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Hello! West Indies
Hello! West Indies

Hello! West Indies 1943


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Hello! West Indies 1943

23 mins United Kingdom

For servicemen and women 4000 miles from home, the BBC radio programme Calling the West Indies helped bridge the distance, a little. West Indian war workers and troops were given the opportunity to broadcast messages to friends and family, in a show produced by Jamaican poet, activist and feminist Una Marson. This Ministry of Information short, which takes over the format of the radio show, makes clear that the real message was to the whole region.

The fact that the British war effort was reliant on getting the support of colonial nations is highly evident. Less clear is whether the open arms would remain as welcoming when the war was over. In the same year that he appeared in this film, cricketing legend Learie Constantine (later knighted and ennobled) was asked to leave the Imperial Hotel in London because of the colour of his skin - for which he successfully sued the following year. Much of the same footage was used in a shorter version of the film, West Indies Calling, intended for domestic audiences with a newly recorded voiceover.


Government sponsored film


West Indies World War II Colonial troops


Before Windrush




United Kingdom

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