Made by the Jamaican sculptor Basil Watson, it was unveiled in the presence of Prince William and his wife Kate in the hall of Waterloo station, one of the busiest in the United Kingdom, through which thousands of these had passed. migrants, on the occasion of “Windrush Day”, the official day of commemoration instituted in 2018.

It represents a man in Sunday clothes holding his wife by the hand, accompanied by a child looking in another direction, standing on suitcases.

Like Queen Elizabeth II in a written message, the government highlighted the “exceptional contribution” of those thousands of people who came to the United Kingdom between 1948 and 1971 to help rebuild the country after the Second World War, but deprived of rights , or even detained or expelled for lack of the necessary documents.

Wishing to make it “a permanent place of reflection”, he praised their “courage, commitment and tenacity”. He financed it to the tune of one million pounds (more than 1,160,000 euros).

The monument pays tribute “to the dreams and aspirations, to the courage and dignity, to the gifts and talents” of these thousands of migrants who arrived with “the hope of contributing to a society which they expected to welcome them in return”, said Basil Watson, whose parents were among them.

The Windrush generation takes its name from the ship Empire Windrush which arrived on June 22, 1948 at the port of Tilbury, about forty kilometers east of London, with hundreds of migrants on board from the Caribbean, mainly from Jamaica, but also Bermuda or British Guiana.

The government announced in 2019 a compensation program for the treatment of these migrants, described by a parliamentary report as “truly shameful”.

More than 100 personalities from the political, religious, sporting, economic and cultural worlds called on Wednesday, in the newspaper The Times, to make Windrush day a “major national event” in 2023, 75 years after the arrival of the Empire Windrush.