Recognising Asquith Xavier: the Chatham pioneer who fought racism at British Rail

Tap the video to find out about the plaque recognising Asquith Xavier

The life of a Chatham man who fought back against a racist policy at British Rail has been recognised with a plaque.

Asquith Xavier was told he couldn't apply for a promotion because of the colour of his skin.

After campaigning, on August 15th 1966, the colour bar at Euston station was defeated after Mr Xavier was allowed to start work.

Asquith Xavier Credit:

Mr Xavier, who died in 1980, was part of the Windrush generation, moving to England from Dominica after the Second World War.

He had started work for British Railways in 1956 as a porter, working his way up to rail guard at Marylebone station in London.

Asquith with daughter Maria

At the ceremony was his daughter Maria who said she felt 'really proud',

A plaque was unveiled in 2016 at Euston but his granddaughter Camealia Xavier-Chihota pushed for something to remember Asquith in Chatham,

Since the colour bas was lifted there has been lots of change within the rail industry, but there is still work to be done.

Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail Credit:

Loraine Martins is diversity and inclusion manager at Network Rail.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said:

"We owe so much to those who challenged racism on the railway in an era when it was all pervasive.

"The union remains eternally vigilant in the fight against racism and it is important we remember Asquith Xavier and those trade unionists who blazed a trail for us over five decades ago."