Lyemun DEL (Disappearing), Lye Yue Mun [c.1895- ]

Submitted by Rob on Tue, 09/20/2022 - 15:10
Current condition
Date completed
(Day, Month, & Year are approximate.)

[The marker's position is very approximate. We'll need either a detailed map of the area or a modern site visit to pin down the correct location.]

Year completed is: Accurate
Condition at last visit: Ruin
Date of last visit: Dec-1997
Ref: ROB-00291

This is one of the earliest Coastal Searchlight positions in Hong Kong. It was built about 1895 above Lei Yue Mun Strait, in the now heavily overgrown and restricted access area below the Museum of Coastal Defence. The remains of the installation were still there a century later.

It was one of several Disappearing Searchlight designs that attempted to reduce the effect of retaliatory return fire from an illuminated warship. In this case the light and operator were in a dug-in shelter whilst the mirror could be rotated into the concrete trench.

Its purpose in that position is unknown. There was, about the time it was built, a minefield across the channel, but this was to become redundant with the installation of the Brennan Torpedo nearby. The light may have been used in conjunction with either, or both. When it was withdrawn from use is unknown, but the standardised open fronted DEL Shelter started appearing in the adjacent Pak Sha Wan area from 1902.

Photos that show this Place



Rob have you any plan of the actual light?  Is it the counter balance beam, as used in Rangoon (Burma) and Fort Victoria Isle of White. See image below.

This is the traditional see saw searchlight
This is the traditional see saw searchlight, by Johnc

No sure if this was ever used operationally.  I have found no examples.  Note image is copyright of the Royal Engineers Museum.

Alternate design
Alternate design, by Johnc