Brigadier Nathan Sempala-Ntege OBE

Nathan’s late father was Ugandan and his mother is British. He spent his early childhood in Uganda, but due to the political unrest in the late 1970s, his family relocated to the UK. Growing up in the West Country, Nathan joined the Officer Training Corps at university. After attending Sandhurst, he was then commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1997.


Nathan has served on exercises in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Far East and Africa and on operations in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. He subsequently commanded 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery. For Nathan this was a highlight in his career, overseeing the transition of the regiment from 8 years’ service in Afghanistan to preparation for operations in conventional war settings. In 2017, Nathan was awarded an OBE in recognition of his service to the British Army.

Following his promotion to Brigadier in 2019, Nathan was appointed Deputy Commanding General 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This was an organisation of huge scale with 18,000 paratroopers in a high state of readiness. Reflecting on his career to date, Nathan says, ‘The number one thing is the people. You just work with amazing, really hardworking, talented, committed people, from all sorts of backgrounds.’

As the nation’s largest Armed Forces charity, the Royal British Legion (RBL) is dedicated to ensuring that all those who served and sacrificed, and who continue to do so, in defence of our freedoms and way of life, from both Britain and the Commonwealth, are remembered.

In our acts of Remembrance, the RBL remembers,

  • The sacrifice of the Armed Forces community from Britain and the Commonwealth.
  • Pays tribute to the special contribution of families and of the emergency services.
  • Acknowledges the innocent civilians who have lost their lives in conflict and acts of terrorism.

The story of Black British and Black African and Caribbean service and sacrifice is one that we are keen to share, a story of men and women who have done so much in defence of Britain and in protecting all our citizens. A story that is replete with stories of bravery and courage, as epitomised by Victoria Cross winner Johnson Beharry.

Therefore, to mark 100 years since Britain’s current Remembrance traditions first came together, the RBL has bought together over 100 stories of British and Commonwealth African and Caribbean service and sacrifice. The stories range from the First World War to the present day and are of servicemen and women from across Britain, Africa and the Caribbean, representing both the armed forces and emergency services.  

The RBL wishes to offer special thanks to Stephen Bourne for his help in putting these stories together. Stephen Bourne has been writing Black British history books for thirty years. For Aunt Esther’s Story (1991) he received the Raymond Williams Prize for Community Publishing. His best-known books are Black Poppies (2019) and Under Fire (2020). His latest book Deep Are the Roots – Trailblazers Who Changed Black British Theatre was recently published by The History Press. For further information about Stephen and his books, go to his website