What immigrants were living in Britain in 1945?

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  • What immigrants were living in Britain in 1945?
    • American GIs
      • Arriving from 1942 onwards.
      • Around 3 million posted over UK (often rural areas).
      • Very open, friendly, got on well with locals.
      • British society divided in classes.
        • Classes didn't mix.
        • America less class-concious.
        • American GIs brought these qualities to UK.
      • Very popular with girls.
        • Got paid well - take girls to best clubs and restaurants.
        • 80,000 British women 'GI brides' and emigrated to America.
      • Caused some tensions.
        • Cultural differences.
        • British gov. issued films and pamphlets to educate GIs about Britain.
    • African American GIs
      • Large minority GIs black.
      • 130,000 African Americans service men/women came to Britain.
      • Americans very racist.
        • African American faced harsh discrimination in America.
        • Segregation.
        • African American treated well in very rural areas of Britain.
        • Locals criticised white Americans for way they treated black GIs.
        • Walter White (NAACP) found for many African Americans, time in England was first where they were treated as normal human beings.
          • Also found out segregation starting in Britain.
    • Commonwealth troops
      • Before arrival of GIs.
      • Large nos. from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Caribbean.
      • Usually warmly welcomed.
      • Over 40,000 marriages between Canadian servicemen and British women.
    • Prisoners of War
      • Largest groups of POWs were German and Italien troops captured in N. Africa.
      • Over 1,500 facilities held prisoners
        • Highest POW population: 157,000 Italians and 402,000 Germans.
      • POWs generally treated well.
        • Same food rations as Allied servicemen.
          • More than ordinary civilians.
        • Access to medical care.
        • Paid small wages for work.
          • Many worked in agriculture - replaced workers serving in armed forces.
        • Access to range of educational classes.
    • Poles
      • Escaped to Britain due to German/USSR invasion.
      • 14,000 served in RAF.
      • 120,000 Poles stayed in Britain - Poland seemed dominated by USSR.
      • PM Churchill interested in Poles since Britain went to war in 1939 to save Poland.
        • Also agreed to USSR having Poland in its sphere of influence.
      • Poles allowed to stay due to shortage of workers.
      • A Polish Resettlement Corps set up to house Poles and provide training and work.
        • Housing in military camps and former POWs - very basic and Poles treated as though in military service.


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