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Police Museum Field Gun origins

Police Museum Field Gun origins

This article may be of interest to those who have climbed the steps to visit the museum.

The gun was apparently made by Krupps' of Germany

Articele from 'OFF BEAT' police magazine 1 May 1991

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, May 1, 1991


Police Museum Tai Po Field Gun at Coombe Road, Wanchai Gap
Police Museum Tai Po Field Gun at Coombe Road, Wanchai Gap, by moddsey

Old field gun airlifted to Force museum position

THE historic old field gun which for years stood guard outside Tai Po Police Station has a new home after a carefully planned combined operation between the Force and the Royal Air Force.

The old German-built gun was lifted by an RAF Wessex helicopter to its proud new position outside the Force Museum at Wanchai Gap.

Only other means of reaching the hilltop museum in the old Wanchai Gap Police Station would have been to haul the 600 pounds relic up more than 60 steps.

Because of restrictions on carrying loads by air over urban areas the field gun was taken by road to a position near the museum before the airlift.

The helicopter’s task was complicated by high trees surrounding the site. It hovered 100 feet above as the cable and harness were attached.

Earlier plans to place the gun in a net for its brief three minute flight were discarded for fear of damaging the gun's large wheels.

Plans for the exercise, including diagrams of the means of lifting the gun, were first sent to the Ministry of Defence in London for approval.

The RAF part of the airlift was under the command of loader Warrant Officer Peter Goddard.

In 1946 following the end of World War Two when Hong Kong was recovering from the Japanese occupation, the field gun was found in an army scrap yard in Tai Po.

Although without a carriage and in a somewhat dilapidated condition, the gun looked as if it was salvageable. It was cleaned and re-painted and placed outside Tai Po Police Station where it stood guard over the town until 1988 when the new Tai Po Police Station was opened.

Fifteen years ago, while still occupying pride of place outside the old police station, the field gun was adopted by the Royal Engineers who, with loving care, restored the field gun to its former glory and mounted it on its own carriage.

Built in 1896 by Krupp of Germany, the gun's history has been traced through China, being brought to Hong Kong by the Japanese. The Tai Po field gun is the only field gun in the Territory - as unique as its history.

It was with much regret to some that the field gun was recently taken from its resting place of many years to be surrendered to the Royal Hong Kong Police Museum, where it will now be seen by all who visit there.

It is fitting testament to Tai Po Police that the field gun was well cared for during the years. Commenting upon the loss of the gun Assistant District Commander, Operations, Peter Williams remarked: This is a sad day for Tai Po and the end of an era.’

April 16 was the 92nd anniversary of the British flag being raised at Tai Po at what was to be Tai Po Police Station. This year’s anniversary ceremony was alas conducted without the field gun.