HK Oxygen – HK Oxygen & Carbide – Far East Oxygen & Acetylene Companies WW2
HF: Elizabeth Ride’s (ER) second comment (ER 2) suggests that there were three similarly named companies in HK during the Japanese occupation in WW2. I am assuming that the BAAG agents’ reports mentioning ‘factory’ is because these buildings were of primary interest rather the companies themselves. If so we have these:
a) The Hong Kong Oxygen Company
b) The Hong Kong Oxygen and Carbide Company
c) The Far East Oxygen & Acetylene Company
The article World War Two – brief reports on four companies during the Japanese occupation contains this extract from a British Army Aid Group (BAAG) report from 1944 briefly mentioning an Oxygen Factory during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong in World War Two.
ER 1 responded: The BAAG KWIZ #66 of September 1944 reports the following:
“HK OXYGEN FACTORY. Owing to restrictions in consumption of electric power, working hours have been changed. Machine works twice (instead of four times) each lasting 11/12 days. Work is carried on at night. Output each time is about 1600 bottles, making a total monthly output of 3600 bottles. Consumption of oxygen in the various dockyards has had to be restricted.”
ER 2 added: A search through the BAAG Intelligence summaries turned up the following information about the Hongkong Oxygen Factory, that:-
– it was also referred to as the Hongkong Oxygen and Carbide Factory;
– the premises of the ‘Far East Oxygen & Acetylene Factory’ (the same factory?) were in To Kwa Wan ‘at the point on the mainland nearest to To Kwa Wan island’, position 223577 on map ‘GSGS 3868: 1/20,000, HK and NT’;
– its original monthly production had been 6000 cylinders of oxygen and 20 tons of carbide; it was supplier of oxygen to all the shipbuilders in HK; by late 1944 production was reported as 3600 bottles per month, then 600 bottles, and it was finally shut down owing to shortage of electricity;
– its position is reported as both 223577 and 223578 on the above-mentioned map.
– there seems to be no information about the owner.
The image accompanying this article showing gas bottles from the 1950s is not related to the HK Oxygen Factory.Related Indhhk articles: World War Two – brief reports on four companies during the Japanese occupation
This article was first posted on the 28th June 2014.
- 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 website has several articles about BAAG reports from HK during WW2 and about various aspects of life in HK during the Japanese occupation. The index shows all of these up to the date indicated.