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Local visit: Guided WW2 Battlefield Walk: Wong Nei Chung Gap - Mr. Philip Cracknell

  • Tai Tam Country Park Hong Kong (map)

We will start by visiting a 3.7-inch howitzer battery on what was Stanley Gap Road, now Tai Tam Reservoir Road, and we will go inside one of the battery buildings. We will then visit the Stanley Gap area and see the remains of the mess hut where prisoners captured during the fighting in this area were kept in black-hole conditions. We will see the QMS Stores shelter where surrendered prisoners were beaten and killed. We will see the remains of the 3.7-inch AA Battery and then proceed to the two pillboxes on the western slopes of Jardine’s Lookout (PB 1 and 2). We will then look at a Japanese defence tunnel before descending the hillside to Sir Cecil’s Ride. We will finish at WNC Gap where we will see the remains of West Brigade HQ including Brigadier Lawson’s bunker. Our final stop is PB 3 at Black’s Link, which we can go inside, it is one of the better preserved PBs on the Island, complete with Vickers machine gun mounting and swivels.

We will be exploring the battlefields around Stanley Gap, Jardine’s Lookout and Wong Nei Chung (WNC) Gap and the fighting that took place on Friday 19th December 1941, the day after the Japanese landings took place on HK Island. This was the critical battle. Your guide will explain what happened at each location, provide context with an overview of the Battle for Hong Kong and will answer any questions about the battle and WW2 in Hong Kong.

The Speaker

Your guide for the walk is Philip Cracknell, a former banker who first came to Hong Kong in 1985. He retired from banking in 2013 to follow his interest in researching WW2 history in Hong Kong. He is author of the blog He has conducted guided tours for Hong Kong Club, Aberdeen Marina Club, schools, charities and veterans. Some of his research is carried out on the battlefields using a metal detector to better understand where fighting occurred and who was where on the battlefield. He has been active in campaigning to preserve war structures and historic sites in Hong Kong.

Time: 9.00am assemble at barrier to Tai Tam Country Park (near entrance drive to Park View).

End time 12.30pm bottom of Black's Link (with easy access to buses and taxis).

Please email in advance to reserve your place and pay on the day.  Suitable clothing, footwear and a moderate level of fitness are advised.