Service In Hong Kong 1967/68 and 1972 - 1974 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Service In Hong Kong 1967/68 and 1972 - 1974

Hi I'm Des Lamble (almost 61 now ) I was serving on HMS Defender in 1967 until 1969.    In the early part of 1968 we arrived in HK and we had a problem, we where only due to be there for about four days, but we broke down, Seawater contamination of the furnis fuel oil feed system and we ended up in Hong Kong for about six weeks. For me it was great to spent this amount of time in HK.

This was at a time when a lot of American war ships where coming to HK to give some of their military R&R from the Vietnam War.

Then, surprise, surprise in 1972 I was drafted to join HMS Beechampton, a converted mine sweeper but then part of the HK patrol squadron. 

I lived in naval married quarters, Wong ne chong rd Happy Valley overlooking the HK race course.   My arrival in HK was the day after the big fire on the QE1. I lived in HK for two years and it was fantastic.   One of the incidents I was involved in,( or our ship was involved in) was the search for two missing seamen following the collision of two merchant ships just outside of  Lia Moon Gap.

One other thing that I think was a bit spooky was that when back in the uk and serving as a Police Officer in the Surrey Constabulary, was that I met a young lady who I'm now married to, who just happened to be living in Hong Kong at the same time as I was, because her father was the deputy chief fire officer of the Hong Kong firebregade and the officer in charge of the fire fighting team, fighting the big fire on the Queen Elizabeth the first.

There is much more I could say, but  not now, and I have some photos that I can share with you when I get my all in one copier/printer/scanner up and running again.

Best Regards

Ex A/B(able seaman) Des Lamble D/089734D 


Hi Des,

Thanks for writing in. That's quite a set of coincidences around meeting your wife!

I look forward to seeing your photos, and hearing the stories that go with them.

Regards, David

Hi Des I am trying to picture your face. I still have loads of photos of the ship and the ships company. Also party photos. Ian Jimmy Green (L/Sea) (Retired Grampian police)


I was a very young lad in 1968 in Hong Kong, but still well remember HMS Defender being alongside at Tamar and being nicknamed HMS Defective by all and sundry, for the amount of time she spent alongside undergoing repair. We lived in Harcourt Place, the naval quarters in Happy Valley. What a privileged place to live.

Hi, Des, delighted to find you having served on HMS Beachampton in early 1970s. I was friends with your shipmate Grantham D. Charlton. I called him "Charlie" then. I have not been in touch with Charlie for decades and would love to reach him. I still have his photos. Could you help? Or could you kindly direct me to an office or website to locate Charlie? Thanks very much in advance. Andy


Hi, Ian, Could you kindly help me reach your former shipmate Grantham D. Charlton? I still have his photos and would love to look at yours. Kind regards, Andy