PIONEERS

Click on one of our Windrush 70 Pioneers to get info about their life and work.

Sam King

Sam King

RAF veteran Sam King returned to England in 1948 to make a new life for himself but ended up making a difference to the lives of many others as a community activist and local politician1926-2016[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat"...

Cy Grant

Cy Grant

A former German prisoner of war, Flight Lieutenant Cy Grant would become the first black person to appear regularly on TV in the 1950s as a singer and matinee idol before becoming a cultural activist, as well as a poet, musicologist and author[dsm_social_share_buttons...

JOHN RICHARDS

JOHN RICHARDS

When John Richards arrived in England he immediately made his mark after being photographed on board the MV Empire Windrush in an image that has come to symbolise the spirit and resolve of a whole generation[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat"...

ALFORD GARDNER

ALFORD GARDNER

Alford Gardner is one of the MV Empire Windrush’s few surviving passengers as well as being among the many former RAF servicemen on board. After experiencing a hostile reception, Alford displayed the pluck and determination typical of his generation, working as an...

ALLAN CHARLES WILMOT

ALLAN CHARLES WILMOT

After seeing military service on the high seas in World War II, Allan Wilmot’s life took another adventurous turn when he became a member of chart-topping vocal quartet The Southlanders during the 1950s. In later years, he would once again reach the top, this time as...

WILMOTH GEORGE BROWN

WILMOTH GEORGE BROWN

After being refused drinks at his local watering hole, former MV Empire Windrush voyager George Brown helped set up an organisation to combat the colour bar[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one" dsm_row_gap="5px"...

VINCENT REID

VINCENT REID

Just into his teens when he arrived in England in 1948, Vince Reid became a pioneering academic who was committed to fighting injustice through education1935-2001[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one"...

THOMAS DOUCE

THOMAS DOUCE

For someone who left Jamaica because of lack of work, Tom Douce did very well for himself in England, going into business with his wife and becoming one of Derby’s most successful entrepreneurs1926-2008[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat"...

RUDOLPH COLLINS

RUDOLPH COLLINS

Captured in a historic black and white press photograph that has come to symbolise the quiet determination of MV Empire Windrush arrivals, Nick Collins’ dreams for a better life in England came true1931-2008[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat"...

OSWALD DENNISTON

OSWALD DENNISTON

Nicknamed ‘Columbus’, Oswald Denniston was the first African Caribbean trader in Brixton Market who became a pillar of the community in more ways than one1913-2000[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one"...

NORMA BEST

NORMA BEST

After joining Britain’s war effort, young Norma Best made the most of her opportunities to train as a teacher, eventually becoming one of the first black headteachers in London[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle"...

NADIA CATTOUSE

NADIA CATTOUSE

While travelling through segregated America in the 1940s, the singer and actor Nadia Cattouse refused to go to ‘the back of the bus’, an experience that would help her navigate an adventurous life that would see her emerge as one of the UK’s leading black...

MONA BAPTISTE

MONA BAPTISTE

The singer Mona Baptiste is barely a footnote in Britain’s musical history but in Germany and other parts of Western Europe she remains a star1928-1993[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one" dsm_row_gap="5px"...

LAURIE PHILLPOTTS

LAURIE PHILLPOTTS

Laurie Phillpotts was a RAF veteran who made a major contribution to the lives of newly arrived migrants and worked hard to ensure that those who’d served the country during the war were properly remembered1922-2016[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon"...

JOHN HAZEL

JOHN HAZEL

John Hazel’s talent at boxing brought him to the UK where he carved out a successful career as a professional boxer1927-2000[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one" dsm_row_gap="5px" dsm_icon_size="22px"...

HAROLD WILMOT

HAROLD WILMOT

Immortalised by a classic black and white photograph of three MV Empire Windrush arrivals, Harold Wilmot would go on to find fame as a member of The Southlanders, one of Britain’s most popular vocal quartets during the 1950s1918-1961[dsm_social_share_buttons...

HAROLD SINSON

HAROLD SINSON

Former RAF volunteer Harold Sinson returned to the UK on the Empire Windrush and managed to carve out a happy and productive life for himself1922-2011[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one" dsm_row_gap="5px"...

EUTON CHRISTIAN

EUTON CHRISTIAN

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 magistrate1926-2010[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat"...

GLADSTONE GARDNER

GLADSTONE GARDNER

Gladstone Gardner, the son of a World War I veteran, joined his brother on board the Empire Windrush to join another war[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one" dsm_row_gap="5px" dsm_icon_size="22px"...

HAROLD PHILLIPS

HAROLD PHILLIPS

Not many people can say that they were an early influence on The Beatles but that is what musician Harold Phillips was, having taken Liverpool by storm with his very own calypso band1929-2000[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle"...

EMANUEL ALEXIS ELDEN

EMANUEL ALEXIS ELDEN

A veteran of the historic voyage of the MV Empire Windrush to Tilbury Docks 70 years ago, former RAF volunteer Alex Elden would once again make history when he became one of the first black people to pass what is considered one of the most difficult tests in the world...

EDWIN HO

EDWIN HO

When World War II broke out Edwin Ho longed for adventure but literally missed the boat taking RAF recruits to England. He eventually got there via the MV Empire Windrush and entertained other passengers with his nifty boxing skills[dsm_social_share_buttons...

CONNIE MARK

CONNIE MARK

A former war worker in Jamaica, Connie Mark is remembered as an inspirational campaigner and for her efforts to champion Caribbean culture through her poetry and story-telling1923-2007[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle"...

CECIL HOLNESS

CECIL HOLNESS

Like other migrants, pioneering youth worker Cecil Holness would have fallen foul of the colour bar on many occasions during his long years in Britain but he was one of the few who could say he had his case raised in parliament1922-2002[dsm_social_share_buttons...

ALDWYN ROBERTS

ALDWYN ROBERTS

Better known as Lord Kitchener, Aldwyn Roberts goes down in history as one of the greatest calypsonians who first made his mark in the UK on board the Empire Windrush1923-2000[dsm_social_share_buttons dsm_view="icon" dsm_skin="flat" dsm_shape="circle" dsm_column="one"...

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