Alexander URQUHART [1899-1971] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Alexander URQUHART [1899-1971]

Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 
c.1971-12-31 (Month, Day are approximate)


“This officer joined the British Army Aid Group in April 1944, and was immediately posted to Kukong as liaison officer with the Chinese VIIth War Zone.  This journey he had to do overland through 200 miles of country which was being over-run by Japanese columns.  His work at Kukong was of an extremely high standard and he won the unstinting admiration and praise from the Chinese for his bravery in remaining in that city till the last of the Chinese troops were driven out when it fell to the Japanese in January 1945.  In March 1945, he was promoted to command our Advanced HQ, where he had charge of all our evasion operations in the forward area and of intelligence groups working in Hongkong.  In May 1945, his post was suddenly threatened by a flying Japanese column and without any protection from the Chinese who had disappeared, Major Urquhart accomplished the successful evacuation of his post just a few hours ahead of the arrival of the enemy.  With two small native boats as his only means of transport and the river in flood, this was a most difficult operation.  During this evacuation, one boat was overturned by the swift current and at great personal risk, Major Urquhart and his men rescued all the archives, stores and money from the river.  ……..”  (signed) I T Ride, Colonel.

Extract from a letter Urquhart to LTR dated  19.9.46: 

 “….. BAAG took over from BMM at Kukong on 26 May 1944.  We stayed put through the first flap, when SOS and Z Force were withdrawn to Kunming and AGFRTS and BLO went to Hingning, but had to run on 23 Jan 1945 and got out of Kukong two hours before the Japs.  We established ourselves at Lungnam on 26 Jan with HQ, VII War Zone.  Dick [Hooper] and his party arrived at Lungnam on 28 Jan.  On 10 Feb Dick sent me on a Recce to select HQ for BAAG East, and on 16 Feb he approved the arrangements I made with Au Yeung at Hingning.  I went back to Lungnam to continue liaison with VII War Zone HQ and Dick took over at Hingning as OC East.  On 13 March 1945, BAAG Lungnam was closed and I took over AHQ at Hoyuen on 18 March.  AHQ evacuated Hoyuen on 25 May 1945 ix hours ahead of the Japs, and established ourselves at Lungchun with HQ East River Command on 28 May.  You [LTR] and Dick arrived at Lungchun on 1 June and left there on 5 June for Lamhau where our Kuchuk Post had moved to on 24 May (Kuchuk Post was opened on 23 April to enable AHQ to have better liaison with HQ Waichow Garrison, and as an advance base for MI9 work).  On 7 June, Gnl Mau Puinam asked AHQ to move to Laitsui where we remained until 13 June when we returned to Lungchun.  Kuchuk Post returned to Kuchuk on 16 June.  On 5 Sept AHQ was closed and we moved to Hingning where I took over from Dick on 7 Sept.  On 12 Sept Rear Post Puitun was closed and the families were moved to Hoyuen occupying the old AHQ premises until they were taken to Canton and Hongkong in, I think, November.  I left Hingning on 14 Sept with the AHQ party for Hongkong, where we arrived on 26 Sept. ………"


Married Lilian Helen Price 28 October 1928 (Carl Smith Card)

Passenger List Hong Kong to San Francisco April 1934

Alexander Urquhart 34 export manager Scottish born Kiukiang China

Lilian Hannah Urquhart 32 Welsh born Hong Kong

Donald Alexander Urquhart 4 Scottish born Hong Kong

Mary Lilian Urquhart 2 Scottish born Hong Kong

Passenger list 4 April 1947 departing Southampton for Canada

Alexander Urquhart 48 merchant  (born 19 February 1899 died 1971 Toronto Canada)

Lilian Hannah Urquhart 45 (born 7 August 1901 Hong Kong died Meaford Ontario 1991)

Donald Alexander Urquhart 17

Mary Lilian Urquhart 15

Country of intended future permanent residence Canada

Until recently, my mother Rose, a BAAG Bride, still often recall with fondness the sight of the BAAG Motor Boat sinking in the flood swollen river.  The motor boat was dragging a couple of Flower Boats used by the BAAG East as roving offices.  She said father, Paul Tsui, was at the stern of the boat.  She and some other families were travelling on land by the river banks.  Suddenly she saw father hopped out of the boat onto the river bank.  The boat sank with everybody else in it thoroughly doused...  As a young woman, she found it very funny.  I think so did everybody...  Hearsay that the motor boat was quickly salvaged the very next day and returned to action...