When: 11th September 1928, according to the back of the postcard:
Where: That also tells us we're looking at the "Garrison at Lyemun". Today it's the site of the Museum of Coastal Defence , but in 1928 it was one of Hong Kong's coastal artillery sites. They were built to defend the harbour from attack by a foreign navy.
When the site was built in the 1880's , it included four different batteries, the West, Central, and Reverse batteries, together with another battery on top of the Redoubt . We can see one of the batteries:
It has two gun emplacements, connected by a large trench which is lined with concrete or masonry walls. The white areas show the concrete of the battery's gun emplacements. The lower emplacement's gun is out of sight behind the men, but the gun in the upper emplacement is clear to see:
Who: The garrison's troops are lined up on display:
They aren't very clear. I can't make out whether they are Indian soldiers in turbans, or British soldiers in topees.
This photo was taken from a ship in the harbour, and probably by a professional photographer as it is on postcard paper. Then was he just lucky to catch the soldiers on parade like this, or was the parade arranged so he could get a good photo for them?
What: Other items of interest are the buildings behind the battery, with the big observation windows. What were they for? (And note how their camouflage renders them invisible to the naked eye!!)
Finally, there's a road snaking up the hill towards Lei Yue Mun Barracks.
In the 1920s, the main traffic up and down the road was probably people and mules. By the 1970s, the HK Motor Club were racing cars up to the Barracks for their Hill Climb races . I wonder if they used this road at all?
Trivia: This location was selected as the best spot to site guns to protect the eastern entrance to the harbour . A review in 1886  wasn't very impressed though:
- The guns at the Redoubt battery had the best chance of hitting a ship. But they still had lots of 'dead water', where a ship would be safe from them.
- The guns at Reverse battery could only turn left or right in a very narrow arc. This meant they only had one chance to fire at a ship - by the time they'd reloaded the ship would already have sailed past and out of their range.
- At the West battery, one gun aimed up the harbour. The other aimed across the pass, but couldn't hit anything nearer than three-quarters of the way across - sail down the centre of the pass and you were safe.
- Central battery's guns couldn't hit ships at all, only targets on the opposite hill!
- HK Museum of Coastal Defence website: http://hk.coastaldefence.museum/en/section1-1.php
- Page 190, The Guns & Gunners of Hong Kong, by Denis Rollo.
- More about: West battery, Central battery, Reverse battery, and Redoubt battery. And for a map of artillery batteries around Hong Kong, see: http://gwulo.com/node/11072
- Page 53, The Guns & Gunners of Hong Kong
- HK Motor Club's Hill Climb race up to Lei Yue Mun Barracks: http://gwulo.com/node/9825