Charles H Moore - Escape from Hong Kong

 

 

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S.P.O. Charles H Moore C/KX80274 from Hornsey Rise, North London







S.P.O. Charlie Moore at Waichow 30th December 1941

Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©


Charlie helped to haul the escape party swimmers out of the water as they swam out to the lone 27 after their ordeal on Aberdeen Island.

 

 

 

 

 

 









MTB 07 under fire 
	Photo from Hong Kong 1941-45 published by Osprey Publishing 
	Illustration by Giuseppe Rava
	Click here for more information

The flotilla took a beating during the battle for Hong Kong.
When the Japanese invaded Hong Kong Island, the 2nd MTB Flotilla was ordered to attack and expend all ammunition shooting up everything in sight. Unbeknown to the flotilla, the Japanese had already established a beach head on the Island west of the Sugar Refinery at North Point.
Guns to the left, guns to the right, guns to the front and cannon from above, on they sped into the fiery jaws of the oriental dragon itself. This was the maritime equivalent of the charge of the light brigade in the Crimea.
Lt Ronnie Ashby whose family motto was "Be Just and Fear Naught" led the flotilla with Jix Prest & Buddy Hide at the controls of MTB 07. Pressing home the attack under withering fire from land, sea, and air, they suffered heavy losses in the process. Only three MTB's survived to limp back and come alongside HMS Robin in Aberdeen. Lt Kennedy on MTB "09" towed the stricken "07", peppered with 97 holes and two dead bodies in the engine room, back to base. The flotilla had lost 40% of its attacking force. The attack was arguably the most daring daylight MTB attack of all time, and was referred to as The Balaclava of the Sea.by Coastal Forces world wide. They were hailed "The bravest of the brave."

Lt Kennedy RNVR: "MTB 11 returned alone from the harbour with her coxswain wounded. There was a long silent pause as we strained our ears to catch the sound of distant engines, but none came. It was a dark day for the flotilla, and for the whole island." [9]

Charlie Moore stayed on in Burma along with Lt Collingwood, P. O. Burrows, and Stoker A/B Jack Thorpe onboard an R.I. N. Sloop on refugee relief as Collingwood was fluent in Hindi.

Charlie along with the eight other remaining ratings in Akyab eventually left Bombay on 14th April and arrived back in the UK 1st June 1942.[2]

Lieutenant Commander Gandy R. N. (Rtrd) had prevailed against all the odds, and triumphed over adversity to deliver the crews of the flotilla back to the UK without loss of life or serious injury after evading capture and escaping from Hong Kong on Christmas Day 1941.

PO Prest: "We travelled by cycles, lorries, junks, and donkeys, but mostly we walked. It was a case of march or die"

Buddy Hide: "On the whole, the moral, spirits, and courage of the party was magnificent. I think it was the shear thoughts of beating the Japs, and the prospects of getting home after three years, some of us four years from home, that made us carry on."

It is unprecedented in the annuls of Royal Navy history, that an entire Flotilla company evaded capture to escape across an entire continent to fight another day.

Shaoguan [Kukong] 6th January 1942

 

 

 

Stoker Petty Officer Charlie Moore resting in Kukong.

The padded jackets were obtained by Colonel Owen-Hughes at Lung Chun. Owen-Hughes was the British Liaison officer to the Chinese army. The party later swapped the jackets with an incoming detachment of British Marines. 

 

 

 

 

 

 





S.P.O. Moore along with P.O. Prest, Tel Chris Meadows & Sub-Lt Brewer arriving in Shaoguan (Kukong) 6th January 1942.




















C.P.O. Gilbert Thums, S.P.O. Charlie Moore, A/B Downey, & Cox P.O. Prest in Kukong.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Huaxi Park near Guiyang


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]

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

Photo from the Hide collection ©

Lt-Cdr Yorath with officers & ratings at Huaxi park, Guiyang 25th January 1942































MTB's 26 & 27 were 55' Thornycroft CMB's bought back from China 4th Sept 1939

MTB 27, ex Kuamintong CMB Kuai 20 leaving harbour for exercises in March 1940 with Lt Kilbeee as her CO.

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 






 

 

 

 

MTB 27, Thornycroft 55 foot ex Kuamintong CMB Kuai 20 completed 10th September 1938 loaded with depth charges and torpedo's getting an XDO inspection in February 1940 with Lt Kilbeee as her C/O.

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 







MTB 27 underway with Lt Kilbee in command in March 1940

Photo from the Hide collection ©









 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27 alongside HMS Robin in Mirs Bay

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27 alongside HMS Robin the 226 ton MTB mothership launched in 1934 and armed with a 3.7 inch howitzer. Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MTB 27 on patrol Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

MTB 27 loaded with depth charges in lieu of torpedo's alongside HMS Robin.

Photo from the Hide collection ©























 




MTB 27 on patrol

Photo from the Hide collection ©










Click here to see a Thornycroft CMB similar to MTB's 26 &27 on the River Thames in London 1939

 

 

 

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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