Cpl Jock Renton Raf Police with unknown J/T | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Cpl Jock Renton Raf Police with unknown J/T

Cpl Jock Renton Raf Police with unknown J/T

Photo taken at Ping Shan New Territories 1954 the J/t is recognised but no name.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1954


Harry, please can you let us know what a J/T is?

Also, was the stop at Ping Shan just for a break, or did the RAF have some facilities there?

Thanks & regards, David

Hi David.

 J/T was a junior technician they were all trained chinese linguists at Raf Little Sai Wan and other Raf radio stations Hong Kong.

Raf had Facilities at Ping Shan (Fanling) along with Sekong and Hong Kong Island.



Thanks Harry. I did a quick search to see what else is out there about these linguists:

Regards, David

RAF Ping Shan being closer to the border was a main listening outpost. There were also other receiving stations in the N T such as RAF Kong Wei etc.

Photo of RAF Ping Shan in mid-1950s.

1950s RAF Ping Shan

Moddsey, thanks for the photo. If you know whereabouts it was, please could you make a Place for it?

And any idea if there is anything left of it today?

Regards, David

Hi there,

I think it is the Png Shan in Yuen Long, closer to Shenzhen Bay.  Have to fnd some old maps to locate the approximate location of the site, however.   I will also try the ariel photo book and see if there are shadows of the radio towers around.

More later.


Hi there,

No luck wth the old Aeral Photos as I do not now where to look.  However I wonder if it has anything to do with the former BFBS stations/towers in Tsang Tsui.

Pity, Nim Wan had become one of the city dumps and is off-limits, or we could have wander around the area looking for clues.

Best Regards,


Ping Shan was a radar station for a while, I was there as a sergeant radio fitter but I can't remember the date. we later moved to Mt. Davis and erected a new, more modern radar.

J/T was a rank in the R.A.F, it was short for Junior technician and there were many in various trades.

Do you think that information collected at these RAF listening posts was sent on to the Battle Box?  I would think that it probably was as I know that they were watching what went on 'over the border'.

Hi Pauline,

This review of the book "Mandarin Blue" suggests the information didn't go directly to the intelligence staff working at Victoria Barracks:

The authors conclude that it was "at the behest and for the eventual benefit of GCHQ that service linguists performed their tasks"; transcripts of all intercepts were initially sent for analysis to GCHQ's Australian and American counterparts and these were forwarded to GCHQ in Cheltenham, although military radio transmissions were just one component of the corpus of intelligence data available.

Though it seems likely if GCHQ found anything interesting from the transcripts, they'd let the intelligence staff back in Hong Kong know about it.

Regards, David

Hi David,

Thank you.  I have read the review which is very interesting, but I think one would actually have to read the book to try to make more sense of it however I have read other info regarding the role of the RAF linguists and they all seem to raise more questions than they answer. It would be interesting to know what the RAF and Navy personnel in the Battle Box were doing wouldn't it.  I have some idea of what the Army were doing from my husband,  not much of course because of the secrecy,  but I think they received coded messages from agents in Red China.  Did these come directly to the Battle Box?  Somehow I doubt it which is why I asked the question above,  did the listening posts receive other messages other than those  recorded by the linguists perhaps.

I'm really thinking aloud here as it is difficult to get one's head around it all, and very frustrating as no doubt my husband knew the answers!



The RAF Chinese website mentioned earlier is no longer in operation, but Mandarin Blue, the book about the linguists and the RAF Chinese language programme in general, is still available (I was one of the authors). For ordering information write to mandarinblue@mail.com.

Keith Scott

Thanks Keith, any chance you recognise who the J/T is in the photo above?

Regards, David