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‘Ubiquitous Racism’ Blamed for Unequal Treatment of Black and Asian War Victims | UK News

Up to 350,000 servicemen, mostly black and Asian, were not officially recalled in the same way as their white comrades.

An investigation accused “pervasive racism” of failing to properly commemorate at least 116,000 but up to 350,000 people who died fighting for the British Empire.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission apologized and pledged to act immediately to correct the situation.

The report, obtained by the PA News Agency and due for release in full later today, found that the victims – mostly from World War I – were “not commemorated by name or likely not from all commemorated “.

Most of them were commemorated by memorials that did not bear their names.

In addition, an estimated 45,000 to 54,000 Asian and African victims have been “unevenly commemorated”.

This meant that some were commemorated collectively on memorials – unlike those in Europe – and others that were missing were only recorded in registers, rather than on stone.

The work of commemorating the war dead is carried out by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, originally called the Imperial War Graves Commission.

The report was written by a special committee, set up by the CWGC in 2019 after a critical documentary on the matter.

According to the report, failure to properly commemorate individuals was “influenced by the scarcity of information, errors inherited from other organizations and the opinions of colonial administrators.”

“At the root of all these decisions, however, were the prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes,” he added.

The report gave the example of a 1923 communication between FG Guggisberg, the governor of present-day Ghana, and Arthur Browne of the commission.

The governor had said: “The average native of the Gold Coast wouldn’t understand or appreciate a gravestone” as he pleaded for collective memorials.

Mr. Browne’s response showed “what he can …

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This notice was published: 2021-04-21 22:41:00