Lye Mun Reverse 12 Pdr QF Battery [c.1916- ]
Year completed is: Approximate
Condition at last visit: Ruin
Date of last visit: Dec-1997
Other: Guns removed 1917. This is a different Bty to the original Lye Mun Reverse Bty.
Documents dated 1912 refer to Proposed Anti Torpedo Boat batteries at Lye Mun. They were to cover the water between Lye Mun and the Devils Peak peninsular. The Military authorities were concerned that Torpedo Boats operating at high speeds could enter the main harbour through the gap, without being effectively engaged by the 6” guns at Pak Sha Wan Bty. The proposal was for two new batteries, one with two 4.7” Quick Firing (QF) guns in the west, the other of two 12Pdr QF guns in the east. The QF guns gave a higher rate of fire than possible with the 6” BL guns, to counter the Torpedo Boat speed.
Instead of building a new position for the 4.7” guns, the existing but abandoned Lye Mun West Bty, was rebuilt to suit the new guns. They remained there until early 1941, when they were moved to new positions at Belchers Lower Bty on the western end of HK Island, where they were destroyed by enemy action in December.
There is little written history of the 12Pdr QF Bty. What is known is that the Army loaned the guns to the Navy to arm merchant ships in 1917, and the same year there was a request for barbed wire for the Bty surrounds, but nothing beyond that. The Armament List of 1921, which shows all batteries and guns available for the defence of HK, does not include this Bty.
Visiting the area in 1997 I came across a very overgrown battery which was unknown to me. It wasn’t until several years later, on a visit to the National Archives in London, that I found the documentation mentioning it. Its name was suitably vague: Lye Mun Pass near Reverse Battery. I have referred to it as Lye Mun Reverse 12Pdr QF Bty to separate it from Reverse Bty, which had been abandoned some years earlier.
- 1912: A proposed plan for 2 x 12 pdr QF guns near Reverse Bty. (WO 78/5352).
- 1915: Two new Btys for 2 x 12 pdr and 2 x 4.7" are being constructed to the West of Pak Sha Wan Bty. (WO 32/5316).
- 1917: Described as "Lyemun Pass near Reverse Bty": guns on loan to Navy for arming Merchant Vessels. (CAB 11/58).
- 1917: The two 12 pdr QF guns at Lyemun Pass (near Reverse Bty) lent to the Navy for arming Merchant Ships. (WO 78/5354).
- 1917: Refers to the 12 pdr Bty requirements for wire entanglements. (WO 32/5316).
- 1921: Not listed. (CAB 11/58).
- 1997: Ruins noted on personal visit.
- 2014: Restricted area of Museum of Coastal Defence, condition unknown.
For a background to these notes, and a glossary of terms used, please see: http://gwulo.com/node/24630