Barbados during World War I and World War II

Stories about Barbados during the war years 1914 to 1945.

Troops of the British West Indies Regiment -1916

George Blackman BWIR – There were no parades for us

In 1915 Britain’s War Office, which had initially opposed recruitment of West Indian troops, agreed to accept volunteers from the West Indies. A new regiment was formed, the British West Indies Regiment (BWIR), which served in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “They called us darkies. But when the battle starts, it didn’t make a …

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P/O Andrew Cole in Lockheed Hudson cockpit

The Beautiful Blonde in the Bank – F/L Andrew Leslie Cole AFC RAF

Errol Barrow was Andrew Cole’s navigator while he was in the RAF, firstly with 88 Squadron during World War II and for two years post-war they both flew with the BAFO Communications Squadron, assigned to Commander-in-Chief and Military Governor of the British Occupation Zone in Germany, Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Sholto …

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CNS Lady boats poster

The Canadian Lady Boats

Between 1928 and 1952 The Canadian National Steamship Company Lady Boats operated two routes from Canada to the West Indies the: eastern-route route: where steamships, Lady Nelson, Lady Hawkins and Lady Drake, provided a year-round service every two weeks from Halifax to Bermuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Dominica, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Vincent, Grenada, …

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Col. Reginald Michelin, Commissioner of Police, Barbados, 1949 to 1953

It was always hot – Memoirs of Col. Reginald T. Michelin, Commissioner of Barbados Police 1949-1953 post Col. Oriel St.A. Duke

Reginald Townend Michelin (1903-1998), CMG (1957), CVO (1953), OBE (1952) took the post of Sub-Inspector, Police, Jamaica, 1924 and Inspector, Police, Leeward Islands, 1928. He was made Assistant Commissioner of Police, Nigeria, 1930, and Commissioner of Police, Barbados, 1949 and Jamaica, 1953, retiring in 1958 from the Colonial Police. In 1940 he married Nina Gladys …

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Aerial view of Carlisle Bay including torpedo net - 1942

Anti Submarine & Torpedo Net – Carlisle Bay, Barbados 1942

In early September 1942 the Royal Navy installed an anti-submarine and anti-torpedo boom net across Carlisle Bay. That boom net was tested and breached on 11th September 1942 shortly after 4:30 by German U-boat 514. In 1942 Carlisle Bay was much deeper than it is today. Burkes beach at times had no beach and the …

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SGT Errol Barrow RAF Navigator, 31 OTU RAF Debert, Nova Socia, Canada – 7 April 1944

Errol Barrow – Statesman, Prime Minister of Barbados, RAF Navigator World War II

Errol Barrow – Statesman, first and fourth Prime Minister of Barbados spent six years in the Royal Air Force (RAF) where he was a RAF Navigator with 88 Squadron during World War II and for two years post war with he served with BAFO Communications Squadron. This is the story of Errol Walton Barrow and …

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Blackwood Screw Dock - 1910 to 1939

Barbados Blackwood Screwdock (dry dock)

Our guest contributor is Keith Mackie, a South African Consulting Coastal & Harbour Engineer who specialises in Dry Docks and the Dry Docking of ships.  In December 2009 he was brought to Barbados by Caribbean Lifestyles Ltd. to survey the Blackwood screwdock and assess its potential for conservation and restoration.  Sitting in the Blackwood dock …

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Snappy Snaps 1910 - 1939

A sailing trip aboard the schooner Mary M. Lewis from Bridgetown to Georgetown – Summer 1939.

This is the story of a sailing adventure by 3 boys: Joe Burton (aged 18), Jim Burton (aged 16) and “Ginger” Edwards (aged 16?) who sailed from Bridgetown to Georgetown and back on board the schooner Mary M. Lewis in the summer of 1939.  Joe Burton and Jim Burton were brothers. “Ginger”Edwards was the junior …

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