Timeline 1900 – 2017

The Second World War

The Second World War had a number of marked impacts on how mixed race relationships, families and people were perceived by the wider society. Firstly, the war brought to the notice of the public the role played by members of the armed services from Britain’s colonies, some of whom subsequently entered relationships with English women. Secondly, many black American GIs came to Britain and were based in military camps in predominantly rural areas. They, too, formed relationships with local women and the position of their children was brought to the attention of government in mid-1944. Thirdly, the defeat of the Japanese in the Pacific War paved the way for the British government to pursue a policy of repatriation for Chinese seamen resident in Liverpool, a number of whom had had families with white women from Liverpool. Finally, the policies of eugenics and racial hygiene practiced by Nazi Germany, culminating in the incarceration and genocide of millions of Jews, gypsies, and other minorities, discredited the ideas of the Eugenics movement and led to attempts to disconnect race from its disreputable past by international bodies including UNESCO.