Welcome to the Hong Kong & China Branch of The Royal British Legion
Below is a list of dates for your diary on what's happening in the Hong Kong & China Branch of The Royal British Legion.
Poppy Appeal - 13th November 2021
Remembrance Day - 14th November 2021
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SERVICE OF REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY 2020
Due to the unique conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hong Kong Government’s counter measures designed to protect us from it, it has been decided in consultation with the Government and the Hong Kong Police that whilst the Remembrance Ceremony may go ahead this year at the Cenotaph in Central, it will be held under stringent control measures. This will mean that it will not be possible for us to hold the full ceremony that you are all used to, instead, the shorter “Inclement Weather” format will be adopted. This will mean:
- Wreath layers. A small team of ex-servicemen will lay all wreaths on behalf of all donors.
- Music. There will be two pipers and a bugler.
- Clergy. There will be one clergyman representing the usual multi-faith group.
- Timings. No change. The service will begin at around 10:45 with the usual two-minute silence being observed at 11:00.
- Access. Before, during and after the service, anyone not involved in the ceremony will have to remain outside the barriers surrounding the Cenotaph. Sadly, it will not be possible this year for members of the public to approach the Cenotaph after the service to pay their respects as is customary.
- Wreaths. The wreaths will remain in place, as usual, for 3 days following the ceremony.
You are therefore all welcome to participate mindful of the limited access close to the Cenotaph and the need to observe the Rules of Public Gatherings (4 people in a group) and social distancing. Please be patient, be understanding of the constraints the organisers are working under and comply with the required measures in order to make this ceremony a success.
Hong Kong Ex-Servicemen’s Association
5 November 2020
Remembrance Service in Hong Kong
In the busy commercial Central district on Hong Kong Island, there is a small hidden garden of remembrance located at St. John's Cathedral which is the oldest surviving Western ecclesiastical building in Hong Kong as well as being the oldest Anglican Church in the Far East. Beside the Memorial Cross of the garden, a tombstone covers the remains of PTE R.D. Maxwell who was killed in Wan Chai three days before the fall of Hong Kong in the battle with the Japanese Armed Forces in December 1941. The only grave within the Cathedral precinct, it is registered with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
On the afternoon of 4 January 2017, Dr. Liam Fox the first UK Secretary of State for International Trade laid a wreath on PTE Maxwell’s grave for remembrance. Wreaths were also laid by Mr. Andrew Heyn the British Consul General, Mr. Kim Smith a committee member of the Royal British Legion (Hong Kong and China Branch), Mr. Derek Cheung the manager of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Hong Kong, Mr. Cowen Chiu the Patron and Mr. Simon So a committee member of the Hong Kong Ex-Servicemen's Association. A service of remembrance was held and led by the Revd John Chynchen, Honorary Chaplain to the RBL.
The last post was sounded by a bugler from the Hong Kong Sea School and 2 minutes silence was observed during the ceremony. A quartet from St. John's Cathedral provided songs for the service.
This is the first time since the handover of Hong Kong sovereignty in 1997 that a minister from the UK Government has officially attended this kind of remembrance ceremony.