Back from the Western Front: African Soldiers of the Great War in Britain


A community research and exhibition project exploring the legacy of African soldiers in the First World War. 

October 2017-January 2018

Brent Museum and Archives and Learning through the Arts are delighted to be working together on ‘Back from the Western Front: African Soldiers of the Great War in Britain’ – an exciting community research and exhibition project which will explore the legacy of African soldiers in the First World War.

The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and will explore the heritage, sacrifices and contributions of soldiers of African origin at The Western Front as well as the challenges of resettlement, for these soldiers returning to Britain in the immediate aftermath of the war between 1918-19.

Using research, workshops, exhibition and dramatic performances, the project will uncover stories and individual contributions of African soldiers at The Western Front, whilst also exploring the 1919 riots, and their effects on these men in post-war Britain.

The information gathered will be digitally recorded as part of the local archives in the collections of Brent Museum and Archives for future generations.

There will be lots of ways that people can get involved in the project – from creative writing workshops, to drama through to research and helping to create an exhibition to be held at Brent Museum & Archives, October 2017-Jan 2018. Volunteers on the project will receive training and have the opportunity to gain new skills in research, oral history, project management and much more. They will collect photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters as well as family accounts passed down to help build a clear picture of what life was like during and after the war for the African soldiers who were involved.

The project is organised by Brent Museum and Archives in partnership with Learning through the Arts. It will kick off with a launch event at the Brent Museum & Archives (based in the Library at Willesden Green) on Saturday, 1 April 2017, and will culminate in an exciting exhibition in October.