"The ubiquity of war memorials can lead to them being taken for granted as part of our everyday landscape. Ashley Down Boys School was one of many Bristol schools that memorialised men after the war. The school’s records and the histories of the men who died can be used to examine the motivations behind remembrance, particularly in the decade after the war. By considering the original story of the placing of such a memorial we are able to reconnect to the initial impetus behind such commemorations; the simple desire to remember the sons and brothers lost in the conflict and the need to effect reconciliation with grief so those left behind could carry on with their lives".
During World War II, American armed forces were stationed at Bristol and throughout the South-West. A considerable number of these soldiers were African American. During this period, the Jim Crow Laws were still being enforced in the southern states of America, and a strict policy of racial segregation was observed within the American military. The experience of African American soldiers was very different in the South-West of England to what it had been in the United States. This article offers a brief insight into contemporary race-relations and the differences between the policies of each nation regarding civil rights and military participation.