By Clifford Matthews, Oswald Cheung
In this quantity, devoted to the reminiscence of Hong Kong college scholars, college and contributors of the courtroom who misplaced their lives because of hostilities within the a long way East in the course of 1941-1945, we ask what occurred to the collage in the course of these years of jap profession whilst there has been merely the shell of a campus left status on Pokfulam Road.
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Additional resources for Dispersal and Renewal: Hong Kong University During the War Years
Dr Sze Tsung Sing (1931; after the war to become the University's first professor of public health) who was already in the Chinese Ministry of Health, joined Dr Lim as officer in charge of the preventive side of the work. Another of the earliest of our graduates to join was Dr Eva Ho Tung (1927); she commanded a unit in the field for some years before returning to serve during the hostilities in Hong Kong. In 1939 Dr Lim visited Hong Kong and gave a talk at the University appealing for volunteers to join his unit; the immediate result was that the Students' Union collected funds and provided two ambulances and two complete surgically-equipped field units.
Food shortages inevitably followed for those 'outside' and the quality of life inevitably declined. For the truth was that the Japanese army was less well equipped for occupation than conquest. Thoughts turned to escape, a rather different matter for military personnel than for the civilian population. A number of prominent academics did escape, notably Professor Lindsay Ride, later a post-war Vice-Chancellor of the university, and Professor Gordon King of the Faculty of Medicine. Ride was to play an important role in organizing resistance in China in the years that followed and the onward assistance of escapees.
But, for all that, it retained the characteristics of the old, though much grown in size from a few hundred to a few thousand undergraduates. By 1997, however, the university was an entirely different place and a pre-war student returning for the first time would recognize little beyond the beloved and unchanging old main building. The 'cosy hillside campus' nostalgically recalled by one contributor, surviving in 1967, was not even a memory to most by 1997. Hong Kong then, Hong Kong now! It was a very different place in the years immediately preceding the Japanese invasion in 1941.