Playing on the Anti-Aircraft Gun at Stonecutters Island

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 19:53

Photo courtesy of the Booth family

Date picture taken
1 Aug 1954


A colour photograph of the captioned gun appears on Pg 29 of Hong Kong Collection - Memorabilia of a Colonial Era by Form Asia, ISBN 962-7283-19-3. It is described as being of Japanese origin captured after the Occupation. The photo was probably taken prior to the Handover, at least 40 years after Booth first played on it.

This must be the AA gun he referred to in 'Gweilo' , his companion with the dark hair must have been Andrew Newton. I was with Andrew in Form 1A at KGV school between Sept. 1954 and June 1956 when we returned to the UK. Was anyone else at KGV at these times?

I have been wondering about this particular gun, as I had seen the photo in the FormAsia book.  I hadn't made the connection with Martin Booth's book, though, so I'll have to pull my copy down from the shelf and have a look.

As for the AA gun, does anyone know what kind of weapon this is?  Whether there were other guns on Stonecutters?  When this particular weapon was first emplaced on Stonecutters, and whether it is still there?

I'd be grateful for any information anyone might have!


Hello Eric,

I recommend you leave a comment with your message on the page for KGV (, as it will have a better chance of being read by fello students. If you have any photos of your class at that time that you could post here, they might help jog memories too.

There's also a photo of Martin Booth at KJS, see Do you recognise anyone there?

Regards, David

Thanks for your reply; I will have a look through what I have, though as a family we were pretty lousy photographers. I had a Kodak Brownie 620 rollfilm camera (8 pics per roll) which was strictly rationed; my parents didn't invest in a camera until their final year there - a land of lost opportunity!

I will upload a few of the more interesting ones in the near future.



The gun was a restored Japanese aa gun.  The barrels, which were in fact drain pipes could elevate and the whole gun could turn on its axis.  I think it was my father who had it restored.  I often played on it and I along with others used to put firecrackers down the barrels to very realistic effect.  I lived in Withering Heights from 1954-8

Bruce Tattersall

Hi Martin

We too lived on Stonecutter's at the same time as you. My father was employed with the Royal Hong Kong Naval Dockyard (RNYP) as a Police officer during that period of time. After the Navy disband my father stayed on with the Army. We lived in bungalows, No. 5, which is not far from where you were and then to No. 1 Inspectors House which is closer to the ammunitions depot. If you wish to correspond with me my email address is

Kind regards

Tom Dempster