There were three possibilities as to who may have occupied these surviving WW2 military structures:
On the declaration of a State of Emergency on Sunday 7 December 1941, six howitzers were deployed to forward locations in the vicinity of Tai Wai. These included two 3.7-inch and two 4.5-inch howitzers from 2nd Mountain Battery, and two 6-inch howitzers from 25th Medium Battery. The two 3.7-inch guns were transported by pack mules and were probably positioned furthest forward. The 4.5 and 6-inch guns needed to be towed by lorries and would, therefore, have been deployed close to the Tai Po Road. Other guns (3.7-inch howitzers) were deployed at Customs Pass, on the right flank of the Gin Drinkers Line (GDL), whilst others were positioned to the rear of the GDL at Main Filters, located at the southern end of Tai Po Road, and the Polo Ground near Prince Edward Road. Nearby AOPs were manned at Sandal Wood, Crown Point, Golden Hill, Shing Mun Redoubt, Texaco Peninsula and Crown Point. Mainland Royal Artillery had their HQ in splinter-proof shelters adjacent to those occupied by Mainland (Kowloon) Infantry Brigade at the northern end of Waterloo Road.
At 1100 hours on 11 December, 'D' Coy's forward troops fired their Boys anti-tank rifles at two Japanese light tanks seen on Tai Po Road near the Shatin level-crossing which were probing the Punjab defences.
11 December 1215 hours:"Last troops left forward positions. I met the CO at Advanced Battalion HQ and proceeded to 5 1/2 MS. On arrival found that 'D' Coy had been posted in position above the catchment. Spent next four hours walking along the catchment, up Railway Pass, round Beacon Hill locating Coy positions."
11 December 1830 hours:
"Withdrew Coy along the catchment up Shatin Pass, down Jats Incline to Devil's Peak Pier."
10 December 2400 hours:
"Reported to CO at 6 1/2 MS HQ".
|71/2 MS Rest Garden|
|Replica of MS|
|Source: Po Leung Kok YC Cheng Centre web site|
|My route from the hospital to the back of the building site|
|The same shelter looking west towards the rear of the site|
|The long bunker looking east towards the entrance to the site|
|Entrance portals at the long bunker|
|The long bunker looking west towards the rear of the site|
|Entrance to one of the splinter-proof shelters|
|Standard design splinter-proof shelter at the site.|
|Set of two splinter-proofs|
|Damaged map showing four sets of splinter proofs and the long bunker (Courtesy: Victor Li)|
|The Shatin Riding School (courtesy of Geoffry Lam)|
Sometime after writing this post I heard about another military bunker on Tai Po road still extant but converted into a two-storey dwelling presumably by squatters. The location is at Luk Hop Village (see photo below) opposite the bus stop. When I visited there was nobody around, but there were some mean looking dogs that prevented me from taking a closer investigation. There is at least one WW2 type splinter-proof shelter evident but there may have been a cluster of two or more. If a single shelter - it could have been a Platoon HQ or Coy HQ for 2/14 Punjabs. If it is a cluster of two or more then possibly 'D' Coy HQ or battalion HQ.
|A splinter-proof shelter with a storey added on top|
|The bus stop opposite the splinter-proof|
Continuing along Tai Po Road towards Lai Chi Lok. I came across a simi-circular array of WW2 type splinter-proof structures. These were being used as (light) explosives storage by the HK Government. The structures were fenced off and guarded and I was unable to get a close look. A notice board showed that the facility was operated by Mines Dept.
I posted the photos on FaceBook community for Battle of Hong Kong. Guy Bridges responded:
That is Kowloon Explosives Depot, operated by Mines Division of the CEDD. I believe it was a former military magazine dating back well before WWII. Currently used to store small quantities of pyrotechnics for the film industry, and emergency storage of confiscated explosives.
As well as eight storage bunkers, there is an administrative building. The complex was originally built by the British military in the mid 1930's for storage of a variety of explosives. It was handed over post WW2 for civilian use for storage of industrial explosives. More recently used for storage of professional fireworks and pyrotechnics.
|West Flank - GDL|
|6 1/2 Milestone|
Kwong, Chi Man