Windrush Day (1948)

The Empire Windrush that brought Jamaicans to Britain in 1948 actually began life as a German liner. Her passengers were indoctrinated with Nazism while cruising around the coast of Europe, later taking German troops to invade Norway, and Jews back across the North Sea to death camps. She was captured by the British in 1945 and carried British troops to the Far East via Suez.

When they landed in Tilbury, just east of London, today in 1948 they were taken to an air-raid shelter in Clapham, and many sought work at the nearby labour exchange in Brixton. Their arrival was electrifying. There were howls of outrage, one politician claiming ‘they won’t last one winter in England’. The new arrivals experienced overt racism. Some were beaten up for dating white girls and landlords displayed signs saying ‘No Blacks’. But many settled, stayed and thrived. Sam King became Mayor of Southwark. Source

Today, their families have benefitted and enriched our society beyond measure, but it’s a scandal that they have been treated appallingly by government (see here).

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