These Dead Have Names

They came looking for the gold lined streets of england and died in a refrigerated container


These dead have names


23rd of October 2019

on a deserted essex industrial park –

“Going to die, can’t breathe any more dear” –

a man opened, then closed his trailer’s doors –

“Give them air quickly don’t let them out.”


they could not have moved, tight packed thirty nine,

shipped from Bierne to the port of Purfleet,

struggling to breathe, the air becoming toxic.

“There’s immigrants in the back….lying…not moving”.


searching for life, signs of a pulse or a breath,

the rescuers, traumatised, found none.


To those that killed these dead have names:

Pham Thi Tra My

Nguyen Dinh Luong

Nguyen Huy Phong

Vo Nhan Du

Tran Manh Hung

Tran Khanh Tho

Vo Van Linh

Nguyen Van Nhan

Bui Phan Thang

Nguyen Huy Hung

Tran Thi Tho

Bui Thi Nhung

Vo Ngoc Nam

Nguyen Dinh Tu

Le Van Ha

Tran Thi Ngoc

Nguyen Van Hung

Hoang Van Tiep

Cao Tien Dung

Cao Huy Thanh

Tran Thi Mai Nhung

Nguyen Minh Quang

Le Ngoc Thanh

Pham Thi Ngoc Oanh

Hoang Van Hoi

Nguyen Tho Tuan

Dang Huu Tuyen

Nguyen Trong Thai

Nguyen Van Hiep

Nguyen Thi Van

Tran Hai Loc

Duong Minh Tuan

Nguyen Ngoc Ha

Nguyen Tien Dung

Phan Thi Thanh

Nguyen Ba Vu Hung

Dinh Dinh Thai Quyen

Tran Ngoc Hieu

Dinh Dinh Binh


empty chairs, whispered names, brutal deaths,

an increasingly uncaring world.

© Bhi 2023
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Bhi, your well-crafted memorial is about all they will get. A bleak commentary on desperate people trying to escape societal collapse across the globe despite all of our industrial, agricultural, etc. enlightenment. It is now routine to have multiple migrant deaths on U.S. southern border, Mediterranean sea, oceans around Australia, even inside China where people have to have passports to go from the dirt-poor countryside to the rich coastal cities.


Bhi, your piece immortalises their names – and of course, your talent.

Such a sad ending for people who started out full of something denied to them in their daily lives – hope, and snuffed out in suffocation with their lives. Brings tears to my eyes.

(Thinks: What if we could list the names of all those who have died from Coronavirus unnecessarily too? Not enough paper, methinks.)

Blessings, Allen

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