August Browne: The British-Polish Nigerian Who Took on the Nazis

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As part of RUSI's endevour to celebrate Black History Month, we honour the story of August Browne, the Nigerian-born Briton who took part in the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazis in the Second World War. 

1600 GMT / 1100 EST / 1800 EAT 

Having travelled to Britain from Nigeria in the early part of the 20th century, August Agboola Browne settled down and became a successful Jazz musician in Poland prior to his participation in the struggle against Nazi occupation. Browne’s story will be told by Dr. Nicholas Boston, Associate Professor of Media Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY), who has been researching Browne’s life. 

According to a little-known Polish veteran’s form that he completed in 1949, Browne took part in the resistance by distributing underground newspapers, trading electronic equipment and "sheltering refugees from the ghetto". This document was unearthed by Polish historians in 2009 and, after corroborating his story, a monument was erected to Browne in Warsaw in 2019. 

Browne’s story is a potent and timely reminder of the unsung contributions of black servicemen to the great conflicts of the past. These untold chronicles provide us with an opportunity to both celebrate the vital contributions of black heroes to global peace and stability, and recognise the importance of these stories being brought to light.   


Nicholas Boston, PhD, Associate Professor of Media Studies at the City University of New York, Lehman College.

This event is chaired by Luniya Msuku, Director, RUSI Nairobi 


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