St Etienne-au-Mont

Monument

On just about the only dreary day we had last summer, I visited a small war cemetery in the village of St Etienne-au-Mont, just outside Boulogne-sur-Mer. Of the 168 graves there, 160 mark the last resting places of members of the Chinese Labour Corps. 

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It was a moving experience, walking among the rows, paying homage to the dead one hundred years after the end of the Great War. Except, once more, the dates on the gravestones told a different story. Half the labourers who were buried in that cemetery died after Armistice Day. Half the labourers were unable to enjoy the peace. The war, for them, went on and on and on.