Britain's Colonies in the War: No. 6 - Trinidad
Important contributor to Allied war supplies pool is Trinidad, separated from Venezuela, S. America, by the Gulf of Paria, which forms an almost land-locked harbour capable of containing all the navies of the world. Trinidad was discovered by Columbus on his first voyage in 1498; it became British in 1797.
Chief help to the war effort is oil, of which Trinidad is the British Empire's leading producer; in 1940 there were some 2,416 wells producing over 20,219,000 gallons a year. Pitch from which asphalt is made, is also produced in large quantities; pre-war figure was 127,859 tons annually. Other important commodities, pre-war figures for which give a guide to the amounts supplied, are sugar 270,000,000 lb.; cocoa 43,000,000 lb.; copra 9,500,000 lb. Some 2,500,000 coconuts are produced and thousands of gallons of rum, most of which goes to the Navy. Trinidad has given many men to the Forces, and they serve all over the world. Decorations gained by men of the island include the M.C., two D.F.C.s and a D.C.M. There is a local Defence Force, and Trinidad women have formed A.T.S. and W.A.A.F. units.
One of the oil-wells producing to capacity for the United Nations, and the largest sugar refinery on the island. Down a rope cradle-way to ships waiting at the jetty go barrels of valuable pitch-asphalt from the famous pitch lake in S.W. Trinidad – 144 acres in extent. Hoisting the R.A.F. standard at a commemorative service to the Battle of Britain held at Piarco airfield is Acting Governor A. B. Wright.
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