Showing posts from August, 2018

WWI and the Chinese Labourers

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.
At first the British government refused the offer but after a huge loss at Somme they realized they needed warm bodies to load trains, build roads and clear battlefields. The British started recruiting in the northeastern portion of China and tens of thousands of poor peasants decided to try their luck in Europe.

""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 Chine…