T 大字体2017-09-13 11:52:46 五毛网
The grandson of a First World War army hero has stumbled upon an collection of glass slides images which documents the untold lives of Chinese workers who helped Britain win the war.
Retired property manager John de Lucy rediscovered the rare photo negatives that were given to him 40 years ago when he was rifling through the contents of an old cupboard.
The images taken by Mr de Lucy's grandfather Lieutenant William James Hawking provide a valuable visual record of the lives Chinese workers endured when nearly 5000 miles away from home where they had to dig trenches unload freight and take munitions to the front.
Lieutenant Hawkings's family were property traders in Asia when war broke out and while China was neutral in the war the Asian nation allowed forces to hire nearly 100000 workers to make the three-month journey from Shandong to ports in Liverpool and Plymouth where they were then transported to the frontline.
The jobs that Chinese workers carried out allowed more British soldiers to be freed up for other tasks such as fighting on the frontline in Flanders.
Chinese recruits had to suffer through gruelling 12 hour workdays six days a week with many remaining in France until 1921 to clear up unexploded bombs from the battlefields.
Many Chinese recruits also celebrated their traditions in mainland Europe with some even growing their own vegetable gardens for extra food and even winning agricultural shows in Abbeville in 1918.
Hawkings' third daughter was a fluent Mandarin speaker and was loved by No 12 Labour Corps yet not all Chinese recruits were treated well as many muntined with 27 shot on the streets of Boulogne.
Chinese workers were originally not meant to serve closer than 10 miles to the frontline but this was reduced to one mile as German artillery bombed the Allied lines.
Mr de Lucy said: 'I knew there were some boxes from his time in China but had no idea that they were such an important part of history.
'I read the title "Chinese Labour Corps" on the box but it meant nothing to me. Yet these men were involved in a crucial part of the war effort. Many of them paid with their lives and their story has seldom been told.'
He added: 'Because of the difficulty with their names they were given a number on a brass disc that was fixed to their wrists. Their fingerprints were taken to help identity them and Scotland Yard even sent out one of its officers to oversee the task as it was quite a new technique back then.
'Like most people I had no idea about this part of First World War history and it was certainly not mentioned in the family despite grandpa's involvement.'They are a remarkable legacy and they show that he dealt with them with humanity because in many of the pictures they are smiling and relaxed - they are not formally posed.
'It is time to recognise their efforts and you wonder what we would have done without them. They helped enormously.'
There is now a growing campaign for to establish a permanent memorial to the Chinese Labour Corps - a 30-foot marble column - and spread awareness about the role China played in Britain's war efforts.
现在修建一座永久性纪念碑来纪念中国劳工团的呼声越来越大。纪念碑设计为30英尺高的大理石柱，伴随而来的是对中国在英国历史上战争活动中所做贡献获得广泛认可。Steve Lau chair of the Ensuring We Remember campaign told the Daily Express: 'There are around 40000 First World War memorials in the UK but none to the Chinese who clearly made a significant contribution.
'The Chinese community has given huge support for a memorial. We want to rectify the injustice of the Chinese Labour Corps being forgotten. I don't think you can find any other group of 96000 men who do not have a memorial.'
HomersDad Cheshire United Kingdom 14 hours ago