Friday, August 31, 2018

What Happened at East Brigade Headquarters?

When I was doing research for my book, Beyond the Call, about the men of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals (RCCS) in Hong Kong and Japan, one aspect of the battle that I was never able to find much information on was which of the Signal Corps operators were assigned to East Brigade Headquarters, and what were their experiences during the battle and eventual surrender. None of the RCCS diaries or reports provided any of these details.

 I am particularly interested in finding out more because from what I can gather, my uncle, Don Penny (K34027), was one of those who didn’t accompany Captain Billings (RCCS CO) and fourteen others who left the Island Signal Pool at Casa Bianca near Deep Water Bay on about December 14th for West Brigade Headquarters at Wong Nei Chong Gap. Most of the remaining Signallers would have been assigned to East Brigade Headquarters which was the area of defence for the Royal Rifles and the Rajput regiment. Initially, Brigade HQ was located near the Royal Rifles HQ at Tai Tam Gap, but on December 19th  it was moved to the shelters at Stone Hill. There, BHQ set up “in a house just below the fork in the road running south to Stanley.” (Denison War Diary, RRC)

When my brother was in Hong Kong in April, 2017 he went with a guide up to the original EBHQ location and took a number of photographs. Two of those included here show the general location, and two show a specific shelter that his guide thought could have been the Signals location.

Any suggestions as to sources I might investigate or specific information about RCCS activity in the East Brigade sector would be much appreciated. You can add a comment to the blog, or send me an email:


  1. My grandpa was James Frazier Mitchell he was in a prisoner-of-war camp you died in 2008

  2. On 19 December, the HQ was under small arms fire from Mt Parker on the left

  3. On 19 December, the HQ was under small arms fire from Mt Parker on the left