Windrush Generation 10
How to Proceed
© Agnes Sam 2018
Heslington York North Yorkshire
Windrush 10 is a difficult one. It requires solitude and silence, honesty and truthfulness. Do not write. Do not speak to anyone. Simply think about the questions that follow. These are not trick questions. Although I have no concept of what you may be asked if and when you are interviewed, the questions may assist you should you be interviewed.
Reflection is done on one’s own. Do not reflect with anyone else. Just think, consider, and reflect.
You will gain strength from being honest with yourself.
You may have been a child when you landed and have very little recollection of what it was like at your landing. Or you may have been an adult. Whatever your age then, this is your personal reflection now. The questions relate to your Caribbean and United Kingdom status. The questions may also assist in establishing that you landed here.
I have set these questions in order:
(A) Boarding the SS Empire Windrush.
(B) Landing in the United Kingdom.
(C) Your Status then.
(D) Where you are now.
(A) Boarding the SS Empire Windrush:
In order to board the SS Empire Windrush the Caribbean officials would have asked you to show a ticket and a passport. Some official from the ship or from officialdom would have given and a boarding pass. You would have been advised to keep that boarding pass with you at all times, to show if asked, and to prove that you are not a stowaway, and at meal times.
I assume you travelled on a Caribbean passport. You were a British citizen but you could only receive a British passport when you landed in the UK. You would be required to apply for a British passport. It is not given to you on landing.
Consider the following questions:
- Where is the Caribbean Passport you showed when you boarded the ship?
- Was that Caribbean Passport stamped when you left Jamaica? If it was stamped, check the date on the stamp. This is a proof that you boarded the ship on that date.
- Has your Caribbean Passport expired?
- If your Caribbean passport expired have you renewed it?
- Since landing in the UK have you used your Caribbean Passport to travel to the USA, Africa, back to the Caribbean or elsewhere?
- Did you intend returning to the Caribbean when your work here was completed?
- Did you intend remaining in the United Kingdom when your work here was done?
- If you intended remaining in the United Kingdom, when did you intend applying for a British passport?9, Were you informed that you had to remain in the UK for a number of years before you could apply for a British passport?
- If your intention was to return to the Caribbean, when did you intend returning?
- If your intention was to return to the Caribbean, did you renew your Caribbean passport each time it expired?
(B) Landing in the United Kingdom:
- When you landed in the UK your Caribbean passport may have been stamped. If you still have your Caribbean passport, whether it has expired or is up to date, check to see the date stamped on it by the UK This is your proof that you landed here.
- Did any official give you any information about your status in the United Kingdom?
- Were you given a leaflet explaining what your status was in the UK when you landed or was such a leaflet slipped into your passport?
- Did anyone welcome you? Were there people who grouped you together with others landing? Were you taken to a bus, the underground tube station, a minibus?
- What efforts if any, did you make to enquire about your status in the UK?
- Did you apply to the Home Office to be naturalised as a British citizen?
- If you did not apply to the Home Office to be naturalised, why did you not do this?
- Did you know that you could do this?
- Did you register the birth of any child or children and receive a birth certificate (s)?
- Did you register the birth of any child who was born in the UK with the Home Office?
- If you did not register the birth of a child with the Home Office, why did you not do this?
- Did you know that you could do this?
- Did you register any child who landed in the UK with the Home Office?
- Were you advised to register a child with the Home Office?
- Did you ask the Home Office about your status in the UK?
- Did the Home Office write anything to you about their expectation that you would return to the Caribbean?
- Was your passport endorsed with any kind of restriction? E.g. the kind of work you could do; how long you could remain in the UK? Whether your permission to be in the UK depended on your finding a job? Etc.
(C) Your Status on landing i.e. Your Caribbean Citizenship.
- Have you visited the UK on holiday in the past, using your Caribbean passport?
- Did you want to retain Caribbean citizenship?
- Did you assume that being British in the former colony you would be British in the UK?
- Did you assume or know, that being British in the former colony you had the right to apply for a British passport?
(D) Your status now:
- Do you remember the emotions you felt when you landed in the UK?
- Were you confident?
- Were you apprehensive?
- Were you looking forward to the experience of being in the UK?
- Were you enthusiastic because you travelled with friends, family, former work colleagues from the Caribbean to the UK?
- Do you now have second thoughts about returning to the Caribbean?
- Do you have second thoughts about living in the UK?
- Do you have any regrets about coming to the UK?
- Do you have any regrets about remaining here?
- Do you have regrets about leaving the Caribbean?
- Do you have any regrets about not returning to the Caribbean?
- What do you expect the British government to do for you now?
I may have unwittingly omitted some questions.
Keep the faith. Keep smiling. You are here now. (Veritas Vos Liberabit) – The truth will make you free. Be true to yourself.