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Film Screening: ‘Tricks on the Dead’, The story of the Chinese Labour Corps in WW1

Posted  9 June 2017 in News  
By Pamela Linden
Film Still - Chinese Labour Corps with canon Film Still - Chinese Labour Corps with canon

Film Screening: ‘Tricks on the Dead’, The story of the Chinese Labour Corps in WW1

A Film by Rare Earth Media.  Directed by Jordan Paterson. Screening Sponsored by Gateways to the First World War

Monday 3 July, 7.30pm. Doors open 6.45pm. Cash Bar
Westgate Hall, Westgate Hall Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 2BT

‘History is nothing but a pack of tricks we play on the dead’. – Voltaire

China first emerged into international affairs on its road to becoming a world power in the First World War.

However its emergence is in the forgotten story of an unlikely group of Chinese peasants who were sent to an imperialist war they didn’t understand.

Zhang Yan, a Chinese history student from the same Shandong villages as the Chinese labourers in WWI, travels three continents to restore the collective memory of those in China and around the world who have forgotten about the 140,000 men who made this journey with British, Canadian and French forces.

Tracing the journey of the Chinese labourers Zhang Yan uncovers the largest mass migration cover up in Canadian history.

In 1917, 85,000 Chinese labourers were secretly shipped across Canada by locked and guarded train during the Chinese Head Tax period.

These men were then shipped to Europe where thousands died in labour on the Western Front: working in shipping yards, digging trenches and clearing the dead.

For more information about the project visit the Gateways of the First World War website.

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