Major K. Hussain & Major D.C. Lightbody | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Major K. Hussain & Major D.C. Lightbody

I am hoping to learn more about two military officers who were posted to Hong Kong from late 1945 to 1947.  They both played a role in the postwar recovery of the remains of American airmen killed during raids on Hong Kong. 

1.) Major K. Hussain: He was a member of the War Crimes Investigation Unit.  Anyone know his full name and whether his last name is spelled correctly?  Was he Royal Army?

2.) Major D.C. Lightbody: He was the Deputy Assistant Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries.  He was apparently Royal Army.  Anyone know his full name?

I'd be grateful for any and all information about these two men.

Thanks!  --Steve


Could you please explain what you mean by the term “Royal Army?” No such thing exists. Are you referring to the “British Army,” or perhaps one of the Royal Regiments of the British Army?

From Supplement to London Gazette of 28.12.1948

Regular Army Reserve of Officers,Royal Regiment of Artillery.

Lieutenant(War Substantive Captain) D.C.Lightbody  79522

To be Captain w.e.f 21.12.1948




Tideswell 27 --

Thank you for the response.  In the U.S. military documents I was reading, Major D.C. Lightbody's name was followed by the acronym "R.A."  I took this to be either Royal Army or possibly Royal Artillery.  It looks like the latter was correct, as the post that follows yours indicates.  I was not aware that "Royal Army" is not an official term like "U.S. Army," so I appreciate the correction!

1314 --

Thank you for your response.  The U.S. military documents I was reading describe D.C. Lightbody as a "Major" in the "R.A." in January 1947. I gather from your post and the post from Tideswell27 that the acronyn indicates "Royal Artillery."   However, the gazette is showing Lightbody as a Captain in 1948, but the documents I was reading show him a major in 1947.  Any thoughts on what might explain this discrepency?  (Possibly there were two officer D.C. Lightbodys, of course, and possibly the U.S. military documents are incorrect.)

During wartime or when on special duties it was not unusual for officers to be appointed to a higher rank,generally on a temporary basis.for the duration of their special assignment.These were termed ' local ' appointments and I would guess this applies here.If you  interrogate Ancestry you will find details of his pre war ranking,and possibly more.

UK British Army Lists

1939 -1945 D C Lightbody Royal Artillery Supplementary Reserve 2nd Lieutenant

UK Brtish Army Lists 1945

 K K Hussein Royal Army Medical Corps Lieutenant

Thank you for the additional information, which is most helpful!


D.C. Lightbody


Nationality: British

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Service: British Army

Regiment: Royal Artillery

Battalion: Supplementary Reserve, Category B

Seniority Date: 21/12/1938


Source: UK Army List 1939


D.C. Lightbody


Nationality: British

Information: Category B Employed, Acting Capt 12/09/1941

Rank: 2nd Lieutenant

Rank (2nd): War Substantive Lt

Service: British Army

Regiment: Royal Artillery

Battalion: Supplementary Reserve

Seniority Date: 21/12/1938


Source: UK Army List 1942


D.C. Lightbody


Nationality: British

Information: 2nd Lieutenant 24/08/1939

Rank: War Substantive Captain

Rank (2nd): Temporary Major

Service: British Army

Regiment: Royal Artillery

Battalion: Supplementary Reserve. Category B, Employed

Seniority Date: 21/09/1945


Source: UK Army List 1947


He would have been entitled to the Campaign Medals: War Medal 1939-1945 and the 1939-45 Star


Note in the England and Wales Birth indexes between the years 1870-1930, only one candidate’s name could fit the initials D.C. Lightbody:


Derek C. Lightbody, birth registered September quarter of 1922 in Kings Norton, boundaries of Staffordshire and Warwickshire


The surname Lightbody is more common in Scotland but for the same years no similar initials registered for birth.


There is no guarantee that is him as he could have been born overseas.






There is a David Cooper Lightbody departing London for Hong Kong on the 15th December 1960 on the ship “Chusan”. He is British and scheduled to disembark at Hong Kong. There are no other details (e.g. age, occupation, marital status etc).

He is on the bottom of a list of names with the surname “Lightbody” which include Ian Macdonald Lightbody, Noreen Robson Lightbody, Nigel Macdonald Lightbody and Heather Wallace Lightbody. This would suggest this is a family unit and David Cooper Lightbody is the youngest member. There is again no other details for the other Lightbody names beyond that they are British and due to disembark at Hong Kong.

K K Hussain

Nationality: British

Information: Regular Army Emergency Commission

More information: M.B. (Bachelor of Medicine)

Rank: Lieutenant

Rank (2nd): W/S Captain

Service: British Army

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps

Seniority Date: 15/11/1940

Source: UK Army List 1945

So this chap is a medical doctor with the basic British medical degree. Knowing that this should give you another avenue for research. 


K K Hussain

First Name: K K

Initials: K K 

Surname: Hussain

Nationality: British

Information: Regular Army Emergency Commission

Rank: Lieutenant

Rank (2nd): War Substantive Capt.

Service: British Army

Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps

Seniority Date: 15/11/1940

Source: UK Army List 1942

Incoming  Southampton from Hong Kong 1955

Ian Lightbody dob 19 August 1921 government service

Noreen Lightbody dob 30 March 1929

Nigel Lightbody dob 24 November 1954

Address in UK Bishopscourt, Dromore, County Down Northern Ireland

England and Wales Death Records

Ian Macdonald Lightbody born 19 August 1921 Died 10 March  2015 Chichester Sussex

He appears in Who's Who and has a Wiki page

Ian MacDonald LightbodyCMGJP (19 August 1921 – 10 March 2015) was a Scottish-born Hong Kong civil servant and government official. He was the first Secretary for Housing from 1973 to 1977 and official member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and Executive Council of Hong Kong.

He graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1946 with a Master of Arts degree. He was appointed District Commissioner, New Territories in 1967, Defence Secretary in 1968 and Commissioner for Resettlement from 1971 to 1972. In 1973, he was appointed the first Secretary for Housing in which he served until 1977 and was appointed Secretary for Administration. He acted as Chief Secretary of Hong Kong in 1978. He was also an official member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong and Executive Council of Hong Kong. For his public services, he was invested as a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1974 New Year Honours. He retired from the government in 1978 and was appointed chairman of the Public Service Commission. He retired to the United Kingdom in 1980.



D.C. Lightbody

His first name is....*drum roll*



There is even a film of him if you care to plough through the video...


And he’s played the role of Prosecution Witness in the Hong Kong War Crimes Trials in 1946-47 eg.

Was he a POW?


There was a Douglas Lightbody born in 1892 in Hamilton (town near Glasgow), Lanarkshire, Scotland who was in the Royal Garrison Artillery in the First World War. 


There was a Douglas Cooper Lightbody born in 1918 in the registration district of Anderston which is located in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. This is probably your man.

Douglas Cooper Lightbody died in 14th June 1955 Port Moresby, NSW, Australia husband of Joyce, father of Morag.

Thank you for this information, which is spot on.  I am pretty certain that Major Douglas C. Lightbody, Royal Artillery, is my man, since in the U.S. military documents I have been reading (dated January 1947) he is described as Major D.C. Lightbody, R.A., Deputy Assistant Director of Graves Registration and Enquiries at the Garden Road HQ of British Land Forces, Hong Kong.  


Strong evidence this is the guy:


First source was a passenger manifest of the ship 'Circassia' departing from the UK 1st March 1952

Khatect (sic) K Hussain

Age: 43 years

Born: 1909

Address: 12 Kensington Drive, Woodford Green, Essex

Occupation: Physician

Departure Port: Liverpool

Arrival Port: Karachi, Pakistan (via Aden)

Wife: Margaret Hussain aged 37 years housewife

Daughter: Margaret Hussain aged 10 years

It seems like he is a pathologist with an interest in infectious dieases. There are a number of publications to his name 'K K Hussain' from 1952 to 1974 in the British Medical Journal and other medical journals


He got his postgraduate M.D. degree from the University of Leeds in 1946


He was appointed to the Neasden Hospital in London in 1956, working eventually in the Infectious Diseases Unit.

Source: (p1122 May 12 1956 British Medical Journal):


His death (as 'Khateeb Khasim Hussain') was registered in the second quarter of 2001 in Bedford, Bedfordshire, England, UK which list his birth date (23rd February 1909). 

He is buried in Saint Anne Churchyard in Ancroft, Northumberland, England, UK

Picture of his grave (and his wife’s grave) with his death date:


I don't have much information of his pre-WWII life at present but do know he is mentioned (as 'K K Hussain') in the Peridoical newspaper 'Leeds Mercury' published in Leeds, Yorkshire, England on 26th June 1930 on page 6 and again same publication on 24th September 1931 page 6. 

If someone has access to Ancestry, they should be able to look up where he got his medical training and undergraduate degree. I am guessing University of Leeds. I'm guessing he was born in British India (where it is Pakistan now). 

As suspected, his final MB ChB (part II) undergraduate degree was from the University of Leeds in 1937

p734, 3rd April 1937 British Medical Journal

Thank you for the additional information about Major Hussain.  If we are both describing the same man, he got a lot done in a short amount of time. The individual you described earned a medical degree from U. of Leeds in 1946, while the individual I am looking for was posted in Hong Kong in early 1947 as a major. 

U.S. Army investigators worked with a Major K. Hussain of the War Crimes Investigation Unit in January 1947, as described in archival documents.  He was apparently based at the HQ of British Land Forces, Garden Road, Hong Kong, at that time.  Unfortunately, the documents I've been reading do not mention his military specialty or even his branch, though I presume he was British army.   If these documents had said he was a physician, that would've confirmed without a doubt that we are talking about the same man.  It does seem plausible that a doctor would be attached to a unit investigating war crimes.


His Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery undergraduate degree was earned in 1937 which would fit his 1945 UK Army Records. The postgraduate MD degree was later earned in 1946. 

It's just whether the 'K Hussain' in your US documents is the same as the 'K K Hussain' of my chap as I notice you used only one K in his initials. The double 'K K' initials before his surname appear unique for that time period for an individual with a British medical degree.

I wondered about the middle initial "K" as well, since it seemed so distinctive, but alas, the US military documents do not give a middle initial for Major K. Hussain! 


Hi Steve,

Yes, best to be absolutely sure. I think it's safe to say that Major K Hussain has not been positively identified yet.

All I have found is information that is correct for a chap called 'K.K. Hussain' - a self-confirming circular logic. There is no evidence that it's the same chap as the 'Major K. Hussain' of the War Crimes Investigation Unit in Hong Kong. For example:

1. Initials don't match in your documents vs the information I found (K vs K.K.)

2. Rank don't match in your documents vs the information I found (Major vs W/S Captain)

One option is to contact living relations of K.K. Hussain (eg. write to the Saint Anne Church in Ancroft to see if there is a chance they can connect you with family as someone may still live nearby) and see if K.K. Hussain can be definitively eliminated from the 'War Crimes Investigation Unit, time spent in Hong Kong in 1946-1947 period etc. It just depends how far you want to pursue this. 

For example, there was a 'Major K. Hussain' in Singapore in 1947 (photo of him and daughter included!) and that is definitely NOT 'K.K. Hussain'!

After all, Major K Hussain could have been from a British Commonwealth country armed forces, rather than the British Army per se. 

There is no way to know for sure at this point, but I would bet good money that the man in the Singapore Free Press photo is the Major K. Hussain I've been looking for. 

That he would have been passing through Singapore on Sept. 3, 1947, would certainly make sense.

Amazing that you were able to find this photo!