Horse drawn carriages during the Japanese occupation, WW2

HF: Our article, World War Two – 1945 BAAG report – transport and fuel supplies in occupied HK, states in the section Motor Bus Services that post Sept 1942 most buses had been removed from HK. Not surprisingly other forms of road transport were revived. And our article, HK Industry during World War Two – Transport, contains an extract from a book by Cheng Po Hung about horse-drawn carriages.

Fung Chi Ming has researched these and come up with the following newspaper reports.

Over to CM: The first six copies are from the Hong Kong News an English- language newpaper published in HK during the Japanese occupation. These are photocopies of microfilm. There are descriptions of the use of horse-drawn carriages, including the routes and fares.

The last newspaper report is from Wah Kiu Yat Po dated 8 December 1942, in which there is a description of the use of horse carriages in Kowloon (upper portion of the report) as well as a photo.  This is the only photo of wartime horse carriages which I have seen.  The newspaper descriptions, in Chinese, are more or less the same as that found in Hong Kong News of the same date.

8th Dec 1942 Detail Horse Drawn Carriages

Many thanks to Jon Mackay for typing out this article, dated 8th December 1942.

Horse-Drawn Carriages In Kowloon

Horse-drawn carriage services were started for the first time in Kowloon yesterday with a service of four carriages from Shamshuipo to Kowloon City.

The other two routes, the No 1 from Tsimshatsui to Kowloon Tong and the No 2 route to Shamshuipo, will be started later on.

The carriages were well patronised yesterday, and are expected to prove popular, especially for the older folk.

Re-introduction of the service in Kowloon recalls the fact that some 30 years ago, when motor cars were rare in Hongkong, horse carriages were extensively used by the more wealthy Chinese residents here. In those days they were hired to passengers by the hour at the rate of $1 per hour.

The main termini were established outside the Central Market and in the Shui Hang Hou district, which is not far from the present Western Market. Shui Hang Hou was then the amusement area of Hongkong as most restaurants were situated there and not at Shek Tong Tsui.


Similar horse carriages were also very popular among Kowloon residents of the old days for sightseeing purposes and visits to the suburbs, as in those days buses had not been introduced in Kowloon. Buses, it will be recalled, were not used in Kowloon until the Kai Tak reclamation scheme was carried out in Kowloon City.

Horse carriages in Hongkong lost favour with most people with the introduction of motor-cars which were first imported by an American merchant, the owner of the Flying Dragon Motor-Car Company, which hired out cars at the rate of $15 per hour in the early days of motor traffic in Hongkong. (8th December 1942)

16th June 1943

16th June 1943

8th August 1943

8th August 1943

8th September 1943

8th September 1943

30th November 1943

30th November 1943

12th August 1944

12th August 1944

Horse-drawn Carriages 1 photo Fung Chi Ming

8th December 1942

HF: The Hong Kong News, a pre-war Japanese-owned English newspaper, was revived in January 1942 during the Japanese occupation. The editor, E.G. Ogura, was Japanese and the staff members were mainly Chinese and Portuguese  who had  previously worked for the South China Morning Post.

Wah Kiu Yat Po was a local Chinese newspaper that continued to operate after the Second World War.  The newspaper office was closed in 1995.

This article was first posted on 5th July 2014.

See: Cheng Po Hung, Hong Kong during the Japanese Occupation, University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong , 2006

Related Indhhk articles:

  1. World War Two – 1945 BAAG report – transport and fuel supplies in occupied HK
  2. HK Industry during World War Two – Transport

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