5th ANNUAL LECTURE – WW1 Caribbean Soldiers on the Western Front


The Tony Cheeseman Foundation 5th Annual Lecture was a great success with over 60 in attendance. We were overwhelmed with the support and from the feedback we may have to consider a bigger venue for future lectures. The month of November is a time of National remembrance and the programme reflected that by starting with a one minute silence to honour our ancestors and the African and Caribbean soldiers who took part in colonial wars. We also remembered our committee member the late Cheryl Philips and our 2014 Community Award recipient Sam King who both passed away this year. A great mix of regulars and new faces shared the event and warmly received the launch of the ‘WW1: Caribbean Soldiers on the Western Front’ research project publication, which was presented by Arthur Torrington Chair of the African Heritage Forum.

Alan Wilmot
Allan Wilmot

The talented and charming 92-year-old Allan Wilmot shared his life story from Jamaica to the UK, his military experiences, and we were entertained by a recording of his group ‘The Southlanders’ 1960s No 1 UK chart hit ‘A mole in the hole’. Allan was also pleased to receive our 2016 Community award trophy. Roy Hayde shared his personal experiences in a brilliant spoken word performance and the evening concluded with some tasty homemade Barbadian delicacies to celebrate Barbados 50th year of Independence.

Mole in a Hole” – The Southlanders – 1960’s UK chart hit

The committee extend thanks to The African Heritage Forum, the staff of the Stratford Library, Hansib Press, Allan Wilmot, Roy Hayde, our hardworking supporters Nailah and Loleta and all who contributed to make the event such a happy occasion. Last but not least, a big thank you for the donations received, we raised a grand total of £167.00 well appreciated. And a warm welcome to members and supporters who signed up on the day.


Poetry from Roy Hayde – Performed at the 5th Annual Lecture


Event pictures


Caribbean Soldiers on the Western front
36 Page pdf booklet (8.9mb download)


I recently had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Lecture WW1 Caribbean Soldiers on the western front. An event of which its contents should be placed on every school curriculum, in my humble opinion. The Knowledge of the participation that so many men of colour had, in the establishment of the British empire, in itself is empowering. To have amongst us a living testimony in the person of Allan Wilmot, of the tenacity it takes to come through aiding allying countries,  who in turn somewhat seem to forget and scorn your presence among them is an example of the power of patience.

The relaxed atmosphere of the meeting was most welcoming and would allow most people to feel comfortable. Loved the poetry, please extend my gratitude for the sharing of personal experience in lyric. I attended with a friend who also enjoyed the time. On leaving  (after picking up my free glossy magazine ). The celebration of Mr Wilmot’s life was an honour to witness, and having received his book , I later handed it to my father who did not put it down until he had read it in its entirety.  Thoroughly enjoyed it.
I would like to thank each and every member for their commitment and sacrifice to bringing such priceless, valuable information to the community,  and offer whatever help I am able by the Creators Grace and Mercy to perfect the visions journey.

Trevor Samuels

I attended the WW1/WW2 seminar with Allan Wilmot at the library in Stratford last Saturday.  It was informative, uplifting and wonderfully organised: thank you!
Many thanks for your help and for all the great work that is carried out by the Tony Cheeseman Foundation.

Juanita Cox Westmaas