Stone Hill Shelters [????- ]

Submitted by gw on Sat, 02/15/2014 - 21:59
Current condition

Photos that show this Place


The Stone Hill Shelters were the Battalion HQ of the Royal Rifles of Canada (RRC) during the latter days of the Battle of Hong Kong. A set of bunkers which may be the Shelters are situated just off Stanley Gap Road above Stanley.

The entry point to the site is at the far end of the concrete wall in this photo.

Stone Hill Shelters

A short path brings you to the side of the lowest bunker. It's typical of those constructed prior to WWII, thick concrete walls and roof, one entrance and one window per room, rear dug into the hillside and earth piled up against the sides. 

Stone Hill Shelters

The front has been whitewashed, the first indication it was used for non-military purposes after the war. This building consists of two bunkers, both intact, but earth has piled up outside the far one almost obscuring it from view.

Stone Hill Shelters

Inside there are remains of both the original military usage and of later occupation, probably by squatters. The next photo shows an original hinge for a soldiers bunk still fitted on the left wall, and painted walls, domestic garbage on the floor and an electric socket on the far wall from the days of the squatters.

Inside a shelter

A podium extends out over the deep stream gully immediately infront of the lowest bunker. A look beneath reveals it's perching on a collection of rusting metal and crumbling brick pillars. Its only a matter of time before it collapses, so stay off the podium to be safe.

Stone Hill Shelters

The lowest bunker is the only one still intact. The others have been either completely demolished,

Stone Hill Shelters

or decapitated and filled in. The abandoned washing machine outside this ruin suggests these upper bunkers were also occupied by squatters. 

Stone Hill Shelters

I guess the upper bunkers were destroyed to ensure the squatters moved out and stayed out, but I wonder why some of the bunkers were completely destroyed, some only partly and the lowest ones left untouched?

The large number of bunkers at this site, more than any other remaining in the near vicinity, had me thinking they might be the Stone Hill Shelters used as Battalion HQ by the Royal RRC. I had my doubts as I think they're not actually on Stone Hill, but on the Stanley Mound side of the stream that separates the Mound and the Hill. By coincidence, last month Tony Banham reported on his Hong Kong War Diary website that he'd also visited this site, but he didn't refer to it by any particular name. I emailed him to ask if it could be the Stone Hill Shelters. He asked Rob Weir, who says this site was the HQ for B Company RRC.   

According to the War Diary of the RRC, their Battalion HQ occupied the Shelters from the morning of the 19th to the afternoon of the 23 December 1941 with Lt. Colonel W. Home in command. It was probably whilst based at the Shelters that he formed his controversial opinion that continuing the conflict was not worthwhile.

The RRC Diary also contains the following entry for 22nd December 1941 describing an event at the Shelters. 

"An incident occurred at Battalion HQ during the afternoon, which bears recording. At 1530 hrs, a sniper who had crawled down the ravine between "D" and "B" Companies fired at point blank range and hit Rifleman Labeouf who was unloading a truck on the road in front of Battalion HQ wounding him seriously. Sergeant D'Avignon seized a Tommy gun and (sic) after him firing several bursts but no trace of him was found."

The gully running infront of the bunkers fits the description of a "ravine". I don't know of any other bunkers on Stone Hill. If these are not the Stone Hill Shelters, I wonder where they are/were?