It is Strange that in Downing Street the figures for the number of Labourers was 96,000.
The figure stated in Michael Summerskill’s book way back in 25th November 1982. A (Private Publication.)
And the Figure that is more realistic is that by Gregory James; which is 140,000.
A modern Encyclopaedic Novel First Published in 2013.
I sense MONEY is involved somewhere…
I look forward to the day The Queen; The Duke Of Edinburgh and The Current Serving Prime Minister pay their respects at the Monument currently being built….
(Everything broadcast on live TV Around the World!)
With their heads bowed on Armistice Day.
Then my Labours in the past 6-7 years maybe deemed complete..Until that day I will simply NOT rest…
Then my Labours would be
The figure of 140,000 is the approximate figure (perhaps slightly overstated) of the number of Chinese recruited by both Britain and France, to work on the Western Front.
As the Ensuring We Remember Campaign specifically seeks to redress the historical relegation of British Chinese labour units to a footnote in the narrative of the Great War the figure of 96,000 is correct.
That said, that we refer to the Chinese Labour Corps and the figure of 96,000 is actually out of convenience and a wish to avoid confusing people as in actual fact the memorial we have commissioned is dedicated to the Chinese labour unit of the Great War, and so includes a further 5,000 Chinese labourers who were recruited in the south of China, Hong Kong and Singapore to work in Mesopotamia (at Basra in modern day Iraq) and known as the Chinese Porter Corps, and a further 1,000 who were recruited form those same places and who supported the British war effort in East Africa, known as the Chinese Contingent.
It is also worth noting that the memorial is deliberately inclusive in referencing the Chinese labour units, and not just Chinese labourers. In doing so the memorial also stands for hundreds of British officers who served in those units.