Hong Kong Fire Brigade Staff c1926 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hong Kong Fire Brigade Staff c1926

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Hong Kong Fire Brigade Staff c1926


The staff and officers of the Hong Kong Central Fire Brigade c1927.

In the front row, seated first on the left, is the Chief Fire Officer Henry Tom Brooks who arrived in HK in 1922 from London to establish an efficient Fire Brigade in the colony. 


Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1926


Would this photo have been taken in the interior courtyard of Central Fire Station?

Or could it be another, older building? The CFS would have been brand new at this time, but the stonework above the firemen looks like it is old and crumbling.

Regards, David

Noted the same observation. Had a look through the stonework of the CPS but that doesn't seem to match.

Hi there,

I believe the old Central fire station has an higher ceiling for at least the ground floor in order to accomodate the big trucks.  As a kid I was once on a school tour there.  Very impressive.  Unfortunately I could not recall much.

Would that be the Central Police Station or one of the Barracks around?  As I remember I read somewhere that there was a time that the Police and the Fire Brigade shared resources of sort.

Thanks & Best Regards,


I agree with you both that it does not look like the Central Fire Station courtyard. I do not recognize it at all - and I saw it every day! (Which was why I did not put a place in the title.)  It did not have arches nor balustrades that I can recall - and as you say David it was new then (1927) so it would not have had damaged concete and nicks.  Could it be the Kowloon Fire Station?  Henry Brooks was stationed there until the HK Central Fire Station was built


This one is still a mystery. The Kowloon Fire Station was also new at the time of this photo, with square garages rather than arches (see http://gwulo.com/node/2376).

Central Police Station is a likely choice, but I can't match it up. The barracks block has arches (see http://gwulo.com/node/14722), but they look too narrow to be the building shown in this photo.

Regards, David

I don't think it would be anything to do with the Police (even though in the years before they did unite for fire-fighting).  When Henry Brooks arrived this was no longer the case.  However, you will have noticed I put "c1927" - the "c" indicating around that time (it is not dated).  As it is definitely Henry who is seated first in the front row, then it MUST be sometime between 1922 (when he arrived) and 1926-27 when the Central Fire Station was completed. 

This photo is actually printed as a Postcard 4.5" x 3".  On the back are printed the words:


Correspondence                             Address Only               B8  2

Underneath this heading Henry Brooks wrote the address  of his sister in England, but seems he never posted the photo (postcard).

There must have been something significant about this event for it to be used as a Post Card. Was it the arrival of Henry Brooks? And who is the officer seated in the middle? and on the right?


As H. T. Brooks at the time was Superintendent of the Fire Brigade but under the command of the Police, the man in the middle, I guess is most likely the Chief Officer of the Fire Brigade as well as Captain Superintendent of Police.  E. D. C. Wolfe was Captain Superintendent of Police during the period.


I've deleted "Central Fire Station" from the Places Shown. I'm still not sure which building it was though.

Regards, David