In memory of

Coolie

Chin T'ai Lei

who died on 18 Jan 1920


Service details
  Conflict WWI
  Service Chinese Labour Battalion
  Unit Chinese Labour Battalion
  Rank Coolie
  Service number 24898
  Date of death 19200118
  Cause of death died of non-combat causes
Narrative history
  24898 Coolie (Chinese Labour Battalion) Lue Chen Tai died 19200118 (age 34) and is buried in the soldiers' plot at Regina cemetery. Tai was removed from CPR's "Coolie Special" No. 2047 en route to Vancouver, British Columbia, and taken to Regina General hospital where he died of pneumonia.

The foregoing is taken from the burials register at Library & Archives Canada. British researcher Gregory James is compiling a Roll of Honour, a detailed census of Chinese casualties in WWI. He advises that in the medal roll of the Corps his full name is given as Lei Chin T'ai in the Chinese style of surname first. More modern usage would be Lei Jintai.

The Imperial and Canadian governments engaged thousands of Chinese coolies to work in the trenches in France and Belgium during World War I. Most of them were recruited from the northern provinces of Shandong and Heibei and shipped out to Europe from the British enclave at Weiheiwai on the Shandong peninsula. They crossed the Pacific on ocean liners, crossed Canada by train, then repeated their ocean voyage to get to Europe. The process was reversed when they were sent home after the war. The coolies were tightly controlled by the military while they were in Canada (they were not allowed off the trains), and it was Mr. Lei's misfortune to fall ill as they passed through Regina. Interestingly the stone that marks Lei's resting place was provided by the Imperial War Graves Commission and is inscribed Lue.
       A Glossary of abbreviations to help understand the terms used is available.
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Memorial information
  Saskatchewan rural municipality for commemoration 159 - Sherwood
  Cemetery or memorial location Regina cemetery    

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Personal information
  Date of birth 1885
  Place of birth China    
  Date of enlistment unk
  Place of enlistment China    
  Residence on enlistment China    
  Occupation labourer
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