A 360 degree update.

The Campaign team are busier than ever and the workload is  ever increasingly complex as different areas of activities interact, deadlines loom and expectations rise.

Fundraising has been an incredible success with donations being received from across the UK. Although the majority of donations have been made by members of the Chinese community, not exclusively so. Donations large and small have been received from ordinary folks who have been moved by the story of the Chinese Labour Corps, and indeed, it has always been our belief that people of good conscience, regardless of their ethnic, cultural, religious or socio-economic background, will recognise as a just cause, remembering the Chinese labour units of the Great War. This is borne out in the donations received by people in all walks of life, from business men to University students, school pupils to artists, from women’s groups, community centres, cultural groups, academics, musicians, medical practitioners, political groups, martial arts schools… the list goes on.  Individual donations have ranged from £5000 to £1. Businesses have also donated, and many community groups have raised funds locally and forwarded them to the Campaign.  It has been an incredibly humbling experience. Our commitment is to acknowledge each donor where their name has been given to us – from the largest down to the £1 donations. We know many who can ill afford to make any donation still do so, and as such, the size of the donation does not determine the gratitude we feel, rather all donations are equally cherished.

What the funds enable is for us to deliver the memorial. But that is a complex task in itself. The final touches are being put to the planning application that will be submitted to Newham Council immediately after the Easter holidays. But to get to this point  has required significant time and effort. Final designs have had to be agreed, drawings compiled, technical information on the way the memorial is constructed and assembled explained, calculations relating to weight, load bearings and required foundations made. But this is just the start. The memorial will sit in a square and we need to present the landscaping, the spatial plan, plants, lighting, seating and so on. In all this we are tremendously indebted to ABP London Albert Docks who continue to be our stauchest supporters, and we share a common determination to do all we can to make the Memorial Huabiao the best it can be.

Whilst all that is going on, the procurement process takes on a life of it’s own. Our design brief is for the craftmanship employed in carving the Huabiao to be of the very highest standard. That starts with securing the very best white marble, and includes the large block of marble that will be used for the main column being specially quarried.  Finding a company who understand the requirements has taken some time.  From drawings a 1m high clay model of the main column of the Huabiao is being made. This will ensure that all of the elements of the columns work in the round, and will give the master stonemasons a clear and unambiguous design brief. We expect to sign the contract for the Huabiao’s production towards the end of April, at which time we will be announcing our Strategic Suppliers who will be making it. It’s a company with whom we have been in discussions for some time, and with whom trust has been developed – critical when what we are asking them to produce is so much more that the sum of its parts.

This entry is called a 360 degree update, but it’s probably a 180 or 270 degree update, we could continue telling you of the work that has already started for the unveiling ceremony – so much more complex than we had ever thought it would be. Or how we are in the process of establishing a legacy company to continue the work started by the Ensuring We Remember Campaign – which will cease to exist once the memorial is unveiled. These can, perhaps, wait for another time to be explained. Sometimes we fall a little silent, but with this entry we hope you’ll have a better understanding of just why.

Fundraising: Context and Update




Joint Exhibition of Artists and Calligraphers Fundraiser

Our thanks to a donation of £600 from Fuqing Yulong Ai Group and  £ 800 from the London School of Management Studies (LSMS) . Our fundraising activities continue:

新春新氣象,狗年旺旺旺!一戰华工建碑計劃感謝福清玉融愛心群£600 及 London School of Management Studies (LSMS) £800的捐助,其他認捐和籌款活動仍在進行中。三月十一日下午二時至五時中英文化交流學會及英國華人詩書畫學會在120 Lower Road London SW16 2UB (Surrey Quays 車站步行兩分鐘,附近也有停車場)舉行藝術家及書畫家聯展,演出及義賣捐募活動,歡迎各位朋友及對中國文化藝術有興趣的朋友蒞臨參加及支持!

March 11, 2018
120 Lower Road London SW16 2UB
(Surrey Quays station 2 mins. parking nearby)

The Sino-British Cultural Exchange Society and the British Chinese Poetry and Calligraphy Society are holding a joint artists and calligraphers exhibition

All welcome, please do support the event.

Spring Festival Generosity

We’re so happy to share a few examples of the wonderful responses we are getting to our fundraising efforts.

當英國各地華人團體紛紛慶祝春節的來臨,他們也沒有忘記為一戰華工建碑計劃捐助,英华中文学校師生和家長£690.50, 福建同鄉會£1,200, 英國天津同鄉會£500, 倫敦普通話簡體字學校師生和家長£500. 感謝大家的支持和衷心的祝頌建碑能早日實現!

When Chinese groups from all over Britain celebrated the arrival of the Spring Festival, they did not forget to donate money for the First World War Chinese Labourers Project. The teachers and students of Ying Wah Chinese School £690.50, the Fujian Association £1,200, the UK Tianjin Association £ 500, the London Putonghua Simplified Characters School teachers and students £500.

A heartfelt thanks to these and the many other groups and individuals who are making the dream come true through their generosity in gifts large and small.




Happy Chinese New Year


Protected: Design Elements of the Memorial

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Building of the UK’s National Memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps Confirmed.

Three years into a campaign for a UK National Memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps, the Ensuring We Remember Campaign has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese development company ABP (London) Investment Limited (ABP) for the memorial to be constructed as part of the centrepiece of ABP’s £1.7bn development of a new business district on the northern side of the Royal Albert Dock in Newham. John Miu, COO of ABP London said:,

“We are honoured to host the UK’s first public memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps on the site of Royal Albert Dock London, where we are constructing the premiere business gateway between China and the UK, and London’s next business hub. We are proud of the contribution made by the Chinese Labour Corps in supporting front line allied troops: it is crucial that future generations remember their sacrifice and contribution while we enjoy living and working in a time of peace. Therefore we have set aside £100,000 budget to ensure the memorial to be built on the site and the budget supports design, landscaping, lighting, foundation construction and planning and licensing.”

ABP has national and global backing to create a new business district with supporting residential, retail and leisure at the 35 acre Royal Albert Dock site, which was the epic centre of trade between UK and Asia 100 years ago. The building of the UK’s national memorial to the contribution made by Chinese workers to the Allied war effort of the First World War now means it will also be home to what is undoubtedly to become an iconic symbol of Chinese heritage in the UK. Steve Lau, Chair of the Ensuring We Remember Campaign, said:

“As ABP pushes forward in developing a future business district for London and the UK, it is fantastic that they also being so generous towards its past. Through ABP’s support, our campaign for a long overdue memorial to the Chinese volunteers who came to Britain’s assistance in her hour of need, but who were then almost completely forgotten enters into its final chapter. Ensuring we remember is no longer a dream, it is now set to become reality.”

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) have long supported the efforts from within the Chinese community to commemorate the contribution made by Chinese labourers. Lord Bourne, Minister for Communities at (DCLG) noted:

“I am delighted that the campaign for the long overdue memorial to the brave men who served in Chinese Labour Corps has had such a tremendous impact.
“They formed the largest contingent of workers recruited for the war effort, but too little is known of the dangerous yet essential work they carried out on the Western Front.
“They came to Britain’s aid in her hour of need, so it’s right that we remember and honour their contribution and within a year we will see what promises to be a magnificent addition to London’s diverse cultural heritage sites.”

The Chinese Embassy in London has long supported the campaign for a memorial, and His Excellency, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, remarked,

“The project will help everyone to understand the historical contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps, promote harmony between British Chinese and local communities and further China-Britain friendship.”

Wholehearted support has also been received from the Rt Hon Stephen Timms MP for East Ham, in which the memorial is now to be built, and has tabled an Early Day Motion in Parliament noting that the contribution made by the Chinese has yet to be fully recognised, and welcoming the building of the memorial at the Royal Albert Dock.

“It is regrettable that their toil and sacrifice were largely overlooked after the Great War, and have never properly been commemorated. A better tribute should be paid to their extraordinary contribution; their sacrifices helped deliver Britain’s victory. I warmly welcome the planned permanent memorial in ABP Royal Albert Dock.”

Cambrai and the Chinese Contribution

The centenary of the Battle of Cambrai has just passed. We have produced an infographic on Cambrai and the Chinese Contribution.


CLC Cambrai Infographic download

L’histoire des travailleurs chinois pendant la première guerre mondiale.

Exposition à Lille, à la MER.
Samedi 18 novembre à 15h

Les travailleurs chinois, oubliés de la Grande guerre, rencontre avec l’Historienne Li Ma, ce Samedi 18 novembre 2017 à 15h à la MRES de Lille – Organisation : L’Atelier d’Histoire Critique et les Amis Du Monde Diplomatique – Entrée libre


Les travailleurs chinois, oubliés de la Grande guerre.

Entre 1916 et 1922, sur la demande des autorités françaises et anglaises, en manque de main-d’oeuvre, 140 000 Chinois sont envoyés par leur gouvernement dans une Europe ravagée par la guerre, notamment dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais. L’histoire de ces travailleurs qui ont dû s’adapter à de rudes conditions de vie et faire face au racisme des sociétés européennes les employant est largement méconnue.

“Pendant la Première Guerre mondiale, l’armée britannique utilisait une main-d’œuvre recrutée en Chine pour permettre d’avoir plus de soldats au front. À Boulogne, ils servaient notamment comme manœuvres pour décharger les navires au port. Ces travailleurs vivaient dans des conditions très difficiles jusqu’à ce qu’ils se mettent en grève le 5 septembre 1917. Le 74e Chinese labour Corp cesse le travail. Le général Douglas Haig, commandant en chef de l’armée britannique basé à Montreuil, ordonne une sévère répression. Les soldats tirent à vue : 27 Chinois non armés sont abattus dans les rues de Boulogne, 39 blessés et 25 emprisonnés.”

Depuis quelques années, des chercheurs et des associations s’attellent à remédier à cela. C’est notamment le cas, de l’historienne Li Ma, enseignante-chercheuse à l’Université du Littoral-Côte d’Opale et spécialiste de la question.

Fb : Atelier d’histoire critique
@ :

C’est le 18 Novembre 15h à la MRES,
Maison régionale de l’environnement et des solidarités
3 rue Gosselet
59000 Lille
Métro Lille Grand Palais
Source :



Dertien van Busseboom – The Busseboom Thirteen and Belgium’s Memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps.

Exactly one hundred years ago today thirteen members of the Chinese Labour Corps were killed when their camp received a direct hit during an air raid.

Quite some gunfire at night. At the Poeper a Chinese camp is hit by shellfire. Several yellow men are killed.

From the diary of local priest, Father van Walleghem

The Chinese casualties were buried near the Roobaertbeek, but later exhumed and transferred to Bailleul Cemetery.
We remember them:

CHAO PING WEN Labourer 29119
KUO YU HIS Labourer 28996
LAN SHU THE Labourer 28995
LI CHI MAO Labourer 29009
LI HSI SHUN Labourer 29073
LIU PING KUEI Labourer 29038
LIU WAN CHI Labourer 29147
LUAN CHENG TSENG Labourer 29149
MA HSIAO LIN Labourer 28957
SHAO CHEN CHIANG Labourer 29501
WANG CHANG HO Labourer 29992
WANG CHANG HO Labourer 29135
WANG YUNG CHUN Labourer 29029

On this, the centennial anniversary of that tragedy, a memorial to the Chinese labourers has been unveiled at the same spot in Poperinge. It is the first memorial in Belgium to the Chinese Labour Corps. France has two memorials, the first erected several decades ago. A third will be unveiled in Arras next month.

Of the countries directly involved, the UK is the only one that still has no public memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps, though our task to remedy this is getting closer to completion. Our congratulations to all those involved in the Poperinge memorial.



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