The contribution of the Commonwealth to the British World War I effort: Legacy and ImpactThe contribution of the Commonwealth to the British World War I effort: Legacy and Impact




What did we learn from the project?

  1. That soldiers from the Commonwealth countries: Africa, Asia and the Caribbean contributed to massively to the British military campaign of World War 1. They contributed men to become soldiers either as volunteers or conscripted soldiers. They also contributed natural resources and money.
  2. The World War I military campaign was long, tough with terrible loss of life.
  3. Life for the World War I soldier was very hard. Equipment was often sparse, conditions cramped and unsafe.
  4. Commonwealth countries which were at that time colonial property of Britain had no very little involvement in World War I decision making and often troops and resources with virtually no regional influence.
  5. World War I was very expensive and cost Britain 3.25 Billion and at the time was the most expensive war Britain had ever engaged in nearly bankrupting the country
  6. Many volunteers from India, Africa and the Caribbean were motivated to assist Britain based upon promises of greater independence and freedoms.

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What activities did we engage in?

  1. Visits to the Black Cultural Archive, Imperial War Museum and Birmingham Library.
  2. Creation of an exhibition.
  3. Creation of a tool-kit to assist groups educating young people about the contribution played by the Commonwealth countries to Britain’s World War I effort.
  4. 14 workshops about World War I involving young people.
  5. Filming of an online seminar about World War I delivered by Jahan Mahmood.
  6. Young people learning about the contribution of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean to Britain’s war effort.

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