The first of more than 200 Centenary memorial cards being published by the Trinidad & Tobago Federation of Veterans Associations

Veterans honour First World War dead from Trinidad & Tobago

Posted on on 20 July 2015
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Forces veterans in Trinidad have told Centenary News about a project they're leading to commemorate First World War troops from the former colony on the dates they died. 

The Trinidad & Tobago Federation of Veterans Associations (FVA) publishes memorial cards marking the 100th anniversary of each death. They're sent to local media, as well as members and affiliates.

More than 200 men are being remembered, starting with Able Seaman Frank Laverack, killed when HMS Amphion was sunk by a mine off the French coast on August 6th 1914.

The project is being funded by the FVA, Chairman Dennis T. Olivier told Centenary News.

"We literally have to finance our activities from our own pockets. We have not been able to secure funding from local organisations - public or private," said Mr Olivier, who's also Chair of the Royal Air Forces Association T & T Branch.

The Cenotaph in Trinidad's capital, Port of Spain, dedicated in 1924 (Photo courtesy of Trinidad & Tobago Federation of Veterans Associations)

The FVA explains that 2,217 men from Trinidad & Tobago volunteered for overseas service during the First World War. 210 were killed; at least 22 were merchant sailors.

Trinidad & Tobago was a British colony during the Great War, gaining independence in 1962.

The volunteers served with British, Canadian and French forces, as well as the Merchant Navy.

At least 41 Trinidad & Tobago women did war work overseas.

From September 1915 to December 1917, 1,479 men enlisted in the contingents destined for the newly formed British West Indies Regiment (BWIR). 

Almost 70 decorations for bravery were won, including 33 Military Crosses and nine Croix de Guerre.

To date, Trinidad & Tobago Federation of Veterans Associations has circulated 11 commemorative cards. The next will be published in August 2015. 

More activities are planned over the next three years of the Centenary.

The Trinidad & Tobago Federation of Veterans Associations (FVA) is the umbrella organization for the following associations: the Royal Air Forces Association TT Branch,  the Chaguaramas Military and Aerospace Museum, the Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force, the Trinidad and Tobago Legion of the Royal Commonwealth Ex-Services League and the Trinidad and Tobago Armed Forces Veterans Association.

Information & images supplied by FVA

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News