David Stone kindly allowed me to upload this photograph of his Uncle Billy (Willian Joseph Webber) standing at the top of a ship's gang plank. I suspect that the ship was moored alongside one of the Kowloon jetties but have not checked out the outline of the distant hills. It could be at the shipyard at Taikoo but as far as I know passenger vessels did not sail from Taikoo. The people on the quayside are clearly there to wave farewell to some passengers and it is thought that the photograph was taken in 1940. This is probably the year when William returned to England to continue his important work as a draughtsman in the Royal Naval dockyards at Plymouth or Portsmouth. His skills would have been much called for during that period of the war, particularly in England, whereas Hong Kong was still not immediately threatened. So, was the photograph taken as he was about to enter the ship or was he perhaps there to say farewell to another person making the voyable? Both are possibilities. Is he holding his hat ready to put it on before going back ashore? My guess is that he was seeing somebody off, and having heard the usual siren warning visitiors to clear the ship he was about to go. More importantly, can anyone confirm that the vessel is lying alongside one of the piers roughly where the Ocean terminal now is?
William Joseph Webber at Hong Kong docks
Submitted by Andrew Suddaby
Date picture taken (may be approximate):
Monday, January 1, 1940