First World War



15,600 men of the British West Indies Regiment served with the Allied forces. Jamaica contributed two-thirds of these volunteers, while others came from Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Bahamas, British Honduras, Grenada, British Guiana (now Guyana), the Leeward Islands, St Lucia and St Vincent. Nearly 5,000 more subsequently volunteered to join up.

In Palestine and Jordan the BWIR saw front-line service against the Turkish army; in France, Egypt and Italy the men served in auxiliary roles.

Out of a population of 1,700,000 in the Caribbean Colonies of the British Empire, over 1,200 were killed or died, while more than 2,500 were wounded.

81 medals for bravery were won, and 49 men were mentioned in despatches.

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© Imperial War Museum

© Imperial War Museum

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