Gwulo.com is for everyone that is interested in old Hong Kong.

If it's your first visit, you might like to start with one of the popular articles listed on the right, or just scroll down to browse through recent articles.

I hope you'll join in too, and ask a question or share your knowledge. Most pages let you leave a comment, and there's always the Forum where you can post a new message.

Enjoy the site,


PS 'Gwu lo' is roughly how '古老' sounds in Cantonese. It means 'ancient' or 'old-fashioned'.

c.1928.But where?

When: This photo comes from the same album as the previous photo I posted [1], which I'd dated to c.1928.

Where: Can you recognise it? I've left the location out of the title so it doesn't give the game away. There are several clues if we look at ... Read more »

Gwulo's upgrade starts on Monday

I've got one more old photo to post, then next Monday (15th September) I'll start upgrading the software that runs Gwulo.com. During the upgrade the current website will still be available to read & search, but it won't be possible to add anything new (comments, photos, Places, etc.).

The steps are: Read more »

Coastal Searchlights around Hong Kong

This is the latest instalment from Rob Weir's records of British military sites in Hong Kong. Here's a map of their locations:

WW2 volunteer nurses, part 2: The Auxiliary Nursing Service (ANS)

This article from the Hong Kong Volunteer & Ex-POW Association of NSW introduces the second of two groups of volunteer nurses that served in Hong Kong during WW2.

As a part of war preparations in 1941, some patients in civilian hospitals, both government and private, were to be removed to relief hospitals specially set up in buildings such as schools, to make room for civilian war casualties. The private Yeung Wo Hospital, for example, took on the role of a casualty clearing station following the removal of all the patients in it (Li Shu Fan’s Hong Kong Surgeon, Victor Gollancz, 1964 page 95). The need for this had been anticipated, and to provide nursing staff for the receiving relief hospitals the Civil Defence Corps Regulations in July, 1941 established an Auxiliary Nursing Service (ANS). ANS nurses, with nurses of St John Ambulance, also staffed first aid stations throughout the urban areas. This Occasional Paper describes the ANS and the hospitals at which its nurses worked during hostilities and after.

The civilian relief hospitals were located in Read more »

1920s Caine Road

Where: A couple of religious buildings pin down the photo's location. First we can see Read more »

WW2 volunteer nurses, part 1: The Nursing Detachment of the HKVDC, aka the VADs

This article from the Hong Kong Volunteer & Ex-POW Association of NSW introduces the first of two groups of volunteer nurses that served in Hong Kong during WW2.

Nursing Detachment, Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, 1941 (from the Centenary Number of The Volunteer)

According to the 1934-1935 Year Book of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (HKVDC) the Nursing Detachment was

1950s photos from military service in Hong Kong

The 1950s saw many British servicemen spend time here in Hong Kong. They had much better access to affordable photography than earlier visitors, so we're lucky to have a good selection of photos from those years:

Nancy Griffiths, Wren, 1949-1952

Nancy served with the Naval Unit of the Hong Kong Defence Force, and was also an accomplished markswoman.

Nancy and friends:


Click here to see more photos of Nancy and her husband Bill, or click here to read more about Nancy.

Howell Green, RASC, 1952-4

Howell served in the water transport division of the Royal Army Service Corps. To help us understand his photos, he has included extracts from letters he wrote home at the time. Here's a sample from Christmas 1953:

No doubt you will have heard about the tragic fire we have had here…a fire started in a village, Shek Kip Mei just a mile or so north of our camp, comprising of wooden shacks.   Within four hours 10,000 shacks were destroyed and 60,000 Chinese were homeless and during those four hours I was in the middle of it.

Click here to read more from Howell.

Military Intelligence, 1954/5

Pauline has sent in photos that her husband took in Hong Kong when he was stationed here. He was working in Military Intelligence, so there isn't much from work but there are plenty of interesting photos from around town and on his countryside hikes.

Alexandra House under construction:

Films shot in Hong Kong

A couple from the archives:

Love is a many splendored thing

This film is a great way to see Hong Kong in the 1950s. Here are some stills from it:

Garden Road & Billy Tingle

A couple from the archives:

c.1900 Garden Road

The view from The Club Germania. Click here to read more about this photo.


Billy Tingle

Were you a Billy Tingler? Click here to read about Billy's background, and comments from some of the many people whose lives he touchedRead more »

Happy Birthdays

I wanted a Birthday-themed photo for this week, and remembered this one:

It's definitely a party of some sort, check out the bottles of pop and cake-shop food:

But the other photo that came with it shows such a

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