World War Two -1945 BAAG report on occupied Hong Kong – [Green Island] cement works
Elizabeth Ride has sent a British Army Aid Group (BAAG) report from 1st March 1945, An Outline of Conditions in Occupied Hong Kong which was compiled in early 1945 for use by the Civil Affairs Committee which was to take on the rehabilitation of HK after the planned allied invasion.
HF: The report is lengthy so I am going to divide it up into separate articles. Here, Green Island Cement Works…
Can anyone come up with an image of Green Island Cement during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong?
Many thanks to John Smith for typing out the original BAAG report.
“The GREEN ISLAND Cement Works resumed operation under the Japanese early in 1942. The plant was undamaged, and there were plentiful stocks of raw materials on hand.
The stock of limestone was reported to have been used up in January 1944. This factor, together with the coal shortage and the consequent curtailment of the power supply, seriously affected work at the plant. In March 1944, the Japanese commenced to remove machinery from the factory, and in May 1944 it was reported that production had ceased. The number of workers on the payroll at that time was between 400 and 500. In July 1944, however, information was received that the factory was again active, but only working part–time. It was believed to be still in production on a restricted scale in December 1944, turning out cement for military use only. The number of workers in December 1944 was said to be about 150, and the stock of cement at at the works to consist of 4,000 paper bags each of 100 lbs. The latest indication of production capacity was received in October 1944, when the daily output was placed at 120 tons. This was one-tenth of the reported 1943 output of 1,200 tons daily.
Removal of equipment continued throughout the latter half of 1944. Exact details are not available, but it is believed that a large part of the machinery has been removed, including boilers, crushers, motors and laboratory equipment. One report stated that about 70 percent of the machinery had been taken away by the enemy, including the largest crusher. One “cement-making machine” and one boiler were said to be intact in October 1944, and in December 2 crushers were stated to be still in use.The machinery removed was variously reported as having been shipped to JAPAN, FORMOSA, HAINAN and JAVA.”
The image shown on the Home Page shows Green Island Cement in the bottom left hand corner with the smoking chimney in 1949.
This article was first posted on 18th August 2015.
- For general information about the Elizabeth Ride collection, her father Sir Lindsay Ride, and the British Army Aid group during WW2 a very useful introduction is through http://gwulo.com/node/13968
- The BAAG papers are kept at the Hong Kong Heritage Project
The Index contains many articles using BAAG reports from WW2. And about industry in HK during that time.
Related Indhhk articles:
- Green Island Cement Company – stunning photos
- Green Island Cement Company – Conflagration – March 1906
- Green Island Cement Company during World War Two
- Green Island Cement Company – manager late 1920s to 1949 identified and photos of earlier manager’s home
- Green Island Cement Company – photographs c1900
- Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 1 1930s
- Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 2 late 1940s
- Green Island Cement Company photographs – Set 3 Exterior – human scarecrows, brandy and hens…