Well the second death certificate has arrived and is attached. It is for Shun Yu Tsai. As you will see the certificate tells us he was 30 yrs old died of cerebral spinal fever – which I looked up and is meningitis today. I also says there was no postmortem. From the certificate it says he was in the 17th Battalion. Useful if we could follow this through at some stage. I have no idea who the 17th Battalion were .
Today the death certificate of Wang Pei Sheng arrived. I knew from looking at death certificates that it would provide some information about the person, where they had died and what they had died from.
The death certificate is on the site to view.
The certificate showed that Wang Pei Sheng had been a Private in the Chinese Labour Corps. He had come from Northern China, and had died from Gastritis and Diarrhoea in Ford Military Hospital Plymouth.
I began to look at what could have happened to Wang Pei Sheng as he died in 1917 before he was able to be sent to the Western Front.
Below is an interpretation of what may have happened.
The British Chinese Labour Corps were recruited from Northern China and the British used Private Recruitment Agencies. These agencies directed potential recruits to the British Territory of Wei-hai-wei in Shandong Province where they were given contracts and placed under the administrative control of the War Office
The first contingent – and this may have included Wang Pei Sheng were 1000 recruits from Wei-hei-wei for England arrived in Plymouth on 11 April 1917 before being sent on to Northern France.
The journey was long and hard, and it is easy to imagine - the cold, and the lack of suitable nourishment - that could be a reason that Wang Pei Sheng fell sick.
The number of Chinese recruited by British Agencies is quite significant.
British Chinese Labour Corps
I have now requested the death certificate of Shun Yu Tsai. He died in Plymouth on 22 August 1917.
As with Wang Pei Sheng – the name of Shun Yu Tsai has been difficult to verify. So many names were entered wrongly – different spellings, first and surnames muddled, so when searching, many different spellings of the name require being entered in the search engine.
Once the death certificate of Shun Yu Tsai is received, I will update what is happening.
Researching the Chinese War Graves in Efford Cemetery Plymouth.
Last week I decided to start looking at the Efford World War One Chinese Labour Corps graves in Plymouth. To begin with there was a lot of information on the Plymouth Site. After being able to get all the names from the 8 Headstones (pictures attached) I thought that after our launch I would start to identify each person as an individual and collect any further information available.
I initially thought that it would not be too difficult, but have now realised that the information held on each of the 8 Privates has been recorded using different spellings and interpretations of their names. All 8 were identified using their Service Number only – and for many there were many different spellings for their name.
Names and Services Numbers were found on the Commonwealth Graves Commission Site on line. (Please see list of graves). Hikmat Remembers Project has applied for the death certificate of Shong Wang Pei .
More to come……….when we get the death certificate
ALSO SEE THE PROJECT GROUP PAGE.