Did you know there were Chinese who fought in WWI? Me either! It was mostly a diplomatic move. The Chinese government want a place a the peace table; they wanted the world to know they could play with the big guys.
""I would not even shrink from the word Chinese for the purpose of
carrying out the war,” said Winston Churchill, a member of parliament 24
years before he became prime minister. “These are not times when people
ought in the least to be afraid of prejudices.”"
The first wave of Chinese (about 40,000) arrived at the Western Front in 1916 and were taken in with the French Army. The second wave (about 95,000) joined the British Army in 1917.
The Chinese Labour corp landed in Flanders Field in July 1917.
"They were deployed for the loading of ammunition and goods trains in the
sorting station, for the building of roads, and in ammunition depots.
Their contracts were not terminated when the war came to an end: they
would remain active in the Flanders Fields district until 1919, helping to clear the battlefields, to dismantle railway lines, and to dig up and remove bodies."
1834 Chinese lost their lives during WWI.
"On 15 November 1917, thirteen Chinese labourers lost their lives in a
direct shell hit on the camp in Busseboom (Poperinge). They were buried
near the Roobaertbeek stream; later, their bodies were exhumed and
transferred to Bailleul. Research into those thirteen Chinese workers
has yielded not only their names, but also contact with the families in
On 15 November 2017, a memorial was unveiled at Busseboom to remember the fallen labourers."
I found my information and pictures here:
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