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European Journal

France: The Chinese Cemetery

Tens of thousands of Chinese laborers supported Allied forces in World War One. A cemetery in northern France is a memorial to their fates.

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The French and British armies recruited millions during World War One. Among those recruits were around 140 thousand Chinese. They were laborers who helped build railway lines or worked in ports and munitions factories in France and Belgium. Conditions were miserable and many died. The largest Chinese cemetery has 841 graves. It is located in Noyelles-sur-Mer, not far from Abbeville. Once a year, Chinese from all over Paris visit the site.