Indian Experiences

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“When we went out into the playground we all rushed round this new pupil because he was wearing a turban and we all crowded round him. He was absolutely terrified and he backed up against the wall and his eyes were just about like organ stops....We were touching his turban and his face and his clothing, because in those days, we had never seen a coloured person.....”

This recollection humanises the experience of migration, for the migrant and the observer. It is from an oral history in Birmingham Archives and Heritage of Joan Lloyd’s experiences and captures a moment in 1936 when she was a pupil at St George’s School, Edgbaston. The boy’s father, almost certainly a Sikh, was a doctor, who came to practice in Birmingham before the war.

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Migration

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