Thursday, September 2, 2010

Barbados Military History Part 7 World War 1 The Volunteer Force & The Wireless Station

The Barbados Volunteer Force

The Barbados Volunteer Force was formed on the 2nd of July 1902. It consisted of an infantry force of 50 members. The last British Regiment would have pulled out in 1905 and the BVF would have taken over the responsibilities of Defence.

World War 1

During the World War many Barbadians Volunteered for service with the British and Canadian Military abroad. Many of these from the BVF. In 1925 a Cenotaph was erected in Heroes Square listing the  names of the Barbadians who gave their lives in the war. Since then every year these men are remembered on Remembrance Day.

When I was born my Great Great Aunt Tantie was still alive and I have been told so many stories about her. One of which is about how many of her friend went to war and died in the War. She also worked with the Barbados Women's Auxiliary League aiding the War efforts.

The British West Indies Regiment

Also during the war a regiment called the British West Indies Regiment was raised from volunteers all over the Caribbean, including Barbados, and saw service in France, Italy and the Middle East. This regiment was disbanded at the end of the war.

The Barbados Wireless Station

In 1914 at the outbreak of the war Barbados had no wireless communication with the outside world but that was about to change. Members of the BVF came together and decided to erect one. The mast was erected and the station built in St Anns Fort. Initially the distances transmitted and received were short by by the end of WW1 the station transmitted up to 220 miles and received up to 400.

Between WW1 and WW2 the BVF continued with its training. In 199 at the start of WW2 it was embodied as the Barbados Battalion of the South Caribbean Forces.

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