Online Collection

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A soldier of the 55th Company, Chinese Labour Corps, posing with a bicycle in France, 1918 (c)

Photograph, World War One, Western Front (1914-1918), 1918 (c).

The shortage of manpower for labouring work on the Western Front was filled by importing men from China, India, South Africa, Egypt and other places within the British Empire. By the end of the war around 194,000 men were engaged in France and Flanders as labourers. The preferential use of black and Asian troops for these jobs was based on the prevailing racist view that some of the Empire's peoples were not aggressive or martial enough to fight.

One of nine postcard portrait photographs relating to the service of CQMS George Godbolt with the Chinese Labour Corps during World War One.

NAM Accession Number

NAM. 2007-08-13-5


National Army Museum, Out of Copyright


National Army Museum, Study collection

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