The Unremembered, Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes airs this weekend.
One of Britain’s most respected traditions finds itself under scrutiny this Remembrance Sunday on Channel 4.
A century ago in the aftermath of the First World War, Britain established the famous vast war cemeteries to honour each individual who died serving the nation. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission set up to run them became famous for its principle of equality in death for everyone regardless of the military rank or their role in civilian life.
But as David Lammy MP discovers, deep in the archives lies a shocking story. Often overlooked, the first and last shots of the First World War were in Africa, and the equality policy seems to have operated differently there, with huge numbers of the 100,000 or more Africans who died in their own continent serving Britain being denied an individual grave.
David Lammy journeys across Kenya and Tanzania to find out why many African soldiers and porters were overlooked, and their names forgotten – as well as the impact this has on modern Africa and its communities today, and why he believes Britain has to put this right.
The Unremembered, Britain’s Forgotten War Heroes, Channel 4 at 10pm on Sunday November 10th.