Many people in Hong Kong, visitors and residents alike, are surprised to learn that the territory was the scene of a short but very bloody battle at the end of 1941. It often seems that the larger - and more famous - actions such as the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Singapore campaign overshadow the events of December 1941 in Hong Kong.
But the fact remains that the then Colony saw a very hard struggle between the British and their allied defenders, and their Japanese aggressors, of 18 days duration before the British surrender on Christmas Day. There then followed 3 years and 8 months of Japanese occupation before they in turn surrendered.
It also comes as a surprise to some people to learn that many of Hong Kong's wartime relics and defence works survived the 1941 battle, the subsequent Japanese occupation and post-war reconstruction and development of Hong Kong. These traces can still be seen in many areas of the territory. We have designed a number of walks which cover in detail aspects of this fascinating period of Hong Kong's history.
We can arrange a number of battlefield tours; please see below for further details:
In November 1941 the Colony's defences were strengthened by the very welcome arrival of 2 additional battalions of infantry from Canada; the Winnipeg Grenadiers and the Royal Rifles of Canada. The decision to send these troops was in accordance with a defence plan drawn up by the outgoing General Officer Commanding in Hong Kong, Major-General A. E. Grasset, himself a Canadian.
These soldiers were well-led, courageous and determined, although unfortunately the previous postings of both battalions, (mainly home defence and ceremonial duties), had not adequately prepared them for the rigours of the fighting which awaited them in Hong Kong.
Our WW2 veterans have their own organization which was established after
the war. The children realizing they were fading into the sunset
started the Hong Kong Veterans Commemorative Association and below is
their website, which has been skillfully established and maintained by a
Hong Kong Veteran's son, Mr. Jim Trick.
I have written a book, to honour my Dad Major Maurice A Parker, CO of "D" Company, The Royal Rifles of Canada. It is the story of the Battle of Hong Kong from a Canadian perspective. Written in the words of the Riflemen of The Royal Rifles of Canada and the Grenadiers of The Winnipeg Grenadiers who fought. They fought one of the Second World Wars worst battles. For 18 days in December 1941 they fought, died, were wounded, and finally captured on December 25th to spend 44 months in a Japanese POW camp. This is their story.
Client feedback I also meant to say that I hope my family and I can do future walks and see more of the WW2 sites throughout Hong Kong. Thanks again, we really enjoyed your knowledge and getting to know you. Kyle Benefield - USA
Thank you again for such a wonderful and informative day on Sunday. I learned such a lot and also can now visualise my settings far more clearly. We visited Sham Shui Po this morning - a disturbing place in some ways as it's hard to reconcile the peacefulness now with what happened there. Three middle aged ladies were doing Tai Chi right by the plaque and I couldn't help thinking of how in some of the POW memoirs the only mention of such women was them being beaten by the guards. Gillian Chan
Back in Western Australia catching up on correspondence but just wanted to say how much we enjoyed the walking tour with you. Our knowledge of Hong Kong and the battle has increased substantially. We thoroughly enjoyed your company, knowledge and enthusiasm. Thank you, it was the highlight of our trip to HK, although the fireworks were a close second. Kind regards, Lyle and Ian and Peter
Thanks for the info on the battle site I will enjoy reading. Thanks for the very informative walk we had together, I could have spent many days looking around HK Island, I wish I had more time. Thanks to you and your friend Tony people around the world will know how hard HK had to fight during those difficult times. The battle of HK is not known to many people and you guys are getting the word out. All the best for now and thanks again for making the walk so memorable Maurice Keeler UK
We both really enjoyed the walk as well, and the rest of the day in the museum and Stanley. I think there is a very good chance that I at least will be coming to Hong Kong again and will definitely do one or more of the Hong Kong walks if I am able. Many thanks once again Ben & Mike UK