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‘I felt like a man’: West Indian troops under fire during the First World War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-621
Number of pages19
JournalSlavery and abolition
Issue number3: Africa’s Sons Under Arms Journal homepage
Early online date21 Aug 2018
Accepted/In press20 Jun 2018
E-pub ahead of print21 Aug 2018


  • I felt like a man_MAGUIRE_Firstonline21August2018_GREEN AAM

    I_felt_like_a_man_MAGUIRE_Firstonline21August2018_GREEN_AAM_.pdf, 257 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:18 Oct 2018

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Slavery & Abolition online in 2018, available online:”

King's Authors


This article examines representations of the British West Indies Regiment’s service during the First World War to explore how limits on their service were negotiated and how tropes of ‘martial races’ were adapted to ensure the contributions of West Indian men were recognised. The article examines West Indian experiences in Europe and the Middle East, drawing on a rich variety of textual and visual sources: official histories of West Indian regiments, memoirs written by padres who served with the troops, letters from the men as published in newspapers like the Daily Gleaner and the Jamaica Times, and official photographs. It argues that ‘combat gnosticism’ was replicated in another form within these representations to construct a definition of military service that included these black men and validated their contributions.

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