17 October 2023

Black History Month: Remember Together

In the rich tapestry of British history, the contributions of people of colour in the Armed Forces has often been forgotten or overlooked. These brave men and women, who served with unwavering dedication and sacrifice, deserve their rightful place in our historical narrative.

Working in partnership with the British Royal Legion, we are hosting a special evening to shine a light on their valour and dedication.

Join us in acknowledging the sacrifices and contributions of non-white military personnel to the freedoms we enjoy today. By remembering their endeavours we not only honour their legacy, but also enrich our understanding of diverse history and rectify historical oversight.


An evening of music, films, a panel discussion, delicious Caribbean food, and special guests.

Special guests

Eddy Smythe, son of Johnny Smythe.

Johnny Smythe, from Freetown, Sierra Leone (a British colony at the time) enlisted in the Royal Air Force in 1940. He served as a navigator with the 623 Squadron, participating in 26 missions that involved flying over risky territories.

After his wartime service, Johnny was offered a position with the Colonial Office, where he looked after the well-being of demobilised airmen from Africa and the Caribbean. In 1948, he was assigned as a senior officer on a captured German troopship, renamed the Empire Windrush, and was instrumental in helping those aboard travel safely to the UK.

Richard Stokes

In 1988 Richard Stokes became the first Black Queens Guardsman. Against all odds he joined the elite Brigade of Guards at just 16 years old.

Despite this honour, Richard’s life in the army was far from perfect. Fighting conflict was one thing, fighting racism was quite another. Despite bearing the brunt of these stresses and struggles, Richard has become a pioneer who has paved the way for other ‘racially minoritised’ soldiers who follow in his footsteps. His compelling story is captured in his book Trooping the Culture.

Richard will be selling signed copies of his book on the night.

Panel members

Sunder Katwala serves as the Director of the independent and non-partisan think tank, British Future. His diverse career has seen him in various leadership roles and as a journalist writing for the Observer newspaper and other publications.

Tony T is a co-founder of Sweet Patootee, a UK-based production company who create documentaries and heritage interpretation focusing on recognition for diverse people. Among Sweet Patootee’s notable projects is Turning Point, a series of four short films inspired by oral histories that delve into the Black Caribbean experience after the First World War.

National Windrush Museum. The museum is an organisation in Britain dedicated to researching, exhibiting, promoting and preserving the cultural heritage of Windrush pioneers, their antecedents and successors.

Music and food

Bristol Reggae Orchestra and Windrush Choir – A vibrant musical ensemble dedicated to celebrating the rich cultural heritage and contributions of diverse communities, including those from African Caribbean backgrounds.

Nadine’s Caribbean Café – a culinary gem in Bristol who serve up the vibrant and delicious flavours of the Caribbean.

*The evenings events are subject to change*


Book your free ticket here, which includes the meal.