World War Two – HK Industrial Images from the Imperial War Museum

HF: These paintings and photos of Hong Kong soon after the end of the War are from the Imperial War Museum’s, (IWM) UK extensive collection of Hong Kong. I have selected them because they show some aspect of the industrial history of HK at this time. Either through the Naval Dockyard, Shipping wrecks in the Harbour (with close connections to post-war ship breaking) and the Kowloon – Canton railway.

Further information regarding the people mentioned below would be welcomed.

The captions have been added by the IWM.

The paintings  are by Leonard Rosoman who was appointed in April 1945, by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee,  to a full-time salaried position to document the activities of the British Pacific Fleet.

All images are copyright of the Imperial War Museum, UK (IWM) www.iwm.org.uk but can be published by IWM’s Non-Commercial Licence.

Naval Dockyard

A Crater in the Naval Dockyard, Hong Kong (art) Made by: Rosoman, Leonard Henry (RA) 1945 image: A view looking down into a hole in the dockside. The damage has exposed the wooden structure underneath and the metal cables within the concrete.

A Crater in the Naval Dockyard, Hong Kong
Painting by: Rosoman, Leonard Henry (RA) 1945
 A view looking down into a hole in the dockside. The damage has exposed the wooden structure underneath and the metal cables within the concrete. © IWM

Ship breaking (ship wreck HK Harbour)

A Chinese Merchantman sunk in Hong Kong Harbour (art) Made by: Rosoman, Leonard Henry (RA) 1945-09-17 image: The funnel and two masts of a sunken vessel rise up out of the water.

A Chinese Merchantman sunk in Hong Kong Harbour
Painting by: Rosoman, Leonard Henry (RA) 1945-09-17
The funnel and two masts of a sunken vessel rise up out of the water. © IWM

Kowloon – Canton Railway

A film on the IWM website indicates that the railway from Kowloon to Lo Wu re-opened on 29 Sep 1945. (Film made by the Air Ministry Directorate of Public Relations)

Royal Air Force personnel work to repair an engine for the Kowloon Railway, Hong Kong. This railway was immobilised during the Japanese occupation, services were restored under Royal Air Force supervision after the liberation. (photographs) Made by: Royal Air Force official photographer

Royal Air Force personnel work to repair an engine for the Kowloon Railway, Hong Kong. This railway was immobilised during the Japanese occupation, services were restored under Royal Air Force supervision after the liberation.
photo by RAF official photographer © IWM

Flying Officer Herbert Lees DFC directs Chinese labourers and Japanese prisoners of war in the loading of goods on flatbed trucks of the Kowloon Railway, Hong Kong. This railway was immobilised during the Japanese occupation, services were restored under Royal Air Force supervision after the liberation. photo by RAF official photpgrapher

Flying Officer Herbert Lees DFC directs Chinese labourers and Japanese prisoners of war in the loading of goods on flatbed trucks of the Kowloon Railway, Hong Kong. 
photo by RAF official photographer © IWM

Leading Aircraftman L Moulden, a former blacksmith, helps roll a newly repaired bogey unit for a carriage or flatbed truck into place at the Kowloon Railway's repair sheds, Hong Kong. This railway was immobilised during the Japanese occupation, services were restored under Royal Air Force supervision after the liberation.Made by: Royal Air Force official photographer

Leading Aircraftman L Moulden, a former blacksmith, helps roll a newly repaired bogey unit for a carriage or flatbed truck into place at the Kowloon Railway’s repair sheds, Hong Kong. 
photo by RAF official photographer © IWM

Corporal J Masterton and Leading Aircraftman L Moulden pause with a group of Chinese women carriage cleaners to watch a newly repaired engine of the Kowloon Railway on a test run in Hong Kong. This railway was immobilised during the Japanese occupation, services were restored under Royal Air Force supervision after the liberation. photo by RAF official photographer

Corporal J Masterton and Leading Aircraftman L Moulden pause with a group of Chinese women carriage cleaners to watch a newly repaired engine of the Kowloon Railway on a test run in Hong Kong. 
photo by RAF official photographer © IWM

Japanese soldiers who were rounded up in the Fan Ling district of Hong Kong by men of the 3rd Commando Brigade are put aboard a train bound for Kowloon . photographs) Made by: No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit

Japanese soldiers who were rounded up in the Fan Ling district of Hong Kong by men of the 3rd Commando Brigade are put aboard a train bound for Kowloon.
photo by No 9 Army Film & Photographic Unit © IWM

This article was first posted on 4th January 2014.

Our Index has a large number of articles about Industry during World War Two particularly during the Japanese occupation including:

  1. Hong Kong Industry during World War Two
  2. Hong Kong Industry during World War Two – Fishing, Food and Beverages, Tobacco
  3. HK Industry during World War Two – Transport
  4. HK Industry during and immediately after World War Two – Utilities
  5. Ship breaking in Hong Kong – post WW2 to 1961

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