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​History of Vietnamese Boat People in the U.K 


Oral History : Remembering our journey 

Produced by the Museum of London and Refugee Action 

  • ​Save a copy of a presentation to your computer.

  • You need to have Powerpoint for the web to open and view the "oral history" 


Every - tree has its roots

In 2003 the UK charity ‘Refugee Action’ published a book called ‘Every Tree Has its Roots’ which attempted to address this issue. One of the key points of this book was to be able to share first hand memories of the past in a way that allows the 2nd, 3rd and future generations of Vietnamese refugee to understand their families cultural heritage.

  • ​Click download to save "Every Tree Has its Roots" PDF to your computer.


The Vietnamese Community in Great Britain - Thirty Years On - A Runnymede Community Study by Jessica Mai Sim

The Vietnamese are just one of the many ethnic groups in the United Kingdom that never quite make it into the public consciousness. Unlike the Chinese community, their perceived cultural ally, the Vietnamese community is very small. Despite the majority of refugees from Vietnam being in fact ethnically Chinese, there is a definite distinction between people of the Vietnamese community and Chinese community in the UK. The reality of the Vietnamese flight from Vietnam as political refugees is just one reason why the two communities might not see eye to eye....

  • ​Further reading - Click download to save the PDF version to your computer.

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Sopley Reception Centre

Sopley was special, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The reception centre for Vietnamese so-called ‘Boat People’ but effectively a village lacking only a couple of basic social amenities, deserves to be documented.

Compiled, edited & annotated by Chris Bentall.

Photographs by Chris Bentall unless stated otherwise.

  • Save a copy of a presentation to your computer.

  • You need to have Powerpoint for the web to open and view the "Sopley Reception Centre"

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The story of Sopley - 1979 to 1982

                    by Chris Bentall 

​Party of your life - Sopley Reunion - 2002

Emotional return to the New Forest for Vietnamese Boat People

FIVE former refugees from Vietnam made an emotional return to the New Forest community that welcomed them with open arms when they fled their homeland in 1979...


This book explores the relationships between home, work and migration among Vietnamese people in East London, demonstrating the diversity of home-making practices and forms of belonging in relation to the dwelling, workplace and wider city. Engaging with wider scholarship on transnationalism, urban mobilities and the geopolitical dimensions of home among migrants and diasporic communities, the author draws on ethnographic work to examine the experiences of people who migrated from Vietnam to London at different times and in diverse circumstances, including individuals who arrived as refugees in the 1970s, as well as those who have migrated for work or education in recent years. Migration, Work and Home-Making in the City thus sheds new light on the social, material and spiritual practices through which people create senses of home that connect them with their country of origin, and reveals how home-making is constrained by immigration policies, insecure housing and precarious work, thus highlighting the barriers to belonging in the city.

Get this book from 

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Dual language books in English/Bengali 

Story of Dan Dong who was born in the U.K but both parents were from Vietnam as the boat people refugee in 80's 

This book was publised in 1984, Vietnamese refugees to UK started after the end of Vietnam war in 1975. The UK accepted nearly 20,000 boat people who were fleeing from the victorious North Vietnamese communists. 

​There were about 2,000 refugees from Vietnam settling down in Tower Hamlets from 1982. 

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