I think I was less shocked by the shabby treatment of Black servicemen after the end of the Great War than I was shocked I knew nothing about it.
The book mentions attacks on Black families in large harbour towns in England and Wales. I wondered if there were Black communities in the smaller seaports in Cumbria, where my character Matilda grew up.
The local history group I approached couldn’t give me an answer. But they did lead me to an interesting article about an aspect of Black history in an area that was predominantly white. I’ve used this as the basis for this week’s 99-word story. Although my muse has taken me beyond the established facts in relation to where his bones are buried, you can follow the link to the true story.
Fortified by Sarah Nelson’s famous gingerbread, we continued our pilgrimage to William’s grave. A balustrade of rainbow waterproofs blocked our view initially; we waited patiently for our turn. In the thirty years since we last visited the shrine, the Lake District and poetry had become much more diverse.
Shuffling forward, however, we saw it wasn’t Wordsworth who had pulled the crowd. We asked a woman taking selfies, "What did he write, this John Kent?" She seemed to think it a joke. Meanwhile, one of the kids had googled him: Britain’s Black policeman died here in this county in 1886.