The Ridge, Repulse Bay Road [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

The Ridge, Repulse Bay Road [????- ]

This building is mentioned in many wartime accounts.

The position of the marker is approximate.


As you can see above, I've always assumed that 'The Ridge' was a single building. However in A H Potts' diary, he explains it was actually a ridge with several buildings on top:

There is a ridge slightly further down the road which commands a clear view of the gap;  on this ridge Eu Tong Sen, a multimillionaire from Singapore where he had made his money in tin mines, had built five houses.  Housebuilding was a fetish with him and he is supposed to have been told by the priests that he would live so long as he built;  however he is dead now and a good … [I will have to check this at HKU] between the priest and house contractors is also finished.  These five houses stand some fifty feet above the road and are reached by an approach road.  The first house is a smallish one, then come two large semidetached houses, next a large house and finally a smaller single house.  There is a good deal of space between the houses in the shape of tennis courts and gardens.  

The first house is built against the hillside from which the ridge on which the five houses are built juts out.  Some hundred feet above the level of the houses, up the hillside is a water conduit running from Repulse Bay to Wongneichong gap.

Notes from Henry Ching:

With reference to The Ridge, Repulse Bay Road there is a photograph (which you may already have seen) in Oliver Lindsay’s “The Lasting Honour”.  There was a mixed bag of units there, including the ASC Company of the HKVDC, but a unit which is seldom mentioned is the Hong Kong Chinese Regiment – their story is told in Barry Renfrew’s “Forgotten Regiments”.

Good morning David.Re Eu Tong Sen (eucliff/the ridge).If you zoom in on google earth to the ridge,you will the catchwater walk just behind the new development.Above that(violet hill) on a knoll is clearly the square foumdatiomn of an original building.Worth checking out.regards

Gary Liddell

Hi Gary,

I haven't heard of that before. If you find out any more about its history, please let us know.

Regards, David

Good morning David.I too always thought there was only one building on the site(refer page 166 onwards "not the slightest chance".There was a pill box right on the bend below the ridge which bore all the hallmarks of a ferocious battle(not mentioned in contempory accounts).The clear site on the knoll is on my short list of "dig & discover" activities next month. regards Gary


Hi Gary,

I can't think of a pillbox where you describe. I wonder if you mean the Artillery Observation Post on Middle Spur, which is quite similar to a pillbox. Does its location match the one you have in mind?

Regards, David

good afternoon David

The pill box was on the south bound side of repulse bay road on the broad bend below the ridge (Altimera was diagonaly opposite)

It is no longer there the site now just apatch of concrete probably to stop landslides

I have allways been keen to find out the story behind it.

The condition of it made jlo1 look untouched


Gary Liddell

Hi Gary,

Very interesting, that's a new one to me. Any chance you can make a new Place for it (click here to create a Place) to show us the location please?

Regards, David

Gary: I assume Altamira is Estrellita ? Do you know whether the next house further is down is WW2 vintage ? and was Altamira knocked down and Estrellita built in its place ? I saw a Pre war pic of Postbridge (Tinson's home) on Repulse Bay Road and was surprised that the house opposite which is still there (then called Holmesdale) is unchanged. Around the ridge have found webbing buckles, Japanese spent 6.5s and three HKVDC buttons. The spent rounds firing down at the 5 houses on the Ridge - the buttons either a discarded tunic (or all thats left of the wearer) probably one of the ASC, RAOC and others escaping from the Ridge and Altamira and trying to get to RBH. I have taken a path from the bend just after altamira which follows a river gulley up the catchwater - hell of a hard climb up rock face and takkes you right below the rear of the Ridge. When the Japanese took over the ridge they executed the remaining wounded and threw the victioms bodies over the parapet on the north side of the ridge. Was the pill box on the inside of that bend ? most of that roadside under the Ridge is very steep.  Best rgds.,  Phil Cracknell



Gary has made a Place for it at:

Regards, David

Hello Phil.

thanks for your input.The houses north to south on repulse bay road were Postbridge Altamira The Ridge Twin Brooks Overbays Eucliff.

The battles & atrocities commited at these sites is well documented.


Hi Phil 

pSorry about the gap pushed the wrong button.

Regarding your finds at the ridge Craig (gwulo forum"battle relics) tells me that the hong kong heritage society is building a new museum & it's quite important to record your finds & where you found them.Quite often this gives a clearer picture of who was where & when& what they were doing.

By the Holmesdale doesn't come up on the radar.

If its not too much trouble could could you install your finds inthe " bate relics " section of forum 

Hi phil

that should read" battle relics" Im having a bad time with my communications this morning.

All the best & keep in touch

Best regards

Gary Liddell

with regards to Henry Chings observation that the Hong Kong Chinese Regime t are never mentioned in accounts of the defence of Hong Kong(not even in Banhams chronology of events)I believe that members of this unit were burried in the Chinese cemetry intersection of Garden/Kennedy / upper Albert roads


Gary Liddell

Hi Gary, I don't think there's a cemetery there, but there is a Memorial Arch at that spot dedicated to the Chinese people "who died loyal to the Allied cause".

Regards, David

Thanks David

I stand corrected again.Same source as "the tiger" probably.

Could you enlighten me as to the role of The Queens represetative in HK.

In the 1950s & early 1960s my family had a very dear friend Sir Charles Terry who held that title all the best Garyfriend Sir Charles Terry whk

Hello David.

With regards to Henry Chings notes(The Ridge) do you have any knowledge of where members of the Hong Kong Regiment might be buried. The only chinese "military" graves I have come accross are those of BAAG members at stanley.

Sai wan war cemetry seems

Sai Wan War cemetry seems not to have any graves for me.bers of this regiment were they garrison troops or actively involved.

Thanks once again.

Gary Liddell

Hi Gary,

Sorry, I don't know about either of these.

Regards, David

According to Gwen Dew's Prisoner of the Japs, she met a Canadian private during the siege of Repulse Bay Hotel. She mentions that this private was stationed on a pillbox, which she could see from the hotel veranda. This pillbox  was located on a hill and according to her, it stuck out like a lighthouse on a bare rock.. Does anyone know the name of the pillbox?



This conversation between Gwen and the Canadian private is on Page 98 of Prisoner of the Japs.

As far as I know, no Canadian troops were actually stationed at costal defence pillboxes (Middlesex manned PBs). So unless there was some relatively undocumented ad hoc unit, it seems Gwen could have been mistaken about the background or stationing of this private.

A pillbox located on a hill visible from Repulse Bay Hotel also seems odd. There are no line of gap PBs visible from that area as far as I know, and costal pillboxes in the area are close to the shoreline. Perhaps she was thinking of the Middle Spur AOP? Which, by the siege of Repulse Bay Hotel, would be already taken by IJA forces. By this time the nearest inland PBs perhaps occupied by Canadian forces could be Stone Hill? Quite a distance. Only other thing I can think of is that some splinter proof shelters are visible along the twins as I recall?


A lot of inconclusive inference needed, I think there are gaps in this story.



The pillbox was located on a hill, but the surrounding area was bare like a lighthouse on a bare cliff. The evidence for the pillbox existing is that the pillbox's crew was starving and out of ammunition so they left the pillbox to steal some rations from the Repulse Bay Hotel. When they were leaving the pillbox, a detachment of Japanese was marching straight towards the pillbox. The Canadians didn't have any ammo, so they climbed down the steep sides of the hill, but they were shot at and they were shoved down the steep slope but none of them died. After telling this story, the Canadian soldier showed Gwen his helmet, which had a bullethole in it, and he told her that he was lucky and if the bullet landed a few inches below, he would have been dead.


This is an extract from Prisoner of the Japs by Gwen Dew.

Here's the page (page 98 in the viewer, page 79 in the printed book):