Lost in the Battle for Hong Kong | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Lost in the Battle for Hong Kong

Book type: 
Dates of events covered by this document: 
Thu, 1931-01-01 to Thu, 1959-12-31

A Memoir of Survival, Identity and Success

This book throws light on an important period in the history of Hong Kong. Nevertheless, it is not a history book but a personal memoir that begins in the pre-war British colony, moves through the traumatic events of war and Japanese occupation, and ends with the author’s successful career as an engineer with Jardine Matheson, one of Hong Kong’s oldest companies. Lost in the Battle for Hong Kong tells an unusual and intriguing story.
Following the death of his mother Bob Tatz finds himself alone in the world at the age of seven. Sustained only by recent memories of happiness he is forced to adjust to life in a boarding school until the age of ten. As war breaks out he is lost in the streets of Kowloon but fortunately welcomed by a group of refugees fleeing the Japanese onslaught at the same time.
At this early age and still without mentorship this young boy survived the uncertainties of wartime life. Under similar unforgiving circumstances, challenges in adolescence were overcome leading to positive self-discovery. Eventually, opportunities opened the way towards significant success in early adult life.
This is the author’s own story told entirely in his own words.
"The real Empire of the Sun: the remarkable story of Bob Tatz.
I’m sure many readers will be moved by the way in which that scared and abandoned orphan boy eventually found fulfilment in work, love and parenthood."
Brian Edgar, Former Professor at the University of Yunnan




For those who may be interested to purchase a copy of this book, I suggest waiting until the end of June, 2019 as this book will very like be available from your local book seller, or through Amazon, with possibly a saving in shipping costs. Use the above link to look at introductory information about the book and Bob.





This book gives the reader an intimate view of the fate of a young orphan engulfed in the attack on Hong Kong in 1941. His experiences as a prisoner of the Japanese in the Stanley internment camp are told through the eyes of youngster growing up under most difficult circumstances. His resolute development post war and his steady advancement into manhood where he developed the skills to become the youngest Chief Engineer to be appointmented in the Jardine Shipping Company make most interesting reading. An inspirational story that will appeal to most readers. Only available on line at present - Amazon is probably the best source.

An annotated copy of the group photo on the cover of the book:

Bowen Road Group, circa January 1942


A multi-page prayer book made by Sr. St. Stanislas for my Second Communion in Stanley Civilian Internment Camp. ca 1942.

Prayer book made in Stanley Camp ca 1942


Prayer book made in Stanley Camp ca 1942-interior