HERO RosetteAdmiral Chan Chak in Kukong   
  Click here to read more ©William Morley Wright & escape party at Waichow, Photos from the Chan Chak & Ross collections © Admiral Chan Chak and party arriving in Waichow;  
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  Photo from Admiral Chan Chak's collection ©HERO stamp

William Morley-Wright DSC HKRNVR - Escape from Hong Kong

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Warrant-Officer William Morley-Wright, DSC Mine Watching Branch HKRNVR

Warrant Officer William Morley  Wright HKRNVR in Waichow  
    Click here to return to the Waichow photo  
    
    Photo from Ross collection ©

William Morley-Wright HKRNVR, Warrant-officer (Mine Watching Branch) at the Chung Hom Kok (Chung Am Kok) Mine Control station near Stanley.
Bill Wright from Scarborough was employed on the controlled minefields. After the destruction of the MC stations on the 19th December all Mine watch Warrant Officers were ordered to report to Stanley Fort where all naval personnel were mustered and mobilised into Royal Navy Divisions (RND) to fight on land as infantry. Bill was captured but managed to escape and with made his way to Aberdeen, as did his colleague Benny Proulx. [49] p715/6

Photo from Buddy Hide's collection © 30th December 1941

W-O Morley-Wright HKRNVR: "Was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, with Lt Pittendrigh RNR and Cadet Holger Christensen being "Mentioned in Despatches" For skilful and courageous services which enabled a party to make a daring escape from Hong Kong" [105]









The DSC, is granted in recognition of "gallantry during active operations against the enemy at sea."





DSC awarded to William Morley Wright for skilful and courageous services which enabled a party to make a daring escape from Hongkong.The award was originally created in 1901 as the Conspicuous Service Cross, for award to warrant and junior officers ineligible for the DSO. It was renamed the Distinguished Service Cross in October 1914, eligibility being extended to all naval officers (commissioned and warrant) below the rank of Lieutenant Commander. In 1931, the award was made available to members of the Merchant Navy and in 1940 eligibility was further extended to non-naval personnel (British Army and Royal Air Force) serving aboard a British vessel. The DSC now serves as the third level award for gallantry at sea for all ranks.

 

 

Last heard living with his wife in a small house on the banks of Loch Earn in Perthshire early 1960's.[75]

Click here for more information on Warrant-Officer Wright HKRNVR


Bill Wright dived overboard as Admiral Chan Chak calmly took to the waves 
	Photo from Maj Goring's  article on the escape © 
	Click here for more information


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.
I 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.
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."
[6]

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

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.

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."
[62]

Of the sixteen who set out on "HMS Cornflower's" launch, two were killed, another made good his own escape while the remaining twelve made it to the MTB's.

S.K, wearing Hsu Heng (Henry)'s shoes and clutching his bible, sought refuge with the Reverend Cheng in the Harbour Mission Church on Ap Lei Pai opposite Aberdeen. He eventually made his way to Kukong in free China where Chan Chak was still recovering. SK arrived on 5th February 1942 still wearing Hsu Heng (Henry)'s shoes, only to leave two days later as mysteriously as he had arrived after falling out with Chan over the allegedly missing $40.000 (£2,500 GBP) They remained bitter opponents for the rest of Chan's life.




Waichow

 

William Morley Wright & escape party at Waichow 30th Dec 1941
    Run the curser over to identify individuals 
    
    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 CN, Ted Ross MoI>

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

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

Photo from Chan Chak collection ©

 

 







William Morley Wright with officers & ratings at Guiyang  
      Run the curser over to identify individuals ; 
      
      Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

Guiyang Medical centre 25th January 1942

Left: ??, ??, 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 ©





Huaxi Park near Guiyang

William Morley Wright & some of the RN party in Huaxi Park, Guiyang 25th January 1942 ©






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

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

Photo from the Hide collection ©

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio by Lion Rock Films

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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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