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SS Empire Windrush

SS Empire Windrush
The SS Empire Windrush heads to Tilbury, Essex, June 1948 © TopFoto.co.uk

On June 22, 1948, the SS Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in Essex. Its arrival marked an important moment in the history of modern England.


The steamship had stopped in Jamaica to pick up some of the thousands of servicemen who had been recruited to serve in the armed forces during the second world war. They were joined on their life-changing Atlantic voyage by some 500 other Caribbean men and women keen to visit England. Over the years “the Windrush generation” and their families have become integral to our society.

As a symbol of the variety of different communities who have come to England and enriched England’s cultural life over the centuries, the Empire Windrush is unparalleled. But what was the experience of the men and women who came over?

Find out more about the SS Empire Windrush