1. Mt Parker
2. Bridge Hill
3. Notting Hill
4. Sugar Loaf Hill
5. Stone Hill
6. Island Road
8. PB 29
9. Stanley Police Station
10. Stanley Road Junction
11. No1 bungalow
12. New position of PB 23
13. PB 28
14. St Stephens College
17. Prep School
19. Chinese shrine
20. Three staff houses St Stephens.
If you look at the drawing the building in the lower foreground marked No. 17 is St Stephen's Preparatory school. It's actually still there although there are a few more buildings around it. I walked down to St Stephens beach last week to see the building and I took the picture below:
|St Stephens Preparatory School|
In the closing stages of the war a bloody battle was fought here on the Stanley Peninsula. The 1st Battalion of the Middlesex used the Prep School as it's Headquarters for the combined B and D companies. The windows were bristling with machine guns and the enemy advance was checked here by the stubborn defence put up by the men of the Middlesex - a regiment with a long history and who had won the epithet of "the diehards" at the Battle of Albuera in the Peninsular War when the "Middies" fought to a last man.
In the early hours of Christmas Day Japanese troops were heard infiltrating under cover of darkness along the rocky beach beneath the Prep School - they were fired on from the machine gun positions in the Prep School and from the pillbox PB 24 which was situated just out of the picture in the bottom left corner with a firing line covering the beach as well as out to sea across Stanley Bay towards Chung Am Kok.
As daylight broke the Japanese had taken cover in the small copse (No 18) just below the school. This has been built over almost entirely and the area is bordered by this stone wall which may have existed in 1941 or at least the lower part of it below the concrete addition on the top.
The commander of the two Middlesex (Mx) companies at the Prep School was Captain Weedon. At first light, he formed a fighting patrol to attack the Japanese and drive them out of the copse. As the British troops entered the copse to flush them out some of the enemy withdrew to a Chinese shrine (No 19) which can be seen in the drawing at the back of the beach. Grenades were thrown through the roof of the shrine causing severe casualties amongst the Japanese. The survivors withdrew to the beach sniping from the cover of rocks. PB 24 opened fire with her Vickers machine guns and the enemy were annihilated.
Unfortunately there was no sign of the shrine at the back of the beach. The Pill Box (PB24) has gone too, and where it stood is a government sponsored sail training establishment.
On the drawing marked (A) is a building which I think still exists today. I took a photograph of it below but from the landward side:
The view from the beach was obscured by trees. It's in the right place and looks remarkably similar to the 1941 building in the drawing.
Nearby is Stanley Military Cemetery marked No 16 in the drawing. It is situated on high ground above the road. Many of the British military dead are buried here and also civilians who died in nearby Stanley Internment Camp during incarceration.
|Path through Stanley Cemetery|
|Some of the military graves at Stanley Military Cemetery|
It is now the home of the Chaplain of St Stephens College. St Stephens College marked No 14 is still a popular and successful school today. Bungalow C was the scene of a tragedy during World War 2 when an American fighter bomber accidentally bombed the bungalow causing some 14 deaths amongst the civilian internees. This occurred on 16th of January 1945. A memorial (below) in Stanley Military Cemetery commemorates the dead.