It was on this day 1917 that a French registered ship, the SS Athos (pictured), was sunk by a German u-boat attack in the Mediterranean, tantalisingly close to their final port of call, Marseilles. 543 Chinese labourers recruited by the French lost their lives. At this point it was the practice of the French not to record names of their recruits. Following this disaster, at the demands of the Chinese government, names of future recruits were recorded.
(Editorial note 24/03/16 : Our assertion that the French had not recorded the names of the Chinese recruits aboard the SS Athos, we now understand, does not reflect history with any accuracy. We were wrong. We have added this editorial note to correct the mistake whilst maintaining the original presentation).
For the full story please see this post from last year.