Timeline 1900 – 2017


In the first years of the 20th century, there was only limited population mixing and interracial union formation in Britain, mainly confined to small enclaves in the port towns of London (such as the East End’s Limehouse) and Cardiff. The media reporting of interracial couples focused on the famous and well-to-do such as John Milne and Tone Horikawa, Nina Alberta Tomalin-Potts and Yung Hsi Hsiao, and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Jessie Sarah Fleetwood Walmisley, relationships characterised by their novelty and exceptionality. The First World War changed this picture, as men from Britain’s colonies were recruited into the services and demobilised in large numbers at the end of the war. The opportunities to marry across the ‘colour line’ increased and the emergence of mixed communities in Britain’s port cities, notably Cardiff, began to attract attention.  In conditions of post-war economic decline and worsening conditions for seamen, the decade ended with the 1919 ‘Race Riots’ in London, Liverpool and Cardiff.