Deep Sea Scouts

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

Category Archives: Diary

Planning ahead


Having more or less settled down in the Den, and most of the work being complete, we spent the evening arranging our future programmes. Meetings will be held on Mondays and Thursdays at 2000 hours and several suggestions for future discussions were brought forward, next Monday’s being “How to start a Troop”. We all agreed that we should hold our Rovers Own every Sunday at 2015 and that outings on Sundays should continue.

Scan of the diary from 5 November 1945

A rocky road


by RSL A J Clarke

We had the Canoes out at Pioneer Bay today and enjoyed pleasant day canoeing and swimming. Unfortunately it is a rather rocky road down from the road to the beach and it is no joke with the large canoe. We are hoping to find a better bay somewhere else round the Island.

Returned to the Den about 1830 for plenty of tea, cakes etc. and later we had our first Rovers Own, where Pop outlined our future policy regarding the service and how it could be run by different Rovers each week.

Scan of the diary from 4 November 1945

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:



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.

Preparing the Den


The Commodore is due to open the Den on Saturday, and after working like slaves for the past ten days or more, at last the Den is beginning to look quite good. We arranged all the furniture tonight, mounted the flags and put up curtains; also arranged the altar which really does look good. I can hardly believe it is the same room I saw about a fortnight ago. We made our final arrangements for the opening before leaving but Bob and I will have to work tomorrow to make the lamp-shade.

Painting, and membership cards

Piokelde Hong Kong Services Rover Scout Crew membership card – cover

TUESDAY. 30th OCTOBER, 1945.

Tonight we should have had a Rover meeting but owing to the work still required to be done in the Den before our official opening, we decided to work instead. I am afraid my ability as a painter is not very high and I spent most of any time cleaning up, after a short spell of painting. Having completed the walls we painted imitation wooden beams in tonight, the effect being quite good, and we also decided that an old-fashioned lantern style of lamp shade would be ideal. Bob and I promised to make them.

Fred came in just before we closed, to inform us that he had ordered some membership cards bearing the name “PIOKELDE”.

Piokelde Hong Kong Services Rover Scout Crew membership card – inside

Piokelde Hong Kong Services Rover Scout Crew membership card – back

Canoeing in Pioneer Bay

SUNDAY, 28th OCTOBER, 1945

At about 1400, Fred arrived with the truck and away we went with our canoe complete with two new paddles. Arriving at Pioneer Bay we had some trouble in getting the canoe down to the beach but after about twenty minutes she was afloat and ready for her maiden voyage.

We found the only difficulty was getting in in the first place, but once in, we found her even better than we expected. She will take two – no more and I think no less; she is fast and easy to manoeuvre, but you have to watch you don’t turn her over. Several of the chaps did have a spill, but the cork fore and aft made it possible for them to sit astride and paddle home that way. We had some good sport today and it was quite a change from just swimming. The Chinese Scouters seem to be falling off, there being very few with us today. I don’t think they trust Fred’s driving.

A new canoe


by RSL A J Clarke

Today we were presented with a canoe by the Commanding Officer of H.M.S. “SPRINGDALE”, and since she was lying in the Basin and we on the West Wall, no time was lost in getting it round to our ship. We placed it on our well-deck and gave it a good look over – it certainly looks a good craft and we can hardly wait to try her out.

I must see about transport tomorrow so that we may try her out. Fred could get the truck right alongside us. I must also see our First Lieutenant for a couple of new paddles.

First meeting in the Den


Tonight we had our first meeting in the Den, D.S.S. from “Pioneer”, “Kelantan”, “Deersound” and “Anson” being present. Owing to the fact that Fred Yates was not present I was obliged to take the chair and in doing so, gave a rough outline of our future policy. Firstly, there was a lot of work to be done and a lot of material required. Secondly, we wanted the Den open every day, and programmes must be arranged as soon as we had finished work or, at least, had made the Den look something like presentable. Everybody agreed that it could be a good Den if we were prepared to make it so. Work will commence tomorrow.

The meeting lasted little over an hour but we had made a good start and I left the Den quite satisfied.

First look at the Den


Today I went ashore at 1300 and walked into the Den of the Hong Kong D.S.S. for the first time. I had arranged with Rev. Horsefield for a number of coolies to clear it out for us, it being in far too bad a state for us to have done it in the rig we had to wear when ashore. Pop Newton came in during the afternoon, whilst I sat there dreaming of what it might become and we had a long yarn which gave me a real liking for him. I had found another really good friend and Brother Rover.

Before we left we arranged for a meeting on Thursday, 25th October, to work out our future policy, and departed in very high spirits.

Another trip round the island


by RSL A J Clarke

Another trip round the Island, with two three-ton trucks required this week to accommodate extra D.S.S. and Chinese Scouters, about forty or fifty of us in all. We further explored the island and once again returned to “Pioneer” Bay for our swim. During the week I had seen Fred on two occasions, and it looked as if we were to get a Den on the ground floor of the Cheerio Club. But there seemed to be some difficulty in getting the food which was stored there, taken away by the owners.

I had something to work on at last and Intended to follow it up at the earliest opportunity. We returned from our outing via Aberdeen, where we stopped for food at a Chinese Restaurant. (Never again.)