At the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11thday of the 11th Month of year 1918, gun fire, at last, stopped on the western front, the war to end all wars had ended, with the loss of 20,000,000 man in both combat in civilian lives.
Good morning, for almost a century, one thing was lost, of all the memories and tributes to war veterans and those who defended their country, one crew of men were forgotten. They resupplied the front, helped dig trenches, removed explosives, fixed mechanicals, they are the Chinese Labour Corps. Coming all the way from Tianjin to France, Chinese labourers were forcibly hired because of the lack of manpower across Europe, these Chinese labourers, numbering 140,000 on the western front and over 250,000 on the Russian front, provided background support to the Allies. These Chinese workers dug trenches. They repaired tanks in Normandy. They assembled shells for artillery. They transported munitions in Dannes. They unloaded supplies and war material in the port of Dunkirk. They ventured further afield, too. Graves in Basra, in southern Iraq, contain remains of hundreds of Chinese workers who died carrying water for British troops in an offensive against the Ottoman Empire. Over 20,000 died on the western front and many more left unknown in the flow of history. As the end of WW1 is approaching to its 100th anniversary, when countries are commemorating the loss of millions of lives, what are we paying tribute to these unknown heroes who dug trenches under heavy artillery and knowing that they are not going to be able to return home? These men risked their lives for one cause, to win the WAR, then what about you? What have you risked to achieve your goals, or have you just stepped down and given up? There’s no turning back on our lives, the extravaganza of how the Chinese labourers stayed and their morale was staggering. What they have contributed to the lives of many, compared to what we have yet to achieve is beyond comparison.
Leung Bowie 4B