BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014
GloucestershireGloucestershire

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Gloucestershire
Things to do
People & Places
Nature
History
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Gloucestershire

Bristol
Coventry
South East Wales
Hereford & Worcs
Oxford
Wiltshire

Related BBC Sites

England
 

Contact Us

Voices: Our Untold Stories »African-Caribbean Stories
Stan Boreland Arrivals in Gloucestershire

In the case of Histon (Stan) Boreland, there was no return to Gayle, in the parish of St Mary, Jamaica. Following his stint as a motorcyclist with the RAF during the war, he stayed on.
Stan responded to an advertisement for ground staff for the RAF

The period immediately following the Second World War marked the arrival of a significant number of people of African-Caribbean origin in Gloucestershire - more specifically to the city of Gloucester.

quote
Most intended to stay only a few years; to improve their education, learn a skill, or make enough money to buy a home in the Caribbean. quote
Our Untold Stories

Some had been in Britain as servicemen during the war. Others were encouraged to come by recruitment drives in the Caribbean funded by a government eager to fill vacancies in certain occupations and to rebuild post-war Britain.

Most intended to stay only a few years - to improve their education, learn a skill, or make enough money to buy a home in the Caribbean. They came from all over the islands, the majority from Jamaica, but also from Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad, and over the years, many others.

The long journey to Gloucestershire

In the case of Histon (Stan) Boreland, there was no return to Gayle, in the parish of St. Mary, Jamaica. Following his stint as a motorcyclist with the RAF during the war, he stayed on.

It was in 1944, as a young man aged 18, that he had seen advertisements in the Jamaican Gleaner stating that 'The Mother Country Needs You', encouraging people to join in the war effort. He responded to an advertisement for ground staff for the RAF.

His journey to England was not straightforward. He travelled on the SS Cuba, leaving Jamaica on 16 May. However, after just four days, the ship had to dock at Newport News, Virginia, USA. The men were required to stay a few days at Camp Patrick Henry as the ship could not be escorted across the Atlantic due to D-Day arrangements.

quote
Stan recalls that there were between forty and fifty servicemen from the Caribbean in Gloucester at the time. In his last year at Innsworth he met his wife, Vilma, during a camp dance at Churchdown. quote
Our Untold Stories

After a train journey to New York, he boarded the SS Arawa in a convoy of 75 ships including tankers from South America, destroyers and other boats. About half way across the Atlantic, a German submarine was sighted and the convoy had to disperse. He eventually arrived at Liverpool docks on 27 June.

Basic training

Stan completed eight weeks of basic training or 'square-bashing' in Yorkshire - at a Butlin's camp which had been requisitioned by the Army - followed by a motorcycle course at Weeton, near Blackpool. He was then posted to Little Staughton, to Number 8 Bomber Group ('Pathfinders'), as a motorcyclist travelling to various sister units, until the end of the war.

Following short spells in Suffolk and Cornwall, Stan came to Gloucester in October 1946. He was posted to RAF Innsworth, where he remained until 1949. He recalls that there were between 40 and 50 servicemen from the Caribbean in Gloucester at the time. In his last year at Innsworth he met his wife, Vilma, during a camp dance at Churchdown.

Return to Gloucestershire

That same year, due to a dock strike and the employment of servicemen to carry out the work, he was posted to York, but later returned to Gloucestershire, to South Cerney.

Here he was based until he left the Air Force in January 1952. When he was demobbed, he lived for a while with his in-laws. As an ex-serviceman he had no problems finding accommodation and was given a council house in Matson, where he still lives.

In civilian life Stan was employed as a driver for many years. He then completed a government training course as a welder and was employed at the Wagon Works in Southgate Street until it closed down.

This article is user-generated content (ie external contribution) expressing a personal opinion, not the views of BBC Gloucestershire.
Untold Stories banner
» Back to Our Untold Stories index
MORE AFRICAN STORIES
Kulchurlee with local kids
Introduction
Black histories
Slavery and abolition
Gloucestershire history
The World Wars
Arriving in Gloucs
Finding somewhere to live
Finding work: Byron Thompson
Caribbean community
Religious community
West Indian Association
Beresford Nasralla's story
Bernard Westcarr's story
William and Naomi
Claude Correia and Vivian Blake
Boyce Drake's story
Stan Boreland's story
Wes & Myrna Gordon
Daddy West's story
Rastafarianism
About the author
Links page
 
What is Voices?
Capturing the stories, concerns and aspirations of those unheard voices across the UK.
Find out more here

 


BBC Gloucestershire Website, London Road, Gloucester, GL1 1SW
phone:01452 308585 | e-mail:gloucestershire@bbc.co.uk


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy