Bobbie (Bobby) and Frank Gardner and Chan Kim Ming in Macau, 1944, BAAG report

Elizabeth Ride has sent this BAAG report which provides further information about the Gardner brothers after their departure from Hong Kong:

Extract from a BAAG Counter-Espionage Precis #1, 21 January 1944.

 “….. A  very full and informative report has been received from Macao that Chan was closely associated with two Filìppino boys, Bobbie and Frank Gardner, who were arrested by the British Government during the hostilities in Hongkong but were subsequently released when the Japanese occupied the Colony.  They were known to have done business with the Japanese before the outbreak of hostilities.  After the fall of Hongkong, they and Chan Kim Ming joined capital and opened a café at the premises of the former Palace Hotel at the junction of Haiphong Road and Hankow Road, Kowloon.  The business was a total loss, as part of the hotel was demolished by American planes when they bombed Hongkong.  After this, the Gardners brought out large quantities of radio accessories to Macao and started a firm called Bosco Radio Corporation, first at Avenida Almaida Ribiero and later in Rua S. Domingo.

When Chan arrived in Macao from Hongkong, the Gardners boasted to various people that they could get any amount of finance through Chan´s Syndicate and that large supplies of radio parts would be forthcoming soon.  It is believed that Chan is again a partner of the Gardners in this business, as the latter have often been heard to say that they must first consult Chan before doing anything.  It is also stated that apart from Chan, some of the Japanese Gendarme Officers in Hongkong are also interested in this corporation.  With the arrival of Chan, the Gardners began to make enquiries as to the purchasing of a number of houses, and it is stated that these enquiries were made on behalf of Chan.  In the meantime, Chan has established an office of his own at 11, Rua Leoncio Ferreira under the name of Sheung Kim Commercial firm. …..”

ER adds: Chan Kim Ming was also known as Jimmy  Chan, Chan Yat Ming, Chan Yat Hung, Chan Kam Hung, and Chan Kin Man.  His wife, Susan (Susie) Soo (HK Chinese), was a notorious Japanese spy, proprietor of the Skyhawk Café in Kweilin (a hotbed of intrigue).   Before the war, Chan had apparently been the agent for Bayer in Swatow and Hongkong.

The image shown on the Home Page is of Frank Gardner and his Plastic Manufacturing Corporation at an exhibition in 1956.

Any images of Bobbie or Frank Gardner, or of Chan Kim Ming in Macau/Hong Kong during World War Two would be most welcome. Or of Chan Lim Pak. Or of course, further information about any of them.

This article was first posted on 6th January 2016.

Further information:

  1. 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
  2. The BAAG papers are kept at the  Hong Kong Heritage Project https://www.hongkongheritage.org/Pages/FindingAids/LibraryCollection/Elizabeth_M_Ride_Collection.aspx
Related Indhhk articles:
  1. Bosco Radio Corp, the Gardner brothers and Kyoei Corp.
  2. Frank Gardner – his life, Bosco Radio and Plastic Manufacturing Corporation (PMC)
  3. Shirogane Maru (Bosco Radio Corp) – mystery over its fate
  4. Chan Lim Pak – WW2 Collaborator, MD of Fook Hing Oil Refinery Co + dramatic death…
  5. Fook Hing Oil Company and Chan Lim Pak, Japanese collaborator
  6. Fook Hing Oil Co, Cheung Sha Wan, BAAG report, 1943

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