1854 - disbanded
The volunteers disbanded when Stability in Europe.
1862 - Hong Kong Volunteers
In this year the Volunteers regrouped, In 1864, they were called out to
help subdue a serious outbreak of rioting between British and Indian soldiers.
1866 - disbanded
The second period in arms lasted only another four years; enthusiasm again
diminished with the return to more settled times.
1878 - Hong Kong
Artillery and Rifle Volunteer Corps
In 1878, they were raised again as the Artillery Volunteers and since
that time a volunteer force has been permanently in existence in Hong
1917 - Hong Kong
The volunteers were actively engaged in guard and patrol duties during
World War I when, owing to the recall of the British forces, they were
the only military unit left in Hong Kong.
1920 - Hong Kong
Volunteer Defence Corps
In 1933, the volunteers acquired their first armoured car-Ford chassis,
costing $1,500. It was equipped with an armour-plated body and mountings
for two machine-guns. Later, four other chassis were bought by the government
the bodywork being constructed by the Hong Kong and Whampoa Dock Company.
The original armoured car was scrapped before the outbreak of World War
II, but the remaining four all played an important role in the Battle
for Hong Kong in December 1941 .
1941 - Hong Kong
captured by the Japanese
The volunteers, renamed the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, met their
severest test in the bitter fighting that took place in the crucial weeks
before the fall of Hong Kong on Christmas Day. Out of the mobilised strength
of 2 200 of all ranks, 289 were listed either as missing or killed, and
many others became prisoners of war. Some, however, made their way into
China where the British Army Aid Group was formed to assist the Chinese
Government in the struggle against the Japanese. A further group made
its way to Burma where it joined the famed Chindits under General Orde
Wingate. The services of the defence corps were later recognised by the
award of 19 decorations and 18 mentions in despatches for gallantry and
In 1949, the Hong Kong Regiment were reorganized and became part of the
Hong Kong Defence Force, which also included separate air and naval units.
New regiment's headquarters are located at Happy Valley on Hong Kong Island.
The new combined defence force was granted the title 'Royal', and replacement
colours were entrusted to the care of the regiment as successor to the
defunct Defence Corps.
The services of the defence corps during WWI were recognised by the award
of the battle honour 'Hong Kong'.
1961 - The Hong
Kong Regiment (The Volunteers)
The role of The Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) changed from that
of an infantry battalion to a reconnaissance regiment six British Ferret
armour cars (equipped with .30-inch machine-guns) were acquired. The regiment
was reorganize to form a headquarters, headquarters squadron, three reconnaissance
squadrons, an infantry company and a home guard company.
The Volunteers were called out during the six-month disturbances in Hong
1970 - The Royal
Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers)
The naval unit was phased out and in 1970 the Royal Hong Kong Defence
Force was itself disbanded-the two remaining member units, the Hong Kong
Regiment and the Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force, officially becoming separate
entities. At the same time, both were granted the 'Royal' title by Queen
Elizabeth, and the words The Volunteers' were incorporated into the Hong
Kong Regiment's title.
Partly because the modern-day regiment had, since 1961, been organized
and trained as a light reconnaissance unit and partly because the original
Hong Kong Defence Force no longer existed in its old form, it was decided
that the regiment should have new colours. So, with the approval of the
Queen, the single guidon of a reconnaissance unit was presented in 1971.
The regiment was called out on June 16, 1979, to assist the civil powers
over the problem of illegal immigration from China. At times as many as
130 men were deployed in the border area for periods of not less than
In mid-October 1980, the regiment was deployed on the border for a week
in lieu of the autumn camp and achieved considerable success in apprehending
555 illegal immigrants; more than one per volunteers on duty. On 24 October,
a few days after the border tour, the Governor ordered a full call out
of the regiment in the wake of his announcement of the end of the 'reached
base' policy, to bolster the security forces in the event of a massive
influx of illegal immigrants during the following three-day grace period.
Since 1980, the regiment has returned to the border annually to relieve
the Regular Army, and will continue with this deployment by relieving
the police twice a year as from 1 992 onwards.
The Regiment has played an important role in manning temporary accommodation
for Vietnamese migrants. The most recent Operation Midwife, on Shek Kwu
Chau, lasted for 5 months from June to November1991.