History GCSE: The Chinese Labour Corps in World War One

David Olusoga visits a cemetery in France where more than 800 Chinese auxiliaries are buried.

The Chinese Labour Corps is one of the forgotten stories of WW1.

In 1916 the British recruited thousands of Chinese men to work as labourers.

Some became skilled mechanics working on ‘Deborah’ the British D51 tank.

Many Chinese stayed on to dig cemeteries and carve headstones and some died after the shooting stopped in the Spanish flu epidemic in 1919.

Teacher Notes

Get students to discuss alternative perspectives of World War One, especially that of non-British troops.

A profile of Do Shing Chan could be constructed from the footage as part of a group task, with other members of the class focusing on others featured in the series.

Curriculum Notes

These films are suitable for teaching History at GCSE and Key Stage 4 in England, Wales and Norther Ireland and at National 5 in Scotland.

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The African American war hero who had to fight for France
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Overcoming racial stereotypes in France in WW1
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Indian soldiers and friendship in WW1
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Voices of Indian soldiers in WW1
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The Indian flying ace of WW1
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British Indian soldiers who deserted to get home
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