Every year, Cadets participate in the Armistice Day Parades held at Memorial Park in Port of Spain. It is important that as cadets, a strong understanding of our history in Trinidad and Tobago has been influenced by the sacrifices of our forefathers, many of whom participated in the two wars, whether at home or abroad contributing to the fight.
These five chosen links are only a window to the vast amount of information that exists about Trinidad and Tobago’s role in the World Wars. If one should look at other wars fought in T&T, it can be an exciting look into a history that is often untold.
Did you know that the statue/cenotaph at Memorial Park was originally proposed to be erected on what it now Independence Square? Did you know that Macqueripe Bay was once the home of Allied Submarines? Did you know that the oil from our small nation was once the fuel used by allied fighter planes? Read these links to find out more!
1. Memorial Park—Monument to the brave
Trinidad Guardian Newspaper, Written by Angelo Bissessarsingh
“As a loyal colony, T&T saw many of its young men enlisting in various corps to fight for their monarch. They came from all backgrounds, ranging from poor black men merely looking for an opportunity to the sons of rich planters who felt that they would return covered in glory. Given the terrible casualties that were reported (in all over 200 men from T&T lost their lives), a public meeting chaired by the Mayor of Port-of-Spain, Dr Enrique Prada, was held at the Princes Building on August 4, 1916, to discuss a permanent memorial to the deceased.
“…at a public conference in 1919 the suggestion was made that the monument should be erected on Marine (Independence) Square in the area now occupied by the Cipriani statue.
“Strenuous objections to this site led to another location being earmarked, this being the ‘Little Savannah,’ which was then an open pasture opposite the Royal Victoria Institute (National Museum).”
2. [VIDEO] Trinidad and Tobago Participation in WW2
Chaguaramas Military History Museum
This video tells a very detailed and informative story of the wars from a Trinbagonian perspective. The film’s producers interviewed surviving veterans of the war to hear of their stories.
“… there was one night when… my mother heard cannon fire exploding in the harbour here…. and I think sunk some cargo boats out there…
“I would have loved nothing better but to report to the Red Cross.”
~Noel Norton, RAF Navigator, World War II
And for those who thought that there was perhaps one or two American bases in the country, one important fact is left for us when the narrator indicated that at one point, American had two hundred and twenty-five (225) bases in Trinidad – not counting Tobago.
Click the link above, or watch the video here below: