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From: LI Xiang
Sent: Monday, March 29, 2021 9:43 PM
To: Leopold PANDER
Cc: pierre.ley@pandora.be
Subject: Re: Visit Li Xiang - Belgium

Bonsoir cher Léopold,

J’espère que vous allez bien.

Comme convenu, je reviens vers vous concernant la cérémonie pour la fête de Qing Ming 2021. Vu que nous sommes toujours en confinement pendant les week-ends et la préfecture nous autorise 6 personnes maximum pour la cérémonie. Du coup, nous avons organisé cette cérémonie le vendredi 26 Mars, il y a MR Amajoud, représentant monsieur le maire d’Arras, conseiller municipal délégué. Mr Deneuville président le souvenir français comite d’Arras. MR COILLIOT, président d’honneur souvenir français comite d’Arras, Mr Coclet avec une personne qui porte la drapeau, et moi même. La cérémonie c’est bien passé. Le président souvenir français, le représentant de la ville, moi même, on a dit un petit mots. Dévoiler la nouvelle plaque, sur la plaque, idée est d’ajouter plus d’infos sur cette histoire. Chant a Cappella des hymnes chinois et La Marseillaise et celui de l’anglais aussi. Dépôt des gerbes, une minute de silence....
j’espère qu’on trouvera une vie normale afin d’inviter plus de monde.

Voici quelques photos et deux articles, si vous voulez vous pouvez partager de votre côté.
merci beaucoup.
Li Xiang.

Google Translate:

... a message from France, city of Arras ...
(WWI — the Western Front)

Dear Léopold,

I hope you are well.
As agreed, I come back to you concerning the ceremony for the Qing Ming 2021 festival. Since we are always in confinement during the weekends and as the prefecture allows us 6 people maximum for the ceremony, we organized it on Friday March 26. People present are: Mr. R. Amajoud, representing the mayor of Arras, delegated municipal councilor. Mr. Deneuville chaired the French souvenir committee of Arras. MR COILLIOT, Honorary President of French Souvenir Committee of Arras, Mr Coclet with a person carrying the flag, and myself. The ceremony went well. The French President, the representative of the city, myself, we said a few words. The purpose of this new plaque, is to add more info to this part of our common history. Chant a Cappella of Chinese hymns and La Marseillaise and the God Save The Queen. Laying of wreaths, a minute of silence .... etc.

I hope we can find a normal life in order to invite more people next time.

Here are some pictures and two articles, if you want you can share on your side. [抱拳] thank you very much.



Best regards,
Li Xiang

From: Terri Stewart
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2021 4:05 AM
To: weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: new URL

Wonderful to view the pages, sorry that I cannot read Chinese, but still a very nice put together album. My thanks to Neal Wu for this.

Terri Stewart

From: 乐道院·潍县集中营博物馆
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2021 2:49 AM
To: 潍县绘画
Subject: new URL

Dear Mr. Leopold Pander,


This is a special issue specially produced by Weifang media for international city of peace. This special issue tells a lot about Weihsien Concentration Camp.
Can you add the link of this special issue to the website?

Best wishes.
Neal Wu

From: Leopold PANDER
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 4:40 PM
Cc: pierre.ley@pandora.be
Subject: RE: Joyce Cooke Bradbury

Dear Annelise,

Many thanks for keeping me informed.

We are very happy to learn that Joyce is alive and well. It is such a long time now that she hasn't expressed her thoughts on the Weihsien chat list group. So, I presume that she just doesn't want to talk about Weihsien any more. We must respect that ...

Thanks for transferring the copy of the will ... I wonder if he would have written the same thing today.

... all the best ... keep safe.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 3:13 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: Joyce Cooke Bradbury

Dear Leopold,

I have made contact with George Bradbury who says his mother is doing well. I learned online that he had worked for the NSW police and I contacted them and they were kind enough to forward my email to him.

Thanks for your help.
Here is the amusing transcription of the will I mentioned.

Sent: Thursday, March 18, 2021 2:50 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: Joyce Cooke Bradbury

Dear Leopold
Thank you for your quick reply. I’ll keep checking as you suggested.

Best regards,

From: Leoplod PANDER
Sent: Wednesday, March 17, 2021 2:22 PM
Subject: RE: Joyce Cooke Bradbury

Dear Annelise,

Many thanks for your message and attachment. Interesting.

The best I can do is to forward the message to our chat list ― on the Weihsien-paintings' website.

I remember that Joyce was in possession of complete family archives ― not only about Weihsien ― and should be able to help you to learn more about Alfred Francis Cooke, master mariner.

The only problem is that we have not received messages either from her or from her brother Eddie since quite a long time now. If somebody of her family sees this message, he or she could contact you in private or maybe you could send a message by post to the last address I have in my database:
▶ Mr. Eddie Cooke 7/23-25 Smalls Rd., Ryde, N.S.W. 2112, Australia. shedco@optusnet.com.au
▶ Mr. George Bradbury glbmab@comcen.com.au
▶ Mrs Joyce Bradbury, 100 Coxs Road, North Ryde 2113, Sydney, Australia. Joyce Bradbury 100 Cox's Road North Ryde, NSW Australia 2113 Email: bobjoyce@tpg.com.au Phone: +612 9878 3694

Good luck in your quest.
Best regards,

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 3:08 PM
To: weihsien@proximus.be
Subject: Joyce Cooke Bradbury


Would you be able to forward this to Joyce Bradbury or her family ?

I’ve been asked by a relative of Alfred Francis Cooke to find out if you have any information about him. He was a son of James Edward Cooke. (please see attached marriage record). The family believe he was lost at sea in the 1920s.

Also, I have a copy of William Vincent Sage’s will from Hong Kong if you are interested

Best regards,
Annelise Connell

From: Brian Kerry
Sent: Sunday, March 14, 2021 6:31 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Re: Er Hazel Gaynor’s book

These are the two titles under which Hazel Gaynor's book has been published.

From: Roy Campbell
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2021 7:06 PM
To: Leoplod PANDER
Subject: Er Hazel Gaynor’s book

I have had another note from Hazel Gaynor. She is republishing her book under the title of The young and the brave in a Bamboo cage and has asked me if she can put some of the comments that I made so I’m thrilled that this is going to be there for my family.
Maida Harris Campbell

Sent from my iPad

From: Leopold PANDER
Sent: Sunday, March 7, 2021 11:36 AM
To: 'weihsien@proximus.be'
Cc: 'LI Xiang'

Forwarded by http://www.weihsien-paintings.org
… a message from France:

Best regards,

Let it be known.

A new plaque will shortly be unveiled in Arras (France) to honour the memory of all the Chinese nationals that came to France to help us in our fight for freedom during the Great War of 1914-1918. Their life conditions on the Western Front were difficult and many lost their lives as explained on the new version of the plaque.

My friend from Arras, Li Xiang ― a native of Weifang living in France ― and instigator for the memory of the Chinese workers during WWI, has informed me that a very official ceremony would take place on the first Sunday of April ― for the Qing Ming celebration.
It is, he told me, the All-Saints Day in China.

He is also very proud to note that since the city of Weifang is now the second city in China to become a "City Of Peace" after Nanjing [The Rape of Nanking] ― the people of China, and elsewhere, will now become aware that many thousands of young Chinese workers also travelled to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century to help us in our own struggle for liberty.

I sincerely hope that the new Weihsien museum in Weifang will soon mention this fact of our recent common history in the new renovated ex-hospital.

Let it be known,

In remembrance of all Chinese workers employed by France, and those who served in the CHINESE LABOUR CORPS, assisting the allied forces during and after the First World War. Let us never forget that more than 2500 made the ultimate sacrifice, most of whom now lie at rest in the fields of France and Flanders. "A noble duty bravely done."

We will remember them

The New Plaque:

This monument was erected in December 2017 by the Arras branch of the Souvenir Français with the cooperation of the municipalities of Arras and Shan-Dong (China) in tribute to the Chinese workers who came to the aid of Great Britain and France from 1916 to 1921.

One hundred years ago in numerous towns across China, young men were enlisted to serve abroad for a period of five years. They were subjected to strict discipline in camps, run by the Chinese army before boarding ships and old cargo vessels to be transported, usually in terrible conditions over many months, to Great Britain and France. They often took different routes to avoid being attacked by enemy submarines.

The 39,000 workers employed by France disembarked at Marseille before being transported to various industrial cities in the central and southern regions where they were immediately assigned to hard and laborious duties.

For the 96,000 workers that provided assistance to the British forces engaged in our region and in Flanders, they travelled from China to Canada then boarded trains to cross this country before being shipped to Britain and finally arriving on the French coast before reaching the important base camp of Nolette near Noyelle-sur-Mer although would then transfer to other smaller camps. These men would form the "CHINESE LABOUR CORPS" and be led by British officers and other ranks.

Forced to live confined to tents or barracks, they were subject to strict discipline and would be used to build railroads, load or unload food, ammunition, weapons, equipment and horses.

They would also construct and repair defensive positions, dig trenches and even recover bodies of soldiers killed in action to allow them to be buried with dignity.

Therse workers were never considered to be combatants and many remained in our devastated region until 1921 where they were employed to rebuild the ruins of the villages and towns and to restore the areas that had been completely destroyed by artillery fire during the war.

Principal British cemeteries in which Chinese Workers are buried,
numbers of burials shown:

Ayette 34 ― Les Baraques 197 ― Arques la Bataille 71 ― Saint Sever 44 ― Ligny Thilloy 14 ― Longuenesse 14 ― Caudry 19 ― Sains en Gobelle 49 ― Sumingham 75 ― Saint Etienne au Mont 147 ― Nolette 800 et 41 commémorés

[click here]

2020 AC-XL-XD