The United Kingdom has officially apologized for failing to properly recall hundreds of thousands of African and Indian soldiers who died fighting for the British Empire. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace on Thursday expressed his regret and acknowledged that it had taken a long time to rectify the injustice.
“In the name of the Commonwealth War Cemetery Commission (CWGC) and the government of the day, I apologize for failing to live up to their founding principles many years ago and today. I would like to express my deep regret that it has taken so long to rectify the situation, “said Minister Wallace. “While we can’t change the past, we can create it and take action.”
The apology comes after an investigation report found that racism prevented ethnic minority soldiers from being recognized as white soldiers.
The CWGC is responsible for commemorating the 1.7 million Commonwealth soldiers who lost their lives in World War II. A commission was appointed in 2019 to investigate how the Imperial War Cemetery Commission (IWGC) recalled fallen soldiers.
The report was released by the CWGC on Thursday. The 45,000 to 54,000 dead soldiers, mostly from Africa and India, are not remembered as well as the white soldiers in Europe. For example, collective memorials were provided in lieu of individual graves for fallen soldiers of the minority. The dead Eastern soldiers, mostly from East Africa and Egypt, were not named or mentioned by name.
“Both issues are the result of the decisions agreed upon by the IWGC. They have been plagued by a lack of information, mistakes made by other organizations and the views of colonial administrators,” the commission said. Set. “