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Future Events

posted 30 Jul 2018, 10:50 by John Leighton

From the Branch Hon. Secretary:

We will, for August’s event, be “returning to our roots,” in that it will be a Branch meeting which is very much medal - oriented!

On Saturday 18 August we will have two guest speakers who will give presentations at the Museum of Coastal Defence, Shau Kei Wan, on medals awarded to military men who fought during the battle for HK in 1941.

(a) Dr. KWONG Chi Man

Our first guest speaker is Dr. KWONG Chi Man, who is an assistant professor in the History Department of the HK Baptist University. His major research interest is the military history of HK and East Asia during modern times, and he is the author of “Eastern Fortress: A Military History of Hong Kong 1840 - 1970,” and “War and Geopolitics in Interwar Manchuria.”

Dr. KWONG will be giving a presentation on medals awarded to a member of the HK Volunteer Defence Corps who served in the military during both WW1 and WW2.

Lt. Col. Reginald Walker was an engineer who served with the Royal Engineers during WW1. He later became an engineer with the Kowloon Canton Railway; served with the HKVDC during WW2 and has the singular honour of having a post-war KCR diesel locomotive named after him!

His medals are kept at the Museum of Coastal Defence; hence the selection of that venue for August’s event.

(b) Mr. Steve Verralls 

Our second guest speaker is our very own Presidente, who needs no introduction! Steve will give a presentation on 3 groups of medals.

(i) Capt. Reginald Ronald Davies E.D. served with the 7th Dragoons during WW1 and joined the HKVDC upon arriving in the Colony during the 1920’s. During the battle for HK he was the O.C. of the Army Service Corps Section. Taken prisoner at the fall of HK, he was awarded a Mention in Despatches for his work during captivity and was the recipient of the Efficiency Decoration in 1947.

He was something of a “Walter Mitty” character for reasons which Steve will reveal!

(ii) Lt. Henry Buxton was a pre-WW2 merchant in HK. He joined the ranks of the HKVDC, reached the rank of Sergeant and was awarded the Efficiency Medal. He was commissioned in 1941 and was killed in action during the battle at Lei Yue Mun. He is buried in the Stanley Military Cemetery.
His wife Alberta was a nursing sister upon the Japanese invasion of HK, (part of the HKVDC), who was murdered by Japanese troops during the Christmas Day massacre at St. Stephen’s College. She is also buried in Stanley Military Cemetery.

(iii) Mr. A. Austin 

Mr. Austin was a post-WW2 member of the RHKAP who received the Efficiency Medal with 2 clasps, plus the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.

Please make a note of October’s event, which will be a talk by Lt. Col. Nigel Collett (Retd). Nigel will talk on life as a British Gurkha officer, with particular emphasis on his experiences as the Commanding Officer of a British Army Gurkha Rifle battalion.

Further details regarding this presentation will follow soon; please watch this space!

• Arrangements for August’s Event

Date : Saturday 18 August 2018

Time : 15:00 hrs start; please be at the venue by 14:50 hrs.

Place : Curator’s Office of the Museum of Coastal Defence (Shau Kei Wan) for the talk.
RV at the rotunda area near to the gift shop close to the museum entrance.

The museum is currently undergoing renovation, so we are severely restricted in the numbers we are permitted to attend this event.

Please contact the Branch Hon. Secretary if interested - if we are over-subscribed we will open a waiting list.

David Mahoney visit

posted 7 Jan 2018, 08:48 by OMRS Admin

Branch Past President and founder member David Mahoney will be visiting Hong Kong next month.

David was a long-term resident of Hong Kong before his retirement and has served on the committee of the OMRS in the UK. David has an extensive collection, and knowledge, of Hong Kong, Shanghai and China related medals and history. 

The Branch is organising a trip to Stanley on Sunday 14th January together with David to revisit the military cemetery and other locations of interest relating to the Fall of Hong Kong and the subsequent interment of civilians.

The day will be guided by our very own battlefield tour expert Martin Heyes.

All are welcome to attend, including guests. 

The event will be a relaxing early afternoon one, no doubt ending with a beverage or two in one of Stanley’s hostelries.

If you would like to attend please contact the President of the Branch…. Exact times and meeting point to be circulated nearer the time.

2018 Programme

posted 6 Jan 2018, 15:41 by OMRS Admin

Please note the following events which the OMRS (HK Branch) are arranging for the first few months of 2018: -

•Month  •Date               •Event

Jan           27             HK’s Six Day War 
                                   New Territories 

Feb       Nothing      Chinese New Year

Mar       Early (tbc)    Visit Da Peng (Tai 
                                     Ping), Longgang
                                   District, ShenZhen

Apr        14 or 28             Talk by local 
               (tbc)             historian & writer
                                      Tony Banham

Hopefully something for everyone there! It is proposed that Dr. Patrick Hase will lead us on the visit to Da Peng.

As soon as arrangements are finalised for all these events, further details will be forwarded.

Please ensure that you are signed up to our email list for more details.  Alternatively you may contact the branch Secretary for further details.

Sat February 28 2015 - Shing Mun Redoubt battlefield site visit

posted 5 Feb 2015, 22:55 by John Leighton

We will join with Asia’s Finest Old & Bold to a visit to the Shing Mun Redoubt lead by our own Martin Heyes. There are two options to meet up for this one:


(a) at 11:00 hrs at Tsuen Wan MTR station at Exit D from where we will get a Green Minibus;


(b) at 11:45 hrs at the Pineapple Dam at the top of Shing Mun Reservoir Rd, for those not taking the MTR.

For those in category (a), we will take the minibus up to the dam, meet up with those in (b) then walk to the southern tip of the Reservoir where people could have lunch (bring your own) while Martin will  give a talk & distribute handouts etc. before walking up to the Redoubt.

People are advised to: -

(a) wear old, scruffy clothes and bring a change of clothes as we will be scrambling thro' tunnels, (changing facilities are available); and 

(b) bring a torch - very necessary if going into the tunnels.

Cleansing ale available afterwards at the kiosk at the Pineapple Dam.

Please reply to the Secretary if you will join


Looking ahead to June we have booked the SOs Mess on the evening of 19th June for an OMRS Hong Kong Branch 

Weds 8th October - OMRS Visitor Social at RHKR clubhouse

posted 7 Oct 2014, 20:19 by John Leighton

A gentle reminder that tomorrow’s meeting, Weds 8th October, will be at the Royal Hong Kong Regiment Association Clubhouse in Happy Valley racecourse, details are as follows


9th Floor, Happy Valley Stand, Wong Nai Chung Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong
Telephone Office: (852)2966 7895
Telephone Bar: (852)2966 7881


No permit or badge is required for access.


We have Glen Jones, the Secretary of the OMRS Kent Branch, in Hong Kong to informally talk on Malakand 1897.

OMRS - 2014/2015 Programme

posted 31 Jul 2014, 04:20 by John Leighton

The provisional programme for the next year is seen below.  Please share this information with others with interest too!

July 2014

Peter Hunt - Draco Badges and Indochina

27th August 2014

Members’ Own – Great War

September 2014

Visit Whompoa Academy

October 2014

Glen Jones – Talk by Kent Branch Secretary

November 2014

Visit to Tsing Tao

December 2014

Christmas Dinner

January 2015

Peter Makant – The Falkland’s War

February 2015

Gavin Cooper – naval Gunnery

March 2015

David Wilmshurst– Sino French War

April 2015


24 July 2014 - Vive La Différence! French Insignes de Tradition in Indochina.

posted 15 Jul 2014, 00:49 by John Leighton   [ updated 30 Jul 2014, 19:56 ]

Vive La Différence!

French Insignes de Tradition in Indochina.

A talk for

The Orders And Medals Research Society (Hong Kong Branch)


Thursday 24th July 2014


Gerard Prime and Peter Hunt

7.30 p.m. for 8.00 p.m.

History Room, Police Officers Club, Causeway Bay


            In the bedroom, the kitchen, and on the football pitch the French do things differently, and many, including the French, would say better. It should come as no surprise then that when it comes to building esprit de corps the French military have their own unique way of displaying unit identity: the insignes de tradition. These badges, (often known a “Drago Badges” after one of their major manufacturers,) identify units from company size up to armies. They fulfil the same function in French military team building as a combination of a distinctive cap badge; a shoulder title; and a brigade, division or army flash would do for a British soldier.


Although insignies de tradition were, and are, issued in relatively large numbers, the passage of time and specific historical context makes them eminently collectable. Whilst the origin of some badges can be traced for a hundred years to their lineal unit descendants still serving in the French army today, many insignia were created for ephemeral units that only existed for a short time in specific theatres or campaigns, which gives them added collectability. But sadly, as with all collectables, rarity value also promotes a thriving trade in forgeries.


Whilst the study and collection of insignies de tradition offers an interesting sidelight on any French campaign since the First World War, the Corps Expéditionnaire Français en Extrême-Orient (CEFEO) in Indochina between 1945 and 1955 used some of the most colourful and eclectic badges as French, Foreign Legion, Algerian, Moroccan, Tunisian, Senegalese, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Lao units of all sizes sought to demonstrate their military and ethnic identity.

In this talk Peter Hunt will describe the various types of insignies de tradition and how they were supposed to be regulated; and the nature of the CEFEO that spawned so many unique designs. Gerard Prime will introduce members to part of his extensive collection of badges and discuss the thorny issues of sources, prices and forgeries.

March 2014: The history of HMS Queen, British WWII aircraft carrier

posted 10 Mar 2014, 18:41 by John Leighton

                The March meeting will take place on Wednesday 26th March at the Reading Room of the Police Officers’ Club, please note the earlier commencing time of 7:30 pm.        

We are fortunate to have David Weaver to give a talk on HMS Queen a lend lease escort aircraft carrier which docked in Hong Kong shortly after the liberation en route back to UK. Dave has published a book entitled ‘The History of HMS Queen’ which contains detailed accounts of daily life on board, operations and crew an includes trans-Atlantic aircraft deliveries to the UK and Casablanca, Fleet Air Arm strikes on the Norwegian coast and post war voyages to Murmansk and trooping voyages to Australia, Hong Kong,  and Ceylon.

In addition to covering HMS Queen Dave will also be displaying some of his photo collection which includes Hong Kong harbour scenes.

Guests are welcome, as ever. Please contact the Secretary in advance if you are not accompanying a branch member.

Feb 2014: Police in Stanley Camp 1942 - 45

posted 9 Feb 2014, 22:46 by John Leighton

The next meeting of the Hong Kong Branch of the OMRS will be on Tuesday 25th  February at the Police Officers’ Club Reading Room, we will meet in the bar at 7:30pm for an 8:00pm start.


We are fortunate to have our very own Martin Heyes to lead an interactive meeting on "Police in Stanley Camp 1942 - 45.". Martin will lead off with research on James Hill a Scottish pre-War Hong Kong policeman who joined the Force after service with the Scots Guards from 1923-27.  He served during the battle for Hong Kong and was subsequently interned in Stanley. He left the Force having reached the  rank of Detective Inspector and having served in Special Branch. I will then follow up with the medals and stories of several wartime policemen and it is hoped that members with similar medals or research will follow on. At the conclusion of the meeting Martin will present copies of his research on James Hill, which includes documents and photographs, to a representative of the Hong Kong Police Archives and Museum.


Guests welcome.

2014 Programme

posted 23 Jan 2014, 02:44 by John Leighton

The 2014 series of meetings started on Wednesday 23 January with a most excellent lecture from Prof. Gregory James on the Chinese Labour Corps.
The programme for the year is still being worked up, but it is looking to be an excellent one.
The next planned events will be a lecture on the Sino-French War by Dr. David Wilmshurst, and a visit to the former British colony at Weiheiwei and nearby Qingdao.
Ensure that you are on the mailing list - all details of upcoming events are sent by email.  To join the mailing list with no obligation click the button to the left "Join Our Mailing List!".

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