Uniformed Youth from across Greater London have launched the nationwide Unremembered Wreath Challenge. It invites community groups and schools across the country to create wreaths for each of the members of the Commonwealth in time for the April Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London. The challenge also requires up to 300 words explaining why it is important to commemorate Commonwealth citizens who served in the Labour Corps during the First World War. All Unremembered wreaths will be laid at war memorials in November.
Hosted by The Big Ideas Company, The Unremembered project is a national campaign to remember the First World War’s army of workers. Behind the lines, men from around the world supported the war effort. Chinese, Canadian, British, Indian, this is a global story. The challenge was launched during a day of activity centred on the Caribbean contribution to the First World War at the National Army Museum on 20 January with more than 60 participants from You London organisations taking part.
National Army Museum curators explained the history of Caribbean soldiers in the British Army and a ‘treasure hunt’ enabled delegates to explore artefacts in the museum collection.
Young actors from ALT Actor Training performed the Unremembered Voices script and St Michael’s Youth Project performed music from the period on steel pans.
The day also included an ‘Unremembered Memorial’ with delegates holding the names of men of the British West Indies Regiment who were buried or commemorated in the United Kingdom. 124 men are listed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) database: the first Unremembered Memorial for this group.
Following 'Unremembered Inspire', delegates will hold their own Unremembered events commemorating and creating Challenge wreaths in their own communities.
Each delegate will be offered funding to take part in the Unremembered project. Cadets will hold their events as part of Op-Reflect in preparation for national citizenship awards.
Big Ideas CEO Virginia Crompton said: “This opportunity to work with young people across Greater London launching the Wreath Challenge is a unique opportunity to put the Unremembered story on the map. The Labour Corps story is a Commonwealth story - so as heads of government from around the world travel to London for CHOGM we really are presented with a unique opportunity.”