The Cenotaph (Hong Kong)

Last updated
The Cenotaph
Native name
Chinese :和平紀念碑

The Cenotaph 2014.jpg

The Cenotaph
Location Statue Square
Built 1923
Designated 22 November 2013
Reference no. 102

The Cenotaph (Traditional Chinese: 和平紀念碑) is a war memorial, constructed in 1923 and located between Statue Square and the City Hall in Central, Hong Kong, [1] that commemorates the dead in the two world wars [2] who served in Hong Kong in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force. Built in stone, it is an almost exact replica of the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, UK (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1920). [1] It is listed as a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance.

Traditional Chinese characters

Traditional Chinese characters are Chinese characters in any character set that does not contain newly created characters or character substitutions performed after 1946. They are most commonly the characters in the standardized character sets of Taiwan, of Hong Kong and Macau, and in the Kangxi Dictionary. The modern shapes of traditional Chinese characters first appeared with the emergence of the clerical script during the Han Dynasty, and have been more or less stable since the 5th century.

War memorial type of memorial

A war memorial is a building, monument, statue or other edifice to celebrate a war or victory, or to commemorate those who died or were injured in a war.

Statue Square square

Statue Square is a public pedestrian square in Central, Hong Kong. Built entirely on reclaimed land at the end of the 19th century, Statue Square consists of two parts separated by Chater Road into a northern and a southern section. It is bordered by Connaught Road Central in the north and by Des Voeux Road Central in the south.

Contents

History

The Cenotaph
Traditional Chinese 和平紀念碑
1945 liberation of Hong Kong at the Cenotaph. Queen's Pier is visible in the background. 1945 liberation of Hong Kong at Cenotaph.jpg
1945 liberation of Hong Kong at the Cenotaph. Queen's Pier is visible in the background.

The Cenotaph was unveiled on 24 May 1923 (Empire Day) by the Governor Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs. [3] At that time, the location was still on the waterfront. Initially built to commemorate the dead of the First World War, inscribed with the words "The Glorious Dead", the dates 1939–1945 were added later to honour victims of the Second World War, and the Chinese characters 英魂不朽 浩氣長存 ("May their martyred souls be immortal, and their noble spirits endure") were added in the 1970s to commemorate those who lost their lives during the Japanese invasion. [1]

Reginald Edward Stubbs British colonial administrator

Sir Reginald Edward Stubbs, GCMG was a British colonial governor, who was once the Governor of Hong Kong. He caused controversy while Governor of Ceylon over the Bracegirdle Incident.

Land reclamation in Hong Kong

The reclamation of land from the ocean has long been used in mountainous Hong Kong to expand the limited supply of usable land with a total of around 60 square kilometres of land created by 1996. The first reclamations can be traced back to the early Western Han Dynasty, when beaches were turned into fields for salt production. Major land reclamation projects have been conducted since the mid-19th century.

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

On 22 November 2013, The Cenotaph was gazetted as a monument under the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance. [4]

Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance Ordinance of Hong Kong

The Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance, in Hong Kong Law, was enacted in 1976 to preserve the objects of historical, archaeological and palaeontological interest and for matters ancillary thereto or connected therewith. It is administered by the Secretary for Home Affairs.

Commemorations

Liberation Day

During British rule, after 1945, Liberation Day commemoration took place here on the last Monday in August to commemorate the Liberation of Hong Kong from Japanese occupation in 1945. No official ceremonies have taken place here since 1997. Unofficial delegations do mark events here, and the flag poles are occasionally dressed.

Liberation Day (Hong Kong)

During British rule, Liberation Day celebration took place in Hong Kong on the last Monday in August to commemorate the liberation of Hong Kong from Japanese occupation in 1945. No official ceremonies have taken place in Hong Kong since 1997. Nevertheless, unofficial delegations do mark events at The Cenotaph, and the flag poles are occasionally dressed.

Japanese occupation of Hong Kong occupation of Hong Kong during World War II by the Japanese Empire for 3 years and 8 months from 25 December 1941 to 30 August 1945

The Imperial Japanese occupation of Hong Kong (香港日據時期) began when the Governor of Hong Kong, Sir Mark Young, surrendered the British Crown colony of Hong Kong to the Empire of Japan on 25 December 1941. The surrender occurred after 18 days of fierce fighting against the overwhelming Japanese forces that had invaded the territory. The occupation lasted for three years and eight months until Japan surrendered at the end of Second World War. The length of this period (三年零八個月) later became a metonym of the occupation.

Hong Kong's invasion was part of the Pacific Campaign of World War II, which was a separate development from the events happening on the Chinese mainland. Hong Kong was defended by the Hong Kong's Garrison formed by soldiers drawn from Commonwealth nations (See Battle of Hong Kong).

Battle of Hong Kong one of the first battles of the Pacific campaign of World War II

The Battle of Hong Kong, also known as the Defence of Hong Kong and the Fall of Hong Kong, was one of the first battles of the Pacific War in World War II. On the same morning as the attack on Pearl Harbor, forces of the Empire of Japan attacked the British Crown colony of Hong Kong. The attack was in violation of international law as Japan had not declared war against the British Empire. The Hong Kong garrison consisted of British, Indian and Canadian units besides Chinese soldiers and conscripts from both within and outside Hong Kong.

Remembrance Day

The Hong Kong Police Band at the memorial service by the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Day in Hong Kong 1.JPG
The Hong Kong Police Band at the memorial service by the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday
Ex-servicemen and Government representatives laying wreaths in front of the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Day in Hong Kong 2.JPG
Ex-servicemen and Government representatives laying wreaths in front of the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday
The Hong Kong Police Band marching towards the Cenotaph for the Remembrance Sunday service. HKP Band on Remembrance Day.JPG
The Hong Kong Police Band marching towards the Cenotaph for the Remembrance Sunday service.

The Remembrance Sunday observance in Hong Kong is marked by a multi-faith memorial service at the Cenotaph. The service is organised by the Royal British Legion (HK & China Branch) and the Hong Kong Ex-Servicemens Association and is attended by various Government officials, as well as representatives of various religions including the Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Buddhist community, the Taoist community, the Muslim community and the Sikh community. Although Hong Kong ceased to be part of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1997, the memorial service still resembles those in many other Commonwealth countries. The service includes the sounding of "Last Post," two minutes of silence, the sounding of "Reveille", the laying of wreaths, prayers, and ends with a recitation of the "Ode of Remembrance". The Hong Kong Police Force Pipe Band continues to perform their ceremonial duty at the service.

Remembrance Sunday a day in the United Kingdom to honour those who served in the World Wars and future conflicts

Remembrance Sunday is held in the United Kingdom as a day "to commemorate the contribution of British and Commonwealth military and civilian servicemen and women in the two World Wars and later conflicts". It is held at 11 a.m. on the second Sunday in November.

Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Anglican Church of Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui, also known as the Hong Kong Anglican Church (Episcopal), is the Anglican Church in Hong Kong and Macao. It is the 38th Province of the Anglican Communion. It is also one of the major denominations in Hong Kong and the first in the Anglican Communion to ordain a female priest.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong diocese of the Catholic Church

The Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong is a Latin Rite ordinary diocese of the Catholic Church. Though the bishop is subject to the Roman Pontiff, he is not the vicar of the latter: he governs it in his own name. The diocese takes its name from the see city, the metropolitan area where the bishop resides. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong is a de jure suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Guangzhou. However, in practice it is an immediate subject of the Holy See.

ANZAC Day

There are commemorative events in front of the Cenotaph every year on Anzac Day. The events are held at dawn and are attended by the Consuls-General (or the High Commissioners before 1997) of Australia and New Zealand. [5]

Flags

Prior to 1997, flags were flown on the Cenotaph daily, in exactly the same order as on its Whitehall counterpart. Since 1997 no flags are flown except during ceremonies: on Remembrance Day the flags of Hong Kong, the People's Republic of China and Hong Kong Ex-Servicemen's Association are present.[ citation needed ]

See also

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Cenotaph, Penang

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The Royal Berkshire Regiment War Memorial or Royal Berkshire Regiment Cenotaph is a First World War memorial dedicated to members of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and located in Brock Barracks in Reading, Berkshire, in south-east England. Unveiled in 1921, the memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, based on his design for the Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, and is today a grade II* listed building.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Brief Information on Proposed Grade I Items, pp. 53-54 Archived 2012-10-13 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. "Cenotaph". Leisure and Cultural Services Department . Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  3. "1923 Unveiling the Cenotaph", Gwulo: Old Hong Kong website
  4. Memorial, sanatorium declared monuments, news.gov.hk. 22 November 2013
  5. http://www.hongkong.china.embassy.gov.au/hkng/HOME_ANZAC.html ANZAC Day - Australian Consulate-General, Hong Kong. Retrieved 25 April 2010.

Coordinates: 22°16′53.57″N114°09′38.24″E / 22.2815472°N 114.1606222°E / 22.2815472; 114.1606222