|Stern view - HMS Cornwallis (Source: Wikipedia)|
|Cruiser - HMS King Alfred (Source: Wikipedia)|
HMS Cornwallis (1905-1906)
HMS King Alfred (1906-1908)
HMS Hawke (1908)
HMS Black Prince (1908)
HMS Astrae (1908)
HMS Mars (1911)
HMS Drake (1911-1913)
HMS Talbot (1913)
HMS Achilles (1913-1915)
HMS Campania (1915)
|HMS Mars - dressed overall at the Coronation Review (1902) (Source: Wikipedia)|
|List of officers on board HMS Mars on 2 April 1911 (Source: Ancestry.com)|
|HMS Campania - (Source: Wikipedia)|
|Interior of St Matthews (Source: www.achurchnearyou.com)|
I feel that perhaps I insisted too much on his keeping fit declared Wing Commander AHS Steele-Perkins formerly of the RAF at the inquest held yesterday.
The boy's heart had been weakened by poisoning in the blood, probably due to a recent attack of influenza and it failed to pump blood through the heart. This stopping of circulation caused the lungs to be drowned in fluid and he died from Asphyxia.
|The family with John (who died so young and tragically) in the centre (Courtesy Mary Tiffen Ph.D. daughter of AHS Steele-Perkins|
|ARP Drills before the war (Source: Imperial War Museum)|
|ARP Trucks (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|Gas Precautions Training in pre-war Hong Kong (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|Wing Commander Steele-Perkins with Acting Governor Lt-Genel Norton (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|ARP Training (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|AHS inspecting ARP wardens - many only too willing to serve (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|AHS inspecting female ARP Wardens (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|ARP Training (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele-Perkins)|
|Acting Governor Lt-General Edward Felix Norton with AHS Steele-Perkins (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
|Auxiliary Fire Service Training (Courtesy Mary Tiffen, Ph.D daughter of AHS Steele- Perkins)|
They did their best for us at Manila, said Mrs. A. H. Steele-Perkins, wife of Wing-Commander Steele-Perkins, who is in charge of A.R.P. arrangements in Hong Kong. She is one of 535 women and children evacuees from Hong Kong who arrived in Sydney today on a liner. Of the passengers 331 were landed in Sydney, and the rest to be sent on to Melbourne within the next three days. Mrs. Steele-Perkins said that, although there were, complaints that conditions were rough, it had to be taken into account that 3,500 women and children were sent to Manila at short notice, and just after the city had been feeling the effect of a monsoon. The Filipino Red Cross, with the best of intentions, sent some of the women and children to a condemned hotel where conditions were bad, but they were moved later. In this place 300 women had to use one bathroom. There were 250 children ranging from babies in arms to boys and girls of nearly 16 years on board the liner, which was the first of six bound for Australia.
The intense public interest in the public inquiry into matters affecting the architectural office of the of the APRP Dept manifested itself this morning when a large crowd was present to listen to the Director of ARP Wing Commander A.H. Steele-Perkins open his evidence.
The cooperation of his wife who enlisted the sympathy of the Chinese womenfolk. She started the Women's ARP Union with the assistance of Mrs Violet Chan. I was appointed by the Colonial Office as ARP Officer on 21 January 1938. During the first year I concentrated on the preparation of a local ARP scheme and the enrollment of volunteers.
I also concentrated on the organization of the the Corp of Air Raid Wardens. Mr George Pentreath took over Chairmanship of the Main Committee (of the Corp of Air Raid Wardens) in May 1938. I had to give active consideration to the construction of an ARP store to house war equipment and also the ARP School and Headquarters. (1)
My staff while at the Colonial Secretaries Office consisted of only myself and one stenographer. Towards the latter part of 1939 I found the work of organization of the ARP was really quite beyond the capabilities of a single man and I applied to the Government for a Deputy. Early in 1940 Mr Bruce Puckle was appointed Deputy Director ARP.
The construction of the ARP Store was of paramount importance and as early as 22 March 1938 I raised this question with the then Director of Public Works (Mr Tickle whilst Mr Purves was on leave) but he informed me that he was unable to spare anyone from that Department to supervise this work. I accordingly obtained the Financial Secretary's approval on 3 August to utilize services of an outside architect and was recommended by Mr Tickle to approach Leigh & Orange.
It should be noted that at this time there was no technical adviser on the staff and it was not until Jan 1939 that Captain Hobbs was detailed to advise on ARP construction. He worked in PWD Offices and it was not until September 1939 that he was transferred to work with me in the offices adjoining the Colonial Secretary's Office.
In the early part of 1940 it was decided that payment of construction work in ARP would be paid out of sums allocated to PWD. Accordingly on 1 June 1940 I minuted the Hon. Colonial Secretary that I had no objection to the transfer of Captain Hobbs back to the Public Works Department staff. (1)
In Chinese, Chiaphua means both 'enterprising spirit' and 'harmonious partnership'. These qualities have taken our company far beyond its modest beginnings as a small, family-owned metal stamping company, established back in 1922. The Chiaphua Group, founded three generations ago by Mr. Cheng Chik Chi and his three younger brothers, is one of the largest privately-held industrial group of companies in Hong Kong. During the 1930s, the Cheng brothers decided to set up a factory in Guangzhou using their father's hardware shop name Chiaphua. The factory was set up to produce metal ware and cutlery. Chiaphua also manufactured and supplied instruments such as bed frames, helmets and shovels to the military at the time. The Japanese invasion during World-War-II caused the Guangzhou factory to cease operation. The Cheng brothers moved the factory to Hong Kong. Within four years, Chiaphua had expanded up to four factories in Hong Kong. (2)
More cases surfaced, the most famous being the case involving Miss Mimi Lau (Lau Kam Ling), a starlet, clerk in a local steelworks, and close friend of Steele-Perkins. It was alleged that Lau had used her relationship with Steele-Perkins to secure shovel and helmet contracts for her company at a higher price.
The English newspapers devoted overwhelming attention to the relationship between Mimi Lau and Steele-Perkins. As the latter was about to serve as the ARP commandant in Calcutta, he was a suitable scapegoat for blame that should have been placed on both the ARP and the Department of Public Works, which was responsible for the construction of air raid shelters and the procurement of breeze blocks. In the confusion, an unfounded rumor emerged that Mimi Lau had been responsible for the government's decision to buy inferior breeze blocks. Prisoners of War and civilian internees called the blocks 'Mimi Laus'. Mark Young the new Governor , formed an Anti-Corruption Bureau in mid November, three weeks before the outbreak of war. (3)
My bedfellow turned out to be an attractive Continental ANS whom I knew slightly. Her husband had committed suicide several months earlier ………..suddenly my bedmate said 'Good job my husband shot himself'. I hardly knew what to say to this peculiar remark, but before I could think of anything suitable , she went on: 'He would have done it tonight, anyway: he couldn't have stood this'. (4)
Later, AHS and his son Christopher returned to live in the UK. I am not sure what happened to the Burmese lady. As for Mimi Lau, we know that she escaped from Japanese occupied Hong Kong to Free China early in 1942. Hong Kong resident Phyllis Harrop managed to avoid internment in Hong Kong on the grounds that at one time she had been married to a German national. She took a ferry to Macau and then proceeded to Chungking in Free China. Whilst in Kweiyang she came across Mimi Lau who had also fled Hong Kong to Macau and like Phyllis was making her way to Chungking. In a book written in 1943, Phyllis writes of her meeting with Mimi Lau:
The first person I met on returning from my bath was Mimi Lau, whose name had been in the Hong Kong headlines for some weeks, having got herself mixed up with some shady case which was occupying much time and trouble and giving the judges a series of headaches. Mimi had come through from Hong Kong with Doreen Langbourg. Doreen was on her way to Kunming to be married, and they had travelled together from the Colony. I had known they were ahead of us, I had been told when I reached the border but did not think that we should catch up with them, as they had left a week earlier than us.
I don't know what game Mimi is playing at but she gave me some valuable information. Apparently, their exit from Hong Kong had been arranged by a member of the Defag Company, A German concern who had entered Hong Kong with the Japanese troops after we surrendered. Doreen travelled on her Norwegian passport, which was quite in order, and Mimi with her as an amah. There were two suspicious Chinese men who travelled along with them, who are known to be friendly with the German interests. (5)
|Air Raid Tunnel Portals on Queen's Road East (Writer's collection)|
(1) The Hong Kong Telegraph 30 Sept 1941
(2) Web Site for Chiaphua Industries
(3) Eastern Fortress (2014) - Kwong Chi Man & Tsoi You Lun
(4) It was like this (2001) - Mabel Winifred Redwood
(5) Hong Kong Incident (1943) - Phyllis Harrop
Hong Kong Eclipse (1978) - GB Endacott
Season of Storms (1982) - Robert L. Gandt
Eastern Fortress (2014) - Kwong Chi Man & Tsoi You Lun
Hong Kong Incident (1943) - Phyllis Harrop
It was Like this (2001) - Mabel Redwood