The Royal Asiatic Society presents:
The Contribution of the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War
Introduction by Dr Alison Otha (RAS):
1. Speaker: John de Lucy (Grandson of WW1 CLC Officer W.J. Hawkings) – The Chinese Labour Corps
During the First World War Britain hired over 100,000 men from China to fill the labour shortage. In this talk, John de Lucy explains how his Grandfather, W.J. Hawkings, brought these workers to France to help with the war effort. After the war, the workers were retained to help clear the battlefields before being repatriated back to China. This is a chance to take a look at the rare collection of photographs taken by W.J Hawkings depicting the lives of the Chinese Labour Corps, both in China and on the Western Front.
2. Speaker: Dr Frances Wood – Betrayed Ally
Frances Wood studied at Liverpool College of Art 1966-7 and at Newnham College, Cambridge, 1967-1971 (BA Hons. Chinese) She spent 1975-6 at Peking University and wrote her PhD on traditional domestic architecture in Peking (London, 1984). She worked in the Chinese section of SOAS Library from 1972 until 1977 when she joined the British Library and worked in the Chinese section until 2013. Her publications include Stones of the Wall 1986 (translation of a novel by Dai Houying), Chinese Illustration (1986), A Companion to China (1989), The Blue Guide to China (1990, 2002), Did Marco Polo Go To China? (1995), No Dogs and Not Many Chinese: Treaty Port life in China 1843-1943, (1998), Hand Grenade Practice in China: my part in the Cultural Revolution (2000), The Silk Road (2002), The Forbidden City (2005), The First Emperor (2007), The Lure of China: writers on China from Marco polo to J.G.Ballard (2009), The Diamond Sutra: the story of the world’s earliest dated printed book (2010), Picnics Prohibited: diplomacy in a chaotic China during the First World War (2014), Betrayed Ally: China in the Great War (2016, with Christopher Arnander), Great Books of China (2017) and with Andrew Lo, Wang Tz’u-cheng and Song Jiayu, Export Paintings in the British Library (2011).
Known as ‘The Forgotten of the Forgotten’, Dr Frances Wood sheds light on the untold story of the 100,000 Chinese who were recruited into the Chinese Labour Corps of World War One.
British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage Community Exhibition (Royal Asiatic Society)
From 22nd May to 18th June, Ming Ai (London) Institute and Royal Asiatic Society will present the British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage Community Exhibition. This is part of the delivery of the British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage Project which aims to unveil the untold stories of Chinese people that have served in the British armed forces throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.
British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage Project
Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, British Chinese Armed Forces is a 4-year partnership project (2015-2018) collaborated with Ming-Ai (London) Institute and Regent’s University London. The primary aim of the project is to create a historical archive which will become the basis for the generation of a series of related community initiatives.