World War Two – 1945 BAAG report on occupied Hong Kong – motor bus services
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, motor bus services…
Can anyone come up with an image of a bus during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong. I can’t.
Many thanks to Mark Regan for typing out the original BAAG report.
“The Japanese have probably removed all save a few motor buses from Hong Kong. A large number were sent away in 1942 following a wholesale seizure of all types of motor vehicles. Reliable information shows that, of about 120 buses formerly operated by the China Motor Bus Co. on Hong Kong Island, only 18 or 19 remained in the latter part of 1942. It is probable that a similar removal was made of cars formerly operating on the Kowloon mainland. The shipment away of vehicles appears to have continued until 1945, the latest Information being that buses from Hong Kong were seen in Canton in mid-Feb 45.
In September 1942 the Japanese entrusted the operation of all bus routes on both sides of the harbour to the Hong Kong Automobile Transport Association (Hong Kong Jidosha Unso Kaisha), with Ngan Shing-kwan formerly manager of the China Motor Bus Co., as President, and Tang Shiu-kin as Vice-President. At that time, buses were running on most if not all of the routes served in 1941. However the service was gradually curtailed until September 1943, when it was entirely suspended after the bombing of the Lai Chi Kok oil installation which was reported to have caused an acute oil shortage.
After several weeks, the service between the city and Aberdeen and Stanley was resumed, with one bus operating once daily on each of the 2 routes. At the end of 1943, an hourly service between Tsim Sha Tsui and Waterloo Road was re-introduced, as well as a daily one-trip service between Kowloon and the New Territories. In August 1944, it was reported in the Hong Kong press that buses had resumed running between Pedder Street and Causeway Bay, with 11 trips being made either way daily.”
This article was first posted on 5th July 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.
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