Pillbox 045 [1939-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Pillbox 045 [1939-????]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 

[Location on map above is just a rough guess]

Hillwalker writes:

On P96 of Tony Banham's 'Not the slightest chance' there's a map of HK's pill boxes. It shows PB45 as due north of Mt Butler, about midway between the mountain and the shoreline. I haven't managed to find it yet.

Does anyone know it's location, and whether anything remains of it still?


I have a lead!.

I drew a couple of lines through the point it shows PB045 on the map (Not in the Slightest Chance) to points on the shoreline. I did the same on Google Earth and came up with a location. My point fell exactly beside Mt Parker Rd near where it joins the Quarry Bay Jogging Trail. About 100m down from the junction that goes to the forrest office) On the map it shows a picnic area smack bang in the middle. It could be good and bad news. Good, we should find evidence, if it was there. Bad news, it will probable be raised to the ground. I am going to go out for a run tomorrow for a look.

On the metal detector front, it works great .. too well. I need to spend a bit of time to learn the functions and how to discriminate before hacking away at Mt Butler. I had a quick sweep on Deep Water Bay - $16.80, 3 keys, coke can and a couple of nails. But just after an hour or two I did start to get the hang of it……. And I didn’t have the correct unearthing tools, which I have since amended with a purchase of a camping shovel/pick. Optimism and moral remain high. 

You can call me “Super Sleuth”,  I found PB045.

I took a run along Sir Cilrel’s Ride at lunch time today to the place I motioned in the above comment and found it. It was located about 100m from where I thought, right next to the junction to the Agricultural and Forestry Dept. About 10m up (on your right) there is a small picnic area, and there she is.

I like a challenge, any others out there that need “rediscovering”?  




It's an interesting find, but I don't think it is the missing pillbox.

Instead it looks like one of the military bunkers that are dotted around the island. I saw some by Pok Fu Lam reservoir on Sunday. I wonder what they were used for?


Hi Craig

A great wartime find, but I agree I don't think it's a PB

I found this ruin too, below the Parks service centre. But again I don't think it's a PB. It could even just be a public toilet! (My gps say 22 degrees 16.673n, 114 degrees 12.517 e)

Sounds like fun with the metal detector.



Not PB 45 (a)
Not PB45 (b)


Yeah I think you boys are right. It doesn't look much like a defensive position. Most of the PB's I've seen, if not all, have had their doors opposite the window and not next to it. I've seen similar ones in the mountains behind the road between Chung Hom Kok and Stanley.

 In the book "Not in the Slightest" page 96 shows a diagram of the defensive positions, as I'm sure you know. If you look carefully you can see a number of small white squares similar to PB's but not labeled. You can see them around the reservoirs (like Pok Ful Lam /Tai Tam as someone has already mentioned)  and along roads. The book just calls them Gun Emplacements.  

If we assume the book has most of the “gun emplacements” just like I photographed, then it should lie right where the text for PB045 is on the map. Maybe PB45 could be a little bit further down the Mt Parker road or at least narrow the search down. It shall be found. 


If you go inside to that building will findou out it's a TOILET! On the signboard they call this building as storage. The worst mistake they can make on the signboard! There are a lot of toilet in that area. It no question they need to build that many toilet as the huge number of stove in there.

Mr T

If you are referring to the pictures I posted above, you may well be right! It could be a toilet. For one thing, the walls are very thin, consisting of single brick covered in render. And as you point out, with the war time stoves located down the track a little, I wonder if it might be a 'war time' toilet!! (Then again, I heard there were food storage facilities located near the stoves.)

But I think Craig's picture above is definitely a military structure. The steel framing on the doors and windows seems excessivly robust, more robust even than current day public facilities.

Craig's building also bears a striking similarity to this one I snapped, tucked away below the main turn-off to to Sheko. Again referring to 'Not the slightest chance' (p96) - I think this one was the HQ for the Canadian Royal Rifles.



Royal Rifles HQ

Morning Gents,

Not taking defeat lightly, and not feeling 100% motivated at work this morning, I tried MrB suggested method of scanning the page from “Not in the Slightest” and overlaying it on Google Earth (I thought I couldn’t get any sadder- I was wrong).

Anyhow, after aligning the map with the aerial photo I came up with a new spot.

This new one is about 50m due north from the Agricultural and Fisheries Dept buildings off Mt Parker Rd. I’ll get on the case this week. It shall be located!


Hi Craig

Just saw your post during lunch!

That location you suggest is pretty much where I snapped the pictures of the 'toilet' (or storage building) shown above.

If you take the path beside the A&F Dep buildings and head down hill (ie North) you'll see a flat, wooded grove to the left (West) of the track - the 'toilet' is located in there.

PB45 could well be hiding around there somewhere. I didn't look too closely.

That would place it above the wartime cooking stoves which are further on down the track. Maybe PB45, amongst other things, was meant to protect the stoves.

Good luck.


Hillwalker, I did go for a look about yesterday (didn’t read your post in time) and couldn’t find it, for the fourth time in 2 weeks.The “toilet” is precisely the location where I placed PB45 after using an overlay, and it does look like some sort of washing/cleaning facility with 2 cubicals and some drainage system. I did see a bit of chunky concrete next the back gate out of the A&F compound but nothing conclusive.I’m starting to get miffed.

Craig, sorry to hear about your fruitless excursion. You've certainly got more patience and enthusiasm than me!

Maybe it is that bit of chunky concrete you mentioned. There's certainly some odd stuff up there. (See my post on 'mystery object Mt Parker).

Don't be disheartened. It's bound to be out there... somewhere!


The most detailed versions of the local maps can be helpful in looking for these old buildings. eg PB22 shows up on the maps. 

Here's a map of the area we've been talking about (via Centamap). I've highlighted the buildings (black), and added letters. Grey lines are paths, blue are streams.

Location A is the cooking stove area we've seen before, on the Wilson Trail below the AFCD buildings. Location I looks as though it is the same size, is it another set of stoves? Could any of the others be the remains of PB45?

(Slightly larger view available if you're logged in.)

Map of area south of Kornhill

Some more comments from Tony Banham in the 27 Mar 2010 entry on his website:

While researching something completely different, I came across references to the position of PB45 in No 1 Coy HKVDC’s war diary. The PB45 section, by the time the Japanese attacked, was on the path up to Quarry Gap where Sir Cecil’s Ride branches off. The PB itself must surely have been very near.

Year completed is: Approximate
Condition at last visit: Demolished
Date of last visit: Dec-1995
Ref: ROB-00648
Other: Position uncertain. Probably no Lyon Light.

I've updated the location based on input from Rob. He's using the coordinates given in the HK Interim Defence Plan, UKNA reference WO 106/2379.

Regards, David

The location marked is close to the mysterious object mentioned by  hill-walker with the linked below... 

Although nothing resemble part of the PB it's still an odd coincidence, and the tunnel below makes it more suspicious 


I'd forgotten about that. Looking at the photos again, I'm still not sure what it was used for, but maybe it was somehow connected with PB45 nearby?

Regards, David

I took it yesterday, is it PB45?


My theory about  PB45  is that it was actually a concrete pillbox rather than a weapons pit  since weapons pits wouldn't show up on the Defence Plan. My theory is that the concrete from the pillbox was stolen during the 1950-60's by squatters, since the hillsides above Shau Kei Wan and Taikoo was squatter land back then. The stealing of concrete from military structures was common back then as referenced in a 1948 SCMP news article about squatters stealing concrete from PB314 ? 

"The stealing of concrete from military structures was common back then as referenced in a 1948 SCMP news article about squatters stealing concrete from PB314 ?"

Please could you let us have the date for the article about the stealing concrete?

Proquest search shows a mention of people stealing bricks from PB 417 on page 6 of the 9 April 1948 issue of the SCMP (see also https://gwulo.com/comment/45602#comment-45602), but I couldn't find the concrete / PB314 article.

Sorry, I meant PB417 instead of PB314