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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