Empire Windrush ship that brought the first West Indies immigrants to Britain in the 1950s

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The Empire Windrush ship brought the first West Indies immigrants to Britain in the 1950s

London’s Waterloo Station is to house a monument to the Windrush generation, the prime minister has announced.

Theresa May said the monument would be seen by “millions of people from all around the world” every year.

The Windrush Commemoration Committee, set up by the government last year, will work with designers on the “next steps over the coming months”.

Events are taking place across the country on Saturday to mark the first National Windrush Day.

Mrs May said: “This monument will be a lasting legacy to the tremendous contribution the Windrush generation and their children have made to our great country.”

Baroness Floella Benjamin, chair of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, said: “Having a Windrush monument located at Waterloo Station where thousands of Windrush pioneers – including children like myself – first arrived in London, will be a symbolic link to our past as we celebrate our future.”

Janice Irwin, from community group Ageless Teenagers, described the plans as “fantastic”, but also “long overdue”, and said it was “a little strange” that it would be built at Waterloo Station, and not Brixton where many people from the Windrush generation settled.

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Those from Jamaica were leaving a country that had been devastated by a hurricane and had a struggling economy.

The Windrush generation arrived from Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1971 and had lived in the UK for decades when some were wrongly told they were in the country illegally.

Some lost their right to work or get NHS treatment, while others were detained or deported.

The then Home Secretary Amber Rudd apologised last year for the deportation threats, calling the scandal “wrong” and “appalling”.

An estimated 500,000 people now living in the UK have been called the Windrush generation, in reference to the name of a ship which brought workers to the UK from Caribbean countries in 1948.

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