12th Battalion Royal Marines in Shanghai - 1927
Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines
Period/ Conflict: 1900's
Date/s: March 1927
27th January 1927. Portsmouth gave a splendid send-off to a 1.000 Royal Marines who had been selected for service in China. They embarked on the Transport Minnesota which left the next day, arriving in Shanghai after a 28 day passage.
The Battalion came under the army GHQ’s direct command to provide guards, and from 21 March was in the Pootung district, covering almost a 5–mile front along the Whangpo River opposite the city.
An area of factories, wharves and warehouses, where most communication was by boat. On 20 August ‘C’ Company arrived at the British Cold Store in Nanking on a gruelling hot day, where they found the Southern Army’s soldiers had briefly occupied the western compound, the most suitable for defence.
After taking over from Dauntless, 21 volunteers stoked the boilers generating the power for the cold stores, as when the temperature was 32 C the cold rooms were needed to keep rations fresh.
Nanking lies on the southern bank of a river bend, and was reoccupied by the Southern Army in 1927 without opposition on 3 September and for the next ten weeks the Marines were confined to the compound, before being relieved on 20–21 November by an army company.
The Battalion embarked on 6 December in SS Mantua after Chiang Kai–shek arrived and the tension had eased in Shanghai. Read More/ Web Link:
The story of a 17 year old boy who left a dreary existence in a noisy, dark and dank 1920's hosiery factory, toiling at producing stockings and socks, to forge a new life as a sea-soldier in Britain's Royal Marines.
See newsreel - Marines Arrive in Shanghai