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Chinese Labour Corps


SRD

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I have an Albert Henry Hillman, b 1892 who initially enlisted in the Hants Yeomanry then posted to the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons 23/6/15 and discharged medically unfit 28/7/16.

He re-enlisted 12/8/19 into the Chinese Labour Corps as a Private. Within a fortnight he was appointed a/Cpl then posted to France 22/8/19 then discharged on Demob 12/4/20.

Was it common practice to enlist British subjects as Privates & N.C.O.s in the Chinese Labour Corps, especially so late into the War?

What duties would they have been carrying out at that period in the War and afterwards?

I'm having difficulty reading the actual Company etc. info from Ancestry, can anyone help please?

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What s the exact source of this? The Chinese Labour Corps was a civilian organisation and those men recruited from China were contracted not enlisted. There were British officers and NCOs as supervisors but AFAIK they were recruited from men with Chinese speaking capabilities

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=%22chinese+labour+corps%22&source=web&cd=26&ved=0CNQBEBYwGQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cheminsdememoire-nordpasdecalais.fr%2Flhistoire%2Fnations-en-guerre%2Fles-chinois-dans-le-nord-de-la-france.html%3Ftype%3D987%26tx_indamfilelist_pi1%255Bdownload%255D%3D264&ei=Hf5xU7mLI-n07AbmuIH4Cg&usg=AFQjCNEZY2TD5ysUFN4V34-01QVlQdi6GA

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There are previous GWF threads about the Chinese Labour Corps including this one which mentions the book The Chinese Labour Corps 1916-1920 by Gregory James

 

Cheers

Maureen

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Thanks to you both

centurion:

The source is his service records on Ancestry so, from what you've said, I suppose Albert was recruited to be one of those N.C.O.s. He was only ever an Acting Corporal so I assume it was a matter of him doing the job of an N.C.O. whilst only receiving a Private's pay.

Maureene: I have read quite a few of the threads regarding the Chinese Labour Corps, unfortunately, without a better transcription of the Ancestry pages, I am unable to state exactly which Company/Division/Corps etc. I'm looking for.

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The source is his service records on Ancestry so, from what you've said, I suppose Albert was recruited to be one of those N.C.O.s. He was only ever an Acting Corporal so I assume it was a matter of him doing the job of an N.C.O. whilst only receiving a Private's pay.

His service record shows that although he remained A/Cpl he was paid as A/Cpl. His re-enlistment was for one year under the terms of Army Council Instruction (or Order it's not clear) V dated 12th June.

He was initially posted to the Labour Centre Aldershot Command at Aldershot. He was appointed A/Cpl Paid on 22 August 1918, he was then posted to the Chinese Base Depot which was at Noyelles sur Mer arriving there on the 24th August 1919. Out of interest this is also where the main cemetery for the CLC is located and well worth a visit http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/68500/Noyelles-sur-Mer%20Chinese%20Cemetery. I think this means for pay and admin purposes he re-enlisted in the Labour Corps but was posted as A/Cpl to the Chinese Labour Corps. From the Base Depot on the 28th August 1919 he was posted to 30 (?Company, the record just has the number) Chinese Labour Corps. He remained with them until the 29th December when he went on leave to the UK until 12th January 1920, while on levee he also received an increase in proficiency pay. On the 11th April he returned to the UK and sent to Purfleet Dispersal Station and discharged on 14th April.

There are other documents in the record that support the fact this was an attachment from the Labour Corps rather than direct enlistment into the CLC

The duties at this time were salvage and clean up in what became known as the 'devastated area' a demanding and dangerous job on the battlefield of the Western Front.

I see he was awarded the SWB for his previous service and did not serve overseas with the Yeomanry seems a shame he did not receive any other recognition given the horrors of the clean up operation.

Ken

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