Sunday, June 10, 2012 | By: rudi butt

First Man Killed By Shark

Updated (partial) on August 19, 2012

Reg Harris [1], special (war) correspondent for several journals in Australia who was based in Hong Kong, filed the following report on September 25, 1945 for The Argus (Melbourne, 1846-1957).
Man Killed by Shark at Hong Kong

Police-sergeant H.W. Jackson [2] was the victim yesterday of the first known shark attack at Hong Kong while he was bathing at Tweed Beach [3] shortly before dusk. He was frightfully mauled and died within a minute of being rescued by Captain A.M. [sic] Braude [4], Hong Kong Volunteer Defense of the Hong Kong Telephone Company.
Tweed Beach is a popular swimming area near Stanley internment camp. Sergeant Jackson, who was interned for nearly four years, was awaiting repatriation to London.
Large sharks have never been seen in Hong Kong bathing waters. It is believed that this one must have followed a ship in.

Jim Vine and Reg Harris (right), both war correspondents
Pacific Area 17, Philippines, December 8, 1944
Photo by Clifford Bottomley
Source: Trove
[1] Reginald Leslie Harris was war correspondent for a number of Australian media, including Australia Morning Press, Sydney Telegraph, Melbourne Sun Pictorial, and Courier Mail. He was one of the first journalists to return to Hong Kong after its liberation in August 1945. Harris later became press secretary to several Federal Ministers in Australia. Books written by Harris have included Legendary Territorians, in which he told stories of 70 pioneers in the Alice Springs region, Northern Territory.

Police sergeants lined up at medal presentation
Central Police Station 1939
Source: Hong Kong Police Force
(Might one of them be Sergeant Jackson?)
[2] Herbert W. Jackson was a lance sergeant in the Hong Kong Police Force. There was a conflicting record that said he died on April 5, 1942 whiled interned.

[3] Tweed Beach, or Tweed Bay, refers to Pak Sha Wan 白沙灣 in Stanley (not to be mistaken with Hebe Haven in Sai Kung, which is also called Pak Sha Wan). The islet across the bay is called Tweed Island, or Lo Chau 羅洲. According to the Survey and Mapping Office of the Lands Department, there was no record that shows why Pak Sha Wan was called Tweed Bay, and Lo Chau - Tweed Island. “The earliest map found showing the name, “Tweed I.” (Tweed Island) is Sheet 23 of the 1:20000 map series GSGS 3868 published by the War Office in 1938. While the name “Tweed Bay” may also have existed by that time but not shown on the same map due to limited map space, our earliest map found showing the name “Tweed Bay” is the 1:600 survey sheet no. 248-NE-10 published by the Crown Lands and Survey Office in 1969.”, said the Survey and Mapping Office in reply to my email inquiry. I found a seperate reference in the British Army Order of Battle of 1939 that on September 3, 1939, the 4th Battery of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps was deployed at Pak Sha Wan; the record made no reference to the Tweed Bay naming. Incidentally, a new nickname for the island -- 棟頭洲 (Dung Dou Chau) appeared in 1940. Had this new nickname anything to do with the “Tweed” naming? Probably, but honestly, I am not going to spend any time on this further.

[4] Arthur Nathaniel Braude (b. February 1, 1902 – d. June 16, 1969) hailed from Edinburgh. He attended the George Heriot's School at Lauriston Place. Braude came to Hong Kong no later than 1928 (his name appeared for the first time on the common jurors list No.3 of 1928) and was an engineer with Hong Kong Telephone Co., Ltd. Before long after arriving here, he joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps. His appointment to second lieutenant from a NCO in the Corps Machine Gun Battalion's Signal Section on April 12, 1935 was announced in the Government Gazette of May 3, 1935 (item #341). Braude became a captain no later than 1941 and, during the Battle of Hong Kong, was in command of HKVDC's Signals Corps, which was comprised of two officers (he and a second lieutenant named Alan Dudley Coppin) and thirty eight men. Upon the surrender of the British forces in Hong Kong, he was imprisoned at the Shamshuipo POW camp. He received an Efficiency Decoration and was made a major after the war, and on June 1, 1953, on the occasion of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, appointed to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (M.B.E.). Braude's wife, Irene, was head of the Voluntary Aid Detachments. She commanded the Nursing Detachment 1, which was comprised of three officers (herself including) and 126 nurses. Irene Braude, daughter Patricia Braude, and her parents, Stuart Deacon (b. April 15,1885 – d. April 24, 1942) and Florence Maude Deacon (b. September 9, 1888 – d. December 12, 1962), were kept at the Stanley internment camp (designated for civilians). Both Braude and his wife suffered from amoebic dysentery as a result of their internments. Stuart Deacon died during interment at the Tweed Bay Hospital (room 419). He came to Hong Kong no later than 1922 and worked for the Hong Kong Electric Company as an electrical engineer; he retired months before the Battle broke out. 
Released British internees from Stanley Camp
being issued with tickets to board a troopship
that will carry them to England.
Photo by: Sergeant R. Watson. Source: Imperial War Museums
Arthur and Irene Braude were there on the beach when the shark attacked Jackson and they helped pull him out of the water. Irene Braude said he died from loss of blood. A story in the South China Morning Post of September 24 reported that Jackson was killed by a shark on Sunday, the 23rd. There was however a different report of a shark attack: Police Lance Sergeant H.M. Goldie of the No.8 Police Station (located at the corner of High Street and Bonham Road) was bitten by a shark or a large fish and bled to death soon after the Japanese surrender (the surrender took place on August 15). Additionally, a notice appeared in the South China Morning Post of September 29 put Goldie's name on the list for ex-internees to be repatriated 'on or about Tuesday next', i.e. October 3. The only repatriation ship (for civilians and uniformed civilians) I found that left around that time from Hong Kong was HMT Highland Monarch that sailed on October 5. A little bit of confusion there that I hope one day will become clear.

I found this brief description of Jackson's shark attack in Stanley written by Second Lieutenant John Dickson, a pilot with the 812 Naval Air Squadron who arrived Hong Kong on September 5 on board the brand new carrier HMS Vengeance (R71).

Bill Williams (first left), John Dickson (second left)
Kai-tak Airport, November 1945
"I had a couple more trips out to Stanley and on the 23rd September went there by bus with Bill Williams (an observer serving on Dickson's Fairey Barracuda dive bomber 381/A PM 757). We enjoyed swimming with the girls (twin daughters of Dickson's family friends who lived in Hong Kong) but were horrified to learn that one of the male ex-internees who had been on the beach at about the same time, was attacked and killed by a shark soon after we left. A tragic end after 4 years in captivity. Needless to say we didn't go swimming for the rest of our stay. The twins and their mother sailed home on the "Highland Monarch" a couple of weeks later."

Fatal Shark Attacks In Hong Kong Waters

- June 7 (Friday), 65-year-old woman, Yeung Tam-ho, was attacked while swimming at Silverstrand Bay 銀線灣 in Sai Kung.
- June 28 (Friday), 22-year-old man was attacked while swimming off Basalt Island, or Fo Shek Chau 火石洲 in Sai Kung.

- June 1 (Tuesday), 42-year-old man was attacked while swimming near Sheung Sze Wan 相思灣, a part of the Clearwater Bay 清水灣 in Sai Kung.
- June 12 (Saturday), 61-year-old man was attacked while swimming at Silverstrand Bay.

- Exact date to be verified, a woman was attack while playing beach volleyball (she probably went in the water to fetch the ball), location to be verified.

- June 1 (Thursday), 44-year-old man, Tso Kam-sun, was attacked during a scuba diving session at Silverstrand Bay.
- June 2 (Friday), 29-year-old man, Herman Lo Cheuk-yuet, was attacked while swimming near Sheung Sze Wan.
- June 13 (Tuesday), 45-year-old woman, Wong Kui-yong 王桂容, was attacked while swimming at Clearwater Bay.

All fatal attacks took place in Sai Kung, only in the month of June, and favored Tuesdays and Fridays in particular. I am still looking for attacks (if any) between 1946 and 1991. No shark attacks in Hong Kong waters were reported since June 13, 1995.

A Tiger Shark, an illustration by Jane Kim
Source: Lost at E Minor (website)
Shark Sightings In Hong Kong Waters

The first ever recorded shark sighting was reported by the Friend of China in its August 17, 1843 issue. Sharks were sighted in the Victoria Harbor.

15 sightings between 1991 and 2006 were reported; they took place in Tuen Mun, Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, and Hoi Ha Wan, Clearwater Bay, Little Palm Bay, Silverstrand Beach and Sheung Sze Wan in Sai Kung. These are what I found since 2006, with some particular information:

- April 2006 – Cafeteria New Beach, Tuen Mun, unidentified and unconfirmed.
- September , 2006 – off Shek O Beach, 2 gray reef sharks.
- Wednesday, June 6, 2007 - off Pak Sha Wan (Hebe Haven), Sai Kung, 4 tiger sharks were sighted.
- Wednesay, June 20, 2012 - off Stanley Main Beach, unidentified 2-meter-long fish with gray fin, unconfirmed.
- Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - off Deep Water Bay, unidentified and unconfirmed.


- ADF (Australian Defense Force) Serials Newsletter, November 2003.
- The Argus (Melbourne), Tuesday, September 25, 1945, p.20.
- Australian War Memorial [internet].
- The Boys in Blue: A HKP Chief Inspector. & A.P.I., September 2007 [internet].
- The Dedication and Unveiling of the Repatriation Memorial, Pier Head, Liverpool, Saturday October 15, 2011, A Brief History and Order of Service.
- Dickson, John, H.M.S. Vengeance, 812 Squadron in Hong Kong (5th September - 28th December 1945) [internet].
- Emerson, Geoffrey Charles, Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945, Life in the Japanese Civilian Camp at Stanley, Hong Kong: Kong Kong University Press, 2008.
- Emerson, Geoffrey Charles, Tweed Bay Beach, Stanley Camp Discussion Group discussion list, March 12, 2012 [internet].
- Hong Kong (& Macau) Stuff, The Sai Kung Shark Attacks - early 90's, Sai Kung [internet].
- Hong Kong Government, Civil Engineering and Development Department, Glossary of place names [internet].
- The Hong Kong Government Gazette, May 3, 1935, No.555.
- Hong Kong Police Force [internet].
- Hong Kong War Diary, Hong Kong's Defenders, Dec 1941 - Aug 1945, Civilians. [internet].
- Hong Kong War Diary, Hong Kong's Defenders, Dec 1941 - Aug 1945, Uniform Civilians. [internet].
- Hong Kong War Diary, Hong Kong's Defenders, Dec 1941 - Aug 1945, Hong Kong Volunteer Defense Corps. [internet].
- Jurors List for 1922, No.2 of 1922; 1928, No.3 of 1928; 1940, No.3 of 1940, Hong Kong.
- List of Heroters Who Served in the World War 1939-1945, George Heriot's School.
- London Gazette, June 1, 1953, Supplement.
- Map Information Section, Survey and Mapping Office, Lands Department, Origins of the names of Tweed Bay and Tweed Island, June 20, 2012 [email, to Butt, Rudi][internet].
- Naval History, Admiralty War Diaries of World War 2, British Pacific Fleet - August to September 1945 [internet].
- South China Morning Post, September 17, 2006.
- Stanley Camp Discussion Group [internet].
- Trove Digitised Newspapers [internet].
- United States Army Combined Arms Center, ‎Combined Arms Research Library, Nafziger Documents, British Armed Forces [internet].
- yoSurfer, Hong Kong All Shark attacks [internet].


Anonymous said...

Hi Rudi, great information here, many thanks. There is a mention of some of the 'freedom swimmer' incidents of the 1970's in Valerie Anne Penlington's "Winged Dragon: The history Of The Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Air Force". The reference is small but I seem to remember the pilots often came across shark victims on the beaches of some of the more remote outlying islands, attacked as they tried to swim to HK. Of course the helicopters were also often used (and still are now) to follow up any potential shark sightings. This book also mentions a helicopter shadowing a great white shark around the Ninepins for a while. Cheers, Phil

rudi butt said...

Thanks Phil, I've visited your site a number of times and find it very informative and interesting. Yes, I have but forgotten to write about the freedom swimmers. As I remember vaguely there were also corpses of people executed and then dumped into the Pearl River around the time of the Cultural Revolution... absolutely horrendous. I'll come back and do some more work on this when I finish my current project – Inspecteur Quincey.

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