Chatham Road Camp [1946-1977]

Submitted by David on Tue, 06/29/2010 - 20:48
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished

Dates and location approximate for now. [Outline added, based on the map 1960.1 Hong Kong.]

The camp appears in photos of the area from the 1940s on. IDJ writes:

That whole area was covered with Nissen Huts and military playing fields up until at least the 1970s and probably until about the time the first Cross Harbour Tunnel was built.

Photos that show this Place


Peter Binstead mentions this camp:

I joined the Regt in July 1959 but remained in HK after it left in '60. I was posted to Camp Kowloon in Chatham Road and served out my remaining 2yrs. there.

Moddsey, well spotted. It isn't named, but it certainly matches the description. The Grand Hotel was a short distance away on Carnarvon Road. After dropping off their cases at the hotel, they went back out to the dark blue saloon car they'd arrived in.

[It] drove through a gateway guarded by two army sentries and pulled up in front of a large, long Nissen hut with very un-military gingham curtains hanging in the windows.

They ate lunch, then:

At the end of the meal, which was punctuated by steam locomotives periodically hauling trains along a railway track not thrity feet from the Nissen hut, the officer shook my hand.

Here are the results of a couple of searches through Google. It certainly had a wide variety of occupants, including refugees, cholera cases, sea-cadets, soldiers and triads!

  • 8 Mar, 1950. Since the Chatham Road camp, which was
    erected for the accommodation of a possible influx of refugees from Shanghai was taken over by the Military Authorities, there has been no spare accommodation which can be used in the event of an emergency arising. Since the re-occupation, the need for some sort of transient camp has been repeatedly felt. Up to the present, we have been fortunate in always being able to find some make-shift solution, but it is considered that this unsatisfactory position has continued long enough. It has therefore been decided to construct a further camp in the Chatham Road area, and a sum of $1,600,000 has been included for this. Legco minutes.
  • 17 Nov, 1950.  #21. Chatham Road Camp. 568006. Contained in a perimeter wire fence bounded on the North by the Merchant Navy football-ground, on the South by the Bible Auditorium, and on the East by Chatham Road and on the West by the line of the railway. Military Installations Closed Areas, 17 Nov 1950. [I think they've got their east & west wrong. Chatham Road never ran to the east of the railway]
  • 20 May, 1952. On the 20th May, the Battery moved down to Chatham Road Transit Camp, KOWLOON in preparation for embarkation.  On the 16th May, the Battery embarked on the HMT EMPIRE KEN, arriving at SOUTHAMPTON on the 26th June. 49 Inkerman Battery.
  • 13 Aug, 1952. It was on 13th August 1952 that the Battalion left Queen's Hill Camp in the New Territories and marched to Fanling station on the first stage of its journey to Edinburgh, and, enroute, they marched past the Middlesex Regiment, who had lined both sides of the road to cheer them on their way—a fine gesture from old friends and one that was tremendously appreciated by all ranks. After a few days in Chatham Road Transit Camp in Kowloon, the Battalion marched to the docks on Sunday, 17th August, to embark in H.M.T. Empire Halladale. A host of friends and thousands of spectators had assembled to witness the departure, and at 3 p.m., as the ship cast off and steamed slowly away, it was given a great send off by the crowd and by the band of the Middlesex Regiment.  1st Battalion The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
  • 29 Dec 1955. Moved out of Quay Camp and into Chatham Road Transit Camp, Kowloon. 14th Regiment Royal Artillery.
  • Mid 1950s. Fred was our one-time Anti-Vice NCO, and one of his tasks was to visit dances at the Naafi Club in Chatham Road, to check on what ‘girls’ frequented the place. It was, of course, a plain-clothes job. Well, one evening, I was with him on one such visit, when some errant squaddies of the Lancashire Regiment – well-pickled, of course – recognised us as being RMP. Dunno what happened to Fred, but two of them had me with my arms pinned behind me, and another nutter ‘questioning’ me. The ringleader of this lot, was a well-known troublemaker, ‘L’, who was a bit of a boxer. (Heavyweight!). My interrogator – ‘S’ – was 5′ nothing in his socks. As he was demanding to know what I was doing there, etc., he prompted each question by jumping up and head-butting me. After a short while, I could feel my lips swelling, and decided that it was all-or-nothing. With a sudden, gigantic heave, I freed my right arm. All I could see was my tormentor’s face in front of me. With absolutely every ounce of strength in me, I punched that face …………and took off. The rest, as they say, is history. ‘L’ and ‘S’ got 9 months each. Dickiebo.
  • Late 1950s. Given the political constraints that the British colonial government was acting under, it did not want another repeat performance [of the October 10th, 1956 riots] in the future. What it did was not necessarily democratic or legal, but it was effective. In 1957, in the latter part of September, the Hong Kong police arrested 1,527 triad members, of which 119 were expelled and 785 were sent to jail, for the crime of being a triad member. In 1958, 1,075 triad members were arrested in September and another 100 more in the first week of October on similar grounds. Thereafter, similar campaigns took place in September each year. It then became a seasonal pattern in September/October that the top triad leaders would have vacations in Southeast Asia, the middle-level triad members would spend vacaztion time in neighboring Macau while the lower-level triad members would go into hiding. The differences in 'vacation plans' were obviously due to what each individual can afford to do. The alternative was to spend a few days at the Chatham Road detention camp at government expense. What is a real riot?
  • Aug-Sep 1961. Chatham Road Quarantine Centre: The Chatham Road Camp was an unused military camp. It was considered an ideal place to isolate for a period of six days all immediate contacts of proven cases of cholera.
    When symptoms of cholera infection in contacts began to appear, they were immediately taken to Lai Chi kok Infectious Disease Hospital. The Chatham Road Quarantine Centre was eventually closed on 17 September. Plague, SARS and the story of medicine in Hong Kong.
  • 1975. The first batch of 3,743 refugees in 1975 had been settled in a civilian refugee camp in Chatham Road pending their resettlement. This camp was to be demolished in 1977. Wikipedia.


  • Training Ship 'Chatham' was named after her geophysical location when she first established in Chatham Road Army Camp (opposite to Granville Road and Observatory Road, TST). First Commanding Officer of the Division is Lt. Peter Beer. Sea Cadet Corps - T. S. Chatham on Facebook.

On this site was the Golden Dragon Club. This was an all ranks club for the army in HK and managed in the 1960's by Mr.Chan. When the site closed down, the club was re-located to Gun Club Barracks