The Hong Kong Chinese Regiment [????-????]

Submitted by David on Tue, 01/29/2013 - 21:47

Notes from Henry Ching:

The Hong Kong Chinese Regiment was a late attempt by General Maltby to bolster his garrison with Chinese men in an infantry role. According to Endacott’s “Hong Kong Eclipse” there was no shortage of men who applied to join, but few met his requirements as regards height and weight.

When the war started the regiment consisted of only six Chinese NCOs and 46 Chinese other ranks (according to Barry Renfrew’s “Forgotten Regiments). There were two British officers seconded from other units, and three NCOs from other regular units.

The HKCR began the war guarding a ration dump in Deep Water Bay, and then was sent to the Ridge. Most of the defenders at the Ridge who died have no known grave, and this applies to the members of the HKCR. On the withdrawal of all units from the Ridge, the seriously wounded were left behind – they were killed by the Japs. Their bodies were subsequently buried but no individual identification was possible. Most of those who withdrew from the Ridge in small parties were not seen again. The HKCR suffered 31 killed or wounded, out of the original 57, but I think most were wounded rather than killed.

Many of the survivors of the HKCR made their way into China where they joined the British Army Aid Group’s China Unit. The China Unit comprised about 120 men from various units in HK, and they volunteered to go to India where they were formed into what became known as the Hong Kong Volunteer Company in the Chindits. There were 13 men from the HKCR in this Company.

Additional information:

  • Sheridan mentions the HKCR at Deepwater Bay in his diary entry for 11 Dec 1941: " Some of the newly formed local Chinese Regt. have arrived as protection for the Supply Depot. A Middlesex Regt. officer and some NCOs are in charge. The Chinese have not had much training and it is debatable how they would combat trained fighters like the Japs. The Hong Kong Volunteers are of mixed races, British, Australian, New Zealand, Dutch, Chinese, Eurasians, Indians, Malays, etc. Quite a lot are attached to the Supply Depot as drivers, clerks, storemen, etc. But some do wander about in a bit of a dream."
  • A couple of diary entries mention conditions at The Ridge:
  • There is additional information about the Hong Kong Volunteer Company in Henry Ching's Occasional Paper #9, see
Armed services

Photos of this organisation:


Greetings David

I have just been going through Not The Slightest Chance looking for reference to the HKCR but so far have only come up with one mention that of one Chan Cheuk private killed on 20/12/41 but doesnt say where.

All the best.

Gary Liddell

There's a picture of some of the Chinese Volunteers here:

Banker Andrew Leiper was exempted from fighting during the hostilities, but he was asked to do some evening observational work, part of which was with the Chinese Platoon. I don't have a copy of his A Yen For My Thoughts (1982) but if anyone does, this section is around page 55 and should provide some details as to their activities.