THE FAR EASTERN REVIEW - Hong Kong Articles & Reports

Submitted by Chinarail on Fri, 08/20/2021 - 15:00

Guest author Peter Crush introduces a little-known resource with valuable information about the development of Hong Kong's industry and infrastructure in the early 20th century.


(Monthly Journal published in Manila & then later Shanghai 1904 - 1941)

Typical Front Cover Designs - The Far Eastern Review

The logo of The Far Eastern Review and examples of front covers



Over the past 24 months I have created a number of Gwulo forum ‘Topics’ as well as posting individual images selected from this journal (hereafter the “FER”). Administrator David asked if it would be possible to prepare an index of Hong Kong-related extracts and post this as a forum topic for the benefit of followers and other researchers of Hong Kong history. I initially baulked at this suggestion bearing in mind that the entire run of 37 annual volumes (each, with a few exceptions, having twelve monthly issues) has overall about thirty thousand pages if advertisement pages are included. It had taken me some twenty years on and off to trawl through this journal looking for any pages containing any mention of early Chinese railway construction, which is my own area of special interest. I eventually finished my index project for Chinese railways within the FER last year. That project was not made easy by the FER’s own poorly constructed and inconsistent indexes, which in some in some years were entirely completely lacking.

After further consideration I have prepared a provisional index for Hong Kong related reports within the FER based upon those annual Indexes or ‘Contents’ lists where they do exist. I have also utilized my accumulated knowledge of how this journal mutated and evolved in style over the years to search in other sections for likely references to Hong Kong (or rather “Hongkong”, as was the normal spelling in this era).

The list below should not be regarded as exhaustive. In the first few years there were no annual indexes but (sometimes) short “Contents” lists which were limited to major articles. Many shorter reports were not listed but were published within sections of the magazine captioned (inconsistently) as Railway News, Engineering News, Construction News, Mining News, Shipping News or Commercial & Financial Reports etc.

For more detailed information about this journal including its history, evolution and how to find access to library holdings it is suggested that researchers should first read the Wikipedia page about The Far Eastern Review (follow this link) which was also created by Wikipedia & Gwulo contributor ‘Chinarail’.

FER- Examples of Front Covers with Hong Kong articles

(Above) Examples of FER front covers containing articles about Hong Kong


Articles & Reports within the FER relating to Hong Kong

The Kowloon - Canton Railway (re financing) 12 Jun 1904
Hongkong Street Railway 12 Jun 1904
The Kowloon - Canton Railway (comments from Singapore Free Press) 14 Jun 1904
Alexandra Buildings 35 Aug 1904
Hongkong Electric Co, ( AGM Report) 36 Aug 1904
Hongkong Wharf and Godown Company 12 Sep 1904
Kowloon-Hongkong Railway (re delay) 30 Feb 1904
List of Authorized Architects (from Gazette) 30 Feb 1904
Kowloon - Canton Railway ( prospects) 26 May 1905
Steam Launch “Bramtoco” (W.S. Bailey & Co) 18 Jun 1905
General Post Office & Government Offices 1 Jul 1905
Proposed Canton-Hong Kong Railway 104 Jul 1905
List of Railway Concessions Granted by China to England : from Canton to Kowloon 90 miles. 104 Jul 1905
Sir Thomas Jackson (biography) 83 Sep 1905
Industry of the Green Island Cement Co. 156 Nov 1905
Kowloon-Canton Railway (re survey) 157 Nov 1905
Palatial Residence of Sir Paul Chater 220 Jan 1906
Canton-Kowloon Railway (Chinese section) 325 Apr 1906
Foundation & Growth of the Institution of Engineers & Shipbuilders - ( 4, De Voeux Road ) 338 May 1906
Kowloon-Canton Railway (British section) - Appointment of Mr. Graves William Eves. 358 May 1906
Kowloon-Canton Railway – rejection by Peking for control from Hongkong 27 Jun 1906
Kowloon-Canton Railway (outbreak of Malaria) 172 Oct 1906
Kowloon-Canton Railway, (re loan agreement for the Chinese Section). 236 Dec 1906
Canton-Kowloon Railway (loan agreement concluded). 273 Jan 1907
Kowloon-Canton Railway (agreement signed and construction was expected to start) 304 Feb 1907
Kowloon-Canton Railway (work on the British section work was being pushed ahead) 336 Mar 1907
Canton-Kowloon Railway (a share issue arrangement had been decided upon) 368 Apr 1907
Kowloon-Canton Railway Loan – subscriptions were being invited in London for building the Chinese Section. 395 May 1907
Kowloon-Canton Railway - heavy rains had wrought havoc in Kowloon. 59 Jul 1907
Images of new buildings on the recent Praya reclamation.: Prince’s Bld.;King’s Bld,; Hotel Mansions; Royal Bld.& Queen’s Bld. 116 Sep 1907
Canton-Kowloon Railway ( survey of the Chinese section completed) 186 Nov 1907
Mr. William Danby M.I.C.E. (portrait & biography of prominent HK engineer ) 193 Dec 1907
China and the Conquest of the Air - Mr Tse Tsan Tai – (designer of airships) 245 Jan 1908
Kowloon-Canton Railway ( PWD had issued an annual report on progress) 250 Jan 1908
Hongkong Typhoon Refuge 276 Feb 1908
Canton-Kowloon Railway (re progress, financing & suggested benefits) 290 Mar 1908
Hong Kong-Canton Railway (report by G.W. Eves, Chief Resident Engineer ). 327 Apr 1908
Hongkong Docks 368 May 1908
Hongkong Typhoon Refuge (proposed breakwater at Mong-kok-tsui) 357 May 1908
Obituary- A.H. Rennie Manager of Junk Bay Flour Mills who committed suicide. 372 May 1908
Another Hongkong Airship 376 May 1908
Hongkong Naval Yard Extensions 92 Aug 1908
Molave Shipment to Hongkong 95 May 1908
Review of the Railway Situation in China - (KCR & CKR covered on some pages) 111 Sep 1908
Canton-Kowloon Railway - Agreement between Wai Wu Pu & British & Chinese Corporation 148 Sep 1908
Kowloon-Canton Railway (Chinese Section - re a dispute over the appointment of adviser. 182 Oct 1908
Canton-Kowloon Railway (the Chinese were being pushed to complete their section.) 285 Jan 1909
Quarry Bay Dock – Butterfield & Swire’s new godown at Kowloon Point 285 Jan 1909
The Trade of Hongkong 330 Feb 1909
Kowloon-Canton Railway (Kowloon tunnel expected to be completed in April.) 331 Feb 1909
Dredging for Hongkong Typhoon Shelter 356 Mar 1909
Kowloon Canton Railway (2-page report) 357 Mar 1909
Hongkong Typhoon Shelter 357 Mar 1909
HSBC – Half yearly meeting & financial report 358 Mar 1909
Hong Kong Railway Construction Accounts – (summary) for the year 1908 454 May 1909
Trade of Hongkong 88 Jul 1909
Kowloon – Canton Railway (British Section) 335 Nov 1909
Canton - Kowloon Railway (Chinese Section) 342 Nov 1909
Railways in China - Kowloon - Canton Railway 49 Jul 1910
Formal Opening of the British Section Kowloon Canton Railway 151 Oct 1910
Hongkong and Her Railway 167 Oct 1910
The Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co. Ltd. 427 Apr 1911
The Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co. 429 Apr 1911
W. S. Baily & Co. 434 Apr 1911
Macdonald & Co. 434 Apr 1911
The Canton-Kowloon Railway (Chinese Section). 468 May 1911
Steel Wire Concrete Reinforcement (in construction of Hongkong Hotel) 487 May 1911
Sir Frederick Lugard’s New Appointment -- Hongkong Governor to transfer to Nigeria 320 Mar 1912
New Steamers Built by the Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Company. 13 Jun 1912
The Hongkong University 24 Jun 1912
The Hongkong Law Courts 48 Jun 1912
Hongkong’s New Post Office 317 Dec 1912
Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (half year results) 76 Jul 1913
Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (half yearly meeting) 115 Aug 1913
Kowloon-Canton Railway – estimated earnings 194 Oct 1913
The University of Hongkong – Historical Sketch of the Institution 134 Sep 1913
Hongkong and Whampoa Dock - new launchings 324 Jan 1914
Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (half year results) 325 Jan 1914
Wireless Station for Hongkong 479 May 1914
Export of Tin from Hongkong 491 May 1914
Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co. launch steamer “Senang” on 29 May 41 Jun 1914
Hongkong Coinage Question 76 Jul 1914
“Star” Ferry Co. Ltd. - Financial report 106 Aug 1914
Hongkong & Shanghai Banking Corp. - (report of half-yearly meeting in Hongkong) 131 Sep 1914
Hongkong Tramways - 10th Year of operations 164 Oct 1914
Hongkong - Extension of City for south side of island 166 Oct 1914
Hongkong Additional Waterworks 165 Oct 1914
Wireless for Hongkong 212 Nov 1914
Imports of Molasses into Hongkong 213 Nov 1914
Hongkong’s Water Supply 369 Feb 1915
Paper Pulp for Hongkong 410 Mar 1915
Shoe Factory Fails (in Hongkong) 410 Mar 1915
Hongkongs’ banks (currency) circulation 36 Jun 1915
Hongkong Finances as at March 1915 76 Jul 1915
Hongkong Reclamation Project & Harbour Improvements 201 Oct 1915
Redemption of Hongkong Govt Gold Loan 314 Jan 1916
Taikoo Dock is Busy 373 Feb 1916
Export Trade of Hongkong 391 Mar 1916
Hongkong Shipyards Busy 445 Apr 1916
Hongkong Liquor and Opium Revenues 118 Aug 1916
Shipbuilding at Hongkong 388 Mar 1917
Hongkong Bank Notes 397 Mar 1917
Hongkong Shipping Report 717 Oct 1917
Chinese Bank at Hong Kong 718 Oct 1917
Hongkong Finances 718 Oct 1917
Hongkong & Whampoa Launchings S.S. Prosper, Helikan, Prominent & Hermelin 810 Dec 1917
Iron Accumulations at Hongkong 812 Dec 1917
Soap Manufacture at Hongkong 40 Jan 1918
Industrial Wealth of China – The Future of Hongkong - by C.A Middleton Smith, Professor of Engineering Univ. of HK 74 Feb 1918
Japanese Fear Hongkong Sugar Competition 124 Mar 1918
Motor Road Around Hongkong Island 199 May 1918
Building of Taitam Tuk Dam - History of Engineering Works which Afford Hongkong Ample Water Supply - by. D. Jaffé AMICE 215 Jun 1918
The Matshed Catastrophe in Hong Kong - the Engineering Aspects of the Disaster 221 Jun 1918
Hongkong Steel Foundry Co. (AGM report) 351 Aug 1918
Standard Ship Built at Hongkong - “S.S. War “Drummer” launched at HK & Whampoa Docks (see entry about sister ship “S.S. War Sniper” page 209 April 1921 below) 391 Sep 1918
Expenditure on Public Works in China – editorial comment about PWD, Hongkong 463 Nov 1918
Chinese Capital in Hongkong 489 Dec 1918
Roadways in Hongkong 497 Dec 1918
Marine Engines and Motor Boats in the Far East (with reference to Hongkong) 515 Dec 1918
Housing Problem in Hongkong 34 Jan 1919
Motor Bus Service Sheungshui-Autau 39 Jan 1919
Hongkong – General Description, Trade & Commerce, Shipping Port, Imports & Exports 194 Feb 1919
Hongkong Shipping Statistics 407 May 1919
The Canton-Kowloon Railway in 1918 571 Aug 1919
Reclamation in Hongkong – Kowloon Bay 88 Feb 1920
(and also Gwulo atoms 35762 – 4)    
Modern Tannery in Hongkong 300 Jun 1920
Largest Hongkong Shipment of Manganese Ore 386 Aug 1920
Far Eastern Shipbuilding - Hongkong - Taikoo Dockyard & Engineering Co. & Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co. 1 Jan 1921 &    
Huge Contract - Praya East Reclamation Scheme 396 Jun 1921
Hongkong’s Industrial Future 616 Sep 1921
Hongkong Needs Boosting 623 Sep 1921
Kowloon - Canton Railway – (British Section) - New Terminal Station & Administrative Offices 633 Sep 1921
Hongkong Reclamation Scheme – award of contract 756 Nov 1921
Taikoo’s Gift to the Hongkong University 757 Nov 1921
The Hongkong & Whampoa Dock Co. (advert) “ S.S War Sniper” launched 1921 31 Jan 1922
The University of Hongkong - Engineering Facility 209 Apr 1922
”Blue Funnel” Launching at Hong Kong - S.S.‘Rhexenor” built by Taikoo Dockyard 527 Aug 1922
Great Waterworks Scheme for Hongkong - Water from Taimoshan Mountain 635 Oct 1922
White Buses, Pride of Hongkong Hotels 717 Nov 1922
Motor Coaches on the Kowloon-Canton Railway 752 Dec 1922
Hongkong and Canton 160 Mar 1923
Hongkong and Canton ( British Policy in China) 223 Apr 1923
“Wayfoong” - Hongkong & Shanghai Bkg. Corp.(new Shanghai branch building with description of a Hongkong -themed decorative panel in the entrance hall) 445 Jul 1923
Hongkong Harbour Improvements - proposed reclamation of Hunghom Bay 456 Jul 1923
Road Making in Hongkong 492 Jul 1923
Kowloon Tramways and 703 Nov 1923
Hongkong’s Contribution to Empire - Taikoo Dockyard and Hongkong & Whampoa Docks 231 May 1924
Hongkong and Whampoa Dock - Exhibits Model at Wembley 368 Aug 1924
New Firefloat for Hongkong Government 13 Jan 1925
Railway Carriages for Hongkong 146 Mar 1925
Launching of the “Taishan” by Taikoo Dockyard 668 Oct 1925
The Water Supply of Hongkong 33 Jan 1927
Ship Sales at Hongkong 91 Feb 1927
Firefloat for Hongkong 115 Mar 1927
Shing Mun Valley Contract 129 Mar 1927
New Ho-Tung, Engineering Workshops, ( for Hong Kong University) 221 May 1927
Gas Lighting in Hongkong 466 Oct 1927
Chinese government to contribute towards aerodrome at Kai Tak 381 Aug 1928
British Taxis for Hong Kong 381 Aug 1928
Guy Buses in Hongkong 478 Oct 1928
Thornycroft Busses (sic) for Hongkong 524 Nov 1928
New Motor Company in Hongkong 528 Nov 1928
Launch of Chinese Government River Gunboat at Bailey’s Shipyard Hongkong 561 Dec 1928
Electricity Extension in Hongkong 93 Feb 1929
American Vessel Built in Hongkong 142 Mar 1929
An Auxiliary Built in Hongkong 168 Apr 1929
Hongkong and Shanghai Service (proposed air service) 192 Apr 1929
Mining in Hongkong 518 Nov 1929
Clifford & Clementi (HK Governor Clementi to transfer to Singapore & Malaya) 537 Dec 1929
New 800 Feet Piers for Hongkong 556 Dec 1929
New Automatic System at Hongkong - telephone exchange 47 Jan 1930
Automobiles in Hongkong 144 Mar 1930
Shipbuilding in Hongkong 204 Apr 1930
A Busy Shipyard (HK & Whampoa Dock) 65 Jan 1931
Praya East Reclamation Projection 102 Feb 1931
4-6-0 Type Locomotive for the Government of Hongkong 160 Mar 1931
Electricity Supply Scheme for the Province of Kwangtung, Macao and Hongkong 285 May 1931
Hongkong to Have New Brewery 366 Jun 1931
New Kowloon Power Station - China Light & Power Company 367 Jun 1931
Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Company Completes Huge Project 387 Jun 1931
Hongkong & Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company Makes Notable Record 392 Jun 1931
Hongkong - Canton Telephone Line Nears Completion 415 Jul 1931
Long Distance Telephone Service Now Links Hongkong And Canton 604 Oct 1931
Vehicular Ferry at Hongkong 704 Nov 1931
New Hongkong Reservoir 782 Dec 1931
Growth of Cement Industry in Hongkong - (New Plant at Hok Un by Green Island Co.) 228 May 1932
Hongkong Electric Company Installs Modern British Plant 310 Jul 1932
Hongkong Tells time by Telechron ( in new Gloucester Building Clock Tower) 487 Oct 1932
Hongkong Electric Company Ltd.. 570 Oct 1932
Notable Year of Progress – Hongkong Telephone Company 415 Sep 1933
and also this link:-    
New Diesel Electric Ferry - The “Electric Star” Goes into Service at Hongkong    
New Hongkong Bank Building 524 Nov 1933
Hongkong Fire Equipment 575 Dec 1933
Water Supply in Hongkong – A Triumph of Applied Science (by C.A Middleton Smith, Dean of Engineering Univ. of HK) - Part I 296 Jul 1934
" " Part II. 353 Aug 1934
Part III. 398 Sep 1934
Part IV. 447 Oct 1934
Part V. 491 Nov 1934
The Peel Engineering Laboratory at the University of Hongkong 13 Jan 1935
The New Home of the Hongkong & Shanghai Bank (construction of the new building) 379 Oct 1935
New Penang - Hongkong Air Route 259 Jun 1936
Hongkong Trade Fair 309 Jul 1936
Mechanization in China - Recent Tragedy in HK by Prof. C.A. Middleton Smith , HKU 339 Sep-
Oct 1937


1. Topics typed in italic text have been digitally scanned by Gwulo contributor ‘Chinarail’ and may be downloaded from the “”academic website free of charge. Follow this link ( ) and navigate your way to Chinarail’s RESEARCH / PROJECTS / and click on PROJECT LOG / and then select the appropriate pdf file downloads by date. These scans covering some 35 years of reports within The Far Eastern Review between 1904 and 1941 are to confined to the development of China’s railways ( including Hong Kong) . Because of the large pdf file sizes the project has been split into multiple sections (15 Parts)

2. A selection of topics not related to railways but concerning Hong Kong’s industrial history has also been scanned and provide the basis for some Forum Topics posted on Gwulo. Where this is the case in the above list, active hyperlinks to the relevant Gwulo (or external ) websites are highlighted. To read the specific topic just click on the highlighted link. Note, however that posts only include illustrations and limited extracts of the original text and illustrations. For the full publication researchers should resort to accessing the relevant full editions of The Far Eastern Review

3. A full Contents and Index project for almost the entire run of the journal. This is also downloadable as a pdf file from the’s website: ( follow the link and select the appropriate Project Log for the download ). However, bear in mind this project is not comprehensive and is based upon the indexes if and when published and many shorter reports within the FER were omitted.


Thanks to Peter for the considerable effort involved in compiling the above list, and for generously sharing it with us.

Peter came to Hong Kong from U.K in 1965 as a trainee police inspector after completing sixth-form science studies at the King’s School Macclesfield. In 1972, having resigned from the police force he went on to have a twenty-year career with HAECO at the former Kai Tak Airport. While serving with this company he also invested in his own businesses, one of which was the establishment of The Railway Tavern, in Tai Wai.

Descending from a family with a long railway background he has also found time to pursue an interest in researching Chinese railway history and rail-spotting around China. Over a thirty-year period, he has accumulated a large collection of photographs, documents and ephemera associated with this hobby, a resource which is now increasingly consulted and cited by other historians in publications and exhibitions. He has two books published on Chinese railways history and is Honorary Curator to the Kailuan Mine Park  (开滦国家矿山公园 ) and associated railway museum in Tangshan, north China and has recently been appointed as Honorary Research Fellow of the Macau University of Science &  Technology’s Tong King Sing Research Centre.  Peter is also a Wikipedia on-line encyclopaedia contributor and writer.

In the initial introduction Peter mentioned he has contributed several pages to Gwulo, often based on clippings from the FER. Here is a list of the pages he has created and / or contributed to, under his pen name 'Chinarail'.