Apology after inquiry finds WW1 graves racism

Six million soldiers from the British Empire served in World War One

Tens of thousands of predominantly black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire were not properly commemorated due to "pervasive racism", a report has said.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission apologised after it found individuals were not formally remembered in the same way as white troops.

"The events of a century ago were wrong then and are wrong now," it said.

The inquiry found at least 116,000 mostly African and Middle Eastern casualties from World War One "were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all".

But that figure could be as high as 350,000, according to the report first seen by the Guardian.

It also cited racist comments such as the governor of a British colony saying in 1923 that: "The average native... would not understand or appreciate a headstone".

Between 45,000 and 54,000 Asian and African personnel who died in the conflict were "commemorated unequally", the commission said.

Read the full BBC News story here.

Afro Juju

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