| Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

The Comet tank had first seen service in 1944, fighting in Europe at the end of WWII. During the 1950s, the Comet was phased out and replaced with the newer Centurion tank.

Comets first arrived in Hong Kong in 1949 with the 3rd Royal Tank Regiment. Richard Rinaldi gives their arrival dates as: ‘B’ Squadron ca. May, remainder June".

When Fred Evans arrived in Hong Kong in 1957, the Comets were still here but their days were numbered. Indeed if you look at this timeline of postings for his regiment, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment, you'll see he was part of the "last regular regiment equipped with Comet".

Before he left Hong Kong in 1959, he saw the arrival of the newer Centurion tanks. That marked the end of the Comet's service with the British Army.

Here are some photos of Comet tanks in Hong Kong, mostly from Fred's albums:

More information:


The Military Channel have an episode that looks at restoring a wartime Comet. Here are a few clips that are viewable online: 1 2 3

A Comet Tank that was used in Hong Kong during the 1950s and formerly retained at Sek Kong Barracks can be viewed here:


Hi there,

I remember there was a tank very close to the main entrance together with a  very big gun last time when I was visiting the museum.  The location had been boarded up.  It was on a terrace right next to the round structure with the roof blown off during the war, which seemed to be a magazine of sort manned by the Canadians back then.

Best Regards,


Thanks for the reminder. I was over there last October, and took some photos. Just checked through them, and one of them shows the Comet:

Comet Tank on display at the Museum of Coastal Defense

The old Comets final demise came fairly quickly, though I don't recall seeing them actually departing - probably all tied up with unloading and transporting the Centurions. But I do know we had at least 4 or 5 scrapped Comet hulks for target practice on a big shoot that all qualified gunners did out on one of the areas (can't remember which one).

(I was a qualified gunner as well as wireless opp.(signaller) B 2. (B 3 gunner). I did a tank driver/maint. qualifier too,so I had to give up one ,we were only supposed to have 2 trades!!)

We were under the impression the Centurions came from "mothball" ie storage, ex-korea, and were not new. This fact I'm sure was correct.

Looking back on it now we seemed to have liked the old Comet as it was fast (50 mph cross country!) and fairly rudimentary, whereas the Cent. was heavier, slower and had a bit more technology. The Comet had a crew of 5, the Cent a crew of 4 with the first gyroscopic gun laying electronics in service.

By then I became demob happy and departed HK. on the Empire Fowey in October 59. And that's about it - hope its of some use to those who are still interested.

All the best. Fred.