Christmas Card

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 22:16

Hi David,

Here is the Christmas card as promised.  Printed inside it has H Q Land Forces Hong Kong and it was sent at Christmas 1954.  There is nothing to indicate who the printers were but I think it's rather attractive, it was sent to my parents and me by my late husband.


Date picture taken
25 Dec 1954


Thanks Pauline. That's the second christmas card we've seen here. The first is from 1912, and also from the army. I've added the tag christmas card, and hopefully the collection will grow over time.

Here's the same dragon in Fred's collection of badges from his time here in the late 1950s, though this one faces the other direction:

1950s Fred Evans' Photos

Regards, David

Hi there,

I don’t think you can see clear image on the back of shoulder patch, as it is not embroidered.

The British Empire in Colour: Unique Images of the British Empire ISBN 1842225170; page 142 shows a photograph of two soldiers, somewhere on Mid-levels, looking towards Stonecutters Island.  The picture was taken from their left, showing LFHK formation sign on their left arms.  The dragon is facing left, like the one shown by Fred Evans.

If you visit Kwong Wah Street, Mong Kok, you will find shops showing LFHK formation sign, big or small, in pair. Some of them are ex-Army stock.

Fred Evans's photograph: top, Land Forces Hong Kong; bottom left, 48 Gurkha Infantry Brigade; bottom right, 35 Infantry Brigade.


Hi isdl,

Thank you for the info.  Looking at my other photos of the HQLF party makes it obvious that the dragon on shoulder patches always faces front, so on the left arm he /she faces left and on the right he/she faces right which I guess makes sense.  My knowledge of militaria badges and so on is nil so all help is gratefully received!

Regards,  Pauline.


Hi Pauline,

I am also confused by the geometry of formation signs.  Sometimes the pair appears as mirror image, sometimes it is not, regardless of wearing on left or right arms.

Chinese dragon (facing left) can also be found on badges of Royal Berkshire Regiment (inherited from 49 Regiment of Foot) and Hong Kong Military Service Corps.


Hi there,

If only you have a real badge with you, you should be able to distinguish which sides should be facing up as those badges are only single sided. 

I remember those badges of boy scouts back in the late 1960s, they were similar and you have to fold the edges underneath before you sew it onto your uniform.

Best Regards,


Imperial War Museum - search page Enter "Hong Kong"


badge, overseas force, HQ Land Forces Hong Kong

formation badge

Post-1945 British Army formation badge for HQ Land Forces Hong Kong, woven cloth, H 1.7in x W 3.4in. The dragon emblem linked the formation with China and also with the Hong Kong Regiment who wore this symbol as their badge. The background is formed of the command colours.

Thanks annelisec and everyone.   The War Museum info seems to confirm that my husband as part of HQ Land Forces would have worn two of these dragon badges, one on each arm, one facing left and one facing right but,  as I have no photos of him in uniform, I hadn't been sure before.  I thought it must be so because of others in uniform at the HQLF Party who are wearing them but confirmation is good.  Thanks again.



I still have my old bush jacket. The dragon badge is on the left shoulder only, and the dragon faces the wearer's front - i.e. to the on-looker's left. On the right shoulder is the red/yellow/blue triangular patch of the Hong Kong Regiment.

Thank you Jaberu but I am now more puzzled as,  if you look at the photos of the HQLF party in 1954, it seems as if the military personnel (the lady in uniform and Les) have got the dragon badge on their right arm,  and on one of the other photos,  Les has the badge on his left arm too.  Les was in the Intelligence Corps and I think the lady was too.  I wonder what the explanation is. 

Regards,  Pauline.

Yes, Pauline. Only two possible explanations, I suggest. Either different units followed different practices and some wore the dragon badge on both arms, or some of the photos may have been printed back to front.

Hi Jaberu,  thanks again for your thoughts.  I think your first theory must be the correct one as the photos do seem to be as they should be.  Shoulder flashes read correctly for instance above a dragon badge worn on the right arm. No doubt those in HQLF at the time knew what it all meant but it sure does confuse a simple soul like me!!

Regards, Pauline.

I agree, Pauline. Very confusing indeed. I don't know enough about this, but my guess (and it is only a guess) is that the few members of the Intelligence Corps in HK were attached to HQLF, and did not have their own unit shoulder flash which customarily is worn on the right shoulder. So they wore a second dragon badge on their right shoulder in place of a unit flash (with, of course, the dragon facing the other way). This may be nonsense, but it seems as good an explanation as any!