Vietnam - UK friendship built by President Ho Chi Minh

After moving from Asia to Europe, from Europe to America, then from America back to Europe, in May 1913, Nguyen Tat Thanh left France’s La Havre port to come to the UK - the center of imperialism. t that time, Uncle Ho had to do a lot of hard work like raking snow in schools, controlling hot water systems and being a kitchen maid in the small hotel of Drayton Court, washing dishes in the famous Carlton Hotel in London.


Drayton Court Hotel in London, where Nguyen Tat Thanh used to live and work. (Photo:

Drayton Court Hotel was in Ealing district of London. This building still exists and is now a pub, but visitors can climb to the 3rd floor to visit the room, where President Ho Chi Minh used to be. It is the smallest of the rooms reserved for hotel staff.

The New Zealand building, which began construction in 1959 and completed in 1963 on the Carlton Hotel's ground, now has a blue sign with the content: "Ho Chi Minh (1890-1969) - The person who gave birth to Vietnam today - worked at Carlton Hotel, the old building on the ground in 1913”. A room, where President Ho Chi Minh used to work, in the basement of the New Zealand Building is still maintained as a historical relic.

In addition to the above locations, there are many other places in London bearing the footprints of President Ho Chi Minh during his stay there, such as Hyde Park, Soho area or Marx Library.

During his stay in London, apart from working hard to cover his daily needs, President Ho Chi Minh constantly improved his knowledge, captured new skills and experiences. President Ho Chi Minh joined Overseas Labor, a progressive association of international workers, based in London, including anti-colonialists. Thus, for the first time, he knew organized political activities through street protests and secret meetings in factories, as well as grasping the concept of internationalism.

It was during this time in London, Nguyen Tat Thanh read works of German philosophers Karl Marx and Friendrich Engels for the first time, thereby helping him shape his political thought and find the way to liberate the nation and liberate the country, to establish the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, which is the Socialist Republic of Vietnam today.

"Four years in London have greatly contributed to the formation of Ho Chi Minh Thought. His heritage has vigorous vitality in Vietnam but in terms of his thoughts, visions and courage, Ho Chi Minh belongs to the whole world," writer and historian John Callow, Director of the Archives Center of Marx Library in London, once wrote.

Not only finding the road and leading the Vietnamese revolution to victory, President Ho Chi Minh's time in the UK also set the premises for the development of a friendly, warm relationship between the people of Vietnam and the UK.

Mr. Graham Amy, Mayor of Newhaven, a small port city in the South, about 100km from London, is proud when his hometown has marked the footprint of President Ho Chi Minh. He confirmed that "Ho Chi Minh is part of the history of Newhaven and Ho Chi Minh brought the two countries together."

The 74-year-old Mayor said that for hundreds of years, every day there is a ferry departing from the city of Newhaven to French town of Dieppe on the other side. Many years ago, his father told him that at the beginning of the last century, there was a famous person, President Ho Chi Minh, who had been a cook on those ferries.

Mr. Graham Amy also emphasized the story of President Ho Chi Minh who came to Newhaven to work as the starting point for the friendship development between East Sussex county’s Newhaven and Vietnam.

He said that previously, the history of Newhaven had nothing relating to Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh brought us together, and more and more British people go to Vietnam, visit Ho Chi Minh city and Cu Chi tunnel, and Newhaven also welcomes more Vietnamese people to visit.

In 2013, the administration of East Sussex county erected a flagstone at Newhaven harbour, marking the 100th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's arrival in the UK.

At Newhaven town’s museum, which keeps a lot of documents and images of local maritime history, there is a picture of the ferry more than 100 years ago that is thought to have once imprinted President Ho Chi Minh's footprint. The museum also displays a statue of President Ho Chi Minh, marking the historical relationship between Newhaven and President Ho Chi Minh and Vietnam./.


Comment form

Other Stories

Latest stories

Web Links