h/a - almost like home dark

Stanley Military Cemetary, Hong Kong

The Battle of Hong Kong in 1941 may be of little importance to historians. In secondary school we studied Chinese history, European history, Japanese history and even Indian history, we learnt about what happened during WWII in Europe, but no one thought it necessary to tell us about the history of the city we lived in. I knew that Hong Kong was attacked by the Japanese on December 8th 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbour, and that it surrendered on the "Black Christmas" 17 days later, but no one had ever told me about the 4,500 killed and wounded and the 8,500 taken as prisoners of war during the defence of Hong Kong from Imperial Japan.

It is almost impossible to imagine that a battle took place in this city, that men and women had died defending it. But in so small a place, the remains of the war are all around us if one knows where to look.

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