CLC Artefacts

Artefacts loaned by descendants whose grandfathers had served as officers with
the Chinese Labour Corps were combined with a display on the CLC curated by
the Oriental Museum of Durham University and these have toured Liverpool,
Plymouth and Folkestone. Below are some of the objects featured in the
exhibition, while others are in China.

This ID card belongs to CLC no.47557, a carpenter by the name of Han Tingshen.
According to its present owner, David Livingstone, his grandfather Harry
Livingstone served as a doctor with the CLC. On arrival in Halifax on the east
coast of Canada, Han fell gravely ill. On his deathbed, he handed his card to the
doctor and asked him to give it to his mother back in China, as this was the only
photograph he had ever had taken of himself. The young man died at the age of
21; his mother could not be traced.

This ring was fashioned out of a French silver franc. The Chinese were skilled at
making objets d’art and would make trinkets and trench art as souvenirs for sale.

John de Lucy found this box of slides in his sideboard a few years ago and
discovered the slides had been taken by his grandfather William J Hawkings
while he served at the Front with the CLC. Many of the photographs in our oral
history film and the exhibition come from this rare collection.

Sun Gan was an educated man, but chose to join the CLC in order to see the West
and try to understand why it was so much more advanced than China.

Witnessing the war at such close range, he could see that a nation’s prestige and
power came from developing sophisticated weaponry and equipment. In these
pages of his diary, he compares a German bullet (right) with a British bullet


An exhibition on the Chinese Labour Corps has been on tour to Liverpool, Plymouth and Folkestone. Archive photos from the W J Hawkings collection, rare artefacts and personal documents give an intimate view of the lives of the CLC at the Front.
With the collaboration of the Oriental Museum of Durham University.

Images of the exhibition ‘A Good Reputation Endures Forever’ curated by the
Oriental Museum of Durham University and The Meridian Society.

More to come!