About 300 Chinese Canadians served in the First World War, although no precise records exist. We know that two of these men were brothers from the area near Shuswap B.C.: Wee Tan Louie (born 1889) and Wee Hong Louie (born 1894).
Wee Hong enlisted first, in the spring of 1917. He began his army career as a gunner but later became a wireless operator and then a driver. He received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
After the war, Wee Hong attended the University of Chicago and graduated as an electrical engineer. Later, when he purchased a radio repair shop in Orillia, Ontario, he was refused a business license on the grounds he was Chinese. Not one to accept the status quo, Wee Hong packed up his army uniform and medals and sent them to Prime Minister Mackenzie King, pointing out he had fought for Canada.
The Prime Minister later returned the articles along with a letter of apology. Louie’s business license was granted and he ran his shop until 1976.