Back of image DA008 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Back of image DA008

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Back of image DA008

The back of this picture.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, December 25, 1917

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This battalion was the unit on board the ship Tyndareus, the vessel which struck a German mine off Cape Agulhas, South Africa, in February 1917. The ship was bringing troops to the Far East, with half the battalion destined for service (garrison duty) in Hong Kong and the other half in Singapore.

The ship did not sink and was later repaired at Simonstown Naval Base. Thanks to the superb discipline of the British soldiers, who did not panic but stood in perfect order on the decks pending rescue from other vessels in the vicinity, there was no loss of life.

(c.f. HMS Birkenhead and "the boy stood on the burning deck.").

Prior to their departure from Hong Kong after WW1, the battalion placed the famous "Tyndareus Stone" on the Peak to commemorate their time in the Colony, at the junction of Luard and Hatton Roads. The Stone was shamefully removed, (spirited away at the dead of night), back to the U.K. ahead of the Colony's 1997 reversion to Chinese sovereignty, where it languishes still.

The story of the Tyndareus, the 25th Bn. Middlesex Regiment and the Stone which bears the ship's name is a fascinating subject and well worth researching. I, and many others, have written extensively on it.