Military Relics in Hong Kong
15 August 2008 - 17 February 2009
Presented by the Leisure & Cultural Services Department
After occupying Hong Kong Island in 1841, the British started to construct a number of military fortifications in the territory, including batteries, redoubts, barracks and naval yards, to defend the British force from possible attacks. The Lei Yue Mun Battery and Fort, before its conversion to the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence, was among one of them. In view of the growing Japanese ambition in the 1930s, the British enhanced the fortifications in Hong Kong by constructing anti-aircraft batteries and laying down a systemic defence line. However, the reinforcement measures failed to defend Hong Kong from Japanese attacks.
Located at the estuary of Pearl River, Hong Kong lies on the main maritime thoroughfare in southern China. Owing to its strategic location, Hong Kong had been an important military outpost long before the British arrival. According to historical records, soldiers were stationed in the present-day Tuen Mun as early as the 8th century. During the reign of the Qing Emperor Kangxi (1662 – 1722), in order to reinforce the military fortifications along the coast of southern China, the government constructed the Fat Tong Mun and the Chicken Wing Point batteries to defend Hong Kong's eastern and western waters. Later, during the reign of the Qing Emperor Daoguang (1821 – 1850), the Kowloon, Linchong and Chengying Batteries, as well as Kowloon Walled City were added. The construction of these defence facilities indicates the importance of Hong Kong as a key military outpost.