THE EMPTY SLEEVE The Story of the West India Regiments of the British ArmyProduct no.: HP044
On 31 January 1927, the West India Regiment was disbanded after parading for the last time at Up Park Camp in Kingston, Jamaica. The ceremony marked the end of over 130 years of continuous service of West Indian troops in the British Army.
Raised in 1795 from among the slave population of the West Indies, the West India Regiments proved invaluable to the British cause during the Napoleonic Wars. From a maximum of twelve in 1800 there were never less than two such regiments in existence until 1920, serving throughout the Caribbean and in all the British West African colonies.
In tracing the fascinating, but at the same time sad and disturbing, history of these regiments, this book also examines the way in which Black soldiers, regardless of loyalty, devotion to duty and skill at arms, were never fully accepted in a white man’s army.