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Black war memorial will be auctioned off without donations

DONATIONS NEEDED: The temporary installation of the African & Caribbean War Veterans Memorial Monument at the Black Cultural Archives

A WAR memorial commemorating black service people in the First World War will be auctioned off unless more than £25,000 is raised to pay for it.

The African & Caribbean War Veterans Memorial Monument is the first of its kind in Europe to honour black personnel, but without the funds, it won't get the opportunity to be set.

The 2.5 ton monument was designed by the Nubian Jak Community Trust. It was engraved and temporarily installed by project partner Madstone Ltd, who although yet to receive payment for their services, allowed the monument to be temporarily unveiled on Armistice Day 2014 (Nov 11).

But now the historic statue may never be permanently shared with the public unless the funds are raised to pay Madstone Ltd.

The African & Caribbean War Veterans Memorial Monument is the vision of the Nubian Jak Community Trust - the only national BME plaque and sculpture scheme in the UK and Europe - in partnership with the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP), with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Black Cultural Archives (BCA) and Lambeth Council.

REMEMBERING THEIR SACRIFICE: Many tens of thousands, of men and women from the commonwealth countries in Africa and the Caribbean sacrificed their lives during the war

Dawn Hill, chair of BCA board of trustees, said: "This memorial will establish a constant source of inspiration to our Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities of the valuable contribution made to Great Britain and the continuing heroic role of our soldiers in the present day."

So far, £2,645 of the £27,000 target has been raised. The full amount needs to be paid by the end of August or unfortunately, the monument will be auctioned off and will never be erected.

A post on the GoFundMe Page said: "We've been given a deadline by the company that has been taking care of the memorial since autumn last year. We need this £27,000 by end of August - or they will sell the memorial at auction! We have just 8 weeks!"


The post continued: "The contributions by millions of African and Caribbean service men and women during both World Wars has remained unheralded. Many made the ultimate sacrifice for Britain, without receiving recognition for their service.

"Films, books, television programmes, national commemorations, and the press tend to feature British, European, and American soldiers. There is no reference to African and Caribbean people having also fought in the world wars on behalf of the United Kingdom. Their contribution and their country's resources and expertise were invaluable to the British Armed Forces."

The crowdfunding message added: "Many tens of thousands, of men and women from the commonwealth countries in Africa and the Caribbean sacrificed their lives for the United Kingdom. We want to honour these brave men and women."

Shaped in the form of two obelisks - one horizontal, to represent the fallen, and the other vertical, to represent their descendants - the monument is engraved with every name of the African and Caribbean regiments which contributed to Great Britain’s war effort for all to see.

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