London

War memorial to African-Caribbean soldiers unveiled in London

African and Caribbean war memorial Image copyright BBC Africa
Image caption The memorial had been on display at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton in 2014.

A memorial to the African and Caribbean soldiers of World War one and World War Two has been unveiled in London.

An estimated two million African-Caribbean soldiers fought in both world wars.

The sculpture, in Windrush Square, Brixton, is formed of two 6ft (1.8m) long obelisks, with a combined weight of just under five tonnes.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the "recognition today is long overdue".

He added: "I hope this memorial will remind us of the ongoing contribution of our African and Caribbean communities to our country and to the defence of our country."

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Media captionWatch: Moment the memorial is unveiled

Allan Willmott, who served in the Royal Navy in WWII, said he did not dream he would be around to see anything like this happen.

"Nothing was done to make the contribution made by the African and West Indian service men known," the 92-year-old said.

Countries across the Caribbean and Africa were profoundly affected during the world wars, sending manpower, materials, and funds to aid the war effort.

More than 165,000 troops from the African continent alone died during the conflicts.

The memorial, believed to the first in Britain to honour African and Caribbean soldiers from both world wars, had been on display at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton in 2014.

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