As the young men of Europe were fighting in the trenches, a little known contingent of Chinese labourers crossed the world to provide support vital to the Allied war effort. Largely illiterate farmers from northern China, these men were simply attempting to make a better life for themselves, ignorant of the war and its causes. Under brutal conditions many died for their efforts, and their involvement wasn't recognised for decades – it is still not widely known. In this fascinating First World War China Special, journalist Mark O'Neill brings their story to light, describing in detail the labourers' recruitment, their daily experiences in a foreign land and the horrific work they carrier out – including the clearing of remains from battlefields.
- Publication Date:
- 03 / 03 / 2014