Henry Hsu & escape party in Waichow.

Escape from Hong Kong - Guiyang & Tuyunguan

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2nd MTB Flotilla Ships Company at Guiyang 23rd - 26th January 1942

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The Royal Navy party at The Chinese Red Cross medical centre at Tuyunguan near Guiyang 30 days and 1380 miles into their 2880 mile trek from Hong Kong enroute to Rangoon.

Lt Alex Kennedy RNVR & officers in Guiyang.



Sub-Lt Gee, Sub-Lt Brewer, Sub-Lt Legge, Lt parsons, Lt Kennedy.
Sub-Lt's David Legge and Gee had lived in Shanghai and acted as interpreters. Effie Lim in her tartan kilt , and the Chen sisters.
On the right is Lt Alexander Kennedy of MTB 09, the author of "Hong Kong Full Circle" (self published)





















Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR: "There were one or two pretty ex-Shanghai girls there, with whom I spent most of my time the next few days, rather, I think, to the jealousy of other less fortunate officers." [18]


Ships dog Bruce


Bruce the MTB 11 ships dog accompanied the escape party 1380 miles to Guiyang







Bruce escaped from Hong Kong with the 2nd MTB Flotilla under the command of Adm Chan Chak C.N. on Christmas Day 1941 as the Colony surrendered to the overwhelming forces of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Bruce the ships dog accompanied the escape party through the Japanese lines to Waichow and beyond for one thousand three hundred and eighty miles (2,221 Km). Dr Lim's daughter Effie took Bruce in, giving him a home on 26th January 1942

Photos from Lt C J Collingwood's collection©







Not everybody had been happy to have the ships dog accompany the party.

Maj Goring BHQ: "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]

Lt-Cdr G H Gandy RN in Guiyang 24th Jan 1942
Run the curser over to identify individuals. 
Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©









Lieut-Commander Gandy giving a speech of thanks .




Dr Robert Lim, Lt-Cmd Gandy RN (Rtrd), Lt Pittendrigh RNR, Sub-Lt Brewer HKRNVR.

Photo from the Hide collection ©
















Ships Log: 24th Jan 1942 "Visit to Governor in the morning. Conducted tour of the centre in the afternoon, followed by tea & a 'movie' after dinner." [5]

Lt C J Collingwood RN with Dr Robert (Bobby) Lim 24th Jan 1942
Run the curser over to identify individuals. 
Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©



Lt C J Collingwood RN with Dr Robert Lim, a Lieutenant-General in the Nationalist army who ran the Chinese Red Cross medical centre four thousand feet up in the mountains at Tuyunguan, near Guiyang.

Photo from the Hide collection ©

Bobby had volunteered and was accepted into the Indian Army as a Warrant-Officer during the Great War of 1914-18 on the Western Front.
He set up the Chinese Red Cross after the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1937.
Bobby was also a former golfing partner of Adm Chan Chak. Bobby Lim was arguably the greatest Singaporian of all time and was destined to become "One of the great men of China." [99]

The party arrived at the largest Red Cross medical centre in China, four thousand feet up in the mountains at Tuyunguan near Guiyang.
Waiting to meet them was the Surgeon-General of the Republic of China, forty four year old Lieutenant-General Dr Robert Lim, a widower known by all as Bobby. Born in Singapore he was a British subject of Chinese parentage. Bobby had been educated at the George Watson's College at Archibald Place in Edinburgh and later trained as a physiologist at University there. He married a local woman, Margaret Torrance on 19th July 1920. They had two children James and Effie who was fifteen and still wore the kilt and, like her father spoke her native tongue with a Scottish burr, much to the amusement of Sub-Lt's Brewer and Legge both of whom spoke fluent Mandarin.
Bobby had a team of european medics, among them was a German Physician, Dr Rolf Becker whose wife Joan became Bobby Lim's secretary as well as tutoring his daughter Effie, a reluctant student. The European team were recruited in London in 1939 by the China Aid Committee.

Tuyunguan memorial to the European Physicians who worked for the Chinese Red Cross during the war. 
	Photo from the Rolf Becker collection ©

 

 

A memorial errected in 1985 commemerating the European team of physicians and nurses who volunteered to work for the Chinese Red Cross.

  • Austria (4)
  • Bulgaria (1)
  • Czechoslovakia (1)
  • Germany (4)
  • Hungary (1)
  • Poland (6)
  • Romania ( 3)
  • USSR
  • (1)

    Photo from Bernard Becker ©

     

     

     

     

     

    Eddie Brazel (HKRNVR): "Here we stayed at the headquarters of the Chinese International Red Cross, who had a wonderful place. During our stay of three days in Kweiyang we had a marvellous time, being entertained by Governor Wu amongst others, in addition we played the training school at football." [47]



    RN officers relaxing with Dr Robert Lim at the Chinese International Red Cross headquarters in Tuyunguan.     Photo from the Hide collection ©












    Dr Bobby Lim, Lt Pittendrigh RNR, Lt-Cmd Yorath RN (Rtrd), Dr Bobby Lim's daughter Effie & Sub-Lt Brewer HKRNVR relaxing at the Red Cross center in Tuyunguan.

    Photo from the Hide collection ©








    Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR: "The Chinese Red Cross has a wonderful hospital at Tuyunguan, all mat sheds but very well run. They were prepared for us as we had arranged in advance to stay with them for a day or two.
    We all bunked in a large dormitory, which had big stoves in the center, heaven to us after the places we had been sleeping. Also we had our first foreign food up until then, and our first taste of decent liquor. They were very good to us and we were looked after like kings."
    [18]



    Lt Ashby with officers & ratings at  Tuyunguan Red Cross Centre.
      Run the curser over to identify individuals       
      Photo from the Hide collection ©

     

     

     

    Tuyunguan Medical centre 25th January 1942

    Lt-Cmd Yorath RN (Rtrd) , Lt Ashby, Warant Officer Morley-Wright, Sub-Lt Brewer, Lt Collingwood, with ratings. A/B Jack Holt is 3rd from left with A/B Ed Brazel front row right.

    Photo from the Hide collection ©










    Lieutenant-General Wu entertains the Royal Navy in Guiyang

    Ships Company of the 2nd MTB Flotilla at Guiyang 24th January 1942

     Lt-Cdr G H Gandy & the Royal Navy party at Guiyang 24th Jan 1942
Run the curser over to identify individuals. 
Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©

     

     

     

     

    Ships Log: 24th Jan 1942 "Visit to Governor in the morning. Conducted tour of the centre in the afternoon, followed by tea & a 'movie' after dinner." [5]

    Photo from the Hide family collection ©

     

     



    Lt-Cdr John Yorath & the RN party in Huaxi Park, Guiyang 25th January 1942 ©






     

     

    Lt-Cmd Yorath with officers & ratings visiting Huaxi park.

    Dr Lim organized a seven-a-side football match against his training school team.

    Photo from the Hide collection ©

    Ships Log: 25th Jan 1942 "Visit to park in the morning. Soccer match in the afternoon, lost 6-1. Dinner in the evening given by the Governor." [5]

     

     

    Lts Collingwood & Parsons boating in Huaxi Park 
	Photo from the Hide collection ©



















    Lieut's Collingwood & Parsons demonstrating their boating skills with Effie Lim.

    Lt Kennedy RNVR: "The dinner started quietly while we got to know the Chinese, but things quickly warmed up after we had been served rice-spirit in little porcelain cups. They had a pernicious habit of shouting "Kan-Pi", with great reujarity and we had to drain our cups and hold them upsidedown over the table to show that they were empty.
    The art of the game we realised too late was to call "Kan-Pi" when ones own cup was almost empty and the others full.
    One resolute member, formerly the Coxswain of MTB 10 was seen to stiffen like a ramrod during 'The King', although he was lying flat on his face on the floor." [9]




    Sub-Lt's Gee & Legge with Effie Lim & friend










    Sub-Lt's Brewer & Legge with Dr Bobby Lim's daughter Effie and friend.






     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lt Kennedy RNVR: "It was a somewhat jaded party which clamboured into the Red Cross trucks the following morning after repeated farewells to Dr Lim. As we bumped and jarred our way downhill into the city, each rut felt like a ditch and every pothole a subsidence." [9]

    Sub-Lt Legge HKRNVR: "We then set off for Kun Ming, about another four-day trip. It was mostly uneventful except for the dust, which, combined with the only cigarettes we could obtain, was giving us a hacking cough." [18]

    The Red Cross trucks on the high roads after the Hong Kong RN escape party left  Tuyunguan for Burma.  
	Photo from the Hide collection ©

     

     

     

     

    The Red Cross trucks taking the RN party over the mountain roads to Kunming after leaving Tuyunguan.

    Photo from the Hide collection ©





















    Major Robert (Bobby) Lim

     

     

     

    Surgeon-General of the Republic of China, Lieut-General Dr Robert Kho Seng Lim known to all as Bobby at the Red Cross centre in Tuyunguan 25th January 1942

    Bobby Lim was born on October 15, 1897 in Singapore, as such he was a British subject of Chinese parentage. Lim studied in Scotland and served in the Indian Army Medical Service on the Western Front during the great war of 1914-18. He earned his M.A. (1919), Ph.D. (1920) and D.Sc. (1924) degrees from Edinburgh University in Scotland. He began his professional career as a lecturer at Edinburgh University. He travelled to the United States of America as a Rockefeller Fellow and was associated with the University of Chicago. He became a professor of physiology at Peking Union Medical College in 1924. During World War II Lim was called on to organize the Chinese Red Cross Medical Relief Corps.

    From his military experience in the two World Wars he became interested in pain-relieving drugs. He discovered that pain receptors are chemo-sensitive, that pain-producing agents such as bradykinin peptides are produced when tissues of the body are injured. Additionally, he discovered that aspirin and other analgesic drugs relieve pain by combining with the pain-provoking chemicals (bradykinin peptides) and altering their function.

    Following World War II, Lim established ten hospitals in China before leaving to accept a position with Miles Laboratories in the United States of American. Robert Kho Seng Lim is the father of modern medicine in China.

    Lim was elected a member of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher (1932), the United States National Academy of Sciences (1942), the American Gastroenterological Association (1946), and the American College of Surgeons (1947). He died on July 8, 1969 in Elkhart, Indiana at the age of 72.

    Research and web publication by Buddy Hide Jr ©

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    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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