Hong Kong Japanese Surrender 2.jpg

Mon, 08/31/2020 - 14:15

This photograph is the second of two sent to me soon after the 75th anniversary of VJ Day by a cousin of mine. Her father, Air Commodore Gilbert Bartholomew, was present at the ceremony, representing the Royal Air Force. The ceremony was held in the entrance lobby area of Government House on 12 September 1945.

Date picture taken
12 Sep 1945


My late Father Cmdr WP Goodfellow RHKNVR was present in Hong Kong for this, a destroyer captain in the flotilla that arrived in time to take the surrender before the Americans ( who did not agree with British colonialism) arrived to take it, as happened in South Korea and ?South Vietnam. Few now seem to appreciate that the flotilla were obliged to proceed in a direct line at full speed ( sitting ducks for torpedo attacks from Japanese submarines that had not heard or chose to disregard the Emperor's surrender) in order to get there first. The outcome for Hong Kong could have been so different if they had not arrived in time.

Although I am unable to find Leut WP Goodfellow RNVR in the photos, as expected for a junior non flag officer, it is good to see the successful end to the trip. My father stayed on in Hong Kong for many years, including my birth.
Chris Goodfellow