Nanyang, a place where the Chinese lived abroad with hardworking spirit. They inherit the patriotism and love for the country, and are obsessed with the good wishes of peace.
In 1937, Marco Polo Bridge Incident broke out, marking the beginning of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japan. The overseas Chinese in Nanyang became more united than ever before. They shared bitter hatred against the enemy and hurling themselves into the War of Resistance Against Japan and National Salvation Movement.
In the early 1938, the numbers of cars and international aids donated by overseas Chinese had increased day by day. Burma Road, which has been build and repair in rush for eight months, had become the only transportation route of anti-war materials. Since there were lack of drivers and mechanics to deliver the supplies, the Southwest Transportation Office of the Nationalist Government turned to the President of The Southseas China Relief Fund Union (SCRFU), Tan Kah Kee. A lot of Chinese were actively responded to the summon of Tan after the announcement.
Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics are a group of well-trained volunteer transportation soldiers with military ranks. They care nothing about their personal safety and have given their lives for delivering military personnel and repairing vehicles day and night during the war. To defeat the Japanese fascists and defend justice, Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics were fighting on the hazardous Burma Road and the ruthless bombing from Japanese army.
From February to September 1939, more than 3,260 drivers and mechanics were recruited, and returned to China in 15 batches. In 1945, Japan announced an unconditional surrender. Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics was ordered to dismiss, more than thousand of volunteers and their families returned to Nanyang while the rest stayed in China. There were more than 1,800 people given their lives for delivering military personnel and repairing vehicles day and night during the war.
The contributions of Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics are extraordinary with their noble spirit. They faced death with equanimity, gave up their comfortable life in Nanyang and chose to join the War of Resistance Against Japan in China. Regardless of race or nationality, the volunteers who have a wide range of knowledge, technical skills and multilingualism, gave up their comfortable life in Nanyang and contributed to the War of Resistance Against Japan.
The spirit of Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics embodies the awakening of people’s national consciousness and the sense of social justice. For 80 years, the remarkable story of Nanyang Volunteer Drivers and Mechanics reminds us to take history as a guide and cherish the peace and freedom we owned.