The Hong Kong Riots of 1956

In 1954 the 7th Queen’s Own Hussars were deployed to Hong Kong. They were equipped with the Comet tank, although a Second World War vintage the Comet proved a useful asset on the tight narrow roads of Hong Kong’s hilly rural areas.

The fear of the Chinese Civil War spilling over into Hong Kong would keep the Regiment busy for its 3-year deployment.

The Hong Kong riots in 1956 were the result of escalating provocations between pro-Nationalist and pro-Communist factions in Hong Kong during Double Ten Day, 10 October 1956.

Most violence took place in the town of Tsuen Wan, five miles from central Kowloon. A mob stormed and ransacked a clinic and welfare centre, killing four people, some foreigners became involved, including a taxi on Nathan Road that was fired upon, resulting in the death of a Swiss national.

To quell the rioting, Colonial Secretary Edgeworth B. David ordered extra manpower from the British Forces Hong Kong, including armoured troops of 7th Hussars, to reinforce the Hong Kong Police in dispersing all rioters. In total, there were 59 deaths and approximately 500 injuries. Property damage was estimated at US$ $1,000,000.

In the subsequent trials, four people were convicted of murder and given the death penalty.

Related topics

  1. A Short History of The 7th Hussars