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Local Visit: Guided WWII Battlefield Walk: Wong Nei Chung Gap - Mr. Philip Cracknell

  • Tai Tam Country Park (barrier nr. entrance to Parkview) Tai Tam Reservoir Road Hong Kong Island Hong Kong (map)

Our visit begins with an examination of a 3.7-inch howitzer battery on what was Stanley Gap Road, now Tai Tam Reservoir Road. We will also go inside one of the battery buildings. We next 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 view the QMS Stores shelter where surrendered prisoners were beaten and killed. We will examine 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 defense tunnel before descending the hillside to Sir Cecil’s Ride. We will finish at Wong Nei Chung (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 for Hong Kong.

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. This visit is very similar to an earlier well-attended visit arranged by RAS last year, but this year may be enhanced by the playing of a bagpipe lament. Numbers will also be more limited.

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 WWII history in Hong Kong. He is author of the blog

He has conducted guided tours for Hong Kong Club, Aberdeen Marina Club, and for 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.

Start time: 9:00 a.m.

End time: 12.30pm

Start point: barrier to Tai Tam Country Park (near entrance drive to Parkview)

End point: bottom of Black’s Link (with easy access to buses & taxis)

Admission: RAS Members $100; Non-Members/ Guests $150

Booking: Please email in advance to reserve your place and pay on the day.

Suitable clothing, footwear and a moderate level of fitness are advised.

This event is capped at 20 pax.