An incredible collection of candid photographs of the Chinese Labour Corps taken on the Western Front by Captain WJ Hawkings. More details here.
A presentation by Steve Lau, Chair of the Ensuring We Remember Campaign, at the launch event of, The Stories behind the Pictures: Colonial Troops in the First World War. This event is being held at
University of Hull,
Friday, 20th October.
An outline of the presentation follows.
By the outbreak of the First World War photography was the hobby of millions around the world. Although the technology had been looked at by the military, its significance was not to be developed fully until the First World War.
This short presentation will give a very brief introduction to the militarisation of photography, In particular it will explore the use of the photographic image as a tool for influencing the opinions of the public at home, as well as the public and governments overseas. This propaganda use of photographs will be brought into sharper focus by comparing and contrasting the official photographic record, as published by the Ministry of Information (1914-1918) with unofficial photographs, most particularly those by Captain William J Hawkings, of the Chinese Labour Corps (www.EnsuringWeRemember.org.uk/photobook).
The presentation shall be drawn to an end with reflections on how, a hundred years on, our use of these photographs have changed? Debunked, what value can we attach to propaganda photographs of the Great War? And if at all, where have we managed to shift reality to?
The event is ticketed but free, tickets available here.
Parliament and World War One: The forgotten Chinese Labourers of World War One
UK Parliament Outreach and Engagement Service
Tuesday, 7 November 2017 from 19:00 to 20:30 (GMT), Portcullis House, Parliament, London.
In an entertaining and informative talk Frances Wood, author of Betrayed Ally: China and the Great War and former curator of Chinese Collections at the British Library, will outline the historical background to the CLC story, with insights into the political manoeuvres and debates in Parliament. Her talk will be followed by an oral history film Forgotten Faces of the Great War: The Chinese Labour Corps, presented by Peng Wenlan, documentary filmmaker and director of The Meridian Society’s two-year project commemorating the CLC and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The event will be hosted by Lord Wallace of Saltaire a member of the government’s Advisory Board for the Commemoration of World War One . There will be a Q&A after the screening.
We have reorganised the way our videos are presented. Hopefully the new layout will make it easier to see what is available and to access them. Find our videos from the link on the left hand side of this page.
The Ensuring We Remember Campaign if spearheaded by a coalition of major UK Chinese non-profit organisations. To mark today’s centennial anniversary of China declaring war on Germany we reflect on the position of the Chinese community in the UK, whilst launching our Centenary Commemorations Toolkit.
Today the Chinese community holds a privileged position in the UK. Through the hard work of those Chinese who came after the second World War, Chinese communities in Britain are strong and vibrant. Although no country is perfect, and no people are without faults, Britain and the British people have overwhelmingly welcomed and accepted Chinese people. For their part, the Chinese have worked hard and hindered nobody, through which they have built, and maintain, strong economic and cultural capital. Chinese children have for decades outperformed children from all other ethnic groups at both GCSE and A’Level, fulfilling the dream of every parent that their children’s lives should be better than their own. But it is not only duty to family that concerned the Chinese in Britain – we would argue that they have also contributed to a better society. The Chinese are the only ethnic minority group that is under-represented in the British criminal justice system, something for which the Chinese community can justly be proud.
Less obvious is the pride that might be held in the fact that in both World Wars the Chinese and British peoples stood united against common enemies and ideologies.
For this reason we are today encouraging Britain’s Chinese communities and supporters to commemorate this much neglected are of our heritage – a century to the day when China formally declared war against Germany and joined Britain and her allies in World War I.
To this end we created a Centenary Commemorations Toolkit which has already been sent out to British Chinese religious, voluntary and community organisations. We will be working with Chinese supplementary schools in rolling out the toolkit.
We hope, by promoting a growing awareness of the full contribution of Chinese people in British history, we can contribute to the ongoing development of a fully integrated, high performing, socially cohesive British Chinese community.
We are delighted to announce the publications of, The Chinese Labour Corps: Photographs from the WJ Hawkings collection, launched today to commemorate the centenary of China declaring war against Germany and formally joining Britain and her allies in the Great War.
- Hardcover: 96 pages
- Publisher: Myosotis Books (14 August 2017)
- Languages: English, Chinese and French
- ISBN-13: 978-1-9998066-0-6
- Product Dimensions: 28.5 x 1.3cm x 21 cm
Rediscovered in 2014 by his grandson, John De Lucy, photographs from the collection are published here for the first time. Unlike the set piece propaganda photographs taken by official photographers, the WJ Hawkings Collection shows the day-to-day lives of the Chinese Labour Corps; many of the photographs are believed to be unique in the subject matter they cover.
The profits from the sales of this book will be donated to the Chinese in Britain Forum, registered charity 1096542 ,and used exclusively for raising the awareness and profile of the Chinese Labour Corps.
For Press enquiries, please enquire via our contact page.
Buy our new A2 sized poster (42cm x 59cm).
Today we remember three men of the Chinese Labour Corps who died in service.
LI FU CHEN (56237) 1919.
LU HSUEH SHU Labourer 106238, died 1919.
TSENG CH’IEN SHENG Labourer 25109, died 1918.
YANG CHIH FU Labourer 99855, died 1919.
We Remember Them.
The following four members of the Chinese Labour Corps died on the 12th August:
CH’ANG CHIH HAI (100234) 1919
KAO HUA CH’I (7740) 1919
LI LAI FU (76400) 1919
LIU FENG I (54908) 1919
If you are wondering why 12th August 1919 when hostilities ended on 11th November 1918, it’s because the Chinese Labour Corps were kept on after the armistice to repair roads, clear the battlefields and recover ordnance. They also exhumed the fallen, reburying them in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemeteries. See our video for more information.
We remember them.
Par France 3.