Welcome to The First World War

The Commonwealth Contribution


This website commemorates the Commonwealth's involvement in the First World War. The Commonwealth soldiers' contribution and sacrifice must never be forgotten, and with the centenary of the War fast approaching, it is more important than ever to commemorate these forgotten heroes.

The vital role that soldiers, sailors and airmen from the Commonwealth played in The First World War is all too often misunderstood and remains only partially appreciated. Our project seeks to inform all audiences that Britain has a glorious history of international cooperation and partnership with the peoples of the Commonwealth, and that this partnership secured Allied victory in the 'Great War'.

"It is crucial that we honour the people from overseas – those from Africa to Australia; from India to the West Indies – who served and died alongside our forces... They fought together, they fell together, and together they defended the freedoms we enjoy today" - Prime Minister, David Cameron

The First World War commonwealth contribution website provides a portal to the history and facts of the First World War with some detailed accounts of the commonwealth contribution with images and useful links on the First World War history and rememberance.

Please click here to view our WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Presentation

Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen: Read by Rodney P

The Latin title is taken from the Roman poet Horace and translates as "it is sweet and honorable...", followed by pro patria mori, which means "to die for one's country"


RECENT EVENTS

    Lecture Testimonials

    'It was our pleasure to work with and support the Curzon Institute and I would like to thank you for giving us the opportunity. The launch of the WWI Centenary has been a great success and we look forward to working with you again.'
    WAWI -Why are West Indians Project

    We found the lecture both informative and an excellent introduction into an often neglected aspect of World War 1. The statistics used - namely the number of Commonwealth dead - made a significant impression on our students and helped them to think beyond the standard portrayal of a white man's war. As a result we will definitely be exploring the Commonwealth contribution to the Allied victory in more detail with our next Year 9 cohort. Many thanks for providing our students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and cultural awareness.
    Laura Edwards - Head of History at The Cheadle Academy, Stoke-on-Trent.

    "You have certainly left a massive positive impression on our students. Both myself and the students found your presentation both informative, educational and emotive at times. Highlighting both multi-culturalism and sacrifice and how it effects us even in the present day."
    Les Elsmore - Teacher at Christ the King, Isle of White.

    "Thanks for the fascinating talk that really engaged the audience - both the number and quality of the questions showed just how well you had wetted their appetite for this, sadly neglected, aspect of the War. The fact that you were so open and frank about the essential work done by both individual members of the Commonwealth and their governments (for which they received scant reward) is testimony to your understanding and interest in the subject. Thanks once again."
    Andy Williams - History Teacher, Lytchett Minster School.

    "Amazed! That is the word I would use. I had no idea that so many others gave up their lives, money and time to help the Allies defend our freedom. To hear how some of the islands linked to Britain via the commonwealth had up to 68% casualty rates and how these islands provided support in many other ways such as giving money directly from their Governments, causing great debt, which led to shortage of food and water and in some cases famine. I was horrified to hear that after the war due to mass migration of people, that these island nations suffered even more at the hands of the Spanish Flu. Hugo was excellent in his presentation and the information offered had indepth knowledge. As a non-historian, I gained a considerable amount from this lecture, so I am sure the Historians in the room would have supplemented their own knowledge greatly."
    Lyndsay Harris, Harris Academy, Bermondsey.

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Bournemouth

    The Reverend Ian Terry speaking after the lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Jonathan Lord MP for Woking

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Audience member speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Audience member speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Serving Soldiers speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Serving Soldiers speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Audience member speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Rev. Bruce Nicole speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture, Woking

    Audience members speaking after lecture

    WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Lecture Delivered at Graveney School, South London

    "We had the Curzon Institute in today to talk about the Commonwealth Contribution of soldiers in World War 1. I felt this was really useful and, from the students' reception, they did as well. It contributed to their understanding of the First World War and a lot of the topics that were talked about today were topics that we don't cover that much in class. It was an excellent addition to the work we do in school and something which is not really covered in school history textbooks so I felt it was a really, really valuable lecture today."

    Sarah, History Teacher at Graveney School on Wednesday 15th January 2014

  • The First World War, The Commonwealth Contribution Launch

    The Curzon Institute launch for The First World War, The Commonwealth Contribution was held at the Royal United Services Institute. To the launch event we welcomed military and civilian guests from the UK and Commonwealth Countires and students from The Harris Academy Bermondsey and Bishop Challoner School . The speakers were Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Afzal Amin and Hugo Clarke. The event was held on Friday 8th November 2013.

    Please click here for pictures of the Event.


    Prime Minister David Cameron's tribute to the Commonwealth Contribution during the First World War




  • General Sir David Richard's pays tribute to the Commonwealth troops, both past and present


  • Baroness Sayeeda Warsi speaking at the WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Launch at RUSI


  • Afzal Amin speaking at the WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Launch at RUSI


  • Hugo Clarke speaking at the WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Launch at RUSI


  • The Launch of The WW1 Commonwealth Contribution Project at RUSI