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Windrush Day Monument

Windrush Day

Windrush Day is remembered on 22nd June.

Whilst they were not the first Caribbean people to travel to the UK, the Windrush Generation refers to individuals who, having gained citizenship under the British Nationality Act of 1948, arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from various Caribbean countries.

The UK was facing a labour shortage after the Second World War and in response to job adverts in Caribbean newspapers, Caribbean people, each paying £28.10s (approx. £1,040 in today's money) responded to the call to help "the Motherland".

The Empire Windrush travelled across the seas and docked at around 11.00pm in Tilbury on the 21st June, 1948 carrying more than 1027 adults and children ready to begin their new lives.

After the 1971 Immigration Act, British passport holders born overseas could only reside in the UK if they had a work permit and could also prove they had a parent or grandparent born in the UK.

Windrush Day Monument

In 2018, it emerged that some people from the Windrush Generation were facing deportation and being denied access to healthcare, work, housing benefits, and pensions. Whilst they had legal right to reside in the UK, many of them could not prove they had been in the country near-continuously; as new laws demanded.

There were also those who had arrived as children on a parent’s passport and when news of the Windrush Scandal broke, UK Government officials finally admitted that thousands of landing card slips recording their entry had been destroyed, eliminating vital evidence.

The Government went on to announce an annual Windrush Day to “recognise and honour the enormous contribution” of those who disembarked at Tilbury 70 years earlier and a compensation scheme for all those people affected. Alarmingly people are still being deported or have tragically passed away without (like most people affected) receiving any compensation payments. On Windrush Day, we recognise and thank the Windrush Generation, and their families, for the contributions they have made throughout British society and its post-war recovery.