Lion Rock | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Lion Rock

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Lion Rock


Every year the Republicans/communists errect a flag on top of the rock. The flag is about the size of 5 houses and can be seen for miles. Police had to go and take it down, then the baddies started boobytraps on the top path and eventually in the flag pole itself in attempt to take some of us out. The devices were lethal and quite nasty in themselves.

The only military fatality of the 1967 Confrontation-occurred near the top of the 'Rock' :an army EOD officer was taken to the site by helicopter to investigate a 'suspicious object and accompanying red flag with inflammatory writings...'...sadly,the brave man was killed at the location on the explosion of a bomb.

An EOD Officer was killed defusing a bomb in 1967 at Lion's Rock, Hong Kong. 

Can anyone remember his name?

Also, was there reportage of this event in the SCMP?

Was this covered in the SCMP of the day?

The lion rock death incident was used by our instructors as one of the examples of what to look out for when dealing with anything and the new ideas that were being sprung upon us. The one they used was that when the officer pulled at the flag, the pole was segmented and as the segments came apart with him standing next to it, they ignited an internal friction fuse that went to a black powder charge, that went off and blew him over the edge of the rock. He was alive all the way down until he hit the bottom. The incident was not reported upon as 'them in charge' did not want the baddies to know that they had scored a goal. The lesson was look at everything, dont become complacent and take nothing for granted, but dont take too long about it as it may be on a timer fuse.  All good stuff eh? and it certainly sharpened your wits as you did the" long walk" to deal with the thing. Thats the bit you dont think about because if you did the long walk would be in the opp. direction. Yes I am still here although some more of us are not. Thats the reason for the photos and stories so that those who were and the things they did are not forgotten. Health, Wealth, and Prosperity to you all... Ray


Thank you Ray for your comprehensive response.

Is this the same Officer Sutcliff whose hands were blown off?

The identity of the officer was not revealed just the details of the way it happened as a learning to us to never take anything for granted. I know that an officer of rank went to the scene of a bomb. He found a food can ouside the doorway left in the sun. No explosive, no wires, no fuse. A hoax and he picked it up and threw it. It got about 2' away from his hand and then that blew up. This was the first realisation that if 2 harmless in themselves but in-compatable chemicals were mixed together they would explode, but if they were wet when mixed then the water would act as a separator and they would not. So mix them wet, put into a can and then go to the target and place in the sun. As the chemicals dried off they would mix and explode. The officer picked the can up just on the balance of wet and dry and the disturbance was the activator for the chemicals to go off bang. He lost a hand in doing so. That is the only one I was aware of. Credit to him he stayed on as a BDO and instructor. There are photos of him and the actual explosion that are used as a demo to us. It is nice that my old photos and stories are still raising interest today. In some ways the wet mix was used when mixing gunpowder. At a factory each mixing pot was in its own den. The den was surrounded by hugely thick at he base walls that were triangular in section, with the point at the top. A thin roof was placed on top. If a den went bang the explosion would be contained and the force vented up thro the thin roof. The explosion would not be carried into the next den. There was an incident in London where the dens were together and the mix was dry. One went off and took out and flatened completely a huge area of London and a great loss of life.  So put the ingrediants together and there is a great risk of explosion thro' friction. But mix wet and the risk is greatly reduced. The churned mix was then dried out and there was the gunpowder granuals. In fact the mix resembled the final phase in the preparation of loose tea and as the end result looked like the explosive it resulted in the name gunpowder tea. There are still some stories in the old dog yet   -eh? It was only in a house move and old photos were nearly thrown out but decided to be saved that you can see them now on the site... Good Luck to all... Ray