A new ship for the British Royal Navy has been named HMS Tamar after a vessel destroyed in Hong Kong during World War II.

The British government announced the building of the new offshore patrol vessel on Thursday on its website. Thursday marked 75 years since the start of the “Battle of Hong Kong” in 1941, which lasted for 18 days before a Japanese victory.

HMS Tamar
HMS Tamar in its base in 1941. Photo: Naval Historical Society of Australia.

HMS Tamar was the name of five British ships since the 18th century. The last one named Tamar was a Royal Navy troopship built in 1863 and served as a base ship of Hong Kong from 1897 to December 12, 1941, when she was scuttled to avoid being used by the invading Japanese forces.

The site where HMS Tamar was stationed is now the Central Government Complex and the Legislative Council.

HMS Tamar
The anchor of HMS Tamar. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The anchor of the sunken HMS Tamar was placed at the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defence in Shau Kei Wan. Her mast is erected outside Murray House in Stanley.

In 2014, a piece of metal wreckage about 40 metres long, two to 11 metres wide and two metres high was found during harbour dredging in Wan Chai for the second phase of Wan Chai reclamation.

HMS Tamar
Photo: GovHK.

In May last year, the Civil Engineering and Development Department said it could be part of the remains of HMS Tamar.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.