? ? (aka Young Chen) [c.1930-????]

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 02/25/2014 - 04:53
Alias / nickname
Young Chen
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)

Photos that show this Person


I would speculate that 'Young Cheng' of the boys who stayed with Lt. Kerr during his hiding, presumably the larger caves of the Red Guerrillas where he said he was guarded, would be Wong Yeung-shing 黃揚聲 of the Kong Kau Guerrillas, mentioned in their legends.

I would speculate that the 'Little Chen' mentioned in the 7th March 1944 diary of Kerr should be referring to Chan Fun 陳勛 who was a young guerrilla used as Runner after the meeting with the leaders of the Red Guerrillas - Tsoi Kwok-leung, Chan Tat-ming & Wong Kwoon-fong, probably at Sam Chung of the Three Fathoms Cove where the guerrilla boats were based.

Hi David,

Your speculation would be as good as mine.  I merely tried to compare what were written in the Chinese language stories of the Red Guerrillas in a number of books to the Diaries of Lt. Kerr.  The Guerrilla legends were written as reminiscence long after the War (mostly in the late 1990s & early 2000s), and prone to exaggerations in my opinion.  I don't know when it was that Kerr wrote his diaries.  The BAAG materials were written at the time during the War though; some of which like Ronnie Holmes' diaries were written at the material time such as on Lion Rocks during a secret reconnaissance in the summer of 1942.

With respect to 'Young Cheng' & 'Little Chen':  it depends on whether Lt. Kerr was using phonetics when referring to 'Young' as opposed to 'Little'.  Kerr was apparently not a Cantonese-speaker.  Hence, I think if 'Young' is used as a phonetic (rather than age-related), then it would be more like Yeung in our not very accurate Hong Kong Wade-Giles  phonetics.  Indeed, many Yeungs spell their names Young also (eg. Vincnet Young (No.62) of the BAAG who would normally be a Yeung).  Hence, my speculation that 'Young Cheng' would be Yeung-shing (Wong Yeung-shing) who was involved at the initial stage according to the Guerrillas' stories, when they were hiding Kerr in the caves.  

In the later days, Kerr used 'Little', as in 'Little Chen', as opposed to 'Young' after meeting the Guerrilla Leaders;  plus the fact that the Guerrillas reportedly assigned a Runner, usually a young person ('Siu Gwai' (小鬼), named Chan Fun to Kerr for liaison with the Guerrilla Leaders, suggests to me that 'Little Chen' is not the same as Wong Yeung-shing (whom I thought would be 'Young Cheng'), but this Small Boy runner named Chan Fun. Small Boys were used quite extensively by the Guerrillas as Runners and OPs.

BTW, I'm still trying to see if 'Y.T.' whom I thought would be TANG Yin, could be his partner YAU Shing, on the basis that the Chinese words Shing (勝) & Tang (滕) are quite similar.  The name 'Tang' would also be common amongst rural people.  It is possible that the books containing legends of the Guerrillas could have made a mistake in reporting Yau Tang as Yau Shing. 

I think your note "it depends on whether Lt. Kerr was using phonetics when referring to 'Young' as opposed to 'Little'." is the key. I've written to David Kerr to see if he knows the answer to that question.

Do you know how old Wong Yeung-shing was in 1944? Kerr's report for 21 Feb - 2 Mar 1944 says that Young Chen was 14 years old, so that might help identify him.

Regards, David

The person who would know a lot about the Guerrillas is CHUI Yuet-ching (徐月清) in Saikung.  She collected many oral histories from the group and created that monument in Pak Tam Chung, Saikung.  Some years ago, she took me to Wai Chow to visit the former BAAG AHQ.  We made contacts with some locals to conserve the house which was BAAG AHQ Officers' Mess.  She was and perhaps is still a clerk of the Chairman of the SK District Board, Ng Sze-fook, and could be reached at his office.

All the Guerrilla Siu Gwai (Small Boys) would be teenagers.  They were nimble, active, and less conspicuos roaming around; thus affording a good cover for the roles of Runners & Observers.

There were some seven in the Pistol Group of Lau Hak-chai (Hok Choy referred to by Lt Kerr) which aided him.  They claimed that the Puppet Detectives dared not tango with them because they did a number of assassinations of collaborators in Saikung.

I wrote to Dave Kerr and asked:

We're wondering if the "Young Chen" in the 21 Feb - 2 Mar 1944 diary entry was a phonetic version of a Chinese name, or it means a "young person named Chen". Any chance you can help clarify please?

If it's the second meaning, would it be the same person that is later referred to as "Little Chen" (entries for 5th, 6th, and 7th of March) ?

Dave replied:

Hello, David, yes , the same person throughout the story.  Chen was about 14 years old.  "Young" and "Little" are descriptors, not names.  He went on to become a doctor.  He died several years before I first contacted the guerrilla families in 2008.

Regards, David