‘Chinese Labour Corps: the forgotten men of World War I’ – exhibition

02 January 2019

The Chinese Community Centre-Birmingham is proud to stage the first exhibition about the Chinese Labour Corps in the West Midlands in February 2019, coinciding with Chinese New Year.


In November 2018, Britain commemorated the end of World War I with events across the country. One group that has been consistently overlooked is the Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) – volunteers from mainland China who were sent by the Chinese government to support the British and French armies on the Western Front. While hostilities ceased in November 1918 and troops returned home, the CLC remained behind clear to battlefield debris into 1919 with the final units not leaving until September 1920, almost two years after armistice.

Their contribution was never acknowledged in Britain until a campaign to recognise the CLC began in 2013.  Since then, a number of projects have taken place and the Chinese Community Centre-Birmingham (CCC-B) is bringing together elements from Ming Ai Institute’s ‘British Chinese Armed Forces Heritage’ exhibition which commemorates the CLC in WWI and the Hong Kong British Army Aid Group in WWII together with artefacts from the Chinese in Britain Forum’s ‘Ensuring We Remember’ campaign under the title ‘Chinese Labour Corps: the forgotten men of World War I’.


The full exhibition will be on display at CCC-B from 1st – 8th February 2019. After this, selected items will go on display in the Spotlight Zone of the Library of Birmingham from 11 February-1stMarch.