EUTON CHRISTIAN

PIONEERS

An expert in the art of military camouflage, Euton Christian found he
was able to adapt to his surroundings throughout his life, going from store keeper to becoming Manchester’s first black magistrate

1926-2010

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When his friends in Jamaica were rushing to join Britain’s war effort, Euton Christian didn’t want to get left behind so he volunteered for the Royal Air Force. After a short induction in Kingston, he sailed for England in June 1944, arriving at Liverpool to receive further military training at Filey in Yorkshire.

He was later posted to a camp in Rugby where he was intrigued to find German prisoners of war doing the gardening and cleaning. For most of the war he was based at RAF Sealand near the Welsh border where he worked as an aircraft finisher, a job that involved the art of military camouflage through spray painting.

But it was not all hard work. A keen sportsman, Euton loved cricket and played for the base’s team with dreams that, one day, he would become a professional cricketer. After the war, he decided to stay on with the RAF but went on leave to Jamaica in November 1947, returning to England on the MV Empire Windrush the following year. As a serving member of the armed forces his passage was free, and accommodation was waiting for him on landing. However, he noticed that people’s attitude towards him had changed somewhat, which he would sum up as ‘great that you helped us out in the war, but shouldn’t you be off home now’?

He was demobbed in 1952 and worked in a variety of jobs to get by, including store keeper and railway man before ending up at in the circulation department of the Post Office in 1954. He spent the next 30 years there, rising to the rank of manager.

By this time, he had settled down in Manchester with his wife Louise and became a popular local figure. In 1953 he helped set up the West Indian Sports and Social Club in Moss Side. He played cricket there and also ran advice surgeries on immigration issues. In 1966 he became a founding member of the Manchester Council for Community Relations, which continues to fight for racial equality in one of Britain’s most diverse cities. To cap a list of impressive achievements, in 1971 he becam

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