Aberdeen Dock (Lamma Shipyard) during the Japanese occupation 1942-1945
Elizabeth Ride: Aberdeen Dock (Lamma Shipyard), Map ref 186503.
Extract from the BAAG Intelligence Summaries.
The Aberdeen Dock, known as the Lamma Shipyard, is controlled by the Kokoki Butei. No new construction work was undertaken by this yard in 1944. The principal work was the repair of wooden auxiliary vessels, 8/10 of which passed through the yard between January and November 1944. There are 700/800 Chinese employed here, and their hours of work are 0800-1300 hrs and 1320- 1800 hrs. All workmen, however, are required to work overtime up to 2000 hrs. It was reported in April 1944 that the dock had been enlarged by the addition of 14 new workshops. Power previously was supplied from the North Point Power Station, but since this was suspended in the latter part of 1944 the yard has used its own diesel engine for generating electricity. Shortage of wood and coal is reported. Up to December 1944 the dock had not been bombed by Allied aircraft.
Stephen Davies was curious about the apparent renaming of Aberdeen Dock during the Japanese occupation. Were the BAAG reports mistaken in using ‘Lamma’ Shipyard. And why Lamma? He asked Kwong Chi Man, Assistant Professor, Dept of History, HKBU.
Kwong Chi Man: Yes, the Aberdeen dock was renamed Lamma Shipyard 南丫造船所 by the Japanese navy (specifically the Fukuda Company under IJN control). I read it from the only memoir of a naval officer who ran these dockyards and official documents as well. It seems that the Japanese conceptualised the geography of HK in a very different way – they probably named it just because it was close to the Lamma channels and they wanted to get rid of any English names.
Stephen has sent this pre-WW2 image of Aberdeen Docks.
And this one also from the 1930s looking across the front of the Aberdeen Docks which can be seen at the bottom left. Stephen adds: both the seminary and the Ap Lei Chau reclamation concur.
- 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 incorporating BAAG reports from WW2. And about industry in HK during that time.