need to identify an old photo (1945) | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

need to identify an old photo (1945)

 (taken in  1945 with official stamp at back)
The gentleman in dark jacket was a naval commader of the highest order during WW2, and was indeed the british officer who oversaw the withdrawal of the japs in the last episode of their occupation and was instrumental in the appointment of Mark Young as governor. He had in his possession a considerable amount of classified info which he kept in the basement of the old HK & Shanghai Bank and which he later donated to HKU for research purposes.
He frequented my friend Mr Cheung's restaurant (Peking Gallery) in Haywards Heath in the 80s and they became great friends, and his two daughters (now living in the UK) called him grandpa. My friend also went to his funeral in Sussex in late 90s.
Despite the stark difference in their backgrounds and my friend couldn't even establish his real name, their friendship was genuine. it would be interesting if his descendents or friends could identify him and others in the photos and complete the whole story...


Good morning Wann, great photograph.

The officer in the black suit is a Lieutenant of the Royal Naval Reseve.  You can tell by the two gold rings around his sleeve and large loop above them.  The gentleman concerned would have been brought in for short commission wartime activities.  He would have been demobilised during 1946. Note that they do not yet sport Medals following WW2 which truly dates the photograph to 1945.


Hope that this help




Franky W Hayes

Royal Navy retired after 29 years of service.

Hong Kong 1958 to 1961 as a Child

Hong Kong 1969 HMS Naiad as a sailor

Thank you Franky - or Commander Hayes?

I guess you left HMS after the handover (or because of the handover), and i'm glad you can tell so much from the details. Maybe some of your colleagues or their relatives could recognise the gent in question. Is there a library here where you can check details of UK military personnel?

Heres another photo.


There is a slim chance that I can assist, but can you offer more details.

Is there a day, or month indicated on the rear of the photograph? The photograph must have been taken between August and December 1945? Or perhaps in 1946?

Any month or date for the last Japanese soldier to be repatriated?

Sir Mark Young was Governor from 1st May 1946 to May 1947.

My father's aircraft carrier HMS Queen visited Hong Kong in July 1946 to deliver fresh men of all ranks to restart HMS Tamar as a Royal Navy concern.

I have a list of Officers names of various ranks from various services that took passage on HMS Queen back to the United Kingdom. There is one RNR officer whose name is Robertson, Rank Lt.

I wonder if this could be your man?

Dave W

I'm not sure if it makes much difference, but I think the stripes on the sleeve cuffs look more like those of a lieutenant in the RNVR, see:

Regards, David

I took the words RNR at face value in the previous post.

 I have since looked closely at the photograph and consider the man may even be pure RN.

 Amongst many, these are the various types of Royal navy men that took passage on HMS Queen –

Lt (E)   Tomlinson     RN

Lt Robertson             RNR

Lt Baxter                    RNVR

Lt Crother                  RNVR

Lt Davies                   RNVR

Lt Morrish                  RNVR


There is a whole mix of others that vary in rank and service but cover the range of:-  RAF, RM, VSO, QARNNS, Britsh Red Cross, FANY, UNRRA, ENSA and so on.

I have been through this web site and cannot pick out any individual that might fit the bill so what I am producing is mere speculation.


This web site does not contain every single name, but on request the owner will have a look through his books for relevant information providing sufficient detail can be given.

Scores of warships passed through Hong Kong immediately post war so my stab at answering the enquiry must be considered a mere contribution only.

Dave W

Wann, to add to Dave W's search, on an earlier post you mentioned the gentleman's name may have been Stanley Parsons ( Have you been able to confirm that?

If you can confirm which year he died, you might also check obituaries in the Hove local newspaper around that time:

Regards, David