Black Poppies

Publisher: The History Press

This informative and thought-provoking collection of true stories shines a light on the contributions made by Britain’s Black community during the First World War. The author explains that, due to racial discrimination,  many of their achievements have not been previously recognised and despite their dedicated service, they were often barred from rising up the ranks.

The book opens with a useful timeline, explaining key events during and after the First World War. Each chapter focuses on a different person, episode or theme from this period. The experiences of those on the battlefield are documented, as well as the efforts of other key figures, such as nurses, Red Cross ambulance drivers and musicians who played in wartime concerts. Readers will also learn about the shocking race riots, largely triggered by mass unemployment, which occurred across Britain when ex-servicemen returned home after the war.

Interspersed throughout the chapters are information panels about a range of war-related topics, including Zeppelin airships, the Western Front and the Royal British Legion. Illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs, this insightful selection of short biographies and social history commentary would be a valuable addition to any home or school library.

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