Kellett Island [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Kellett Island [????- ]

Reclamation means it isn't an island any more.

It is the site of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.

Photos that show this place


The Chinese names are older and can be more poetic - and have more history for us :)

They are not always older. The written Chinese of today is not always - or sometimes even often - an accurate rendering of an original colloquial name (<95% of Chinese coastal inhabitants were not literate in Chinese when Samuel Wells Williams was writing in the 1850s). Quite often (my suspicion is quite surprisingly often) a Chinese name is a post-mapping, post-colonial occupation creation with nicely literate names that have no connection with the sort of salty names seafarers and fisherfolk are likely to have used (q.v. Dog's Bum Island off Cape D'Aguilar). Little thorough work has been done on local toponymy, and too much of what has been done rests on the shakey foundation of folk memory often under three generations old. That's not to say 'Lantern Island' (燈籠洲) is NOT the original name, merely that it is indeed the Chinese name in use today but there is not much evidence to support the claim that it is original.

On a Japanese intelligence map of 1939, there's another name altogether, but my Kanji isn't up to reproducing it. Which leads me to a question for Gwulo mavens. 

Has anyone ever heard what, if any, use Kellett Island had during the Battle of Hong Kong. I know that the last yacht race finished only about 18 hours before the first bombs fell, so clearly it wasn't requisitioned for military use at that point. However, given the decision to scuttle ships, including the Tamar, to prevent the Japanese using them for OPs or platforms for offensive action, it boggles the mind that Kellett Island that, with a heavy machine gun or some light artillery, dominates the Wan Chai waterfront and the road connection between Wan Chai and North Point, was ignored by both sides, as appears to have been the case. Anyone any ideas?

Stephen D