Britain apologises for failure to properly commemorate Black and Asian troops

by Reuters
Thursday, 22 April 2021 10:52 GMT

ARCHIVE PHOTO: The tombs of the Unknown Soldiers are seen at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's (CWGC) Loos British Cemetery outside Loos-en-Gohelle, France, August 23, 2018. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - Britain on Thursday apologised for failing to properly commemorate as many as 350,000 Black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British empire.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) issued an apology after an inquiry it commissioned found hundreds of thousands of mostly African and Middle Eastern casualties from World War One were not commemorated by name, or at all.

"There can be no doubt: prejudice played a part in some of the commission's decisions," Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told parliament.

"On behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and the government both of the time and today, I want to apologise for the failures to live up to their founding principles all those years ago, and express deep regret that it has taken so long to rectify," Wallace said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)

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