The W.J. Hawkings Photographic Collection – a talk with John de Lucy

Thursday 1st February, 2-4pm, Education Room

Booking required, limited spaces available (30 total)

To book please click here

John de Lucy is the grandson of William James Hawkings, a British Officer attached to the Chinese Labour Corps in WWI.  A fluent Chinese speaker, Hawkings was involved in the recruitment of the CLC in Weihaiwei in 1917 and then posted to Calais to work with the CLC in the busy docks.  He continued to supervise various companies of the CLC until he was demobilised in 1919.  Over forty years ago, John inherited a sideboard that contained what he assumed to be old family photographs from his family’s time in China. It wasn’t until a BBC documentary, featuring the six graves of Chinese Labour Corps men buried at Folkestone, did John decide to investigate further.  He uncovered a heavy wooden box containing glass slides with the label ‘Chinese Labour Corps 1917-1920’, unopened for 100 years.  The only known images of the CLC up until this discovery were official photographs; John’s exciting discovery revealed the everyday lives of the men at the Western Front and so much more about the activities the CLC were involved in.


John will talk extensively about the collection of his grandfather’s photographs on display in the current exhibition ‘A Good Reputation Endures Forever’ and experiences with the CLC, with the opportunity for a Q&A at the end of the talk.

This talk is a free event, donations are welcome and gratefully received.