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War dances of black African troops in an English squad (taken from an English magazine), 1915-1918
Vintage gelatin silver print on paper
6 11/16 x 9 1/16 in. (16.99 x 23.02 cm)

Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Restricted gift of Michael Mattis, Judy Hochberg, Fernando Barnuevo and Gloria Ybarra
Accession Number: P2020.6.534

Purchased by the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College on August 12, 2020 from Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York.

War dances of black African troops in an English squad (taken from an English magazine).

Soon after the war started, soldiers from Nigeria, the Gold Coast, Sierra Leone, Gambia and other African colonies were recruited. They helped defend the borders of their countries where they adjoined German territories. Later, they played an important role in the campaigns to remove the Germans from Africa. Throughout the war, 60,000 Black South Africans and 120,000 other Africans also served in uniformed Labor Units. In 1915, the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR) was formed as a separate Black unit within the British Army. The first recruits sailed from Jamaica to Britain and arrived in October 1915 to train. The 3rd Battalion arrived in Plymouth in early 1916, while other battalions sailed direct to Egypt, arriving in Alexandria in March 1916. By the war’s end in November 1918, a total of 15,204 black men had served in the BWIR.

Negative number in plate. Typewritten title in Danish affixed to recto.

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  • Overall Dimensions: 6 11/16 x 9 1/16 in. (16.99 x 23.02 cm)

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