BAAG AHQ Medical Post at Taam Uk | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

BAAG AHQ Medical Post at Taam Uk

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BAAG AHQ Medical Post at Taam Uk

Picture given to me by Dr. Patrick Van de Linde, Major i/c Medical Group, BAAG AHQ Wai Chow during the War.  Captions by VdL.

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, January 1, 1947

Comments

Hi Lawrence,

Please do you know where this is located? If yes I'll make a Place for it.

Regards, David

Hi David,

According to the description it would seem to be in Wai Chow.  I tried to lookup onlin emaps but was unable to pin-point the location of the village.  There is a Tanwu 1st Street though (Tanwu being the Putonghua pinyin for Taam Uk).

I tried to Google 惠州譚屋村  (W﹑i Chow Taam Uk Villege) and got this approximate location.

No idea if that particular house had been demolished to make way for new developments.

Thanks & Best Regards,

T

I think Tngan is correct with its location although I’m afraid I could not recall reading where Tam Uk was located from the few articles provided me by Dr. Patrick Van de Linde a few years ago.  I only recall reading that it was at the village of Tam Uk and that it was a fair bit of walking distance from the town centre of Wai Chow.  Liaison work with the Chinese commanders often involved a lot of Yum Shing ritual.  BAAG AHQ commanders preferred to task the doctors to reciprocate as if their training somehow made them better equipped to handle the relentless Yum Shings.  Van de Linde described the walk home to Tam Uk as being fortunately a fair distance to wear off the effect of the liaison rituals.    

Medical Posts were first set up by Dr. Scriven (Capt) in Wai Chow in April 1942.  Forward Aid Posts were set up with Dressers to aid Hong Kong escapees & refugees en route to Free China.  Since Wai Chow was a garrison town of the Nationalist Army, the BAAG also served the sick & wounded Chinese soldiers.  Since there were hardly any Western doctors in the region, including physicians for the Chinese military, the BAAG Medical Service became the primary service provider for all. The articles contained detail documentations of the medical services rendered.

Three main hospitals at Wai Chow were used – the St. Joseph’s Hospital adjacent the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (just off Shui Dong St); the Wai On (Adventist) Hospital nearby (which is today's Wai Chow People's Hospital); as well as the local public Wai Chow Hospital.  St. Joseph’s was vacated by the Italian Canossian nuns , and became the main hospital of the BAAG.  The BAAG AHQ initially set up base next door at the Rectory of the Catholic Church in July 1942.  The Church Rectory, used by Paul Tsui as his quarter, remained for most of the time, the office of the Field Intelligence Groups (FIGs) after it was set up in June.  The Officers’ Mess of AHQ later found accommodation at a house in the compound of the Adventist Wai On Hospital which was also used for a while by the BAAG.  My impression is that Wai Chow Hospital further away was used for Hong Kong Refugee Relief work, including running a congees kitchen as well as an orphanage.  However, there were a number of relocations & re-organisation, including eventual AHQ evacuation from Wai Chow.

Dr. Raymond Lee (later Captain) arrived with a team of 3 Dressers & 2 Nurses to take over from Scriven in August 1942.  They were reinforced by the Quakers’ Friends’ Ambulance Unit mainly serving Refugee Relief at the Wai Chow Hospital.   Soon, Dr. H.T. Laycock replaced Dr. Lee as Head Medical Officer.  He was replaced by Dr. Patrick Van de Linde late in 1943.  The BAAG ceased to use the Adventist Wai On Hospital and relocated to Tam Uk Medical Post; which became the prime Medical Post serving the Chinese Military. Other Out Posts were set up at the forefront, especially Shekma & Tam Shui, as well as Chun Lung & Lung Kong.   

As there were no other Western medical services in the entire region.  The popularity of the BAAG Medical Services rendered a big contribution to the operational success of the BAAG FIGS & FOGS at the frontline.

Thanks Thomas & Lawrence. It is further inland than I expected, so I'll just rely on Thomas's link for anyone who wants to see the location.

Regards, David

Dr. Van de Linde did mention that Tam Uk was 5km upstream from the core area where the BAAG AHQ was located in Wai Chow (Huizhou).  

The map of Thomas also shows the St. Joseph's Catholic Church as well as the Huizhou People's Hospital (original position of the American Adventist Wai On Hospital) along Huangjiatang St.

The original chapel of St. Joseph's Church where my parents got married during the War in 1944 is still standing, now the church hall of a newer chapel next door.  Some of the hospital blocks behind it were still standing a few years ago. The house which was AHQ Officers' Mess at the other hospital was unfortunately dismantled not too long ago.

Folks,

Using the same Google Map I zoom out one notch and was able to see a place marked Tanwu.  It is by the East River.  Look's like a rural district top down using Earth view.

Maybe that is more likely the district?

Thanks & Best Regards,

T

So the Taam could refer to a pond rather than the surname Tam.

Being close to water (river or lake) had its definite advantage for a make-shift medical centre in those days and that circumstances.

A degree of reclamation would have occurred along the waterfront over the years post-war.

Temples would probably be conserved despite massive development of neighbourhoods.

River transport was important for the BAAG.  Runners carrying messages used river transport quite a bit.  Most of the roads were damaged in Demolition any way to diminish advantage of any Japanese machanised units.  

When AHQ evacuated from Waichow, the BAAG used a motorised boat dragging smaller boats.  On one such occassion, the moterised boat sank, dowsing the Officers onboard; no one was injured though.  Story has it that Paul Tsui, being at the bow, hopped off the boat onto the river bank just in time ...