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Commonwealth WWI & WWII War Veterans from Handsworth & Stetchford Project

Heritage Lottery Fund

Shades of Black Committee Members, local visual and performing arts specialist college teachers/students, local nursery and primary school teacher/pupils, local university students and newspaper columnist, local multi-cultural community people in Stechford and Handsworth have provided such a unique combination of photographic images for your perusal.

Handsworth and Stechford community have been involved through the above sources mentioned to provide a unique viewing of a spectacular website photographic images and written documentation stories of World War I and World War II Commonwealth Veterans Research Project Black, White and Asian funded by Heritage Lottery Award Funds = £47,800.

We also had the influence of international participation.

It is the bravery and courageous action of the men and women soldiers who had died so that we may live which makes the stories documentation such courageous historical legacy events. “Let’s Not Forget.”

Thank you for helping Shades of Black to help others when you possibly can. “God Bless”

Click here to view the STETCHFORD picture gallery for this project.

Click here to view the HANDSWORTH picture gallery for this project




Mrs E C McGhie-Belgrave MBE, organising secretary and founder of Shades of Black Community Family Project since its inception on February 1st 1989 in Handsworth Birmingham and became a resident of Stechford Birmingham in 1993.

Church Membership

In 1996 I approached Stechford Baptist Church and requested church membership.

Through the Shades of Black Organisation the topical issues of mental health was introduced for all nationalities participation with special emphasise on black mental health issues in October 1996-1997. This was welcome as joint activities with church members in Stechford Baptist Church, where professionals participated in an educational information sharing experience.

Award Presentation

Because of the information sharing experience in churches, schools and the local community, SOB were nominated and presented with Focus on Mental Health/Cash Prize for activites on World Mental Health day 1996. The presentation was on January 23rd 1997 at the House of Parliament London SW1. We were met by the Rt. Honourable Estelle Morris MP of Stechford Birmingham.

War Memorial Project Idea

It was whilst attending Stechford Baptist Church and Remembrance Sunday Service organised by the church leader's of Stechford that the idea of the War Research project manifested. This would lead to a valuable educational research resource project for future generations of all cultural backgrounds of all ages.

Kents Moat Library Group

After approaching several community individuals and All Saints Church Members in 2003, I also approached Kents Moat Library Group for assistance. They immediately embraced the idea and obtained funds from Be:Cen for researching.

Heritage Lottery Funds Awards

It was 2004 when SOB Committee Members made application to Heritage Lottery Award Funds for finance for the research also Commonwealth World War I and World War II White, Asian and Black Minority Memorial Stechford and Handsworth Project.

Project Development

The Project is to create a stronger community through developing social diversity cohesion with the local wider community, working with local school teachers and pupils across the city and developing basic learning resources about both wars.

SOB has also realised that not everyone would want to take part because of the atrocities the wars inflicted on human lives, however for others it could be a healing process of minds to remember and move forward for those who had lost their lives for the achievements for others.

Most importantly is the involvement, shared educational learning curve experiences that will impact the aims of the project achievement for the next two years.


SOB Committee Members were very excited when after three years of application funds that Heritage Lottery Funds Awards was approved and we were successful in obtaining £47,800.00 a wonderful achievement in 2007.

When the research is completed in 2009 it will be presented by pupils to Central Library to be placed amongst the greatest in their archives.

Send your stories and photographs by email it will be most appreciated.

Shades of Black Committee Members and Volunteers convey grateful thanks to all participants who have supported us in the basic skills educational programme of activities.

Thank you for helping SOB to help others when you possibly can.

"God Bless"

Copyright 2007 Shades Of Black. All Rights Reserved