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Submitted by David on Sat, 2009-05-23 10:22
On Wednesday I paid a visit to the Hong Kong Cemetery in Happy Valley. If you're interested in Hong Kong's history, it's well worth a wander around.
Though it can get frustrating walking past gravestones. Often all you get is a person's name and age, when you really want to know who they were, and what were they doing in Hong Kong. If only the dead could talk...
Well, on Wednesday they did! I was very lucky to make the visit in the company of Patricia Lim, the local historian who wrote the 'Discovering Hong Kong' books. Her recent project has been to research the stories behind the people who are buried in this cemetery. Did you know...
- There's an Alsatian dog buried in one of the graves?
- Or that the person who was to have been Hong Kong's second governor is buried here?
- Or that one line of graves marks the crew of a plane that crashed in 1946, believed to have been sabotaged to prevent one of the passengers from giving evidence against Japanese accused of War Crimes?
- Or another line of graves holds the crew of a Royal Navy ship that was shot by the Chinese during the cold war?
These are just a few of the tales I heard - in a one hour stroll, I got to hear story after story. Fortunately, the results of Patricia's research will be appearing as her next book. I'll look forward to making a second visit, with a copy of the book in hand.
Visiting the cemetery:
- It is open to the public, from dawn til dusk, see http://www.fehd.gov.hk/english/cc/introduction.html
- There is an office near the entrance, but you don't need to register - you can just wander around the cemetery.
- Remember to go covered up, and take mosquito-repellant. I didn't, and got the bites to show for it!
- The entrance is from Wong Nai Chung Road, under the flyover: