Discussion in 'World War 1' started by liverpool annie, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    World War One.

    The colonies join the war effort

    By the outbreak of war in 1914, centuries of alienation and the suppression of the remnants of African cultural practices, and the proliferation of British institutions, culture and language, had created staunchly loyal Black Britishers in Barbados and other colonies. The expression of support for Britain from the West Indian population was therefore, not surprisingly, quite overwhelming.


    The United Kingdom with France were party to a treaty to defend Belgian neutrality. This was compromised by the German invasion of Belgium and therefore the United Kingdom declared war on Germany. World War One (The Great War) broke out on the 1st August 1914. Jamaica took part in the War, sending to the front about ten thousand men. As usual during a conflict of this nature Jamaica suffered from a lack of shipping to take her products to other countries. In time Jamaica was able to resume her regular trade in sugar, rum, tobacco, coffee and cocoa, which were admitted into the English market on better terms than the same things produced in foreign countries.

    When the war started, Martial Law was immediately proclaimed in Jamaica and a body of troops called the Jamaica Reserve Regiment was formed for the defence of the island.

    On the 14th August, a fund was launched which raised £20,000 by year-end to provide comforts for British soldiers.

    On the 17th September, the Legislative Council voted £50,000 to purchase sugar for donation to England.


    Jamaica began to send volunteers as soldiers to fight in the Great War and a contingent of 500 men was sent off on the 8th November. Afterwards the Legislative Council took over the effort.

    On the 12th and 13th August a hurricane hit the island; a second occurred on September 25 and 26. Both hurricanes caused a lot of damage to property and agriculture, especially to bananas.


    On the 7th January a second contingent of volunteers was sent off to Britain and this was followed on the 16th March by a third.

    On the 29th March the Legislative Council voted £60,000 a year for 40 years as Jamaica's contribution to the expenses of the war. Intensive recruitment was started in all parishes. The fourth contingent sailed to Britain on the 30th September. Other West Indian islands followed Jamaica's lead in sending men to fight, so the British War Office resolved to regard all West Indians as one unit to be known as The British West Indies Regiment.

    On the 15th and 16th August a hurricane swept Jamaica.


    On the 6th March the Legislative Council introduced compulsory military service, with every male from 16 to 41 being obliged to register. This was to ensure sufficient soldiers were available, but the Conscription Law was never put into effect since all the recruits needed came forward voluntarily. A number of women volunteers also went to England, mainly to join the nursing services. Five contingents left Jamaica in 1917 bringing the total to nine contingents in all which comprised of approximately 10,000 men.

    In May, some women property-owners were given the right to vote.

    In September, still another hurricane hit the island damaging property, banana plantations and crops. Thus for three successive years the island had not escaped the ravages of hurricanes .


    On the 11th May Sir William Manning left Jamaica to go to Ceylon as Governor. In June, Sir Leslie Probyn, who had been Governor of Barbados, arrived here as Governor.

    On the 11th November an Armistice was signed between Germany and the Allies, chief nations of which were England, France, U.S.A., Italy and Japan. The war being now practically over, the Jamaican soldiers began to be sent home. The first lot of them to return landed in Kingston on the 2nd May 1919, and received a hearty welcome.

    Many of the men sent away had died or had been wounded, but most of them had escaped injury. In Palestine, especially, the 1st and 2nd Battalions of the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR), most of whom were Jamaicans, had distinguished themselves in fighting the Turks.


  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Information about the Third Jamaica Contingent WWI from the Daily Gleaner

    March 7, 1916


    Men Looking Smart in Their Service Uniforms March in Their Hundreds Through Densely Crowded Thoroughfares to Big Transport - Business Suspended in City as Fighters go by - Members of Battalion are Given Sound Advice By Brigadier General Blackden Just Prior to Their Departure from Swallowfield - Memorable Scenes in Kingston Yesterday

  3. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    I do have a list of the men of the Second Jamaica War Contingent ....... too many to add here but I'd be glad to do lookups !

    Annie :)

    Daily Gleaner

    January 8, 1916


    Full List of Officers and Men of Our Second War Contingent -JAMAICA BATTALION—Recruits who are Going to be Trained for the Firing Line.
    Owing to the great demand on our space, the following list of officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Second Jamaica War Contingent, who have embarked for England, was crowded out of yesterday’s “Gleaner”.
    List of Officers for Embarkation

    Major C. Wood Hill, 1st W.I.R.
    Lieut. J.V. Kirkland, 1st W.I.R.
    Capt. C.S. Sanguinetti, B.W.I.R.
    Capt. E.H. Quin, B.W.I.R.
    Capt. C.D.A. Robinson, B.W.I.R.
    Lieut. F. Gowenlock, B.W.I.R.
    Lieut. H. F. Donald, B.W.I.R.
    Lieut. C. F. Jacobs, B.W.I.R.
    Lieut. C. E. Sharp (R.A.M.C) B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. W.L. Phillips, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. K. D. Andrews, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. F.D. McPhail, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. A.H. Spyer, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. J.A.V. Thompson, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. L.H. McKay, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. R.S. Martinez, B.W.I.R
    Sec. Lieut. D.R. Ballard, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. J.E. Hart, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. E.M. Lord, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. S.F. Binns, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. H.D. O’Donnell, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. C.H. Delgado, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. W.H. Kieffer, B.W.I.R.
    Sec. Lieut. C. Barrett, B.W.I.R.
    (Sgd.) R.C. Waters. Lieutenant and Adjutant

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