Warfare in News


Posted on Wednesday 30th August

Written Message from H.E. Dr. Yue Xiaoyong,
Chinese Ambassador to Ireland, for Launching of “The Dawn of Victory, Thank You China!”

(Letterkenny, Co. Donegal, 25 August 2017)

Minister Joe McHugh, Cllr. Jimmy Kavanagh, Ms. Judith McCarthy, Ms. Barbara McClune, Mr. John Rosborough, and other attendees of the book launch at Donegal County Museum on Friday, 25 August 2017.

I was greatly delighted to be informed of the launching in Letterkenny on August 25th of the third diary of Mr. Jim Maultsaid’s illustrated Great War trilogy, titled DAWN OF VICTORY, THANK YOU CHINA. The kind invitation from Donegal County Museum gave me a good reason to plan my very first trip to County Donegal since my commencement as Chinese Ambassador to Ireland in June 2016. It is a pity that I am unable to make this trip as planned,
due to some unforeseeable circumstances, but I have requested Ms. Judith McCarthy to share this message with you:

The First World War, or the Great War in Maultsaid’s diary, inflicted severe sufferings upon mankind. Historical records in China have revealed that during the Great War, nearly 150 thousand Chinese men were recruited to provide labour in Europe. They are now known as “Chinese Labour Corps”
or CLC. About 20 thousand of them lost their lives before the dawn of victory arrived. For a century, their significant contribution to the restoration of peace in Europe and the world has gone largely unrecognized; very few people today have heard of the stories of the CLC. But there is a growing consensus that the Chinese labourers deserve more acknowledgement, more credit.

Thousands of Chinese men were recruited from, Tianjin, Shanghai, Shandong
and other parts of China. About two thirds were Confucius’ home province, Shandong, which is on the eastern coast of China. They were given all kinds of manual tasks, behind the battle lines in Europe, from building roads, digging
trenches, cleaning tanks to burying bodies, clearing debris, and producing agri-products, etc. As non-combatants, the Chinese Labourers were not directly involved in the war, but they did what they were asked to do,
sometimes in places only a dozen kilometers away from the battle field. In the perilous, hardship circumstances, thousands of the Chinese men lost their lives to gunfire and diseases.

When Chinese Labour Corps left home for Europe about 100 years ago, China
was poor and weak. After century’s persistent efforts and sacrifices, China has found a path of development that suits her, and the life of the Chinese nation has been changed dramatically. Now, the Chinese people are striving to realize the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation. The Chinese Government is making every endeavor to enable the Chinese people to live a
happier life with dignity. In the meanwhile, the Chinese Government has pledged to provide consular assistance and quality service to overseas Chinese.

The new book “Dawn of Victory, Thank You China!” gives the reader an opportunity to take a retrospective look at a miserable episode of human history, a dark period of appalling atrocities that we’d rather forget. This illustrated diary by Jim Maultsaid also touchingly expresses a longing for, and
cherishment of, peace. Browsing this book together with my Embassy colleagues, I have been deeply impressed by the humble but talented author’s passion for art as well as his compassionate, humanitarian spirit. He used
simple, easy-to-read language to convey feelings and emotions. These pages illustratively and convincingly emanate his desire for peace and survival as well as his respect for life and genuine love for his fellow human beings.

Ladies and gentlemen,
All members of the international community share a responsibility to safeguard world peace and prosperity. From 1840 to 1949, the Chinese nation endured tremendous sufferings; this is why we treasure the hard-earned peace do dearly. Today we remain ready to work together with other peoples on this planet to promote world peace, security and development, with a view to creating a community of shared future for mankind.

With great appreciation for the creative author/artist Jim Maultsaid, I take this
opportunity to pay tribute to his grandchildren Barbara McClune and John Rosburough as well as the publisher Pen & Sword Books Limited. I have never read an illustrated diary before. This inspiring and thought-provoking new book, together with the other two in the Great War trilogy, is a unique and noteworthy addition to the literature on WWI. Together with you, I warmly welcome and applaud its publication and share your joy in reading it.

Thank you.

Further Reading

Dawn of Victory, Thank You China!

Only £30.00

Dawn of Victory, Thank You China!

(Hardback - 348 pages)
by Jim Maultsaid

Jim Maultsaid’s third and final book, The Dawn of Victory, Thank You China! is based on his service with the 169 Chinese Labour Corps (CLC) between 1918 – 1919.

There were 96,000 Chinese volunteers in the CLC and their achievements have gone largely unrecognised for 100 years. As Jim Maultsaid’s diaries and drawings vividly testify, they made a stupendous and lasting contribution both during and in the aftermath of The Great War.… Read more...

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