The Battle of Hong Kong began on 8th December, 1941. My father was one of the brave soldiers that fought the Japanese invaders. In his honour and that of the others who fought, died and survived the most terrible hardships, I am reposting this article:
Dad, the invasion of Hong Kong and prison camp
The Japanese invasion of Hong Kong started on the 8th December 1941 and lasted for 17 bloody days until the British forces, surrendered on the 25th, in the person of His Excellency the Governor, Sir Mark Aitchison Young.
Dad, as did all men over the age of 18 in Hong Kong, joined the Hong Kong Regiment and had to report to camp once a month and once a year for a two-week camp. These camps were not particularly onerous as they were piled into a truck and driven out to some location in the New Territories where a contingent of coolies would carry their kit bags up to the camp site. Their equipment also consisted of a wind-up gramophone and a box of 78s, several crates of beer and other necessities of life.
They would set up their billets and report for machine gun practice with the water-cooled Vickers Machine gun, about which, more later. Practice consisted of spotting the enemy, which was usually a collection of bone pots and blasting them to pieces. Eventually the indigenous villagers complained of this to the government and they had to find other enemies to practice on.
As the war came closer the volunteers were given training in anti aircraft guns and as it was believed that the attack when it came, would be a night time attack, they were called out at all hours of the day and night to man the guns.
1938 Anti-aircraft Gun practice at Sai Wan Hill Battery, by Moddsey
As a child, growing up in Hong Kong I remember hearing the air raid sirens which were still in place at late as the early sixties. The government continued to test them on a regular basis and I still remember the feeling of unease whenever I heard one go off.
Finally it was December 1941 and despite the impending war it was still the Christmas season. On the evening of the 7th <Read more ...>