We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Britain's Forgotten Army

November 14, 2017 5:31 PM
By Marguerita Morton in Libdem Voice

Armistice Day 2017 Chinese Labour Corps 4I felt very privileged to be asked to represent the Chinese Lib Dems at this historic centenary of the arrival of the Chinese Labour Corps on the Western Front of WWI. The story was made more poignant by the fact that they did not know they were being sent into a theatre of the most devastating war of the 20th century. I was particularly saddened to hear the stories from some of the descendants that these men were not appreciated even at the time of their hard labours and continued to this very day.

Luckily, through the records, diaries, and photographs of people of British Chinese descent, we have come to know their stories. We are extremely grateful to the Western Front Association who have given honour back to these Chinese labourers because they need to be commended for their bravery in coming to a distant land to work in such harsh, dangerous conditions.

I feel great pride that the Chinese can be remembered for something heroic. We can all be proud that we are able to take such a prominent role in British society and be recognised for our talents such as the Arts, Literature, Academia. Law, Medicine, Science as well as Commerce.

This will be the first of many years of recognition by Britain with regard to what the Chinese have done to preserve freedom and democracy in this country.

As an adopted child of a British father and a Chinese mother, I have never known my roots. The story of Chinese orphans is centuries old as there has been a tradition of children being brought up by adoptive parents for all sorts of reasons. It leaves one with a sense of not belonging to either one or the other society. However, with a growing cadre of Sino British citizens now living here and the gradual realisation of Chinese history and achievements, I feel that our time has come.

* Marguerita Morton is a former Councillor of Tunbridge Wells, Secretary to Tunbridge Wells Liberal Democrats and member of Chinese Liberal Democrats.

Editor: Watch Marguerita and others from the British Chinese community making history in taking part in the procession and presentation of wreaths at the cenotaph on Armistice Day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdKUv-8arlo&feature=youtu.be

Armistice Day 2017 Chinese Labour Corps 2