Grading: Declared Monument
At the annual Derby Day races held by the Hong Kong Jockey Club at the Happy Valley Racecourse in 1918, the temporary grandstands — built of bamboo sticks, wooden beams and straw mats — were crowded with spectators jostling their way to the upper decks to get a better view of the race, causing the stands to collapse. The fallen structures were ignited by the cooking stoves of the food stalls on the lower floor. The fire spread quickly and resulted in the deaths of more than 600 people.
After the catastrophe, Tung Wah Hospital assisted in delivering the bodies of the victims to a nearby site in the coffee garden at Mount Caroline, which later turned into the permanent burial ground for the casualties, named as Mount Caroline Cemetery. In 1922, the Race Course Fire Memorial was erected on the site, with names of the dead and an account of the fire inscribed on the two sides of the monument in Chinese and English. Due to the different nationalities of the victims, a blend of Chinese and Western architectural elements can be found in the design of the monument. The central part of the memorial is built in the form of a traditional seven-storey gateway comprising four pillars and three archways. The lower part features three classical Italianate granite niches, and tablets on the memorial are made of marble.
The project is supported by Lord Wilson Heritage Trust.
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