Filmmakers have made a special presentation of a framed photograph to a Second World War veteran who is the oldest member of Dulwich Royal British Legion. Mayor of Southwark Cllr Abdul Mohamed handed the picture to Peter Kempson, aged 92, of Friern Road, East Dulwich, London, UK, on behalf of The-Latest.Com, who made the documentary, Divided by race, united in war and peace, which has just become available as a DVD.
The photograph was taken at the West Indian Association of Service Personnel (WASP) headquarter at Clapham, south London, during the shooting of the 90 minute feature film earlier this year. Kempson is one of the stars of the movie produced and co-directed by broadcaster and editor of The-Latest.Com Marc Wadsworth MA. It is about the experiences of Black and white veterans before, during and after the war.
Kempson served in the army from 1941 where he was a dispatch rider and drove Scammel Pioneer recovery wagons including at the battle of Arnhem in Holland. He later qualified as an electrician before becoming a printer. Kempson said: "Being presented with the photograph was a lovely surprise, especially as the Mayor came along and gave it to me. The picture is now hanging on the wall at Dulwich Royal British Legion, where a lot of the members are talking about the film after viewing the DVD. I'm pleased to have been a part of this project which is as good as gold."
Cllr Mohamed said: "It is really important that we remember and honour the contribution and sacrifices of our war veterans and that is why I was delighted to make the presentation of the photograph. I particularly hope that young people will get the chance to see the documentary film because it is vital they know about this major part of British history."
Filmmaker Marc Wadsworth commented: "I felt I owed it to the memory of my late father to make the film. He, along with thousands of others, came from Jamaica to serve in the RAF during the war to save the 'Mother country' from nazi Germany. It's been a humbling experience working with the veterans whose personal testimonies take the viewer on a roller coaster ride of emotions. They have made the film a powerful historical document that we are working hard to get on British television where it belongs so that the wider public can see it. The film has already been screened in prime time on South Africa's equivalent of the BBC."
Also present at the Dulwich Royal British Legion event were veterans Neil Flanigan MBE, President of WASP, Ron Crowder, former President of Dulwich Royal British Legion, Alvin Chy Quene, of WASP, and WASP chaplain the Rev Marcia Dacosta, who are among the people featured in the film, and former Lambeth Mayor Cllr Daphne Marchant, former Lambeth Deputy Mayor Cllr Judith Best and Deborah Hobson, the film's associate producer.
* Copies of the DVD priced £12.50, which includes a donation to Dulwich Royal British Legion, can be obtained by emailing your name and phone number to: firstname.lastname@example.org.