Write up from The Travellers Times
1st December 2021
On Saturday 13th of November, the Travellers’ Times visited a very special event put on by Kushti Bok, the Dorset based Romany Gypsy and Traveller rights charity. The event was to honour the Romany Gypsies and Travellers who served in the forces during both the World Wars and some of the conflicts that followed. Amid tea, biscuits and lots of old photos our editor sat down with the people who came along to event to record for posterity the stories of their relatives and ancestors who ‘did their bit’ in the UK’s armed forces.
Betty Smith Packman-Billington, the Romany Gypsy head of Kushti Bok explains:
“Every Remembrance Day the photos come out and go on Facebook. We love putting them on Facebook and telling people about all our ancestors. They were in the war and they played their part. This is the thing; I want them recognised. I spoke to one lady a couple of days ago who wants me to help with the Holocaust Remembrance Day in Dorchester. She was a lovely lady, but when I told her what I was doing, she said ‘ooh Betty, I never knew that Gypsies played their part in the armed forces.’ This is what people believe.”
You can read the full article - 'THEY DID THEIR BIT' - REMEMBERING THE GYPSIES AND TRAVELLERS WHO SERVED IN THE FORCES on the Travellers Times website.