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Charles praises 'remarkable' contribution of black servicemen in world wars

The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the "remarkable" contribution servicemen from the West Indies and Africa made during the First and Second World Wars as he met veterans in south London.

Speaking during a visit to the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton, the heir to the throne praised the institution which is home to a wealth of documents chronicling the history of black people in Britain.

During an impromptu speech, Charles said: "It's so encouraging that now, at last, you have a centre such as this which allows you to develop so many opportunities, but also to bring the message to so many people in this country and elsewhere about the remarkable contribution made over so long by people from African and Caribbean descent, who have contributed so much to this country.

"And we're very lucky that you have made that contribution, and particularly so, if I may say so, during the First World War and Second World War."

Charles appeared to be battling a cold, first mentioned during an engagement last week, as he was pictured with a reddened nose.

Tens of thousands of African and Caribbean soldiers, sailors and airmen fought on behalf of the "mother country" during the First and Second World Wars.

Their contribution is still being recognised as the Black Cultural Archives - the first national black heritage centre in the UK - is actively seeking documents, testimonies and other archive material from the families of those who fought, to build up a true picture of their efforts.

Charles told the audience, who included supporters and staff from the centre: "When we think of how many people were in that war from all around Africa and the Caribbean, their legacy is a truly remarkable one, and I'm so glad that you were able to ensure that story is told properly."

The Prince's voice sounded strong despite his apparent cold and there was no sign of the cough that plagued his mother, the Queen, over the Christmas period.

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