KING & COUNTRY DISPATCHES
A warm welcome to one of the hottest times of the year in Hong Kong... As I write this today it is the second day of a 3-Day visit to our fair city by the President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping.
The reason behind this is to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong by the British back to the Motherland, China in July 1, 1997.
Hong Kong, as many of you know has been home to me for the past 40 years. I arrived in June 1977 to become an Inspector in what was then the Royal Hong Kong Police... I expected to stay just one contract – 3 years and then go back to the UK. But I’m still here... all these years later – Why?
Well, to put it simply, it is one of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world. It’s a city that works hard... and plays hard. It’s a city full of challenges and opportunities where hard work and effort are rewarded... Where government for the most part, keeps its nose out of your business yet still keeps its citizens safe, well-educated and generally healthy and reasonably happy.
And it’s where KING & COUNTRY began and prospered amidst its hustle and bustle. A different flag now flies over it from when I first arrived but I’m still proud and pleased to call it home!
So, here’s what’s in store for you this month...
1. BEING RELEASED IN JULY...
A. “Joining The Volunteers”
Back in 1980 after leaving the RHKP and Government service I decided to join the local Territorial Army regiment in what was then the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong .... The Royal Hong Kong Regiment (The Volunteers).
Founded in 1854, by 1980 the Regiment was an integral part of 38 Gurkha Infantry Brigade and under the command of British Forces in Hong Kong.
Because “The Volunteers” was a Reconnaissance Regiment it was affiliated with the Armoured Corps in the UK and as an ‘enlistee’ I joined as a humble ‘trooper’ (private). As a former Royal Marine I was invited to apply to become an officer cadet and a year later was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant.
By 1984 I was promoted to Captain and Regimental Adjutant, the last British – born officer to hold that position.
The Regiment itself was over 1000 strong and organized into 4 x ‘Sabre’ Squadrons ... 1 x Training Wing... 1 x ‘Home Guard’ Squadron (Veterans)... a Women’s Troop ... A Junior Leaders Squadron (14-18) and Head Quarters Squadron.
95% of the rank and file were locally-born Hong Kong Chinese while the officer corps was mixed... half and half-Hong Kong Chinese together with mostly Brits, the occasional Aussie, New Zealander, Canadian and, at one point, even an American (but that’s another story).
EARLY K & C
While I was still adjutant I suggested to the Colonel that King & Country could make a little 4-man Guidon Party Set to celebrate the Regiment and so we produced just 250 sets... Most of these sold to members or former members of the Regiment here in Hong Kong however a few did also go overseas.
REVISITING THE REGIMENT
Last year we decided to ‘revisit’ some of our earlier K&C figures... especially those with a Hong Kong connection and I proposed doing a small number of an upgraded and improved RHKR(V) Guidon Party & Escort sets.
And here they are...
COLONIAL HONG KONG
The Royal Hong Kong Regiment On Parade!
CHK-S01 “The Guidon Party”
A marching officer with drawn sword leads the Regimental Guidon (Cavalry Standard) Bearer flanked by 2x Staff Sergeants carrying L1A1 SLR’S with fixed bayonets.
All are in No.3 Parade Dress (Warm Weather Ceremonial Uniform)
CHK-S02 “Escort to the Guidon Party”
An additional 4-figure set comprising 1 x staff sergeant, 1 x corporal and 2 x troopers.
CHK-S03 “Extra Troopers”
3 x more marching troopers with rifles and fixed bayonets.
Special Note: After the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 that gave Hong Kong back to China it was announced that the Regiment would be disbanded in 1995, two years before the handover.
The Regimental Badge was a British Crown surmounting two Chinese Dragons atop a scroll with the latin motto: “Nulli Secundus in Oriente” (Second-to-none in the Orient).
AVAILABLE: Mid July
B. “RUSSIAN CIVILANS 1941-45”
From Colonial Hong Kong it’s a big step to the Steppes of Russia during WW2...
FOB141 “Three Russian Children”
Three young girls watch the tanks and troops go by ...
FOB142 “Old Peasant Woman”
Life in Soviet Russia was tough at the best of times... How much harder was it in wartime...?
AVAILABLE: Mid July
C. “DUNKIRK 1940”
From Russia it’s back to northern France in the dark days of May and June 1940...
FOB152 “Bren Gun Carrier”
This particular Universal Carrier also has a Vickers Machine Gun mounted on top to add some extra firepower. The vehicle includes a driver.
FOB153 “Highland Sergeant”
A sergeant of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, map in hand does not look too worried... even if the military situation is going from bad to worse!
AVAILABLE: Early July
D. “BERLIN 38”
We move from a French seaport to the streets of the capital of The Third Reich in the years before the outbreak of war... and different events.
LAH218 “Der Fuhrer on inspection”
Hitler himself on parade in a typical ‘Hitlerian’ pose with his very own ‘half-salute’.
LAH219 “Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler on inspection”
Accompanying Hitler is the Head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler, looking over his troops and clutching his ceremonial SS Dagger.
LAH220 “SS Inspection Officer”
Marching alongside the Fuhrer and Himmler, sword drawn, is this SS officer.
LAH221 “The SS Marriage Set”
For members of Himmler’s SS any kind of Religious connections were definitely ‘frowned upon’... even weddings.
Most SS marriages were civil ceremonies and here is one such scene... An Algemeine SS (General SS) officer and his bride pose after the ceremony.
Note the officer is not wearing the usual black jodhpurs and boots but the less common long dress trousers.
LAH222 “SS Fahnentrager”
In 1936 the SS purchased a small porcelain factory to, in the words of Reichsfuhrer SS Himmler, “enhance the culture of the SS state!” It was called “Allach Porcelain”.
Between 1936 and 1945 the factory produced numerous decorative items including animals, home décor of all descriptions and, of course, figurines.
Military figures were among the most sought after and one of the best was the Allach figure of the “SS Fahnentrager” (SS Flag Bearer) introduced in 1936.
This special piece was not available to the general public but only available as a ‘Presentation Gift’ by the Reichsfuhrer himself.
Our new model is a scale copy of this very special figure.
AVAILABLE: Mid July
E. “And Now For Something Completely Different”...
Regular readers of “DISPATCHES” already know that K&C’s subject matter is a broad and diverse collection that encompasses everything from the Ancient World all the way up to the present day... and many points in between. Here’s a good example... PIKE & MUSKET – our series on the English Civil War... The Thirty Years War and even... The Three Musketeers!
PnM068 “The Equestrian Charles I”
A classic pose… King Charles I in full body armour prepares to take to the field of battle.
The pose itself was adapted and suggested by several portraits of the King that still exist to this day.
PnM071 “Queen Henrietta Maria”
The consort of Charles I and a strong and forceful lady, originally from France.
She was a powerful influence on Charles and the mother of the future Charles II. She was also a Roman Catholic which did not make her particularly popular in, what was then, Protestant England.
AVAILABLE: Mid July
F. “THE REAL WEST”
The lush green fields of 17th Century England give way to the rugged and spectacular Southwest United States and the Apache / Cavalry wars of the 1870’s and 1880’s.
TRW110 “Crouching Apache Warrior”
Carrying a captured Winchester repeating rifle and wearing a U.S. Cavalry corporal’s jacket this warrior is about to spring an ambush.
He could, of course, also be an Apache Scout for the Cavalry ... You make the decision.
TRW111 “Watching and Waiting”
Another Apache Warrior shields his eyes while looking off into the distance... Perhaps he can see the approach of a Cavalry patrol..?
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late July
2nd Release of ‘BUFFALO SOLDIERS’
As promised last month here is the second batch of 10th U.S. Cavalry.
TRW115 “The White Officer”
Pistol in one hand, sabre in the other... and ready for battle.
TRW117 “The Bugler”
TRW118 “Kneeling Trooper”
TRW121 “Standing Ready”
TRW122 “Turning Shooting”
TRW-S02 “The Combined Command Set”
All five great figures at a very affordable price!
AVAILABLE: Mid-Late July
G. “WAFFEN SS ON PARADE”
Over the years K&C has produced a wealth of “Algemeine SS” and “Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler” on parade in their black pre war uniforms.
Never, until now have we shown the Waffen SS ‘on parade’... always in combat ... or before and after.
Well now we have, here are officers and men of the LAH as they would have appeared in the mid war period 1942/43.
The men and NCO’s wear the by now standard ‘feldgrau’ tunic and trousers while their officers wear the more expensive, privately purchased, tailor-made uniforms.
WS335 “Marching Waffen SS Officer”
Sword raised and marching forward.
WS336 “Marching Waffen SS Man w/Rifle”
WS337 “Waffen SS Standing-to-Attention”
WS338 “Inspecting Waffen SS Officer”
WS339 “Waffen SS NCO at Attention”
WS340 “Waffen SS Present Arms”
A classic ‘parade’ pose.
WS341 “Waffen SS Flagbearer”
A standing Waffen SS Senior NCO holds the Regimental Banner presented to the LAH by Hitler himself.
Special Note: All of these Waffen SS Parade figures bear the cufftitle “Adolf Hitler” in script form on their left arm sleeve.
AVAILABLE: Mid July
2. Being Retired ...
Here is the list... grab’em while you can!
AE059 Paying Homage
AK084 Panzerjager 1
BBG071 Winter Chained-Dog
LAH190 “Vote For Hitler!” #1
TRW042(P) Beaver Heart
TRW046(P) American Flag
WH056 Pz.Kpfw. 35R(F)SPG
WS200 Walking Officer
WS201 Marching MG42 Gunner
WS280 NCO Bodyguard
And so July’s “DISPATCHES” draws to a close... Best wishes to one and all... Happy collecting for collectors.
All the Best!
Andy C. Neilson
Co-founder & Creative Director
King & Country Hong Kong