In World War II many Chinese Australians enlisted and fought for Australia. They did so proudly as Australians, alongside other Australians. To recognise the Chinese Australians who fought for Australia during WWII, the museum is proud to announce the launch of its new book “For Honour & Country – Victorian Chinese Australians in WWII”. 

We embarked on the creation of this publication when Professor Edmond Chiu, our dedicated researcher decided to delve into the Chinese Australian contribution to World War II. Adil Soh-Lim is the co-author of the book who undertook further research and editing. To further enhance the reach of this important work, the book is published in English and Chinese. 

About the Book

When the war was declared in 1939, and World War II began barely twenty years after the end of the Great War, Australians at large prepared once again to serve their nation. Chinese Australians and other Australians of non-European descent were wholly involved in these preparations. In World War I the previous generation had already demonstrated its commitment to a country that was, at best, ambivalent towards their presence; the new generation would now follow suit.

Part I of this book establishes the social and military context in which Chinese Australians came to serve their country in World War II.

Part II recounts personal stories of the service of Chinese Australians, and particularly Chinese Victorians, during this war – stories that have not yet been told in great detail.

Honoring our five living WWII veterans – Eunice Leong, Wellington Lee, Gordon Hang Gong, Hamilton Chan, and Margaret Lesock Kwong. From L-R: Wellington Lee, Gordon Hang Gong, Hamilton Chan, Margaret Lesock Kwong (middle of top row).   

Studio portrait of the Chinn family. Eunice Joyce CHINN (md. LEONG), Valda Olive CHINN (md. CHOY), Maxwell Clement CHINN, with their parents, Tony and Mabel CHINN. All three children from this family served.

About the Authors

Edmond Chiu (趙汝權) is a Volunteer Researcher at the Museum of Chinese Australian History and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne.

Adil Soh-Lim (苏林敏慧) was Registration and Curatorial Assistant at the Museum of Chinese Australian History from 2016 to 2018.

The book was officially launched on 18 April by Hon. Shaun Leane MP, Minister for Veterans, Victoria State Government, and Major General Professor Darryl Low-Choy Am, Mbe, Rfd, Phd (Retd). The book is available for purchase online or in-person via the Museum gift shop.

Thanks Victorian Government and all partners to make this book happen.