Unlike its allies and adversaries, Britain went to war in August 1914 with a regular volunteer army. At the time, the population of the British Isles numbered over forty-six million. The black population was very small, approximately ten thousand people, probably 70 per cent being male. There are no accurate statistics for their number or distribution.1 Possibly five thousand black people lived in the London area, the other half in small communities in major ports, such as Liverpool and Cardiff, or scattered across the country. Most were immigrants, British subjects of the Empire. The number of black men in the peacetime British Army is unknown but probably they could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Britain’s economic and military strength was also extra-European, resting on a large global empire, the majority of whose inhabitants were black or brown people.2