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It was estimated 10,000 of the Chinese recruits died. Many of them remain unnamed.

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  • It was estimated 10,000 of the Chinese recruits died. Many of them remain unnamed.

    LONDON Lukasz Piszczek Trikot Borussia Dortmund , Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- Their ages range from six to 17, and next week they will pay a special tribute to the thousands of their fellow Chinese countrymen who gave their lives during World War One.

    The award-winning Pagoda Chinese Youth Orchestra, based in Liverpool, home to Europe's oldest Chinatown, will commemorate the tens of thousands who made up the Chinese Labour Corps, known as "the forgotten of the forgotten."

    A century ago thousands of the men were recruited by the British government to work on the battlefields of Europe during the First World War to free troops of front line duty. Many thousands lost their lives.

    The Pagoda orchestra is to lead a moving memorial to the men as a finale to a Christmas carol concert themed around the war.

    The unique carol concert is to take place on Dec. 10 in Liverpool at St. George's Hall where almost 200,000 people have so far viewed the Weeping Window display of ceramic red poppies.

    On display during the concert will be the recently unveiled Truce statue which marks an extraordinary event on Christmas Day when British and German soldiers laid down their guns and played football together in the space between the two front lines, known as No Man's Land.

    The audience will be treated to favorite War time and festive songs such as Till We Meet Again, White Christmas and Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

    But the most moving part of the program will be when the 25 members of the Pagoda orchestra pay their own tribute to the Chinese heroes.

    Orchestra leader Liao Zi Lan said the orchestra will be playing four pieces of work.

    A reggae song, Java, will be followed with Blooming Flower and Full Moon and Christmas favorite Jingle Bells. The finale will be the lament for fallen soldiers, the Last Post when slides of the Chinese Labor Corps will be projected onto a screen.

    Liao told Xinhua: "All of our young people in the orchestra realise the importance of the event. They are also aware it is a Christmas Carol concert service organised as part of the Weeping Window, to commemorate the heroes of WWI heroes. It is why we are doing The Last Post in memory of the Chinese Labor Corps."

    Around 140,000 Chinese people, mainly from rural communities, were recruited for the War effort to serve in France.

    It was estimated 10,000 of the Chinese recruits died. Many of them remain unnamed.

    Liverpool Assistant Mayor Wendy Simon said: "The Silent Night Carol Concert is set to be an emotional and uplifting evening in the surroundings of the stunning Concert Room."

    An exhibition displaying photographs and stories about the Chinese Labor Corps is on show at the Chinese Pagoda in Liverpool until Dec. 23.

    MELBOURNE, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Amid the stressful battles for an Australian Open title or pivotal world ranking points, four old guys instead cut the tension and played a game that tennis crowds will remember.

    Taking the court on Hisense Arena on Saturday afternoon, tennis legends Wayne Ferreira - former Australian Open semifinalist - and Henri Leconte - former French Open finalist and Davis Cup champion - took on former world No. 4 Jonas Bjorkman and former world No. 7 Thomas Johansson as part of the Legends doubles event.

    The scoreline doesn't matter, just antics of comedian Leconte, razzing up the local crowd between points with what could only be described as an interpretive dance while his opposition was taunting and sledging.

    "This was my first live tennis match and I loved it!" American expat Sarah Williams, who travelled from Sydney with a group of friends to experience the Australian Open told Xinhua.

    "It was very entertaining, it was like the Harlem Globetrotters of tennis."

    For the record, Leconte and Ferreira won the shortened match in straight sets 4-3 (3), 4-2, but not before the antics concluded.

    In second last game of the match, the two of the legends stepped aside and let the young ball-boys take their place for two points. In the final game, Ferreira joined Bjorkman and Johansson for a point, making an effective brick wall against the former world No.5. So, in classic cheeky style, Leconte got all the ball kids on his side to even the scoreline.

    "If they (tennis matches) were all like this, I would watch more tennis," Williams said.

    The joy and laughter was all going on while Serena Williams continued her Australian Open campaign, downing compatriot Nicole Gibbs 6-1, 6-3 and Rafael Nadal was fighting an intense match against Germany's Alexander Zverev, where scores are at 1803 local time (AEDT) are one set each.

    Following the legends battle, the Australian Open main draw continued. Australian pairing Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua were in a tense battle with Martina Hingis and Coco Vandeweghe. The Aussies were leading 6-2, 5-5 at 1803 local time.

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