Sunday 11 November 2018

Nerd Church - Remember Them, Too

I think it's important to remember, 100 years to the day after the end of the First World War, that marginalised people have always been part of, done their part for, and made the ultimate sacrifice for, this country.


When you remember those who served, remember that Black and Ethnic Minority (BAME) people, Muslim people, Jewish people, LGBTQ+ people, and many, many, other marginalised people, served this country too.

(I'm sure this also applies to other countries like the US, Canada, Australia, etc., but I can only speak for the UK here.)

LGBTQ+ people served the UK in the First World War.

Many of the most famous of WW1 poets were Gay. Wilfred Owen, who died in 1918, was Gay. Siegfried Sassoon was Gay.

Many ordinary serving men and women of the armed forces were Queer.

Many more served than we will ever know, I'm sure, since due to both society and the law, it was safer to be closeted then out in the 1910s.

Jewish people served the UK in the First World War.

Sassoon's father was Jewish while his mother was Irish Catholic.

Isaac Rosenberg, another poet, killed in 1918, was Jewish.

Muslim people served the UK in the First World War.

Many of the UK's Muslim soldiers came from India - and also what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh.

For better or worse, Britain had an Empire.

And the people of the Empire served it well.

Asian people served the UK in the First World War.

From throughout the British Colonies (as they were then,) in Asia, people joined the Armed Forces and other parts of the war effort.

Even beyond the Empire, people served the UK.

Black people served the UK in the First World War.

Soldiers from the Caribbean and Africa, as well as Black Brits, fought for the UK, including officers like Walter Tull and David Louis Clemetson.

Members of Traveller communities served the UK in the First World War.

Traveller communities sent their young men to fight, and their women to serve, just like any other community, and many made the ultimate sacrifice.

Doubtless, there are many more who I've missed - this is just a snapshot of a few of the communities who served. And that's just one war.

Diversity has always been a part of this country.

Diverse communities have always put their lives on the line for, and sometimes given their lives for, this country, regardless of how this country treated them in return.

Remember them, too.

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Last updated: 17th Nov 2018


  1. I loved this post, Cee! On my local news the other day they did an entire feature on the black soldiers who fought for the Canadian army during WWI. I was really impressed that they did that, because I think the sacrifices of minority’s are often overlooked.

    1. So true! Glad to hear that the contributions of marginalised communities are finally being recognised! And thanks :)

  2. This is such a timely post and an important message. So frequently we are only shown a narrow view of the people who fought for Britain over the years which makes it seem as though everybody was straight and white.

    1. So true! This country has always been diverse. And many people gave their lives in its service despite how they were treated here - being Gay was illegal in the 1910s. But LGBTQ+ men and women still served a country that outlawed their very existence.

  3. It's important to honor and remember those that did their part in defending our freedom.
    We have Veterans Day here in the States and my daughter had a special assembly in which they all sang a song to honor the veterans.
    Great post! It's important to remember all the different people that served.

    1. We have Remembrance Day (Nov 11th) and Remembrance Sunday (whatever Sunday is closest to the 11th) - this year they fell on the same day.

      Thank you - I think too often the 'official' commemorations forget those from diverse communities, who deserve just as much recognition as anyone else.


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