There's a misconception that the West Indians who served
came from the elite.
They came from the elite
in the sense that they were well-educated.
They were well-educated because they had studied hard.
Many of them came from deprived backgrounds,
my uncle included.
And I have a very compelling photograph
of him in primary school,
standing with a group of barefoot children on a hilltop,
and that was typical of many of the men who served.
So he was a hardworking, industrious man.
He grew up in a community that had no electricity,
they had never seen a motorcar,
they had never seen an airplane.
The first time he went on a ship
was when he went on the ship that took him to go and train.
The first time he entered an aircraft
was when he entered the aircraft
in which he was going to learn to navigate.