3, August, 2022

Hong Kong - July 2022 Newsletter​     Current Situation - As nobody will need reminding, it has been a very long long time since the Branch has held any event whatsoever – be it an indoor meeting or an outdoor activity. We were able to conduct a visit to the Sai Wan Military Cemetery towards the end of 2021, which was well-supported, followed by our ever-popular Christmas Dinner at the USRC in December.

A planned talk by Les Bird on his time with the Marine Police was scheduled for early this year, but unfortunately we had to postpone that event. Hopefully we will be able to reschedule his presentation for later this year.

The pandemic situation has thus far precluded any further activities for 2022, but hopefully there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is with this in mind that we have decided to schedule an event for later this month.


Future Event - Presentation by Craig Mitchell on “Project Avenger.”

In 2012 local resident and military historian Craig Mitchell, whilst hiking the hills on HK island, stumbled upon the wreckage of a wartime U.S. Navy plane. Upon investigation, the aircraft was found to be from a U.S. Navy Task Force consisting of no fewer than 10 aircraft carriers engaged in a bombing mission of Japanese- occupied HK on 16 January 1945.

This amazing discovery kick-started what became known as “Project Avenger.” Craig initiated a 10-year campaign for funding to research the crash site in Tai Tam; negotiating with the relevant authorities, (including the U.S. Navy’s Heritage Command), and obtaining the required local permits and licences.

Much of this activity had to be conducted whilst the city was experiencing both social


unrest and restrictions imposed by the Government due to the Covid pandemic. Craig’s team was finally assembled in 2018 and Project Avenger was underway. The team, comprising both local and overseas experts in the fields of archaeology, geographical surveying, orienteering and historical conservation, “broke ground” in 2021.

Their objectives were to: -

  • map archaeological artefacts in the crash site locations;
  • identify the aircraft involved and their associated human story;
  • recover and conserve artefacts; and
  • educate and promote interest in HK’s history during WW2.


The project became HK’s biggest professional WW2 archaeological study. It was conducted in collaboration with 4 HK universities employing the latest remote sensing technology, high-resolution light detecting and ranging, photogrammetry and cloud technology and ground penetrating radar.


About the Speaker

Craig Mitchell was born and educated in HK. After graduating from Coventry University in the U.K. with a degree in Engineering and Business, he returned to HK where he resumed his passion for military history. He then read for a Master’s degree in Education.

Craig is married and lives in Clearwater Bay. He is currently employed as a Physical Education teacher at an international school in HK.



Date                              Wednesday 20 July 2022

Time                              18:30hrs (drinks at cash bar) talk begins at 19:00 hrs.

Place                              United Services Recreation Club, Gascoigne Road, Kowloon


Cost                                $100-HK (Branch members and guests).

I am sure this will prove to be a very interesting presentation. Please contact the undersigned soonest if you would like to attend


Martin Heyes Hon. Secretary OMRS HK Branch

8, June, 2022

The following books are available direct from their authors and can be ordered by sending an email to in the first instance and you will be contacted with further details. The books are as follows - The Welsh Regiment Volunteers in Peace and War 1881-1908 (£12.50 plus postage), Surgeons of the Royal Navy in the First World War (£35 plus postage) and Skippers of the Royal Naval Reserve in the First World War  (£35 plus postage). Two of these titles can only be bought from here and are not available on Helion at this time.

1, June, 2022

A new roll is available of the awards of the George Medal to medical staff in the Second World War.  The roll can be found in the Research Library for those who are interested.

27, April, 2022

The OMRS are pleased to announce that it has teamed up with Helion & Company to promote our publications and to ensure we continue to offer a quality publisher to our authors, and the best books we can to our members. One of the reasons Helion & Company was approached by the OMRS was that they are able to provide not only the quality we seek but they also promote their products (and thus our hobby) worldwide. Although we are in the early stages of this relationship it is hoped that in the future we can offer our books in various forms – printed or digital – so that the customer can get the product they want that best suits their needs.

There are four big bonuses to the OMRS membership that come with this partnership:

  1. The OMRS will cease to have limited runs of its books. Once a book is now published it will be available whenever you wish to buy it.
  2. Our back catalogue has been re-printed and so books once out of print are now available.
  3. Members of the OMRS can claim a 20% discount on all Helion books (not just the OMRS titles).
  4. Our authors will now, for the first time, receive half of all profits made by the OMRS from sales of their book. The other half will go to covering OMRS costs to support this venture.

If members wish to purchase books from Helion they should log into the OMRS members area and note the OMRS discount code on the web page. This needs to be used when paying for the books to claim the 20% discount. Please do not share this code with non-members.

The Helion website can be found here:

There are some more books from the OMRS back catalogue to be added but hopefully our next announcement will be about our new offerings which are already at Helion – but more of that later!!!

Paul Brewster

Chair of OMRS Publications Committee

2, March, 2022

A new roll is available of the Mauritius Long and Meritorious Service Awards made between 1968 and 1992. Mauritius became a self-governing dominion following independence on 12 March 1968 and a fresh set of medals were needed to replace the colonial issues. The roll can be found in the Research Library for those who are interested.

18, February, 2022

For those interested the XV European Conference of Phaleristic Societies will be taking place in Madrid from 16 to 18 September 2022. Contact details for the even can be found on the International Convention Page.

7, February, 2022

The Thames Valley Branch has updated its 2022 programme for events which can be viewed in the Branches section.

15, December, 2021

The London Branch programme has been updated with the 2022 schedule for events planned for next year and can be viewed in the Branches section.

11, December, 2021

A new roll is available in the Research Library of 337 personnel involved in the initial stages of the relief/liberation of Belsen. It lists 96 medical students, 52 members of the RAMC or other medical units, nine nurses, four members of the SAS, 52 other servicemen from approximately 20 units including the Royal Artillery and the RAF, 28 from the Red Cross and 11 involved with photography and filming. Also, there were five padres, eight Jewish chaplains/rabbis and resettlement personnel, 26 with no designation (likely to be civilian helpers), six foreign doctors, seven former prisoners who helped (one of whom was a doctor), five Quakers, one member of the Order of St John and one librarian

14, October, 2021

This roll has been updated with new information and is now available in the Research Library. The Imperial Service Medal (ISM) was introduced in 1903 and during King Edward VII’s reign a total of 4,820 ISMs were awarded.  Out of these only 166 ISMs were awarded to women and of these 164 were to nationals of the home nations; Great Britain and Ireland with two dominion/colonial awards.   The roll lists all these women who were awarded the Imperial Service Medal during the reign of King Edward VII.