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1945 – 1970 1971 – 1993
1841 January 20th Arrow Following the first Opium War, Hong Kong is ceded to Britain by the Treaty of Nanking.  The British Crown Colony of Hong Kong is established.
1853 Arrow British residents in Shanghai raise a Volunteer Corps which sees action within the year in the Battle of Muddy Flat (on which the Shanghai Race Course is later situated.)
1854 May 30th Arrow With the departure of the British men-of-war on anti-piracy duties in the north, following the Shanghai precedent, an appeal is made by the Lieutenant-Governor, Sir William Caine, for willing citizens to assemble for the purpose of forming an auxiliary police force to protect the lives and property of Hong Kong’s inhabitants.
June 1st Arrow Ninety-nine worthy gentlemen turn up and the Hong Kong Volunteer Corps is formed. Following numerous incarnations the Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers) and the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force are spawned by this original corps of volunteers. (From 1954 at all formal occasions of either unit a toast is drunk to the memory of “The Ninety and Nine”.  The toast is traditionally proposed by the longest serving member present.)
July 5th Sir William Caine decides the colony is in a more secure state and disbands the corps.
1856 November Arrow Disturbances, believed to have been caused by ‘a large influx of suspicious characters from the Chinese mainland, led to a detachment of the 59th Regiment being called in to assist the police in keeping law and order.
December 30th Arrow With further trouble anticipated, volunteers are again called for and some forty or fifty residents assemble at the Chief Magistrate’s office to enrol.  The numbers are insufficient to perform an effective official function and again they sink into oblivion.
1860 January 31st Arrow Perhaps inspired by the raising of a Volunteer Force in Britain in 1859, China Mail publishes a letter suggesting that Hong Kong should form its own volunteer force.  It is not until 1862 that this suggestion is taken up.
October 24th Arrow The Kowloon Peninsula and Stonecutters Island are ceded to the British by the terms of the Convention of Peking.
1862 March 1st Arrow A public meeting is held at the Supreme Court to discuss the formation of a volunteer corps and an Ordinance is passed ‘to authorise the enrolment of a Volunteer Force‘.    The first Commandant is Captain Frederick Brine of the Royal Engineers.
1866 May 31st Arrow Although the strength of the unit has risen to two hundred and sixty-seven of all ranks by 1864, and although a Volunteer Headquarters has been built the Corps is again disbanded by order of the Governor, Sir Richard Macdonnell, as its strength had fallen below seventy-five, the minimum number required to receive the annual grant of £195.
1878 May 4th Arrow Rumours of war with Russia caused Governor, Sir John Pope Hennessy, to republish the Volunteer Ordinance of 1862 and the corps reformed under the command of Captain Dempster and was renamed The Hong Kong Volunteer Corps.
1882 Arrow With numbers gradually falling again below the legal limit the corps is once more disbanded but is reformed later in the same year by The Governor, Sir William Marsh KCMG.
1887 Arrow Mr Francis QC is gazetted as acting Commandant
1893 Arrow A formality requires the introduction of another new Volunteer Ordinance.  The corps is disbanded and immediately reformed by the Governor, His Excellency Sir G. Digby Barker CB.  The corps is put under the supervision of the Military Authorities in England and its members made subject to the Army Act.
1894 Arrow The Volunteers took off and its first camp is held on Stonecutter’s Island.  Commandant Major Pemberton.
1896 November 14th Arrow The new Chief Justice, Dr John Warrell Carrington, is appointed Major and Commandant of the Hong Kong Volunteer Corps, succeeding Major Pemberton.
1898 July 1st Arrow The New Territories, together with 235 islands are leased to Britain for 99 years.  
1899 May 16th Arrow The corps is called out to deal with trouble near the new border and in Kowloon City, which it occupied.
Arrow The annual inspection is conducted by the Acting Governor, Major General Wilsone Black CB.  A large proportion of the one hundred and seventy-seven membership mustered.  This total number has doubled by 1901.
1902 Arrow A contingent of the Hong Kong Volunteer Corps is sent to Britain to take part in the ceremonies for the coronation of King Edward VII.
1917 Arrow The title of the Hong Kong Defence Corps is adopted.
1919 Arrow The unit is once more disbanded.
1920 Arrow A new Ordinance is passed and the unit re-formed with the name the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps.  Annual camps in the New Territories are held regularly hereafter.
1924 November 3rd Arrow The first RAF personnel sail into Hong Kong on the seaplane carrier ‘Pegasus’ as members of the Fleet Arm Arm. All the carrier’s aircrew are drawn from the RAF because of a shortage of Royal Navy Pilots.
1927 Arrow The Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps receives its colours. (In December 1941 they were buried by an unknown patriot, and laid buried until ten years after World War ll had ended.)
March 10th Arrow RAF Kai Tak is opened, with a total staff of forty.
1933 Arrow The Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps is expanded to include the Hong Kong Naval Volunteer Corps.
1934 March 3rd Arrow The first volunteer soldiers are selected to undergo flying instruction in the Air Arm at the newly formed Far East Flying Training School (FEFTS).  Each ‘pupil’ has to have served satisfactorily for at least a year in some other unit of the Corps, and retains his army rank and continues his military instruction simultaneously.  The corps has no aircraft of its own.  The FEFTS has two Avro Cadets, two de Havilland Moth Majors, and one de Havilland Hornet, all biplanes and without R/T.    By the end of the year three pilots have flown solo, and their description as ‘pupils’ has been changed to ‘flight cadets’.
1935 May 10th Arrow The FEFTS is provisionally approved by the Director of Air Services for the purpose of providing courses of training in Instrument Flying.
July Arrow The current eleven flight cadets are transferred from their parent units to the Air Arm, where indue course, they are issued replacement uniforms.  The soldier aviators have become airmen.  Volunteers with one year’s efficient service are invited to enrol on the waiting list for the Air Arm.  There is no shortage of enthusiastic applicants.
December 6th-9th Arrow The first Annual camp of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps is held at Kwan Ti Race Course.  By the end of the year ten pilots have obtained an ‘A’ licence.
1936 March 25th Arrow The first commercial passenger and Air Mail delivery is made to Hong Kong.  Nine RAF aircraft from Kai Tak escort in the Imperial Airways de Havilland D.H. 86 Express Airliner.
1937 Arrow In a visit to Hong Kong the AOC (Far East), Air Marshal A W Tedder, loans an Avro Tutor to assist in pilot training.
1938 Arrow Kai Tak has no concrete runways which makes it tricky to land and take off after heavy rains.  Work commences to create an airfield at Shek Kong.  This is later halted in the early 40s because the site is within range of the Japanese artillery across the border.  The cleared site is used as a refugee camp for Chinese fleeing the Japanese.
1941 Arrow The RAF uses its three Wildebeests and two Walruses for anti-submarine patrols, for which the Air Arm lends assistance.
December 8th Arrow Thirty-one Japanese aircraft strafe and bomb Hong Kong.
December 10th Arrow The RAF abandons Kai Tak.
Arrow The battle for Hong Kong lasts three weeks during which time the Air Arm of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp fights on the ground alongside No. 1 Company in its gallant defence against overwhelming odds.
December Arrow The Colours of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps are buried by an unknown patriot, to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese forces.
December 25th Arrow The order to surrender is given.  The Surrender is signed in The Peninsula Hotel the following day.
1941 to 1945 Japanese Occupation Arrow During the occupation the original runway at Kai Tak is extended out of all recognition by the Japanese, who level several hills and villages to do so.
Arrow US forces bomb Japanese occupied Hong Kong.

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