‘Black Tommies’

As part of ‘The Great War’ centenary events and Black History month, Year 6 pupils at Wellesbourne Primary worked alongside School Improvement Liverpool to celebrate the contribution made by Black British Soldiers during World War One.

Pupils were filmed reciting the poem ’Man v Land’ by local poet Curtis Watt, whilst dressed in costumes from the World War One era. Curtis’ poem is based on ‘Black Tommies – British Soldiers of African Descent in the First World War’ written by local historian Dr Ray Costello.

His book is the first dedicated to recognising their service within the regular British army, opposed to overseas units.

Donna Palmer from the Ethnic Minority & Traveler Achievement Service (EMTAS) at School Improvement Liverpool is proud of what has been achieved and said: “Homegrown black soldiers are still largely unrecognised and Dr Ray Costello was very keen for Liverpool children to know about how they made a contribution to protecting the empire and kindly gave his permission for it to be used as an educational resource”.

As part of the ongoing Black History month, pupils were also treated to a premiere of the film ‘Black Tommies’.

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