In this series of podcasts, the story of how a brutal policy of forced repatriation caused thousands of Chinese men to disappear from Liverpool at the end of World War II. This policy, orchestrated by the British government, would leave families traumatized and the community broken.
The deportations were shrouded in secrecy for decades, until declassification of Home Office files entitled “Compulsory repatriation of undesirable Chinese seamen” prompted members of the families left behind to take action.
In this episode, we follow the families, community members and Members of Parliament who are campaigning for justice. We hear Liverpool MP Kim Johnson raising questions in parliament and prompting minister Kevin Foster to launch an internal investigation. We talk to surviving family members about their continuing campaign for an official apology from the British government.
We also look at how some family members are still searching for lost relatives in China through new DNA techniques, and discover how the Chinese community in Liverpool is hoping a memorial to the sailors will keep their memories alive – and prevent history from repeating itself.
Presenter: Jamie Owen
Producers: Elizabeth Mearns, Mark Ashenden
Series Producer: Simon Morris