Big Structure close to Shek O Road [????- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Big Structure close to Shek O Road [????- ]

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Pehaps you are referring to the obelisk off Shek O Road. More information here

No, the Obelisk is 450m as the bird flies to the South. There's a long and a small building structure at this location just a few m north of the hiking trail off Shek O Road leading to the Obelisk.

Follow the bright Hiker Ribbons, and if you wish to continue they will lead you all the way down to the HKG trail. Path is also on the HK Hiking Trail App available in the Google Playstore.

Structure off Shek O road.jpg
Structure off Shek O road.jpg, by MikeB

20180207_104323.jpg, by MikeB

20180207_104006.jpg, by MikeB

Hi There,

Those are likely 'Forward Dressing Stations', which could be found on the Island in many places.

Thanks & Best Regards,


Hi MikeB,

Thanks for posting your photos.  I suspect you've found the shelters used by 'D' Company Headquarters ('D' Coy HQ), Royal Rifles of Canada (RRC) and attached units during the Battle of Hong Kong. Personally I find the photos very interesting as I've walked from Shek O Road to the obelisk on Obelisk Hill a few times, without noticing any buildings, but had wondered if it would be worthwhile having a proper search of the area.

According to the RRC War Diary (1), on 7th December 1941, " 'D' Coy HQ, 4 OR Signals Platoon and one detachment Mortar Platoon, 16 and 17 Platoons", took up their battle positions at "Obelisk Hill area". The Diary gives the following general description of RRC accommodation here and elsewhere.

"In each company area and at Battalion Headquarters were a number of surface shelters. These had been constructed prior to the outbreak of the war. They were below the ground surface level and had concerete walls, iron doors and reinforced concrete and dirt roofs and were ventilated by jacks from the roof. Shelter accommodation generally was inadequate, consequently in each area, camoflaged bivouacs were used." 

'D' Coy HQ remained at Obelisk Hill until 1015 hours on 19th December when they joined the evacuation to Stanley.

A short but interesting personal account of the RRC's occupation of Obelisk Hill is given by Rifleman Phil Doddridge on the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association website. (Sorry, I can't seem to set up a direct link. Go to their homepage at and type "dodderidge" in the search box. From the resulting list choose "Memories uninvited - Phil Dodderidge's Story". The relevent part is in the chapter entitled "The Battle").

Your third photo looks like a military toilet. It's the norm to find toilet blocks with the accommodation shelters. They consist of two rooms, the larger accessable through the middle door and home to three (if I remember correctly) "seats". The smaller of the two rooms contains one seat. An odd feature is that anyone occupying the one seater can clearly be seen from outside as that corner of the shelter wall is non-existant. I can only guess that the larger room was for "other ranks" whilst "officers" used the small one, but it amuses me to think of the logic behind the idea not to build the corner wall infront of that toilet. Did the architect expect the officers to be maintaining command and barking out orders whilst engaged in what is normally considered to be the most important business of the day?   

If you do further online research on the RRC's at Obelisk Hill you may be confused by the photo entitled " 'D' Coy, RRC's position on Obelisk Hill" at . Actually the photo is of the Pak Sha Wan Anti-Aircraft Battery which is located a few miles from Obelisk Hill.

Ref.(1): The RRC Hong Kong War Diary, 1st December to 25th December 1941. 

These appear to be right down the road from the old East Brigade HQ, which has a very large group of similar clustered bunkers (besides the large underground bunker for fire control/wallis's HQ).

gw is almost certainly correct in his assumption here. And the third photo does appear as a toilet block.

All very interesting. "Memories Uninvited - Phil Dodderidge's Story", The Battle see here

Thank you for this very interesting insight ! I didn't expect such a wealth of information in such great detail. 

gw is absolutely spot on with his assessment. These are indeed the buildings occupied by D Coy, Royal Rifles. Phil Cracknell and I spent a few hours bashing around the boonies last year looking at this site!

At one point we found one building which we thought looked like a cookhouse or canteen. One could imagine the troops queuing up at a quiet phase of the battle for their scran, mess tins in hand.

The O.C. of D Coy, Major Parker, kept a diary which his son has published. Well worth reading. D Coy was the unit which on Christmas Day, 1941, was ordered by Brigadier Cedric Wallis to drive the Japanese out of St. Stephen’s College. They sustained heavy casualties (something in the region of 75%) in a brave but ultimately futile attack.