These Chinese workers are unloading sacks of oats.
In Folkestone, a large camp was built for them beside Cherry Garden Lane.
Approximately 2,000 of them lived in the town, employed in military hospitals and at Shorncliffe Camp.
It was hard work for little money, but there is evidence the workers kept their own colourful traditions as this extract from a letter home reveals:
To my wife Zhilan,
On the 13th it was the Duanyang Festival (Dragonboat Festival) and we had the day off. The workers put on the Yangke Dance (a northern Chinese peasants’ dance) along the street. It was a very good show…
Your clumsy husband
Did you know? Sadly over 10% of the Chinese Labour Corps never made it home. Many died of sickness and disease, including during the terrible Spanish Flu pandemic of 1919. Six of them are buried in Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.