Play / pause Grandfather knew slaves

Grandfather knew slaves

  • Mark Johnson
  • Interview by: Peter Devitt


The motivation of these West Indian volunteers

and West African volunteers is particularly interesting.

A lot of the West Indians that I've spoken to

and who've written accounts of their service

make it very clear that they understood

that a Nazi victory in Europe,

particularly a victory over Great Britain,

could have had very serious consequences

for them in the Caribbean.

You have to remember that they'd only been liberated

from slavery a hundred years or a hundred and one years

before they outbreak of the second World War,

and that means for example, my grandfather

on whose knee I sat as a child,

sat on the knee of people who'd been born in slavery.

So it's that close, that immediate.

So he knew former slaves.

I knew a man who had knew former slaves.

It's a very very important facet of our makeup.

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