Bill CHONG (aka BAAG No. 50 / 鄭根) [1916- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Bill CHONG (aka BAAG No. 50 / 鄭根) [1916- ]

Alias / nickname: 
BAAG No. 50 / 鄭根
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 


Extract from the entry for Bill Chong in the BAAG Personnel Register, Ride Collection:

Nationality: Chinese-Canadian.  Born: Vancouver 16.7.1916.  Joined BAAG: 1.5.42 - 31.10.45, Occupation: trader.  

Citation:  “This man left Hongkong after the capitulation and made his way to Kukong where he volunteered his services to the BAAG in any capacity.  At that time, the British Red Cross urgently required medical supplies to be sent to various Chinese hospitals in areas likely to be cut off by the enemy and Wm. Chong was given the dangerous task of taking the supplies through.  It involved a journey of some hundreds of miles, much of it through bandit-infested or enemy-patrolled areas, and he completed the mission successfully and returned within two months.  He was then posted to our forward area at Samfou and on a number of occasions made the journey in and out to Macao through puppet and enemy controlled areas.  Twice he was captured by puppets but each time got away without loss of reports he was carrying.  It was mainly through his bravery and good work in this field that we were able to set up the safe routes out of Macao which later were used in bringing out a number of Europeans and American evaders to safety.”

(signed) L T Ride, Colonel.  1945.

Bill Chong was awarded a BEM for his war service.  After the War, he joined the military in HK and was an Army Photographer of the Field Security Office HQ LF circa 1952.

Thanks for this. He says that he brought Leo Deamato and Marcus da Silva out of occupied Hong Kong, and that after the war in court he sees "Marcus is the prosecutor" and Leo Deamata is "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court".

We've heard of Marcus da Silva before,, but I don't recognise Leo Deamata and I can't see his name in Google. Does anyone know who this refers to?

Regards, David

David - I think he means Leo d'Almada.  Regards, Elizabeth.

Thanks Elizabeth, that makes sense. Leo d'Almada was a Barrister, so was likely to have been in court when Bill Chong was there.

Regards, David

David - This is an extract from a long interniew I had with Bill in the early 2000s.  Regards, Elizabeth.

"[The D’Almadas]

I met them at one of the ?porterages.  I couldn’t tell them who I was, I couldn’t tell them why I was there.  I said ‘Would you like to follow me?’, that’s all.  ‘Don’t speak to me in English, you write’.  They were very good Christians.  They prayed.  I got them back safely.  She was a nervous woman, very nervous.  If she wanted to go anywhere, she told her husband to go with her.  Two beds in the one room, she wanted me to be outside the door.  I said ‘I’m next door, you bang the wall and I’ll know you want me’.  We walked most of the time, we didn’t have much food.  I made some bread.  I went into the kitchen.  They had a wok, and some metal plates.  I got some baking powder, some flour, put on the plate and steam it, let it cool, that’s the bread.  I cut a slice for Leo, I cut a slice for the wife, and I made some jam.  I bought some fruit, plums.  I boiled the plums and sugar – oh, they loved it.  The said where did you buy it?  Oh, I said, I made it.  I made scrambled eggs.  I bought some eggs, and had some bread and scrambled eggs.  That was the nearest thing I could get for them to an English meal."


David & Elizabeth Yes, I heard da Silva and my father and Uncle Andrew in conversation talking about that episode - but I was very young then and enjoyed the adventure story. Didn't know who the 'undercover man's was. Until just this moment!