Do I need POCs in my story set in the past?

I’ve seen a lot of stuff on diversity and was wondering…
I’m writing a story set in WW2 in England, France and Germany. Since non white people were extremely rare back then in Europe, I don’t have any in my story. What are your thoughts on this? Do I need to add poc regardless or would it not make sense to the plot?

Have you done much research? A lot of POC fought in WW2 so I’m not sure where you heard they didn’t? :confused:


Well I’m doing more SOE (secret agents) than the battlefields as I saw the BBC2 programme about it and really enjoyed it but as far as I knew, black people weren’t really in Europe and England till the Windrush generation. Is that wrong?


Oh no, I thought you meant in general, sorry! :joy: I know about the Segregated Units e.t.c but if you’re story follows a certain part of the military then I say make it as historically accurate as you can.

Was it Secret Agent Selection on BBC2? :slight_smile: < Something like that.

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Yh that was the show! Did you see it?

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I haven’t yet, I tried to watch it but I was too tired and fell asleep. I’m going to try again within the next couple of days on IPlayer. It’s nice to know it’s a good enough programme for you to write a story on!

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Oh it’s great you’ll love it. One of the recruits is a bit of a prick (excuse my language) but it’s great to watch how SOE trained people

I’m definitely going to watch it later after I’ve published my next Chapter! I look forward to reading your story too, once you’ve written and published!

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Aw thanks

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Black people aren’t the only POCs though.

Surely there were some people with Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, South American, or Pacific Islander roots in that area during WW2.

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I’m sure there are some but probably few. I’ll change my question

From a historical perspective, this is a problem that many stories set in the past have. People of color existed back then, of course, they were just discriminated against and oppressed. There were certainly POC in Europe at the time that fought in the war, they just didn’t get the same amount of press coverage and were not allowed the same opportunities.

From an author/reader side, I’d say it’s always good to have a diverse cast. The less representation there is, the less people will relate to the story and be interested in reading it. Most people are tired of white protagonists and want to see some diversity within their stories. Hope this helped!


Realistically, you don’t, but if you want to add your own personal touch and look into it, you can. I’ve read a book written by someone that was set in a past time, however they did add some POC because they’re a strong believer of racially equality and kind of wanted to put their opinion into the story, if you know what I mean?

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