The Royal West African Frontier Force in the Second World War

A partnership project with the Brent Museum and Sutton Gallery which captures the experience of African soldiers in World War II through exhibitions, presentations and school tours. The exhibitions took place at Willesden Green Library and Sutton Central Library Gallery.

During the Second World War over half-a-million African troops served with the British Army as combatants and non-combatants in campaigns in the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Italy and Burma – the largest single movement of African men overseas since the slave trade.

Exhibition at Willesden Green Library 22nd September 2021- 30th January 2022

This exhibition presented 30 frame photographs displayed around the ground floor of The Library at Willesden Green, which is also home to the Brent Museum.

“Thank you for doing this long-deserved tribute and recognition of Africans and the key role they played in winning the world wars. Without them, this victory would not have been achieved. We must thank African soldiers and citizens for fighting to give us the freedoms we have today. May God bless them and their heroic achievements be celebrated.”

“Love to see these photos depicting African soldiers’ contributions! Great for black history month and every day of the year”

Willesden Green Opening Event and Presentation, 27th November 2021 2-4pm

A studied tour and detail explanation from the presenter”

The first presentation was held at the Willesden Library on 27 November to as a follow up to Remembrance Sunday, which was held on Sunday, 14 November 2021.

The participants were led through the exhibition beginning with the image of The British African Colonies to create a link and understanding of how they were connected to British Empire and hence their connection with the Second World War.

The participants were then taken through various aspects of the exhibition from the recruitment images to those depicting the road to war in Burma. The tour ended with a focus on the various victory parade. 

“I enjoyed everything- the photos, the narrative, the discussion”

Willesden Green Library School Tour 3rd December 2021

30 Y6 students and their teachers were provided with a tour and activities in relation to the exhibition. The pupils gained a deeper understanding into the Second World War and Africa’s involvement in it.

 “The children were able to reflect on different perspectives. Children gained knowledge ahead of our history unit, using historical skills

Exhibition at Sutton Central Library 1st October 2021 – 13th November 2021

The exhibition featured 42 photos plus 5 case studies documenting the military lives of Anthony Kwaba Seth, Akin Shobanjo, Isaac Fadoyebo, Job Maseko and Augustine Agboola Browne. This exhibition comments on Recruitment, Road to War, Life at Camp and Victory Parade.

“It was a very interesting, learning how the war affected Africa”

“Excellent and breath-taking. I love the way the photos are black and white and the images are very clear. These really capture the moment. Top marks for the team.”

Exhibition at Sutton Gallery

Sutton Central Library School Tour 12th November 2021

There were two school visits on the 12th of November at Sutton Central Library these visits supported Y6’s pupils understanding of the Second World War. Furthermore, the tour of the exhibition enabled both the children and the teachers to discover more about Africa’s role in WW2.

“I learnt that you didn’t actually volunteer but got conscripted and I didn’t know Africa had such a big part in the war.

“I learnt that Africa had a very big part in the war. Thank you for a good day. I learnt a lot about the war

Supported by the Heritage Fund