Harry Livingstone's forgotten men : Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War

2019, Book , 503 pages :
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8 holds /

 5 copies

3847174
Summary/Review: "During the First World War, more than 80,000 Chinese labourers were secretly transported from China across Canada to the Western Front where they bui more...
Summary/Review: "During the First World War, more than 80,000 Chinese labourers were secretly transported from China across Canada to the Western Front where they built bridges and roads, repaired tanks, unloaded supplies, and then, after the war, cleaned up the grisly battlefields. Though the use of Chinese labourers for the war has been known, the story of their journey and their work, and the role of Canadians in recruiting and transporting them, has not been fully told--until now. In Canadians and the Chinese Labour Corps in the First World War, Dan Black, co-author of Old Enough to Fight, describes the perilous journey taken by the Chinese labourers from their remote villages in China, across the North Pacific, the vast country of Canada from Vancouver to Halifax, and across the North Atlantic to the battlefields of Europe, and then back again. For political reasons--it was a time of deep discrimination against the Chinese in Canada-- and to prevent them from escaping, the Chinese labourers were locked into cattle cars and forbidden to disembark during the journey. The Canadian public, too, was kept in the dark about the trains. But their experience is indelibly evident--in graves across the country from Vancouver Island to Thunder Bay, and Petawawa to Halifax. One Canadian in particular plays a central role in this story--Captain Harry Livingstone, a small-town doctor from Listowel, Ontario. Livingstone joined the Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1917, at the age of 28. His first assignment was to go to northeast China to a recruitment depot, where he examined poor, young Chinese men to ensure they were fit for service. He later joined them on their journey across the North Pacific to a quarantine station on Canada's West Coast. Drawing on the diaries written by Livingstone, and the letters of the Canadian missionaries who served as temporary officers with the corps in Europe, Dan Black traces the experience of the Chinese Labour Corps and sheds new light on the mistreatment and racism they faced in Canada and in wartime Europe."--
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