Military gathering-001-everything stops for Tiffin | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong
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Military gathering-001-everything stops for Tiffin

Military gathering-001-everything stops for Tiffin
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Tuesday, June 15, 1937


Thanks for posting this interesting set. Henry Ching wrote in to ask if you have any background information about the original source, and adds:

They look to me very much like photos of men  of the HKVDC.  The cap badges are difficult to focus, but they seem to lend support to this.   The Vickers MMGs and the racial mix of men suggest No.3 Coy.

Scans of the images came to me several years ago via an avid postcard/photograph collector who haunts ‘Collector’s Fairs’ who asked if I could ID the event as the only clue was on  the envelope containing them with ‘Hong Kong 1937-38’ scribbled in pencil across it.

I recall the images made reference to the HKVDC.

I think the head-dress looks like No. 2 Coy (Scottish) HKVDC. The officer with hands in pockets and back to the camera looks like Major Forsyth.  

The heading of the photo should read “Everything Stops for Tiffin,” which is the correct spelling.

Phil, my first reaction upon seeing the photo was also  that the officer wearing the Glengarry was Major “Rusty” Forsyth, O.C. No. 2 (Scottish) Coy of the HKVDC. He was killed in Stanley on Christmas Eve together with his Company Sgt. Major, W.O. 2 Swan and they are buried side-by-side in Stanley Military Cemetery.

Major Forsyth was recommended for the Victoria Cross (posthumously), but this was downgraded to a Mention in Despatches.

Looking at his left shoulder it certainly does not appear that the officer is wearing a single crown - the rank insignia of a Major. It could well be a crown and a pip, (Lt. Col), or 2 pips (Lieutenant). He looks too old to be a Lt, but with the Volunteers anything was possible!

The image is too blurred to make an identification from his left shoulder. It may be that he is wearing a single crown and the shoulder title for the Volunteers beneath it.

For what it’s worth, my money is also on this being a group of the HK Volunteers and their ladies.