Second World War - Lynsted Memorial Project
Edward George POST (of Teynham)
Presumed killed in action on or about 18 December 1941 during the Japanese capture of Hong Kong, aged 43.
Edward was born in 1898 in Teynham, one of the nine children of Lynsted born James and London born Henrietta (née Humphreys) Post. He is the brother of Alice Post who was commemorated in the Society's First World War project. She had died from TNT poisoning through her work in munitions.
After working as a farm labourer, in 1921, he left for Hong Kong to take up the post as Police Constable in Hong Kong. He did return to Teynham to marry Myrtle Gladys Palmer in Teynham Church in 1927.
Just 14 years later Edward had risen to the rank of Inspector, but sadly war was approaching. Hong Kong was invaded by Japanese military forces on 8th December 1941. The Japanese entered Hong Kong via its northern boundary with Shenzhen. They had occupied southern Guangdong Province since 1937.
18 December 1941
The Japanese launched the invasion of Hong Kong Island by landing first at North Point. The first troops to engage them were the Rajputs who continued to offer resistance until the regiment virtually ceased to exist. Wanchai Gap Police Station stood in the middle of the front line.
During the period of hostilities the Hong Kong Police were designated as militia, by way of the Police (Militia Status) Bill 1941, Police Officers fought and died together with British and Commonwealth military units, mainly in the eastern part of Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong Police Officers were also present at the isolated pocket of defence at Stanley, and manned defence posts at Stanley Police Station and in front of Stanley Prison as Japanese forces advanced along the Stanley peninsula.
Being close to the location where Japanese forces landed on the night of 18 December 1941, Edward, along with an Inspector O'Connor, formed up all available officers into two squads, and with fixed bayonets and proceeded to King's Road where fighting was in progress between the Japanese forces and 5/7th Rajputs. The party was attacked and retreated to Quarry Bay Police Station, but Inspector O'Connor and Inspector Post were missing and were never seen again.
Those who survived were sent to the military Prisoner of War Camp at Sham Shui Po. Several Police Officers captured by the Japanese when taking part in military operations were treated as Prisoners of War, and were not permitted to transfer to the civilian internment camp at Stanley as they had been captured when fighting.
The British forces surrendered on Christmas Day 1941.
It is not clear how Edward's wife Myrtle faired. She may have been evacuated from Hong Kong as her name cannot be found on any POW list. She next appears on the list of Hong Kong evacuees on the manifest of the QSMV Dominion Monarch, a requisitioned troop ship that sailed from Melbourne, Australia, via Trinidad, arriving in Liverpool on 8 August 1945.
Myrtle may have been in Australia for the duration as she remarried in 1946, to Gerald Pillar who had served as a British Admiralty Official in Australia. She sadly died just 4 years later aged 45.