Sailors from HMS Constance sent to deal with the riots in 1918
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Friday May 20, 2016

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Sailors from HMS Constance sent to deal with the riots in 1918

The riot was the result of Belizean ex-servicemen's (soldiers who served in the British West Indies Regiment) frustration with their treatment (racial discrimination and disenfranchisement) in the British Colony after World War I. However, men, women and children also took part in the uprising since they were also affected.

WWI veterans returning to Belize/BH faced horrible conditions/unempoyment/discrimination. They fought for the Empire in what is now Iraq hence- Mosul, Bagdad, Euphrates, Amara, Messopotemia..etc... That would explain why we have Euphrates and Amara avenues in Belize City. The area was subdivided and lots given to ex-servicemen for WWI.

According to history Samuel Haynes (author of the Belize National Anthem) did not participate in the riot but, sent an appeal to the governor for clemency for the rioters. He was later recruited by Marcus Garvey to go to the U.S.

I think sailors from the HMS Constance were also used in the 1894 riots as well.

Interesting video from Professor Robert Hill. I believe it is a 5 part series.

  • Professor Robert Hill on the history of UNIA in Belize-part2
  • Professor Robert Hill on the history of UNIA in Belize-part3
  • Professor Robert Hill on the history of UNIA in Belize-part4
  • Professor Robert Hill on the history of UNIA in Belize-part5

For a graduate thesis on the 1919 riots in Belize entitled "“Land of the Gods”: Exploring the Evolution of Labor, Resistance and Black Consciousness in Belize" by Nicole Denise Ramsey, click here.

Here's an interesting old book History of British Honduras, by William Arlington Donohoe. Click image to get the book.

A very colonial view..but some helpful info....pretty much ignores anything really local/people etc. Somewhat stylized but some interesting info..

Photograph by Evan Evans

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