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  1. ITV Report

African and Caribbean service in world wars recognised

A war memorial to honour the service of more than two million men and women from Africa and the Caribbean during the first and second world war has been unveiled in south London.

At a special ceremony in Brixton, some of those veterans were there to see their contribution finally recognised.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon admitted it "should have been done before".

Speaking to ITV News, he said: "There should have been proper recognition of the service and sacrifice of African and Caribbean (servicemen and women) who came to help in both world wars."

A special service honouring the role of African and Caribbean's took place in Brixton on Thursday evening.

One of those veterans present for the unveiling was Allan Wilmot, who was just 16 when he left his home in Jamaica to join the Royal Navy.

Now aged 93, he recalled dodging submarines and mines to rescue dozens of sailors and downed air crews.

"We could be blown up at any moment, because in the day you could see the mines but in the night you can't see the mines," he said.

"Touch one of those mines and we are gone into eternity."

Allan Wilmot was given a medal, decades after he served in the Second World War.

But Allan, who received a medal at the service, told ITV News that after the war the contribution to victory of Caribbean and African men and women was quickly forgotten.

"You did serve the British Empire, thank you very much, OK, bye bye," he said of the attitude towards their service.

"And that was it, that was it."

"I'm glad that I'm still alive to witness (the recognition)."

More than two million men and women from Africa and the Caribbean served in both world wars.
Some of those from Africa and the Caribbean who served in the last world war attended the service in south London.