Something else for Black History Month …

Black soldiers in the BSF seem to be rather thin on the ground – in fact I only know of one: Charles Bailey of 9/King’s Own. I first gave Charlie a mention last year, but am happy to mention him again in case you missed the fascinating website in which he features: Charlie Bailey’s War – The story of WW1 soldier Charles Bailey a Welsh miner of West Indian origin plus some of the men he served with.

As well as giving a biography of Charlie and details of his army service – which includes a hair-raising list of misdemeanours – there is much about others in the Battalion, its service in Macedonia and its time at Seaford Camp with 22nd Division, which is where the story of Charlie started.

Private Charles Bailey and mules, Macedonia 1916. From the website greatwartales.home.blog
Charlie Bailey (9/King’s Own) and his mules in 1916.

Did any other black Britons serve with the BSF?


Find out more

Author: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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