PM apologises for failing to commemorate black & Asian war heroes who died fighting for Britain ‘due to racism’


HUNDREDS of thousands of black and Asian heroes who died fighting for Britain were not properly commemorated due to “pervasive racism” and prejudice.

Up to 350,000 troops of mostly African and Middle Eastern countries “were not commemorated by name”, a shocking found.

Boris issued a grovelling apology last night and paid tribute to those who had been forgotten while fighting for Britain

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Boris issued a grovelling apology last night and paid tribute to those who had been forgotten while fighting for Britain
Ben Wallace formally apologised today and vowed to improve memorials around the world which honour those who fought for Britain

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Ben Wallace formally apologised today and vowed to improve memorials around the world which honour those who fought for BritainCredit: Rex

Another 54,000 troops from India, Egypt, Somalia, and east and west Africa were commemorated “unequally”, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission said.

The charity was founded in the wake of World War One to bury the war dead equally, irrespective of rank, colour, class or creed.

The PM said this evening that he was “deeply troubled” by the revelations and offered an “unreserved apology” to everyone affected.

Today he paid tribute to their “immense contribution, courage and valour” and thanked those who “paid the ultimate price so that we might live in peace and freedom today”.

He said tonight: ““I am deeply troubled by the findings of the Special Committee that not all of our war dead were commemorated with equal care and reverence.

“On behalf of the Government, I offer an unreserved apology.

“I welcome the fact that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission has accepted all of the Committee’s recommendations and that it will now re-examine records and make amends wherever possible.

“Our shared duty is to honour and remember all those, wherever they lived and whatever their background, who laid down their lives for our freedoms at the moment of greatest peril.”

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Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said earlier that the commission had deliberately reneged on their vows

He expressed his anger as a former soldier that “brothers-in-arms were forgotten”.

“True soldiers are agnostic of class, race, and gender, because the bond that holds us together is a bond forged in a war,” he said.

“I feel it is my duty to do the right thing by those who gave their lives in the First World War, across the Commonwealth, and take necessary steps to rectify the situation.”

He vowed to improve memorials and records around the world.

And he called for a major overhaul of the history syllabus to teach children about those soldiers in Britain’s wars.

“It is a deep point of regret that in my own education, what I was taught boiled down to the Somme and poets, but very little about the contribution from the Commonwealth countries and the wider British Empire,” he said.

Claire Horton, head of the Commission, said: “The events of a Century ago were wrong then and are wrong now. We are sorry for what happened and will act to right the wrongs of the past.”

David Lammy MP, who helped trigger the research, hailed the government’s apology as “a watershed moment in the life of the country”.

He said: “There is no higher service than to die for your country, in war. Every single culture on the planet honours those who die in those circumstances.

“This country failed to do that for black and brown people across Africa, India and the Middle East. But we have come to this moment 100 years on, it’s a very, very important moment.”

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