Watch the video above to learn about the reasons why the British government invited British Citizens from the wider empire to come to Britain, and the people who made the journey. 


When we talk about the 'Windrush Generation' we are talking about the people who left the Caribbean countries and arrived to settle in the UK between 1948 and 1971. 

A black and white photograph of the ship the Empire WindrushIn 1948, Britain was starting to recover from World War Two. Many men and women from the Caribbean had served in the British armed forces because many Caribbean countries were still under British rule and were not yet independent. 

After the war, some Caribbean people answered an invitation from the British government to come to Britain and help rebuild the country. 

The first wave of people from the Caribbean travelled on the SS Empire Windrush, which arrived at Tilbury Dock in Essex on 22nd June, 1948. Aboard this aging merchant ship were 500 passengers who have just completed the 8,000 mile journey from the Caribbean. They were from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, full of hope about a new life that awaited them in the ‘Mother Country’.

As the boat docked, the Trinidadian calypso singer Lord Kitchener emerged on deck and performed a few lines of his newly composed song: London is the Place for Me.

This was the beginning of a mass migration movement to the UK, resulting in an estimated 172,000 Caribbean-born people living in Britain by 1961. To many, they are known as the Windrush Generation.

Task: Think about what it would be like to leave your home and move to a country a long way away. How would you stay in touch with your family?

Write a postcard to a loved one who lives far away. Think about where you are and how long it has been since you last saw them. If they were with you, what would you be doing together? What is the most important thing you would like to tell them? 

You could send your postcard, or share it on social media, but make sure not to post any personal information such as addresses. Remember to tag @thegcfoundation if you do! 

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