Chan Ping Fun

This is what the Captured Japanese Document, a trial summary which is sadly my only source for Mr Chan, has to say about his contribution to the resistance:

The accused CHAN PING FUN was a member of the Former Reserve Police Force. From June 1942 he was employed as a construction engineer at KAI TAK Airfield. About the end of January 1943 he happened to run up against the late CHAN FEI,1 with whom he was already acquainted, and the latter asked him for information about the airfield. He promptly gave him information in his possession, about various installation projects, although he knew this was espionage activity on behalf of the enemy.
2

The same document tells us that most of the Police Reservists were recruited between April and June 19423 (although the group might not have begun full-scale operations until the end of 1942) If the section on him is accurate, it seems that Mr Chan was not recruited until late in that year; however, we must remember that almost the entire document consists of confessions obtained under torture, and that as far as possible the victims would have sought to deceive the Japanese, and in particular to minimise their own role and that of others. It’s possible that Mr Chan was spying from the start of his time at Kai Tak Airport, but we obviously can’t know the truth.

The Japanese extended this airport using forced labour from Shamshuipo; two brave men dared to tell them that to make POWs carry out war-work was against the Geneva Convention (which Japan had not signed but sometimes claimed to abide by). We know that one received a severe beating and a lesson in logic: he should have realised that his own reasoning proved the airport extension must be for civilian purposes! No doubt a similar lesson was handed out to the other.

The courageous Chan Ping Fun was probably arrested in the spring of 1943; he was tried alogside 26 others during the morning of October 19, and sentenced to death. The sentence was carried out on Stanley Beach on October 29, 1943.

His name appears on the Stanley Military Cemetery as Chan Ping Fan, and his wife is given as Leung Yuk Ming of Hong Kong.4 The Captured Document gives his age as 44 and his address as ‘Ching Yip’ Pass Mui Hing Street.

1Obviously a BAAG agent, but I have no other information about him at the moment.

2Page 8.

3Pages 3 and 6.

4http://www.roll-of-honour.org.uk/Cemeteries/Stanley_Military_Cemetery/html/c.htm

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2 Comments

Filed under British Army Aid Group, Hong Kong WW11

2 responses to “Chan Ping Fun

  1. Dr. CHAN Kung-Kim (known as "K-K."

    Dear Sir, I am forever grateful of your blog. Chan Ping-Fan was my grandfather. Verbal history passed on from my late father Dr. Chan Kai-Lau his son, and my late grandmother Chan-Leung Yuk-Ming, said that Grandfather had been an architect before the war, in the designer team for the dome of the old Lee’s Theatre in Causeway Bay, then the largest theatre and dance hall in Hong Kong. The family house was a small mansion up Happy Valley, very prosperous for a Hong Konger then. Grandfather also worked in the Royal Hong Kong Police (Reserve) in his spare time, rising to the rank of Sub-Inspector. Grandmother knew that Grandfather has been involved in espionage when she and the family was sent to Canton, China a year or so after the fall of Hong Kong. Grandfather has been recruited to expand the Kai Tak airfield for the Japanese, and has been considered as a defector by some Hong Kongers. Then news came to Grandmother that Grandfather has been arrested after being discovered passing airfield blueprints to British and Chinese agents, sent to Stanley camp, sentenced summarily to death, and executed by beheadding. It was not certain whether the beheadding has taken place at Stanley Main Beach which is actually a flat old sandbank isthmus between Hong Kong main island and Bluff Head hill. My family has always had a feeling that the beheadding has been held at St. Stephen’s Beach just below Stanley Military Cemetery. There has been a small British cemetery with pre-WW2 civilians and British servicemen before the Military Cemetery has been established. Also rumour had it that the hill behind the water sports centre at the end of Wong Ma Kok Path was locked up because it had a mass grave on/in it. What remained of Grandfather has only been in our memory, a few photographs, and an old commemorative publication by the Royal Hong Kong Police for those fallen in the Defence and Occupation of Hong Kong. The publication contained a substantial piece for Inspector Loie Fook-Wing, and a smaller piece for Grandfather who was nicknamed “Sai Baak” which means “a good friend of father’s”. Unfortunately the publication has been lost when my parents and my brother emigrated to Toronto, Canada from Hong Kong. Your blog on Grandfather has given me confirmation of the spoken history inherited. You have paid him a great honour describing him as “courageous”. I have never met Grandfather, but have always been brought up by Grandmother and Dad to be courageous and righteous. Thank you for your blog. God Bless. from K-K. Chan

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