Ataque japonês a Hong Kong. Janpanese atack on Hong Kong. (Mainichi Newspaper, Japan - Jornal Maichini, Japão) Public Domain/ Domínio Público

Portuguese and Portuguese descendents from HKVDC. On top, from left to right : Thomas Castilho, not identified, Private Delano Lopes (or Lopez). Sitting: Lance Corporal Noel Barretto and Corporal Guilherme Augusto Noronha.

Picture from Camille Castilho Bishop

The British colony of Hong Kong was attacked by the Japanese on the same day as Pearl Harbor - December 8, 1941 - and the battle continued until the 25th when the local garrison was forced to surrender.

Among the allied forces involved in the fighting was a militia of volunteers - the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps (HKVDC) - which had about 2000 thousand men and between them two companies, the 5th and 6th Coy's, constituted essentially by volunteers of Portuguese or Portuguese-descendants origins.

HKVDC was founded in 1854 and initially had only 90 Europeans of various nationalities, including Portuguese. It reached its peak at the end of the 1930s with around 2000 volunteers, mostly English, German, French and also two hundred and a half Portuguese.

To learn more about this volunteers, the battle and what happened afterwards, you can log on to the Hong Kong War Diary website, organized by Tony Banham.

After the surrender many volunteers had died or been captured, including women who were prominent in the nursing and communications corps. Held in prison camps, taken on marches, ordered into forced labor, victims of abuse and multiple illnesses, many did not survive Japanese incarceration .

In this section of the website “Portugal 1939-1945” we will try to bring you the stories of these Portuguese and Portuguese descendants.

This research work was conducted by António Fragoeiro.




Know their stories: 

Rodrigues, Edwin Theodore

  Private Royal Rifles of Canada Unit – 1° Battalion, D Company Birth place – Saint Kitts Birth date –  08/ 09/1914 Death date – 29/ 06/2001 Father – Emanuel Rodrigues Sr Mother – Constance Jane Mcnamara Edwin Rodrigues was a soldier in the “Royal Rifles … Read More

Danenberg, Roy Humberto

  Corporal Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unidade –  Birth place – China Birth date –  25/ 02/1911 Death date – 07/ 01/1994 Father – Fernando Carlos Francisco de Paula Danenberg Mother – Beatriz Maria Nolasco Silva Netto Roy Danenberg was a volunteer corporal in the … Read More

Campos, Leonardo dos Reis

  Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  5ª Comp. HKVDC Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date –  30/ 04/1914 Death date – 11/ 03/1976 Father – Henrique Maria dos Reis de Campos Mother – Edalina Augusta Lydia Lawrence Campos Leonardo Campos was a volunteer … Read More

Gutierrez, Gregório Maria

  Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  6ª Comp. HKVDC Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – 29/ 03/ 1911 Death date – 15/ 08/ 1995 Father – Gregório Maria Gutierrez Sr. Mother – Guilhermina Maria Soares Ribeiro     Born on March 29, … Read More

Cruz, Turíbio José

  Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  HKVDC Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – 23/ 03/ 1917 Death date – 26/ 03/1975 Father – José Francisco Cruz Mother – Ricarda Maria de Jesus   Born in March 23, 1917 in Hong Kong, son … Read More

Larcina, Hermílio Maria

    Signalman Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  HKRNVR Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – 18/ 07/ 1921 Death date – 02/08/1969 Father – Angelo Larcina Mother – Maria Larcina   Hermílio Larcina was a volunteer radio operator … Read More

Souza, Leonardo António

    Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  HKVDC Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – 28/ 11/ 1916 Death date – 10/ 01/1998 Father – Francisco Xavier Souza Mother – Júlia Victoriana Souza Leonardo Souza was a volunteer … Read More

Da Roza, Mário luiz

    Sergeant  Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  6ª Comp. HKVDC Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – 20/ 06/ 1914 Death date  – 28/04/1976 Father – Edmundo Duarte da Roza Mother – Faustina Felicia da Roza Mario Roza … Read More

Souza, Henry Anthony

    Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit – Field Ambulance Birth place  – Hong Kong Birth date  – 12/ 07/ 1921 Death date – 08/05/1975 Father – John Anthony Souza Mother – Ritta Souza Henry Souza was a volunteer soldier … Read More

Franco, Eduardo Miguel

    Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit – 6th Company Birth place  – Hong Kong Birth date  – 29/ 09/ 1903 Death date  – 29/ 01/1945 Father  – Francisco Eustácio Franco Mother – Inêz Franco Miguel Franco was a volunteer … Read More

Noronha, Francisco António

    Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  Company Birth place  – Hong Kong Birth date – 08/08/1921 Death date  – 18/ 12/ 1941 Father – Eduardo José Noronha Mother – Helena Maria Yvanovich Francisco Noronha was a volunteer soldier in the … Read More

Prata, Manuel Gonzaga

    Private Hong Kong Volunteers Defense Corps Unit –  6ª Comp. HKVDC Birth place  – Hong Kong Birth date – 02/ 06/ 1909 Death date – 14/09/1943 Father – Pedro Francisco da Cruz Prata Mother – Maria José Gomes Prata

Ribeiro, Francisco Vicente Vieira

    Lieutenant  Hong Kong Volunteers Defence Corps Unit –  Birth place  – Hong Kong Birth date – 04/ 09/ 1902 Death date  – 15/11/1973 Father – Venceslau Francisco Vieira Ribeiro Mother – Luiza Maria Franco Vieira Ribeiro

Soares, Carlos Alberto

  Private Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps Unit –   Birth place – Hong Kong Birth date – Death date – 03/01/1944 Father – Mother –  Alberto Soares was a volunteer in the Hong Kong Volunteers Defense Corps of Hong … Read More

Pinna, Carlos Luiz

  Private Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps Military Unit – 5 Coy (Portuguese)   Birth place – Hong Kong Birth Birth date – 31/05/1903 Death date – 20/11/1973 Father – Honorato Vicente Pinna Mother – Vitelina Maria Pinna Cordeiro Carlos Pinna … Read More