The counterattack made by Brigadier Wallis along Island Road failed. They did, however, succeed in capturing the high ground on the left flank and even today the summits of Bridge Hill and Notting Hill are littered with ammunition and other relics left over from the fighting that occurred that day. The attacking force reached the X-Roads but they were not able to hold the position partly because they never managed to clear the Japanese from Red Hill on their right flank or from area around the Tai Tam X-Roads including a mound to the north-west and the lower slopes of Bridge Hill. After sustaining heavy casualties and failing to secure the X-Roads, the attacking force was withdrawn and the troops fell back to Stanley, although some including the Bren gun carriers were dispatched to Repulse Bay with the intention of driving up Repulse Bay Road to attack Wong Nai Chung Gap from the south.
|1938 Map showing the Tai Tam X-Roads, the ridge Notting Hill-Bridge Hill and Red Hill|
|Map showing the location of Erinville and Cash's Bungalow|
|Post-war photograph of Erinville (Courtesy: Alan Proulx)|
"One death, in particular, made me feel very sad, that of a Mr Simmons, who had been with us on the long trek from Repulse Bay, at the Kowloon Hotel, and then in Camp so he seemed like a part of my whole Hong Kong experience. He would sit on a hillside in camp looking across the bay at his fine home on the opposite hill, which he had built to enjoy in his old age. One morning he got up, looked out the window, sat back on the cot and died. I think he died of a broken heart."
"Shortly before midnight I left my companions well hidden in a safe place and struck out on an excursion of my own. ... Sneaking through a pet ravine of mine, I came out on a small plateau overlooking a bay. There was a house on the plateau and I gazed at it for a long time in silence for it was my home. It was here that we stayed during the summer months. ... The house was in absolute darkness. ... I crept in behind the garage. ... I walked around to the back door and found it open. ... I walked through my desecrated home and started to go out through the front door. There were several bodies lying on my front lawn in swollen, wry positions like big rag dolls."
|Erinville in the 1960s (Courtesy: Allan Proulx)|
|Pre-war photo of Erinville at Turtle Cove (Courtesy: Alan Proulx)|
|Bill Anderson relaxing on the verandah at Erinville in March 1959|
(Courtesy: Janice Anderson)
|Albert Iveson Cash (National Archives Files)|
"Captain Penn took his LGs [Lewis Guns] forward to where he could bring fire to bear on Cash's Bungalow, from which the enemy were quickly driven."
"The left Platoon of 'D' Bn (Royal Rifles) were working very slowly up Notting Hill. They were coming under fire from Cash's Bungalow".
" that he found Major Macauley trying to get his troops on and working hard. He was operating two 3-inch mortars against the enemy holding Cash's Bungalow and the X-Roads ".
|1949 Aerial photo showing Tai Tam X-Roads lower centre and the location for Cash's Bungalow (Courtesy: Rob Weir)|
|Some of the Japanese machine gun rounds fired on 21st Dec.|
"The left Platoon of 'D' Bn (Royal Rifles) was working very slowly up Notting Hill. They were coming under fire from Cash's Bungalow". [East Infantry Brigade War Diary]
|Stuart on the narrow drive leading to Cash's Bungalow (wide enough for 1941 vehicles)|
|Mystery item. The writer besides the rusted steel casing.|
|Unknown structure in the grounds of the former bungalow|
We spent an afternoon exploring the ruins of a home and discovering a bit more of its history, and we chanced on the position of the Japanese machine gun, found the remains of the garden wall and could ascertain the direction of fire which fitted with the archival research. We picked up machine gun rounds that were last touched in December 1941 and brought history alive for a moment in time.
- Alan Proulx for photos of Erinville.
- Nicola Davies for research relating to Albert and Stella Cash.
- National Archives for info on Albert Cash (including photos).
- Bill & Janice Anderson for information relating to Erinville.
- Rob Weir for grid reference of Cash's bungalow and aerial photo.
- Stuart Woods photos and fieldwork.