Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War” as Want to Read:
Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  46 ratings  ·  14 reviews
In 1914, there were at least 10,000 black Britons, many of African and West Indian heritage, fiercely loyal to their Mother Country. Despite being discouraged from serving in the British Army during World War I, men managed to join all branches of the armed forces, and black communities made a vital contribution, both on the front and at home.

By 1918, it is estimated that
Paperback, 174 pages
Published November 1st 2014 by The History Press (first published January 31st 2013)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Black Poppies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Black Poppies

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  46 ratings  ·  14 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Black Poppies: Britain's Black Community and the Great War
Oct 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-one
4.5 stars
“The near-total exclusion from our history books of black servicemen in the First World War is shameful…. Some black servicemen made the ultimate sacrifice … and like Walter Tull, died on the battlefields but with the passing of time, with the exception of Tull, the contributions of black servicemen have been forgotten”
Part of my periodic reading concerning WW1; this fills many of the gaps in conventional histories. It charts the involvement of black soldiers in the conflict and the rea
K.J. Charles
This is an extremely useful account of black lives in England in the post-Edwardian times--it divides between soldiers, home front in WW1, then post war. Lots of stories, quoting lots of voices, and making it very clear that 20th-century black British history didn't start with the Windrush. Some utterly shameful stuff on the 1919 race riots, which I'd barely heard of, and heartbreaking accounts of loneliness, but also a lot of people standing up for themselves, families, and communities, some gr ...more
Stephen Bourne relates the lives of people of African descent in Britain during the period of the first World War. We find not only a thriving Black community at that time but many individuals who distinguished themselves in Britain's army, navy and air force.

I particularity liked the set of photographs from the period plus the extensive reference provided by the author. Having reached the centenary of the first world war, this book has to be recommended reading for anyone interested in the hist
Mar 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good start for further studies for the Black British community
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Everyone should read this! This amazing history book by Stephen Bourne looks at those that fought, were in the army and distinguished themselves during WW1 and were from the black, African and Caribbean communities in Britain and the British colonies.

The book is split into three parts, besides looking at the British West Indian Regiment, it also features a look at notable people like Jamaican Prime Minister, Norman Manley, Walter Tull, Amanda and Avril Aldridge and many other people that I have
Bob Duke
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I choose to read this book due to the outbreak of post Brexit racism that has become manifest in the UK. I had noted on social media some posts by those who favoured Brexit seeing this as making golliwogs socially acceptable again. Perhaps those who a desirous of this need to read this book.
Andria Williams
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A really great collection of known information about black service members with the British Army in WWI. Author is thorough, passionate about his subject, and personally invested in his historical research.
Sep 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
The term 'forgotten war' appears all to often. Its use is justified. For one reason or another records are lost. This is another chapter in history that has gaps. It is important, therefore, books like this are written. This book is well researched but there are negatives. The dissertation style of writing has a heavy use of quotations. It can feel brief. The introductory chapters includes analytical interviews which is a good approach but the rest of the book does not continue in this way.
Helen Pakpahan
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interesting collection of biographies and accpunts of Black British and Caribbean soliders experiences in World War One.
Also includes first-hand recollections of 1919 race riots in Liverpool and Cardiff.
Oct 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating subject matter but weak execution, very underdeveloped portraits of black people in the UK around WWI
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant book! If you learn just one thing from a book, it was worth reading - I learnt a LOT from this one. It is very well written.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So interesting

A part of black history that I had never heard about. Just amazing that there is not more known about this.
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Long overdue book on the history and lives of Black servicemen in the UK for primarily the First World War. It's brief but very much worth to read.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read the newer edition to the one shown here - very insightful!
Mrs Joanna M Brockman
rated it it was amazing
Oct 16, 2019
Joe Martinez
rated it it was ok
Feb 08, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2015
Terry Hulbert
rated it really liked it
Apr 22, 2020
rated it it was amazing
Sep 09, 2014
rated it it was ok
Mar 15, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Jan 02, 2017
Oliver Rose
rated it liked it
Jul 04, 2020
George Roper
rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Oct 21, 2018
rated it liked it
Aug 03, 2020
Michael Bukola
rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2020
McPhaul M.
rated it really liked it
Jan 29, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2020
Alison Hamblin
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2020
James Gillan
rated it really liked it
Jun 16, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The World's War
  • Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire
  • How to Be an Antiracist
  • Opposite of Always
  • My Yorkshire Great and Small: Journey through Britain's finest county with The Yorkshire Vet
  • Spike Milligan: Man of Letters
  • Michelangelo
  • Tommy's World (The Hopkins Family Saga, Book 1): A warm and charming tale of life in northern England
  • Who Am I, Again?
  • Serenade to the Big Bird [Illustrated]: The Memoir of a Mighty Eighth Air Force B-17 Pilot
  • The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey
  • Spitfire Manual: An Insight into Owning, Restoring, Servicing and Flying Britain's Legendary World War 2 Fighter
  • William Shakespeare's Star Wars: Verily, A New Hope (William Shakespeare's Star Wars, #4)
  • Albrecht Dürer
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • Pull Up A Bollard... HMS Ganges and Beyond...
  • Mort (Discworld, #4; Death, #1)
  • The Hope of Elantris (Elantris, #1.5)
See similar books…
Stephen Bourne is a British writer, film and social historian specialising in black culture.

Librarian Note:
There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Related Articles

There is nothing like reading a history or biography book and being so completely transported to another time and place that you find...
60 likes · 20 comments