The Unremembered

Genre: Documentaries, History

Duration: 1x60

Year of Production: 2019

Production Company: Uplands TV

Broadcaster: Channel 4

Definition: HD

Across the world, nations commemorate those who have sacrificed their lives during times of war. A hundred years ago in the aftermath of the First World War, Britain developed its now familiar Remembrance traditions. Unlike some countries the UK decided not to repatriate its war dead, but to bury them in individual graves overseas, as close as practical to where they died, promoting an ethos of equality that stated that the same treatment would be granted to all who died regardless of their military rank or their role in civilian life.

But deep in the archives of the organisation given the sacred task remembering the dead lies a terrible secret. A century later, British Member of Parliament, David Lammy accompanies the woman who discovered the truth, Professor Michele Barrett, on a journey across Africa to uncover one of the biggest scandals of World War One.

The lofty words about equality were not matched in realty thanks to a policy that deliberately treated as inferior thousands of Africans who died in the name of Great Britain. They were intentionally denied proper graves and systematically refused individual headstones. Even worse, in the past where graves of Africans were known, they were knowingly abandoned.

Upwards of 100,000 Africans died during the war fighting for Britain, but where are their bodies? David Lammy journeys across Kenya and Tanzania to find out how African soldiers and porters have become unremembered, and the impact this has had on modern Africa, and its communities today. 

Series 1: 1x60 | HD | 2019