One of Forman's photos shows the steamship Hai-Ching (also written 'Haiching'), likely standing at one of the piers along Connaught Road.
The ship was owned by the Douglas Steamship Company, Ltd., though in 1940 it would be requisitioned by the UK government for wartime service.
The Haiching was built in Port Glasgow in 1898. There's an oil painting of the ship, estimated to be painted around 1900, howing how it looked soon after it was built. The ship in the Forman photo looks similar to the painting, but there have been changes, especially to the bridge. Some of the changes may have been a result of repairs needed after it was attacked by pirates in 1929, and set on fire:
The Haiching piracy of 1929 was very reminiscent of the
Sunning. The Haiching belonged to the Douglas Steamship
Company of Hong Kong, and was pirated while on her way from
Amoy to Hong Kong. There were two hundred and fifty deck
passengers and four saloon passengers on board at the time,
and the attack took place when passing Bias Bay, just a few
hours before reaching Hong Kong. The third mate and a Sikh
guard were killed in the first few minutes, but the wireless officer
continued to send out messages for help. The pirates, unable
to get control of the ship, set it on fire; and two lifeboats were
burnt out before their resistance was broken. When British
warships arrived, they helped to put the fire out, and then
towed the Haiching to Hong Kong, where all the passengers were
thoroughly screened. Three of them were charged with piracy
and murder, but one was later freed through lack of evidence,
while the other two suffered the death penalty. Captain Farrar
of the Haiching was awarded the O.B.E. for his part in the case.
When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong in 1941, the Chinese sailors on the Haiching may have counted their blessings that they were far away. Their good luck was not to last though. On 2nd October 1943, the Haiching was torpedoed by German submarine U-168 in the seas off Bombay (today's Mumbai). The ship sank, and 12 crew were lost from a total of 70.
Many other Chinese men sailed with the British Merchant Navy, and would be killed during World War II. They are commemorated by the Hong Kong Memorial, situated at the main entrance of the Botanic Gardens.