16 October 2011
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
Dear Prime Minister,
Open letter: Against racism – An age–old and divisive 'cancer' in 2011
I refer to a written Answer regarding the British Army, given in the Commons, as recorded in Hansard at HC Deb 23 July 1946 vol 425 c329W, as follows –
"98. Mr. Gallacher [Member of Parliament for UK's East Fife constituency] asked the Secretary of State for War if he has now considered, with the Secretary of State for the Colonies, the existing ban on persons being admitted to Sandhurst who are not of European descent; and if he has any statement to make thereon.
Mr Lawson [UK's Secretary of State for War] I regret that I am not in a position to make a statement."
I shall be grateful if the Prime Minister's Office is able to assist me historically, with answers to the following questions.
I note that The Sandhurst Collection includes a Marlborough Room and a Wellington Room in treasured memory of English and British military conquests and leadership. I am African, born in Jamaica in 1946 and so a British subject from birth while my ancestors were of course subjected under the English Crown from 1655 or at least 1670.
Many African 'Englishers' and Britishers will have served and given their lives under English and British flags. Many Africans will have fought nobly against what became the holocaust of Africans by way of transatlantic–enslavement; in effect they martyred themselves against insuperable odds.
Yet their noble sacrifices stand without mention on the rolls of honour of English/British history and it appears that their descendants may have been institutionally barred from training at RMAS and its predecessors.
"By the end of the 1980s it became apparent that it did not serve the Army's interests to run three separate courses at Sandhurst: the Standard Military Course (SMC) for non–graduates, the Standard Graduate (SGC) for graduates and the Women's Standard Course (WSC) for females.
Separate courses had become divisive and the rivalries institutionalised at Sandhurst were reflected in Officers' Messes after commissioning.
It had also become clear that the shorter course for graduates was not satisfying the basic training objectives set by the Army. Consequently the SMC, SGC and WSC were all abolished and replaced in September 1992 by the Commissioning Course".