HONG KONG TODAY (1946/02/22)

This film is held by the Imperial War Museum (ID: JFU 563).


Reel 1: Shot looking through a set of gates towards a large white building (probably Government House); a sentry is on duty, traffic passes in the foreground and a Union flag flies from a pole. Flag hanging; pan to Government House. High shot looking out over Hong Kong harbour with a large number of naval and merchant vessels visible. Cityscape. High panning view over the harbour. Pan and tilt of Government House. View of the headquarters building of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Company (HSBC) with men playing cricket in the foreground. Spectators, some in uniform. Men playing cricket with local civilians in the foreground. A young child watches. Looking uphill at a large and angular stone or concrete structure. High pan over city and harbour. Series of shots showing women carrying bundles of firewood on yokes. Landscape pan. View of Government House. A British sailor photographs two others posing by a fountain. View of the HSBC building. A British commando slopes his rifle (an American M1 Garand). View of a damaged street; a cycle trishaw passes and camera pans to and tilts up a damaged building. A woman with a yoke passes a severely damaged building. Sand (?) is shovelled into a basket on a yoke and carried away. Badly damaged building; pan down to local people walking in the street. A sign reads 'Danger'. An intact decorative lamp post stands next to broken concrete. A woman passes a restaurant carrying bricks with a yoke; a rickshaw and a car use the road. Pan of badly damaged buildings. A damaged building with an open ground floor; there are people around the base (working?). People around the base of the building.

Reel 2: A civilian woman shovels stones into a basket. A man pokes a thickly smoking fire beneath a tar barrel. A basket of stones is set aside next to a smoking tar barrel. Views of a damaged building in the classical style with arches, balustrades and columns. Shots of labourers working on a stone wall. Two carry a large stone on a yoke. Chinese man directing proceedings. Civilians walk along a road before disappearing through a hole cut in a rock face. Men at work clearing rubble. Close-up of a middle-aged Chinese woman. The same woman carries away a basket of stones. A damaged building; the HSBC building can be seen in the background. View of a building (a barracks?); sailors pass. Shots of children playing on swings with close-ups. Chinese tramworkers squatting on the ground. Close-up of a tramworker; his hat band reads 'Hong Kong Tramways' and bears the number 53. A tram approaches and passes camera; its destination board states 'Western Market'. Another Western Market tram pulls up and stops; passengers disembark and a number of civilians, noticeably well dressed, board the tram. A crowd gathered outside a building. A sign reads 'Hong Kong Social Welfare Case Work Centre'. Pan from sign to waiting people, including two old women sitting on the ground. Interior hospital ward. A young child sitting on a bed with their head bandaged. A young child in bed. Nurses make a bed. A nurse gives a drink to a child from a teacup. Outside a nurse holds a bandaged toddler and points out something in the distance. Shot from behind the nurse and child looks out over water. Tilt down a large, modern-looking hospital. An ambulance drives away from the hospital, towards and past camera; it is marked 'Land Forces 7'. A Royal Air Force ambulance approaches up the same road and passes. RAF corporal; camera pans to sign reading 'Headquarters Royal Air Force'. Building with RAF Ensign flying. A busy civilian street (a market?); firewood is stacked on the ground. Tilt from bundles of firewood to a number of Chinese women. Close-ups of Chinese women. A Chinese man standing over a yoke pulls a face at the camera and a woman examines a lettuce or similar.

Reel 3: Footage from a vessel in Hong Kong harbour; two small local boats, one flying a flag which appears to read 'Side Party Boat' pass the camera, which then tilts up to a large warship, probably the King George V Class battleship HMS Duke of York. Rounding the stern of the Duke of York with her name visible; an awning is over the quarterdeck. View of a local sailing junk and a two-funnelled hospital ship. Series of pans from a merchant ship to another, to a warship (possibly the Captain Class frigate HMS Spragge), to the hospital ship, to a passing Star Ferry, to the Duke of York, with an aircraft carrier visible in the background. Passing the bow of an American heavy cruiser, probably the USS Los Angeles (pennant number 135 visible). Ashore Major-General Frank Festing, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Hong Kong arrives at Government House for a conference. Two naval officers arrive, followed by an Air Commodore. Interior footage of the conference in progress, presided over by Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt, Commander-in-Chief Hong Kong. Outside; close-up of Festing's staff car with 'GOC' and the two stars of a Major-General. At the docks a landing craft laden with cases of tinned foodstuffs is unloaded by local dockworkers. Series of shots showing wooden cases being unloaded from the landing craft and put onto an RAF Chevrolet CMP lorry; most of the workers are women. An Army driver secures the lorry's tailboard and gets into his cab before driving away; a number of civilians ride on top of the lorry. Onboard a British merchant ship a cargo net of boxes is hoisted from the hold, swung over the side and lowered to a barge. Another cargo net is swung but catches the ship's rail, spilling a number of boxes over the side. Man operating a cable drum. A Chinese ship's officer gives directions. A deck level view of a net being swung over the side and set down. A view of Mount Victoria, with low cloud; camera tilts to ship being unloaded in the foreground and HMS Duke of York behind. Berthed merchant ships; the nearest to camera is called Suncrest. A Star Ferry, possibly the Solar Star, approaches a ferry pier. Gangplank is dropped and people stream off the ferry. View of the entrance to the Kowloon Ferry terminal; a group of servicemen stand near the 3rd Class entrance. A sailor stands watching as people board a ferry. Three men, apparently an American naval officer, a British sailor, and a Chinese policeman climb aboard an American-supplied jeep fitting with a radio transmitter and receiver. The jeep is marked '[United States Navy] Patrol Car 4 [Royal Navy]'.The jeep drives off with the American driving and the Chinese policeman operating the radio. They pass signs that read 'US Navy Shore Patrol Headquarters Hong Kong' and 'Naval Provost Marshal'. Panning shot follows the jeep as it patrols Des Voeux Road; the road is busy with pedestrians, motor vehicles, trams, rickshaws and bicycles.

Reel 4: Onboard a ferry a soldier of 44 Royal Marine Commando searches a Chinese boy, and a man. Two commandos find a suspicious quantity of money in a rattan basket (it apparently turns out to be useless Japanese currency). Having completed their search the commandos return to their launch. At a village on Siu A Chau Island (one of the Soko Islands, to the south of Lantau Island) a detachment of marines accompanied by an interpreter leave a headman's house after talks about piracy and local conditions. They walk away. On a beach they wave to a small boat. They push a small local sampan or rowing boat into the water. Commando launch coming alongside ferry. The commandos board the ferry; their posture is not aggressive. Searching civilians. Searching baskets of vegetables for contraband. Commandos issue rations of rice to a crowd of civilians. A little girl receives a ration. More young children receive rice. Close-up of a young girl on Siu A Chau. Close-up of old woman. Two men on a local sampan as the commandos boat motors away. Launch motoring away. Commando with binoculars watches an apparently suspicious sailing junk. Close-up of the marine with binoculars. The commandos' small boat, marked DR 45505 returns to base at Ping Chau (an island to the north-east of the New Territories). Commandos with rifles and fixed bayonets stand by a bell rigged as a warning system against pirate attack. At Chung Chau, south-east of Lantau Island, a commando sergeant and a Chinese sanitary worker use a hose to spray down a street. Reverse angle showing the water spraying. Bread is unloaded from a ferry. A long queue of civilians waiting to buy bread at a controlled government price (apparently 40 cents or 5d (old pence) a pound). Close-ups of bread being sold. Wide shot of rice being issued.

A four-reel unedited film showing: (1) views of Government House and the Central District of Hong Kong, and of bomb damaged buildings (2) civilians clearing rubble, tramworkers and trams, social welfare work and a hospital (3) views of the harbour and of United States and Royal Navy warships, dock workers, and joint USN and RN police patrols (4) anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations by Royal Marine Commandos.



  • HONG KONG TODAY (1946/02/22) (Allocated)
Series Title:

Technical Data

Running Time:
39 minutes
Film Gauge (Format):
3517 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
War Office Directorate of Public Relations
Production company
SEAC Film Unit
Sergeant; cameraman.
Tulloch, John Reay



Production Organisations