Arthur Goring - Escape from Hong Kong



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Major Arthur Goring; 11th King Edward's Own Lancers Probyn's Horse

Born 25th January 1907 Rugeley, Staffs

Photo from Buddy Hide's collection ©

Click here for more information on Major Goring

Major Goring's official title was GOC II sec

Goring casually remarked to the GOC that he intended to escape one way or another when they finally capitulated to the Japanese.

"The General informed me that there was a plan afoot for a small Naval party to smuggle out a very important Chinese naval officer, a certain Adm Chan Chak, provided there was a suitable boat left un-sunk.
If I cared to see the organizer there might be room for me; and, since I knew Adm Chan Chak personally, I might be given the task of escorting him to the rendezvous when the moment came


Father: Major Alan Goring frm Northurst near Horsham (West Sussex) [17]

Education: Cheltenham College at Christowe 1920-24 (following his elder brother)

Royal Military College, Sandhurst; Staff College (psc) (following his elder brother)

30/08/1926 Lieutenant

30/08/1926 Royal Fusiliers

24/03/1930 Transferred to Probyn's Horse, India

15/09/1934 ADC to General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command India

30/08/1935 Captain

16/07/1940 General Staff Officer 3rd Grade (GSO 3) Directorate of Military operations & Intelligence, General Staff Branch, HQ staff of the army in India.

30/08/1940 Major

07/12/1941 Transferred to General Staff, Intelligence Hong Kong. GOC II sec.

01/05/1942 A/Lt-Colonel

01/08/1942 T/Lt-Colonel

1954 Fruit Farm & Nursery at Dinoe Hill, Whimple, Devon

28/06/1957 OStJ

**/12/1960 CStJ

Supt Bill Robinson was drafted in from the Indian Intelligence Bureau at Delhi along with Major Arthur Goring and a Sikh Supt as part of the intelligence network on the rumored Sikh army mutiny and 5th columnists. They were empowered to act as they saw fit.

Adm Chan Chak: "The Norwegian engineer was the first one shot dead, then the steer man. MacDougall and others were wounded. Most of the stray bullets had hit the boat and even some had hit my helmet.
Hsu was very wary about me the “One Foot Adm of 50” swimming such a far distance.
I insisted to carry my own gun and passport. Yeung could not swim and he suggested that we should go back to Hong Kong. “Going back means surrender. I would rather die!” I said.
I took off my life preserver (which was the last one on board) and gave it to Yeung. As I raised my hand, a stray bullet went right through my left hand.
Yeung didn’t say anything anymore, he just jumped into the sea, followed by MacDougall with his wounded back.
YeeSiu-Kee and 2 other British soldiers had to remain on the boat. Yee could not swim and the 2 soldiers were badly wounded.
We were all sitting ducks in the water and non-stop bullets were flying everywhere.
I finally swam ashore on the small island right next to Apliechau."

Left: Photo from Maj Goring's daring-do article on the escape published in 1949. [17]

Along with S.K. were two severely wounded volunteer crew left in the boat, the big forty seven year old Jutlander, Alex Damsgaard & Irishman J. J. Forster. After drifting all night the launch fetched up on the shore and S.K. bribed a junk man to take the two wounded to a hospital.

S.K. Yee: "I put the two others on a junk, asking the fishermen to take them to a hospital on the mainland in Kwangtung Province.
I was kept some days at Pak Sha wan and subsequently I had to return to the church at Apliechau, which was under the Reverend Cheng. I took shelter at the church for some days before making my final escape to Free China."

Of the sixteen who set out on "HMS Cornflower's" launch, two were killed, one taken prisoner, another made good his own escape while the remaining twelve made it to the MTB's.

Clutching Hsu Heng (Henry)'s bible S.K. sought refuge with the Reverend Cheng in the Harbour Mission Church. He eventually made his way to Kukong in free China where Chan Chak was still recovering, arriving there on 5th February 1942 wearing Hsu Heng (Henry)'s shoes, only to leave two days later as mysteriously as he had arrived after falling out with Chan over the allegedly missing $40.000 (£2,500 GBP) They remained bitter opponents for the rest of Chan's life.




Goring wrote a daring-doaccount of the escape in "The Wide World" magazine in 1949.[17]


Back: Supt. Bill Robinson I. P., W. O. William M Wright HKRNVR, Capt. Peter Macmillan R. A.,Capt. Reginald Guest 1st Mdsx, Coxswain Yeung Chuen CN, Ted Ross MoI.

2nd: David MacDougall MoI, Adm Chan Chak CN, Major Arthur Goring Probyns Horse, Sq-Ldr. Max Oxford RAF

1st: Cadet Holgar Christiansen MN, Lt-Cmdr Hsu Heng (Henry) CN.

Photo from Chan Chak collection ©

Shaoguan [Kukong]

Lt-Cmdr John Yorath R. N. (Rtrd, Major Arthur Goring Probyn's Horse, Police Supt Bill Robinson, Commander Hugh M Montague R. N. (Rtrd) [Senior Naval Officer Aberdeen, & the escape] with Mrs Muriel Jones of the "Methodist Mission" wearing a Chinese favor on her  lapel, and Adm Chan Chak's ADC Lt-Cmdr Hsu Heng (Henry) C. N.

Photo from Adm Chan Chak's collection ©

The New Zealand Presbyterian Church Methodist Mission at Shaoguan was run by Mrs Jean Martin & her Irish born husband known by his Chinese name Mooi with a staff of six missionaries and their wives. It was here that Goring was admitted to hospital with fever, and Adm Chan Chak finally had the bullet removed from his wrist by Dr S H Moore at the "Ho Sai" hospital. The Adm kept the bullet and had it mounted on a gold chain which he wore from his left lapel. Adm Chan Chak also had a blood transfusion here after his gastric ulcer flared up with Muriel's husband Peredur Jones donating his blood.

For more information on Arthur Goring click here.

Research and web publication by Buddy Hide Jnr ©

The contents of this web site led to a considerable number of escapee families contacting me and now each other, and remains the principle source of contact and private information for the spin off projects that have followed. The personal accounts enabled me to record the complete and true account of this remarkable episode of Sino-British war time co-operation. The information compiled here has directly resulted in a museum exhibition in Hong Kong, a re-enactment of the escape in Hong Kong and China, with a movie drama and documentary in the making.

© Hong Kong Web Master 1997 

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