Escape from Hong Kong - The Final Hours

逃離香港

Lt Ron Ashby & officers at Guiyang. Photos from the Ashby & Ross collections ©

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Forced March through the Mountains

26th December 1941 (Fri) (Continued)

F W Kendall SOE "My job was to get them through the Japanese lines to Chinese territory, which I was able to do. We went round Hong Kong through Mirs Bay. We landed in Chinese Territory there, in a sector that was controlled by Chinese guerrillas." [67]

Mike Kendall mustered all the hands of the somewhat somnolent party on the beach. Including himself and his team, there were sixty eight MI9 agent FW (Mike) Kendall © 
	Click here to read more on Mike Kendall. men plus the ships dog. Kendall and his team went round checking to see that each member of the navy contingent had their fair share of the arms and provisions deemed necessary for their survival. The MTB party each had an oilskin, blanket, rifle and a navy colt hand gun with ammunition, as well as personal possessions. They were to act as bodyguard to Admiral Chan Chak and, if necessary as a guerrilla force. The odds & sods, as all non navy personnel were known would only carry personal arms if they had any, they were what they were, passengers. Admiral Chan Chak referred to his navy bodyguard as his Lo Hons.

Left F W (Mike) Kendall

Lt-Cmd Gandy RN (Ret) “Excluding Admiral Chan Chak, his Flag Commander and his Coxswain and excluding the European guerrillas FW Kendall, McEwan and Talon, the rest of the party numbers 62.
The 62 is formed of two distinct groups. The first or MTB group numbers 44, is well armed and well supplied and consists of 8 MTB officers and the 36 active service naval ratings from MTB's whom I organize into sections and messes according to their boats so that in case of separation officers will be with their men.
The second or miscellaneous group consists of the remainder, mostly RNR, merchant service and military staff officers and officials, all very much less well equipped as to food, clothing or arms.
This also means that they have very much less to carry when on the march. The food is of course pooled equally between all.”
[15]

Colin McEwan SOE " We landed on a lovely beach and soon moved off up a valley — each man now with his own pack — stores to follow later" [11]

The party got their first site of Leung Wingyuen and his gang eying up the kit being sorted on the beach.

Cdr Montague RN (Ret) "Mr. Kendall of the Special Service, then took charge of the whole party numbering 65. At dawn the party marched three miles inland and rested for the day in the woods." [1]

Cdr Gandy insisted his people retain divisions for the duration of the forced march ahead.

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "There were people in all stages of dress and loaded up with a large collection of things bren guns, rifles, revolvers and ammunition for them all; tinned food, blankets, clothes and personal gear. In all, the pack of each person weighed a good sixty pounds. Some wore gym shoes split down the middle because they were too small. Some had boots, some shoes, some socks, some none. The worst thing was that there was no proper equipment for carrying things, like shoulder straps, haversacks, water bottles, etc." [18]

Norman Halladay MN "I finnished up with an army boot on one foot and a shoe on the other."

The navy party were extremely tired after standing watches of three hours about for the last eighteen days.

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "We had to keep watches three on and three off and I don’t think I got more than an average of three or four hours sleep in the the whole siege. Somehow with the excitement and worry it never worried me except in the early watches of the morning when there was nothing to see but uneventful blackness." [18]

A/B Jack Thorp carrying tins of rationsThe large commercial size tins of food were not easy to carry, and were shared out amongst all the party including the odds and sods, who only had whatever they had when they swam out to the MTB's.
The immediate objective, Kendall bellowed, was Waichow, now Huizhou, via a circuitous route, thereby doubling the forty crow miles. Kendall explained in a no nonsense manner that they would march four miles to the south-east and rest up for the day at a secluded farm in a valley.

Left: A/B Jack Thorpe carrying some of the tinned provisions


Then it would be four days and nights of marching following an indirect route northwards avoiding the Japanese which increased the distance to eighty miles.
Gandy briefed his people, reminding them of his prime orders from the Commodore.

Commodore Collinson RN "If it was not possible to pass through the enemy lines they were to operate as a 'guerilla force' against the Japanese in the hope of relief by Chinese forces." [15]

F W Kendall SOE "There were no Japanese there and the Chinese guerrillas looked after us." [67]

When it was time to move Kendall bellowed out the order "READY TO MARCH."
They soon came to dread that command as Mike pushed them to their limits of endurance in order to keep one step ahead of the Japanese.
Armed to the teeth with six Bren guns, two Tommy guns, rifles and hand guns they looked a formidable force.

Lt Kennedy RNVR "The morning was cold and dark as the crews mustered on the beach, but it was nearly six o'clock and in an hour it would be light. The impossibility of carrying everything was obvious, and the guerilla's who had been admiring our automatic weapons were delighted to take over a large share." [9]

The gang that the Admiral had arranged for escort duty were not so much a band of guerrillas, more a bunch of pirate & smugglers who paid a percentage of their ill gotten gains to none other than the Admiral himself. They smuggled anything and everything including people that came their way in this lawless peninsula. They controlled the age old smugglers routes to Waichow, proving their worth over the coming days with their masterly scouting and knowledge of the routes to Waichow.

Admiral Chan Chak CN "Although Leung’s group was not an official troop, most of the officers came from the marine force previously under my command. They had also been trained for ground battle. With strict discipline under proper command, they had gained the support of the local residents." [6]

Henry was not impressed by the gang chosen to lead them.

Lt-Cmd Hsu Heng (Henry) CN "He was actually a criminal. He smuggled people and goods from Hong Kong to China." [7]

PO Buddy Hide & & gang leader Leung Wingyuan 
  Photo from the Ross family collection ©Leung Wingyuen had served on the Thornycroft CMB,s under Admiral Chan Chak on anti smuggling patrols around the Pearl Delta before Chan was replaced by Admiral Chan Chai Tong who sold the CMBs to the Royal Navy to compliment the 2nd MTB Flotilla in Hong Kong, thus reducing the number of personnel required. Leung Wingyuan was released and resorted to piracy and smuggling under Chan Chak who took a percentage of his profits.

Admiral Chan Chak CN "Leung had accepted the Chinese National Government’s offer to protect and guard the Pearl River Waterway. Mainly, his responsibilities were protecting the national government’s transportation and monitoring smuggling activities.
After having a rest I ordered Liung and his men to be our vanguard, escorting us through the Japanese lines and occupied areas. Leung told me that he would escort us to the mainland and provide all expenses on the road, and produced three boxes of Chinese currency for the cause. "
[6]

Capt Freddie Guest "An interesting crowd we must have looked! The was the Chinese Admiral dressed in Naval uniform with cap at a Beatty angle, trouser leg folded up and wounded arm in a white sling, and a pistol round his waist, sitting in a chair carried by..... Chinese coolies. Yes, and to make it look even more dramatic he was escorted on either side by a bodyguard of the most dreadful-looking bunch of cut-throats one could possibly imagine. I have never in all my varied carreer seen such a bunch of toughs." [29]

Bill Robinson Police Supt "What a grand tableau for the Lord Mayors show. Chu Chin Chow or Ali Baba and his forty thieves!" [29]

Ships Log "As dawn broke, party (headed by Mike Kendall, including Admiral Chan Chak, Cdr Montague, various Intelligence officers from HK HQ’s, officers and men of the flotilla, & others) moved inland 3‐4 miles to a village called KauTit where party encamped for the day." [5]

Maj Goring "Our entire 'army,' now some sixty strong, made off to a small village in the hills, the Adm's gunman carrying his crippled chief pick-a-back. Our spirits were high." [17]

Lt Kennedy RNVR "The day broke with a long straggling line of weary men wending their way inland like pack-mules. Everyone had misjudged the amount of personal gear which he could carry. The navy, on unfamiliar ground and out of training for what lay ahead, was only too ready to accept advice" [9]

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "By dawn we were marching inland, leaving behind the heavy part of our stores, which, incidentally, we never saw again." [18]

Maj Goring "During the whole day we lay up in the woods near the village resting, feeding on boiled rice helped with a few tins of stores from the MTB's and some cocoa we had brought with us." [17]

Lt Kennedy RNVR“Our objective we were told was Waichow (now Huizhou), a town lying beyond the belt of Japanese occupied territory through which we must pass, and by the circuitous route necessary to avoid enemy positions it was some eighty miles away.” [9]

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "Those next three days were absolutely hell on earth, and our feet were cut to ribbons." Marching by night and marching by day, climbing up and down several thousand feet of mountains and all the time being led and guided by the Chinese guerillas." [18]

Eddie Brazel HKRNVR “All the vessels were scuttled so that they would not be visible from the air, and at dawn proceeded to a small village several miles inland to remain under cover until we could proceed on our way under cover of night.” [46]

The Admiral was carried by his Coxswain near the head of the long column marching inland in single file. They traversed the hilly terrain in single file carrying kit bags for two hours before resting for the day at a small rice farm in the woods at Shek Kiu Tau. Breakfast was a mixture of local rice, tinned provisions from the MTB's, and fresh tangerines straight off the tree, which was a first for most.
Here they bartered excess weight, automatic weapons, ammunition etc.
Gandy set a watch, nominating his boat crew for the first watch. While the party rested up for the day he took this opportunity to list everybody's details and write up his journal.

Colin McEwan SOE "Here were our guerrilla allies with their inevitable Mausers and in addition to our MTB friends had been added Montague and the men of C410 and the official party of Adm Chan, his A.D.C. Henry Hsu, Major Goring, Guest, Macmillan, Robinson, Oxford, MacDougall and Ross. We were becoming a formidable party." [11]

Lt Kennedy RNVR "Earlier in the day just as we were leaving “09”, Tommy Brewer had wrenched off the painted crest from the wheelhouse remarking that he might as well take a souvenir from the boat before she sank.
It was too late then to retrieve anything else, and although I said nothing, I inwardly wished I had thought of it. Now, as we arranged our packs for marching, seemed the best moment to broach the subject.
“Tommy, are you frightfully keen to take that crest?” I said. “I never thought of bringing anything but I wish I had now, after two years in the boat.” “It’s yours, old boy, with pleasure. Feel the damn thing,” Tommy replied. I lifted it and half regretted the impulse. The crest was solid lead! (Bronze) It was too late to back out, and padding it carefully with a spare sweater I squeezed it into my pack."
[9]

Sub-Lt Bush had also taken the ships crest off of  MTB 08 after it blew up in Aberdeen, the two crests along with the Fair Log of MTB 07 are the only known artefacts of the 2nd MTB Flotilla

Rattan chairs were found for Admiral Chan Chak and David MacDougall and with bamboo poles added they were made ready as sedan chairs. At 17.00 Sub/Lt Brewer and PO Stonell were assigned galley duty and produced a meal from the tinned supplies brought ashore, along with the last of the bread. The locals lashed a chair between two bamboo poles to carry the Admiral & another for MacDougall. The party assembled for a pep talk by Mike, followed by his barking out "Ready to March", setting off in single file at 17.30 with Mike in the lead.
The odds and sods followed, while John and Mac brought up the rear with the navy party. Admiral Chan Chak & MacDougall were last in their bamboo lashed chairs.[15]
They headed back to Nanao where Gandy spent some time assessing the scuttled flotilla which was not all below water. After arranging for the locals to do what they could with dismantling the wrecks they set off following the coastline north along a scenic path before heading inland.

L/S Les Barker "From there the great trek across China, with the Burma Road as the objective, began. Admiral Chan Chak assumed control and he did everything that could be done for our comfort. The people of every village we passed came out to do honour to him, and feast the party. It was mostly Chinese food – mainly rice – but the people tried to prepare English food wherever they could." [24]

Admiral Chan Chak CN "We then started on a long and hard journey. We proceeded during nights and rested during the days to avoid being seen by Japanese planes." [6]

Not everybody was happy with Bruce the ships dog that Lt Collingwood brought along to accompany the party.

Maj Goring "We marched about fourteen miles in the dark, travelling in single file along goat-tracks, occasionally tripping over a most tiresome mongrel which someone had brought along." [17]


L/St Charlie Evans "The Admiral and his ADC seemed to know all the Chinese guerrillas for miles." [12]

Colin McEwan SOE "It was, to say the least, disconcerting to find packets of ammunition lying at the path side and to see people already unable to keep up the pace" [11]

Lt- Cdr Gandy RN (Ret) "Absolute silence is the rule, and the clink of a boot or a water bottle brings vigorous hushing's and shushing's to the clumsy delinquent." [15]

That night they marched a total of 14 miles by moonlight to the small village of Wangmuxu now part of Dapengzhen, with ten-minute breaks every hour.

L/St Charlie Evans "We knew by then japs had infiltrated all thru mainland and were all round us and only hope was to march to waichow, 70 m away. We had to march by nite as we could not risk capture – seemed awful long way away." [12]

Colin McEwan SOE "From the coast we struck inland by the usual paths till after some 3—4 hours walking we reached a large village where we had our first sight of guerrilla organisation — the temple taken over and the floor laid with straw — hot tea ready and, in fact, apart from the inevitable staring crowd, we could well believe that the arrival of 60 odd British sailors was an every day occurrence" [11]

This was close to the gang's headquarters, arriving there late that night. The whole party was extremely tired, and the going was tough and slow. Unwanted gear was discarded as they went.

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "We slept on the straw laden floor of the temple up the hill. There were people in all stages of dress, one wore gym shoes split down the middle because they were too small. Some had boots, some shoes, some socks, some none. In all, the pack of each person weighed a good fifty pounds. The worst thing was that there was no proper equipment for carrying things, like shoulder straps, haversacks, water bottles, etc. It would have made the load much more comfortable in each case but the navy was not meant to make route marches." [18]

Maj Goring "At last, in the early hours of the morning, we came to a Chinese temple, in which we were told we were to lie down for the rest of the night. Spreading rice straw on the stone floor, we fell asleep at once." [17]

Leung Wingyuen the guerrilla leader decided that it was safe to march by day and the party split into three groups; each led by a member of S.O.E. , Mike [Kendall], John [Monia] Talan & Mac [Colin McEwan]. Lt's Ashby & Kennedy with crews were in the third group under McEwan.[9] The gang were mostly young village teenagers, proud to tell how they dispatched captured Jap's quickly by beheading. They had an excellent system of intelligence and knew at all times exactly where the Jap's were.
Henry set about organising a gang of coolies to carry the kitbags and provisions, leaving the party to carry oil skins, blankets, small arms, and haversacks. They passed within a few miles of the Jap's several times without them being aware of it.

Colin McEwan SOE "Reveille was called at 6 and after breakfast and the usual orgy of washing and teeth brushing (razors having been already packed away) — we readied to march at about 8. We were still fortunate with the weather and with a pleasant mild morning and easy going over padi spirits rose and it was a very cheerful party which strung out over the padi fields." [11]

Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR "We were bitten from head to toe with vermin picked up in the huts we slept in." [18]

The weapons of the smugglers were a mixture of old Japanese rifles and German Mausers, which with a clip on extended stock could be used as a rifle.
That night they slept on the straw covered floor of a temple.

Lt Kennedy RNVR "Three or four of our party were ill, one with dysentery and another suspected of having cholera. It was no wonder, when I think back on the food we had been eating. It was indeed fortunate we were travelling in the coldest part of the year, when disease was at its lowest ebb. We almost froze each night, but that was far better than falling sick." [9]

27th December 1941 (Sat)

Ted Ross MoI "630 AM - Breakfast
745 AM - Proceeded all day
1000 PM - Crossed Tamsui Rd
200 AM - 28th - Cold, miserable night in Orchard."
[28]


Lt Parsons HKRNVR ©"After Reveille the party set off at 08.00 after a breakfast of tinned sausages and cocoa." [80b] It was very rough going with and as the crested a steep climb of about 2000 feet [610m] over the mountains Lt Tommy Parsons, who had celebrated his 26th birthday on the day the Japanese attacked Hong Kong collapsed with heart trouble. [9] A third rattan chair was produced suitably modified. Now there were three being carried in makeshift sedan chairs. As well as commanding MTB 27 Lt Parsons had also been ADC to Sir Mark Young the Governor of Hong Kong.

 

Admiral Chan Chak CN "We set off at 0700 and passed through Yamujiao, Jingshen, Dalinkang, Tangpu, and Zhangshupu, and crossed Danshui-Pingshan Highway near Zhangshupu. When we went through Japanese occupied areas such as Xihu (West Lake) and Getian, we found that the Japanese established puppet government in these places. The locals admired us because they had not seen any troops from the Nationalist Government for a long time and expected deliverance by our government, but they fear that they would be killed by the Japanese if they helped us." [6]

David MacDougall MoI "The average guerrilla is a well set up youth, lithe and lean, dressed in black clothes, a felt hat of dark colour and light rubber shoes.Over his shoulder he slings his blanket. Around his waist is strapped his Mauser pistol, which is his most prized possession. He seems to carry no food with him and to live off the country. He has the sole confidence of the country folk, who welcome him and feed him." [27]

L/St Charlie Evans "Our commander was always gingering us up. When we were resting he would walk among us and wouldd ask with a laugh  “Ready to march? Ready to march?
Bosun Two would report to him when we had fallen in again with the words “Ready to march sir.”  
One day when he was very weary he just reported “Ready to fall over sir.” [12]

"Fortunately coolies, including girls carried the naval stores in baskets on each side of a bamboo shoulder bar. They added the straggler's rifles and ammunition to their loads." [80b]

A/B Les Barker "Climbed one very steep hill, about 2000 feet. Captain of 27 (Lt Parsons) collapsed with heart trouble at the top, very tough going on this hill everyone carrying cases of clothes and every other thing when we started, but are throwing most of it away as it gets tougher, rifles and Bren guns very cumbersome, I keep taking turns with our S/LT. with the Bren gun and ammunition. Everybody in the company nearly all in at the top. Had to rest." [24]

PO Bob Stonell (MTB 11) "Capt of 27 (Lt Parsons) went right out with heart trouble and had to be carried. By the time the top was reached all were just about done but we carried on for a couple of more miles, then rested by a stream and drank water, never tasted so good." [112]

Lt Kennedy HKRNVR "When it was light the next morning we were able to see the first ridge rising steeply not far ahead, and many personal possessions deemed indispensable the day before were abandoned.
The next few hours were sheer purgatory despite more frequent pauses for rest and although the atmosphere was cool as we climbed higher, we poured with sweat. However, any inclination to take extra stops was dispelled by the sight of Lieutenant Pethick with a growth of white stubble showing up on his bright red face, or Commander Montague, purple but plodding grimly on.
One of the party did collapse and had to be carried. A chair was also required for David MacDougall of the Colonial Civil Service, who had been wounded while escaping from Aberdeen.
We reached the summit of the pass at last. As we looked back the way we had come Bias Bay lay below us to the east, the head of Mirs Bay to the west.
The second ridge proved less arduous than we expected, and as we rested at the top we had our last view of British territory, a peak on the west coast of Mirs Bay."
[9]

Admiral Chan Chak CN "When we pass through the Japanese occupied area, we gather the elder and local officials to listen about the greatness of the government and the news about the world situation. We asked them to have faith in final victory and the eventual success of national building (jianguo – a fashionable Chinese Nationalist Party terminology, meaning the establishment of a strong China under the KMT) and to prepare themselves by staying low and be vigilant." [6]

L/St Charlie Evans "In one village they had to make a collection from hut to hut so they could feed us, and a jolly good meal it was too  –  mostly rice but I was full when I finished. Rice never tasted so good. It was all boiled with  bits of fish and meat..” [12]

Lt Collingwood RN "The villagers were kind and helped and fed us. We started early from the village and crossed over a high ridge of hills. It was a very steep climb carrying rifles and stores, etc." [8]

Colin McEwan SOE "A few hours steady going saw us over the level and into the hills — a twisty trail being quite visible winding over the first range. The crossing of this proved a strain and packs which that morning had been carefully re-packed as a comfortable amount to carry grew too heavy and our following train of coolies grew still larger as overcoats, blankets and odds and ends proved to belong to the class of ' not wanted on voyage.'
The sun by this time was hot and it certainly was no joke climbing, and Tai and I in our recognised position kept getting farther and farther in the rear. Everyone however was whipped up and after a rest proceeded down the other side in the manner of born mountaineers."
[11]

Chinese Guerilla's crossing riverShips Log "Up at 06.30. washed & had breakfast. Then proceeded up inland again, over very hilly country. Fortunately coolies were obtained to carry most of the gear (provisions, kit bags, etc) the actual party carrying weapons and haversacks.
Ten minute halt every hour soon heartily welcomed by all ! 2-hour halt at lunch time & supper time."
[5]

L/St Charlie Evans "We came to a teetotal village and the headman sent off runners to get Chinese wine from another village.  It was rice wine, called maotai, it was  much stronger than whisky and looked like gin.
Was funny, because  just before, we had climbed two mountains – 1500 and 2100 feet --    and one young Lieutenant  had collapsed from exhaustion.  Only thing he could  ask for was  hot rum and water.[12]

They had to cross an icy cold shallow river before the East - West Highway which was a supply route for the Japanese to Hong Kong near the town of Danshui. The Adm's right hand man Henry and some of the smugglers went ahead to scout and encountered Communist brigands who demanded to negotiate with the Adm.

Colin McEwan SOE "Now in three parties each comprising two boats' crew. Mike in the lead — myself in the middle — and Tai with the rearguard. Orders had been given for no smoking or talking and for our first time arms were carried ready. After an hour of this and fording a river we halted — it was getting cold now.
Suddenly we found ourselves crossing the road to carry on over more moorland. Gradually the moorland changed into low foothills and another river was forded. The scene here reminded me of photos of Dunkirk — the long line of men stretching from the beach into the river.
After walking about another 2 miles landed us into a village for rest. This order changed to sleep and that night we slept — or rather lay on the ground — it was bitterly cold— shivered, and cursed the inhospitality of the villagers."
[11]

David MacDougall MoI "The guerrilla at whose side I mostly marched was a lad of sixteen who had left school when he was thirteen because he thought it dull and there were Japanese to fight.
Do you know what the Japanese fear more than anything else in the world? He patted his Mauser pistol affectionately. They fear the voice of this by night. When we take one of them we cut off his head immediately."
[27]

Maj Goring GOC3 BHQ "When we reached the fatal road we were confronted with Chinese local Watch and Ward guards. They were quite willing to let us pass, especially as we had with us the famous Admiral Chan Chak, who had formerly been Governor of the Province, but were determined to extort a large fee for so doing ! To our astonishment the little Admiral, sitting erect in his chair, which was carried on two long bamboo poles-insisted on being placed in the middle of the road to argue with the ruffians. Those grasping villagers demanded twenty-five thousand Kuomintang dollars; all the indignant Admiral would offer was a hundred. Twenty thousand conceded the guards. Two hundred snapped the Admiral. After what seemed an interminable delay, the argument ended in the Admiral paying over a thousand Chinese national dollars- which put our price at 2s. 9d each!" [17]

Eddie Brazel HKRNVR "We proceeded via Taifung and Tonghow, and also crossed two rivers, at night we crossed the Tamshui - Penghau highway, which was being used by the Nips as a line of communication to Canton and Hong Kong without any incidents, and once again we were free men, what a feeling. No one who has never been a captive or nearly so can know just how it feels." [46]

They crossed the Jap-patrolled road and carried on marching until 02.00, crossing another shallow river in the process. Arriving at a village they were informed that the Jap's came every morning at 06.00, so had to continue for another four hours.

PO Buddy Hide "We had to cross two rivers; then we were at the Jap patrol line. We sent out scouts, who returned to say all was clear. We crossed the Jap patrol line at 6 p.m. and carried on marching. Arriving at a village we were informed that the Jap's came there every morning at 6 a.m. so we had to continue for another four hours. That day we marched thirty one miles and slept under a tree. It was winter time, and the coldest night we ever slept out in." [21] .

Admiral Chan Chak CN "When we went through Japanese occupied areas such as Xihu (West Lake) and Getian, we found that the Japanese established puppet government in these places." [6]

L/S Les Barker "We had not had any normal sleep now for 18 days. No water for washing and very cold at night. Walked 22 miles further and had a rest, slept under some trees on straw and was it cold. I had no sleep at all that night, too stiff and cold." [24]

Ships Log "By far toughest day so far owing to speed of march, nature of country and general softness of us all! Big moment of the day (or night) was, of course, crossing of Tamsui Road, as this is used by the Jap's & there might have been trouble.
Thanks to careful scouting by guerilla's, however, entire trip -- chiefly over flat country, but including fording two ice cold streams -- was uneventful. Unable to spend the night in village picked (Jap's visited regularly). So went on another 4-5 miles to another one, where turned in about midnight on straw under the trees. Strong breeze, very cold. Total mileage for the day 31 miles."
[5]

Lt Collingwood RN "Here we went through the Jap lines and we stopped that night in an orchard, moving off again at dawn, very cold and stiff." [8]

Admiral Chan Chak CN "We arrived at Xiashanwei at night and we stayed there for the whole night." [6]

Research and web publication by Buddy Hide Jnr ©

The contents of this web site led to a considerable number of escapee families contacting me and now each other, and remains the principle source of contact and private information for the spin off projects that have followed. The personal accounts enabled me to record the complete and true account of this remarkable episode of Sino-British war time co-operation. The information compiled here has directly resulted in a museum exhibition in Hong Kong, a re-enactment of the escape in Hong Kong and China, with a movie drama and documentary in the making.

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