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15 May 2009 Update: Originally this was listed as a pillbox. Now we know it was an Artillery Observation Post (AOP), so I've updated the title.


re: Pillbox

Thanks for adding this one. I must get up there and take a look, as I've walked past there several times over the years, never realising it was there. To find it, the AFCD website notes it's under a picnic site, and more specifically under an information plate. Also note that Google's got a bit lost - the road incorrectly labelled 'Chatham Path' on this map is really part of Harlech Road.

As to its use, I think it was an observation post, rather than a pillbox with machine guns. It's a great location for an observation post, as there are great views of the harbour, and out to the west of HK Island. This panorama was taken from the picnic site at this location, and gives a good idea of the view from there.

There is a possible confirmation of its use in the entry #93 for 21st Dec 1941, from part 3 of Maltby's report on Operations in Hong Kong:

93 A second air raid on the Peak District developed at 0950 hours and a bomb of 500 Ibs. was dropped, amongst others, just below Jardines Corner, entirely blocking the road and cutting off communications with Volunteer HQ except by telephone, by which means the Observation Post Commander reported that forty steam launches in line, with steam up, were assembled two hundred yards off shore by Kai Tak aerodrome. Unfortunately, at this time Royal Artillery communications to observation posts were destroyed except the one to High West, and from this observation post the target was invisible.

This pillbox / observation post lies on the slope of the hill named High West.


Pillbox/observation post on the slope of the High West

Hi there,

I have been there two or three times, I think, in transit on some short hikes starting from Aberdeen Reservoir to the Peak, then down to the Mid-Levels or the Western District. Two of these hikes from the picnic place down the steps were conducted during the later stage of sunset. The foot path up there is one of those remaining quiet places within city limits.

Yes, the observation/pillbox opening is right under the information plate, on the NW corner close to the cliff side. The distinguish rock & putty finish could be spotted very easily. Both opening and the entrance to this post had already been blocked and the entrance is invisible.

Oh, the Information Plate named the location a Pillbox, though.


re: Pillbox at the end of Chatham Path, the Peak.

Has anyone tried taking a metal detector to some of these pillboxes? I bet there would be some interesting finds.

re: Pillbox/observation post on the slope of the High West

Thanks to Thomas for pointing out that the information plate marking the site of the building is visible in the panorama. Scroll to the right edge of the panorama, and you'll see it behind two benches.


re: Pillbox/observation post on the slope of the High West

Thanks to Thomas for sending in these photos of how it looks today:





And copies of the notes and photos on the information board:






The notes on the information board describe it as a pillbox: "The layout was similar to other pillboxes of the time, with three loopholes for the machine guns." I'm not convinced, and still think it is more likely to have been a lookout.


Re: High West AOP as seen from the Harbour