarters, where a plaque will be unveiled in honour of 19 World War one servicemen whose graves were discovered in Seaford East, Sussex. The 19 were among war graves of some 300 World War One veterans at Seaford, including Canadian and British veterans.
These graves have been cared for by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) for almost 90 years, and are now becoming public knowledge due to the joint efforts of the CWGC and WIESA in their endeavour to bring awareness to young people of the contribution and sacrifices made by the West Indian community.
President of WIESA, Eddie Capone, told JIS News that he was overwhelmed and felt really proud when he visited the graves in Seaford last November.
“They are some of our best kept secrets. It is important for us to honour them and make sure that their contributions are recognized. It is important for our people to know that we have been in service to this country for more than 250 years and have made important contributions to British society,” he said.
According to Mr. Capone, the association was also trying to find out how the servicemen came to be buried in Seaford and information as to where they served.
It is estimated that over 10,000 West Indian men and women served throughout the world in the British Forces during both world wars.
Among the special guests on Sunday will be Grenadian born Private, Johnson Beharry, the most recent recipient of the Victoria Cross; British government officials and senior military personnel; Roy Rodriguez, Commonwealth Deputy Secretary General, West Indian High Commissioners, the Canadian High Commissioner, and West Indian veterans of the Second World War.
The service is being hosted by the WIESA, in conjunction with the Royal British Legion (Seaford) and the Canadian Veterans Association.