Deep Sea Scouts

History of the 1st HMS Kelantan Deep-Sea Rover Scout Crew

Launching RSS Piokelde

The 1st Hong Kong Deep Sea Rover Scout troup was formed in October 1945. Having spent October forming the troop and preparing the Den, the Den was formally ‘launched’ on 3 November 1945, by Commodore D. H. Everett. The Den was called ‘Piokelde’ to reflect the names of the three ships involved in the troop – Pioneer, Kelantan and Deer Sound.

To mark the occasion, a number of photos were taken. My father appears in the first of these but not the other. I don’t know why the scouts changed from one shot to another. The full versions of the photos have some signatures of the scouts round the edge.

The Piokelde crew, 3 November 1945

Ming Yuen Studio. A Rover Crew formed by sailors and soldiers stationed in and around Hong Kong, 1945, gelatin silver print, mount 24.1 x 18.8 cm, image 18.8 x 14 cm. Collection of Dominic Lo

Fook Sang and Fook Chow, who had been entrusted with the task of singing the Chinese national anthem on that day, could also be found in the pictures. They were sitting on the carpet with a Rover Scout.

This is how it looks now, thanks to Dominic Lo for visiting the Former French Mission Building and taking this shot from Cheung Kong Park.

The launch was reported in Scouts in Ships in the February 1946 edition, and also in the China Mail on 12 November.

Article from The China Mail 12 November 1945 about the launch of the Piokelde – the den for the 1st Hong Kong Deep Sea Scout troop

Here’s the story as it was reported in Scouts in Ships:

EXTRACT FROM “SCOUTS IN SHIPS’ FOR FEBRUARY, 1946.

R. S. S. “PIOKELDE”, HONG KONG.

Early in November, Commodore D. H. Everett, Commodore Hong Kong, officially launched R.S.S. “PIOKELDE”.

R.S.S. “PIOKELDE” is the Rover Scouts’ ship name given to the new Services Rover Headquarters on the ground floor of the Cheerio Club. The Commodore was received by Lt. Yates, R. N.V.R. Senior R.S.L., who introduced him to the R.S.L.’s of “KELANTAN” and “DEERSOUND”. The ceremony was also attended by the Commodore and Chaplain, Air Train, the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. “KELANTAN” and Mr Wong and Mr Chiu (representing the Chinese Scouters of Hong Kong) were also present.

Commodore Everett was piped “aboard” and looked around the Den. Addressing the 40 odd Service Rover Scouts present, he said how surprised he was to see the progress that the Deep-Sea Rovers had made in such a short time. He added that he knew that the ideals of Scouting made for better friendship all over the world, and wished the Rover Scouts every success.

Declaring the Den open, the Commodore said that he would assist the Rovers in any way he was able and hoped that Scouting would be much encouraged in the Services.

The Union Jack was then unfurled and the British National Anthem sung. Two young Chinese boys sang the Chinese National anthem. After this an informal tea was served to all present during which Commodore Everett chatted with several of the Rovers.

On the Commodore’s departure three rousing cheers were given and he was “piped over the side”. Commodore Murray-Smith and Commander Herivel were also enthusiastically cheered as they left.

The evening was rounded off by a cheery sing-song and more tea and cakes.

The R.S.S. “PIOKELDE” is open to all Service Rover Scouts and to any others interested, every day from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Rover meetings are held every Monday and Thursday at 4.30 p.m.

The Crew have their own canoe and a kayak and has given them much sport already. The Chinese Scouts attend their outings and Cubs, Scouts and Rovers turn out in Scout uniform.

Since the above information was received we have had a further report to the effect that the Crew now numbers 100, and the Deep-Sea Scouts in the Crew have issued their own membership card. Members of the Crew are helping the Chinese Scouts by giving them the main hall of their den and it is hoped soon to have a Chinese Sea-Scout Troop in full swing.

The first edition of the Crew magazine has been received at I.H.Q. and it is most interesting. Good luck to the production.


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