Kennedy Town PB 1, Kennedy Town [1940- ]

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/21/2010 - 21:51
Current condition
Date completed

A pillbox above Chiu Yuen Cemetery.

4 Oct 2012 Update: I've changed title from "Pillbox in Chiu Yuen Cemetery" to Rob's description. Here are his other records about this PB:

Year completed is: Approximate
Condition at last visit: Intact
Date of last visit: Jul-1997
Ref: ROB-00685
Other: Interior modified by Japanese?

Photos that show this Place


Hi there,

From the Pillbox map in Tony Banham's book only coastal Pillboxes had numbers.  It does not look like a coastal pillbox so it is very likely that this particular did not have a pillbox number, just like the three in the vicinity of the Aberdeen Reservoirs.  One near the upper main dam, the other two along Lady Clementi's Ride.

From your marked place it looked like a pillbox guarding the Mount David Battery on th South East flank.  I remember once I use my 18X zoom lens to gaze over Mount Davis from Hong Kong Trail stage one and found a forward dressing station (the one with those wavie edges on the top) not too far away from your location.  It's further up the slope closer to the top.

Best Regards,


Thanks for letting us know about this one. I've walked along the road opposite the cemetery at least once a fortnight for many years, and never realised it was there!

On the same day we visited the bunker at Tai Tam Gap, Rob Weir showed me another four pillboxes I'd never noticed before, so I've obviously been walking around with my eyes closed!

Rob has written an interesting introduction to Hong Kong Pillboxes, where he explains that apart from the pillboxes around the coast of HK Island...

For support, more PB's were to be built across the ridge line behind what is now Central, to defend the main gaps which gave access north/south. These became known as "the Line of Gaps" PB's.

Read Rob's article here.

Comments from Rob about this pillbox:

Interesting photo's of the cemetery PB. Last time I saw it, it was difficult to find because of vegetation. The works in the vicinity definitely weren't there. Probably says a bit for how long ago. Like some other, particularly AOP sites, this PB has evidence of the floor being penetrated, with a tunnel/cave beneath. The concrete blocks below the loopholes also showed signs of modification to become bed bases, presumably by squatters.

To answer your question, I don't know of any particular numbers. They were referred to as the Kennedy Town Gap PB's. There were three originally, the others being on the uphill side of Pok Fu Lam Road. One disappeared when the road was widened, but the other was still there last time I checked, and is above the catchwater on the Kennedy Town side of Queen Mary hospital.

"On the same day we visited the bunker at Tai Tam Gap, Rob Weir showed me another four pillboxes I'd never noticed before, so I've obviously been walking around with my eyes closed!"

Would you mind letting us know where one can find these four pillboxes you were taken to?  Chances are that most Gwulo's readers would have missed them as well! 

Would it also be too much for you to ask Rob Weir for a list of the surviving pillboxes / other military structures of note in Hong Kong?  I know Joe Yip's book is coming out in July but, personally, I think the more sources / information we have on these military structures the better.  

I therefore think it would be great if we can also learn on the subject from Rob.  It would also be good for more people interested in HK history (such as the readers of the Gwulo forum) to know about the whereabouts of these strucutres so that we could do something to protect and preserve them before it is too late!


Tony's data I guess is from Kirby, the official account of the war in the Far East.

FN 19 in my short article in Vol.48 of  JRASHKB 2008 on the late Arthur Gomes, who manned a PB below Mt Davis (but as that was above the Belcher Fort, not the one you exhibits), reports what Fr. Moran saw PBs along Victoria Road. (NB. That the Jesuits were assigned para-military duties of billetting is a neglected dimension in post war reconstruction of the saga...)  I think this is exactly one which Fr. Moran saw.

Congratulations on dicovery and report of this ear heritage for HK!


Hi Lawrence,

Good to hear from you. I joined the RAS too late to see your article about Mr Gomes, but I enjoyed your summary of coastal pillboxes in last year's journal.

Please do you know if there was any identification number for this pillbox?

Re: "Fr. Moran saw PBs along Victoria Road". I don't think this pillbox would have been easily seen from Victoria Road. Wouldn't one of the coastal PBs be more likely? eg #72, or one of the pillboxes #1..#8?

Regards, David

Here's the outside of the pillbox:


A bit further up the slope is the entrance.


There is something about the entrance that's unusual. On both side-walls before the doorway you can see the ends of what looks like was a concrete beam across the gap. I don't remember seeing anything like that before.

Here's a video taken inside the pillbox. You know in Indiana Jones movies there's a moment when there's a rustling noise, shortly followed by hordes of rats / insects / etc? We had a moment like that, albeit on a smaller scale!

Hi there

I found some bottles inside of the pillbox. They are too covered in dust to read, but I believe that they have the words ALLENBURY'S or something along those lines in cursive. I have a hobby of collecting old bottles from HK, and I believe it can be quite old ( at least 1960's). Can anyone identify it?

Thank you guys so much

Hi Lewis, 

Any photos of this bottle? And if you happen to come across any other old bottles in the field, feel free to share your finds- I'd be happy to help with ID,