Hugh Basil WILLIAMSON [1908-1992] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Hugh Basil WILLIAMSON [1908-1992]

Hugh Basil


This officer joined the BAAG in September 1942 and for the first few months served in Advanced HQs where he took part in the operations which resulted in the liberation of a large number of Indians.

The strain of the conditions existing in the forward area proved too much for Major Williamson’s health which had suffered greatly in the Burma Campaign and the rest of his service had to be spent on the Administration side. Though not as spectacular as the work of officers in the field, his services were of extreme value for only when based on good and helpful administration at HQs could the forward posts every hope to attain any measure of success in their operations.

A sound administrator, a valuable adviser and an indefatigable worker, Major Williamson’s energies were always directed towards helping the field worker, and his three years service is an outstanding example of sterling and unostentatious work in the cause of freedom."   (signed) L T Ride, Colonel.

Notes by LTR:  

W had been part of the group (Z group) laying down caches of arms and ammunition in the New Territories.  Was down in Singapore at SOE training school on the 8th December 1941.  Got out just before Japs took Singapore and then to Burma.  Here Jap shrapnel casued back wound which is giving pain to this day (1981)(shrapnel recently removed).  Arrived Kukong April, back to Delhi.  LTR requested him for BAAG.  To Waichow in October with Derek Hooper.  Stayed until 1944 when he was sent to hospital in Delhi (eardrums, result of Burma shelling, and malaria).  Back to Kunming, then sent to Delhi for six months as liaison.  To London with Grimsdale to see War Office and Crockatt (saw Rait and over to Continent), three months in UK.  Back to Kunming and was left in charge when sorties left for HK. 

Teesdale’s Diary, 14.4.42:  “Hugh W suddenly turned up.  Despite our perilous position he had received orders at Kweiyang to proceed here.  Ever since he recovered from dysentery, dengue, and being shrapnelled in Rangoon he was working in SOE organisation in Burma, laying out a scheme, putting down dumps, training Burmese and Karens, organising supplies.  His work was finished at the beginning of March when it was taken over by the Mamyo Bush Warfare School”.

From BAAG papers 1943:

T/Capt H B Williamson, (1 /Middx Regt) at pr4esent under GSIe at Advanced HQ, British Army Aid Group, Waichow, China.  During 1940-1941 was second in command of China Command's "Z Force" H9ngkong - a volunteer guerilla unit - which was reconstituted Sept 1941 as the Reconnaissance Unit, nominally of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, but in reality under Secret Operations.  Capt Williamson was to have commanded this unit on outbreak of hostilities.  Having taken a course and been posted in Nov 41 to staff of No 101 Special Training School, Singapore, he left by air for Hong Kong on 8 Dec 41, getting only as far as Burma, where he worked, (including teaching sabotage) for Oriental Mission, Rangoon (SO) until end of Mar 42 when he was posted to China.  Left China for India 2 June 42 and was posted, at his request, to NW Frontier (Wazirstan) until 26 Sept 42 when he was posted to GSIe and sent to China. 

UK Death Index 

Hugh Basil Williamson Death Age 84 Birth Date 30 December 1908 Death 1992 registered Cambridge 1992

Probate Records

Hugh Basil Williamson of 31 Gretton Court Girton Cambridge died 30 November 1992

Marriage 1959 Surrey Northern to Enid Vines nee Schneider

(12 December 1906 - 3 December 1986 Cambridge)

The Times Enid MBE (Vines) Williamson

Probate Records 

Enid Williamson of 31 Gretton Court Girton Cambridge died 3 December 1986