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Remembered Today:

Labourer Keng Hsi Cheng, 76814 Chinese Labour Corps


michaeldr

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Remembered today on the G W F

Name: KENG HSI CHENG

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Labourer

Regiment/Service: Chinese Labour Corps

Date of Death: 02/05/1918

Service No: 76814

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. C. 38.

Cemetery: NOYELLES-SUR-MER CHINESE CEMETERY

From the CWGC; Noyelles-sur-Mer is at the estuary of the Somme, 13 kilometres north-west along the D40 from Abbeville. The cemetery will be found in Nolette on the road to Fliheaucourt. Within the cemetery will be found the Noyelles-sur-Mer Chinese Memorial, which commemorates 41 men of the Chinese Labour Corps who died on land or at sea and whose graves are not known.

Historical Information: Noyelles-Sur-Mer was the base depot of the Chinese Labour Corps in France, the site of their largest camp and of No 3 Labour (originally the Chinese) General Hospital. The Chinese Labour Corps was the outcome of an agreement made between the United Kingdom and Chinese Governments on 30 December 1916, for the employment of Chinese labour in France. The men were recruited in north China and the first contingent arrived in France in April 1917. By the end of 1917, 54,000 were in France and Belgium. At the Armistice the Corps numbered nearly 96,000 and even in May 1919, 80,000 were at work. Nearly 2,000 died during the war and when the cemeteries were constructed after the war was over, the headstones for these men were engraved in Chinese characters by a selected group of their comrades. There are now 841 First World War burials in the cemetery. The cemetery also contains the Noyelles-sur-Mer Chinese Memorial, commemorating 41 men of the Corps who died on land or at sea and whose graves are not known. The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Our forum Pal, Gregory has researched and previously provided information on the CLC:

"Causes of death. Over 500 of the 840+ personnel buried in Noyelles Chinese Cemetery died from tuberculosis of one form or another. The pathologists at the time noted that in most cases the disease had been latent, and revived through the rough living conditions and the nature of the labourers' work - and possibly the climate, though the labourers largely came from Shandong and Hebei, which are pretty harsh. Many others were reported to have died from 'purulent bronchitis' (= flu). Several groups of labourers met their deaths through shelling, bombardments or sudden attack, see e.g. the graves in Ruminghem (Aug/Sept 17), Les Baraques (Sept 17, Mar 18), Bailleul (Nov 17), Longuenesse (May 18) and Chocques (May 18). And there were mutinies: the groups at Fosse No 10 (Oct 17), Westoutre (Dec 17) and possibly Les Baraques (Sept 18) were victims of British bullets fired to stop riots. But by far the month with the highest number of CLC casualties was #February 1919 - mostly through flu."

 

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May they all Rest In Peace.

Rememered With Honour.

Terry W.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I came across this CWGC leaflet today [The Chinese Labour Corps at the Western Front]

and I think that it is worth adding here

click to see this pdf file

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I came across this CWGC leaflet today [The Chinese Labour Corps at the Western Front]

and I think that it is worth adding here

click to see this pdf file

Thanks a very useful pamphlet! Well Worth reading!

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  • spof changed the title to Labourer Keng Hsi Cheng, 76814 Chinese Labour Corps

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