Map From Major Parker's War Diary

Map showing the attack and advances of the
Japanese on December 18 to December 25, 1941

The Attack Continues ...

The Japanese next ran into "C" Company of the Royal Rifles under the command of Major Bishop. He saw the Japanese take Fort Sau Ki Wau directly in front of his position and his men were under fire from the fort even as he radioed Wallis's Headquarters to inform them of the situation. He was shocked by the response.

Major Parker wrote of that conversation; "For the second time, in a period of only a few days, Major Bishop, officer commanding "C" Company and Brigadier Wallis were to have "words" with each other. Bishop claimed that the enemy had taken Fort Sau Ki Wan. Wallis said, 'There are Canadians in the fort and I have definite information that there are friendly troops there.' Bishop replied, 'They don't act friendly. We are being raked by automatic fire from there at this moment and I am going to attack at once.' "

The Japanese advance had been so rapid that Brigadier Wallis did not believe that an attack had even taken place. Wallis did not trust the Canadians, and Canadian confidence in the brigadier was waning.

Major Parker Wrote:

"Ordinarily this is not worth mentioning but this distrust, on the part of Wallis, was to set the scene for relations between East Brigade Headquarters and the Royal Rifles for the rest of the battle for Hong Kong. Wallis would not believe that the attack was coming from the mainland. He seemed confused, and his orders became erratic."

As the Japanese began to fan out and push towards the West, and the South before pushing up through the defiles towards the high ground, "C" Company of the Royal Rifles launched a counter-attack against the 229th. Regiment pushing them off the hill and making it to the very walls of Fort Sai Wan. The Japanese suffered severe losses, and "C" Company, RRC, had suffered many casualties as well. They were exhausted and running low on ammunition and were forced to withdraw. It was during this furious action that Major Bishop earned a DSO for his courageous, and persistent actions. He himself had led the attack and had killed seven Japanese with his Tommy Gun.

"D" Company, RRC, had been ordered to relieve "C" Company and were on their way to take over the counter-attack, but the mission was cancelled. In the flurry of conflicting orders that followed, the counter-attack fell apart. The Japanese were able to capture the Fort and the dominant high ground on Mount Parker.

"C" Company fell back towards the outer perimeters of "D" Company's , RR of C, position where they joined up with "D" Company's Number 17 Platoon under the command of Lieut. Frank Power. Lieut. Power had been on his way to give assistance to "C" Company and was pushing back up Mount Parker giving the Japanese a stiff fight. Number 16 Platoon of "D" Coy was sent to join up with Number 17 Platoon and assist in the attack, but orders were cancelled before the attack could be completed. Both platoons were recalled to Obelisk Hill. "C" Company was withdrawn from Mount Parker and ordered to the rear for much needed food and rest. They were regrouped, resupplied with ammunition, then moved to a new location at Palm Villa, north east of Stanley Village. In that position they would, again, be the first to face a Japanese attack.

"C" and "D" Companies of the Royal Rifles of Canada had blocked the Japanese thrust southward from Fort Sau Ki at Tai Tam, but the enemy had gained the northern high ground in an arc from Mount Parker, to Mount Butler and Jardine's Lookout. The Japanese held all the high ground on the North end of the island. "D" Company of the Royal Rifles of Canada had lost their first man. Rifleman G. Irvine, of number 17 Platoon, had been killed at about 21:00 hours near Fort Sau Wan.




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