Major Arthur Goring - Escape from Hong Kong


Kukong HERO RosetteAdmiral Chan Chak in Kukong;  
  Click here to read more ©Arthur Goring & escape party at Waichow. Photos from the Chan Chak & Collingwood collections © Admiral Chan Chak and party arriving in Waichow   
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  Photo from Admiral Chan Chak's collection ©HERO


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Arthur Goring 
    Click here to return to the Waichow photo  
    Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©Major Arthur Goring; General Staff, Intelligence, Hong Kong. GOC3

1907 - 1982

Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©

Directorate of Military Operations and Intelligence

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Goring and Capt Macmillan co-wrote notes on the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, National Archives Ref CAB106/11. Goring also wrote an article, "My Escape from Hong Kong" published in Wide World Magazine Volume 102, issue number 611. March 1949.

Goring casually remarked to the GOC that he intended to escape one way or another when they finally capitulated to the Japanese.

"The General informed me that there was a plan afoot for a small Naval party to smuggle out a very important Chinese naval officer, a certain Admiral Chan Chak, provided there was a suitable boat left un-sunk.
If I cared to see the organiser there might be room for me; and, since I knew Admiral Chan Chak personally, I might be given the task of escorting him to the rendezvous when the moment came


Parents: Major Alan Goring from Northurst near Horsham (West Sussex) married Violet Isabel Onslow. [17]

25/01/1907 Arthur Goring Born Richmond, Surrey, UK.

Education: Cheltenham College at Christowe 1920-24 (following his elder brother Harold) Member of the College Shooting VIII shooting team in his second year 1921-1924 when he graduated.

Royal Military College, Sandhurst; Staff College (psc) (following his elder brother Harold)

30/08/1926 Lieutenant

30/08/1926 Royal Fusiliers

24/03/1930 Transferred to Probyn's Horse, India

15/09/1934 ADC to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command India

30/08/1935 Promoted to Captain

16/07/1940 General Staff Officer 3rd Grade (GSO3) Directorate of Military operations & Intelligence, General Staff Branch, HQ staff of the army in India.

30/08/1940 Promoted to Major

07/12/1941 Transferred to General Staff, Intelligence Hong Kong.GSO3.

03/1942 Author, with Capt P Macmillan, Notes on the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong 1941 Dec. UK National Archives Ref: CAB 106/11

01/05/1942 Promoted to A/Lt-Colonel

01/08/1942 tPromoted to T/Lt-Colonel

03/1949 Published "My Escape from Hong Kong" in Wide World, Volume 102, Issue No 611; March 1949

1954 Fruit Farm & Nursery at Dinoe Hill, Whimple, Devon where he also pursued bee-keeping.

28/06/1957 - 1972 Assistant Commissioner in Chief St John's Ambulance Brigade,

**/12/1960 CStJ

16/04/1982 Aged 75 Died Camden, London, England

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Supt Bill Robinson was drafted in from the Indian Intelligence Bureau at Delhi along with Major Arthur Goring and a Sikh Supt as part of the intelligence network on the rumored Sikh army mutiny and 5th columnists. They were empowered to act as they saw fit.

Adm Chan Chak: "The Danish steer man was the first one shot, then the engineer. MacDougall and others were wounded. Most of the stray bullets had hit the boat and even some had hit my helmet.
Hsu was very wary about me the “One Foot Admiral of 50” swimming such a far distance.

The escape launch from the scuttled HMS CornflowerI insisted to carry my own gun and passport. Yeung could not swim and he suggested that we should go back to Hong Kong. “Going back means surrender. I would rather die!” I said.
I took off my life preserver (which was the last one on board) and gave it to Yeung. As I raised my hand, a stray bullet went right through my left hand.
Yeung didn’t say anything anymore, he just jumped into the sea, followed by MacDougall with his wounded back.

Left: The launch from HMS Cornflower used for the escape from Aberdeen.

YeeSiu-Kee and 2 other British soldiers had to remain on the boat. Yee could not swim and the 2 soldiers were badly wounded.
We were all sitting ducks in the water and non-stop bullets were flying everywhere.
I finally swam ashore on the small island right next to Apliechau."







Arthur Goring dived overboard as Admiral Chan Chak calmly took to the waves 
	Photo from Maj Goring's  article on the escape © 
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Along with S.K. were two severely wounded volunteer crew left in the boat, the tall forty seven year old Jutlander, Alec (Alexis) Damsgaard, late Master of the C.S. Store Nordiske, & Sub-Lt J. J. Forster HKRNVR from Northern Ireland. After drifting all night S.K. bribed a junk man to take the two wounded to a hospital.

Left: Picture from Maj Goring's daring-do article on the escape published in 1949. [17]

S.K. Yee: "I put the two others on a junk, asking the fishermen to take them to a hospital on the mainland (Hong Kong).
I was kept some days at Pak Sha wan and subsequently I had to return to the church at Apliechau, which was under the Reverend Cheng. I took shelter at the church for some days before making my final escape to Free China."










Maor Arthur Goring crossing the tank traps 
    Illustration from Goring's article in 'Wide World' Magazine ©Of the sixteen who set out on "HMS Cornflower's" launch, two were killed, one taken prisoner, another made good his own escape while the remaining twelve made it to the MTB's.

Goring wrote a daring-do account of the escape in "The Wide World" magazine in 1949.[17]

Clutching Hsu Heng (Henry)'s bible S.K. sought refuge with the Reverend Cheng in the Harbour Mission Church. He eventually made his way to Kukong in free China where Chan Chak was recovering. Yee arrived there on 5th February 1942 wearing Hsu Heng (Henry)'s shoes and clutching his bible, only to leave two days later as mysteriously as he had arrived after falling out with Chan over the $40.000 (£2,500 GBP) Chan allegedly abandoned in the bullet riddled launch




Admiral Chan Chak & escape party at Waichow 30th Dec 1941
    Run the curser over to identify individuals.
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Supt Bill Robinson
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Captain Peter Macmillan RA
Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Captain Reginold [Freddie] Guest 1st Middlesex
    Click here to read more on Freddie Guest
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Coxswain Yeung Chuen ROC
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Ted Ross, MoI, Colonial Service
    Click here to read more on Rossy
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © David MacDougall, MoI, Colonial Service
    Click here to read more on David MacDougall
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Admiral Chan Chak ROC
    Click here to read more on Admiral Chan Chak
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Major Arthur Goring, Probyns Horse
    Click here to read more on Major Goring
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Sqd-Ldr Max Oxford, RAF
    Click here to read more on Max Oxford
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Holger Christensen, Midshipman
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection © Lt-Cmdr Hsu Heng (Henry) ROC
    Click here to read more on Henry Hsu
    Photo from the Chan Chak collection ©



Back row: Supt. Bill Robinson, W. O. William M Wright HKRNVR, Capt. Peter Macmillan R. A., Capt. Reginald Guest 1st Mdsx, Coxswain Yeung Chuen ROC, Ted Ross MoI>

2nd row: David MacDougall MoI, Adm Chan Chak ROC, Major Arthur Goring Probyns Horse, Sq-Ldr. Max Oxford RAF

1st row: Cadet Holger Christensen, Lt-Cmd Hsu Heng (Henry) ROC.

Photo from Chan Chak collection©








The four who were wounded, killed, captured or escaped seperately

Alexis DamsgaardJJ ForsterDouglas HarleySK Yee

Alexis Damsgaard wounded POW. JJ Forster died of wounds. D Harley wounded/drowned. SK Yee escaped seperately

Shaoguan [Kukong]

Maj Goring at Shuikwan [Kukong] 6th Jan 1942 
    Photo from Admiral Chan Chak's collection ©


Left: Lt-Cmd John Yorath RN (Rtrd), Major Arthur Goring Probyns Horse, Commander Hugh M Montague RN [Senior Naval Officer Aberdeen, & the escape] with Mrs Muriel Jones of the "Methodist Mission" wearing a Chinese favour on her  lapel, and Adm Chan Chak's ADC Lt-Cmdr Hsu Heng (Henry) ROC. Police Supt Bill Robinson of the Indian Police is behind with the white neck scarf.

Photo from Adm Chan Chak's collection ©

The New Zealand Presbyterian Church Methodist Mission at Shaoguan was run by Mrs Jean Martin & her Irish born husband known by his Chinese name Mooi with a staff of six missionaries and their wives. It was here that Goring was admitted to hospital with fever, and Admiral Chan Chak finally had the bullet removed from his wrist by Dr S H Moore at the "Ho Sai" hospital. The Admiral kept the bullet and had it mounted on a gold chain which he wore from his left lapel. Admiral Chan Chak also had a blood transfusion here after his gastric ulcer flared up, with Muriel's husband Peredur Jones donating his blood.

For more information on Arthur Goring click here.


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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