Chinese Soldiers in British Uniforms


During WW!, 140,000 Chinese men volunteered for poorly paid, and arduous duty in British Army Labour Battalions.  They were responsible for logistic supplies from the rear area in France, all the way up to the frontline – but were not allowed to be armed to defend themselves incase of emergency.  Thousands died through enemy action – but their sacrifice goes unnoticed even today in the UK.  How were they rewarded?  Around 20,000 Chinese wounded were allowed to come to the Liverpool area of Britain to receive medical care and to heal from wounds.  However, following the British victory in WWI, a wave of racist nationalism swept the land and prompted by the notoriously rightwing Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph newspapers (amongst others), the British government ordered the British Army to round-up the Chinese men at gun-point, and deport them on ships back to China.  This process took just two weeks to achieve and the population of Chinese people in the UK fell to around 300.  A similar round-up and deportation happened to the Chinese just following WWII in 1946 – and the Chinese presence did not pickup until the mid-1950’s when the then UK government invited Hong Kong Chinese people to settle in Britain.

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