Douglas Clague

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Sir Douglas Clague

Sir Douglas Clague.jpg
Unofficial Member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
In office
Unofficial Member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong
In office
Personal details
Born(1917-06-13)13 June 1917
South Rhodesia
Died11 March 1981(1981-03-11) (aged 63)

Sir Douglas Clague CBE, MC, QPM, CPM, TD (13 June 1917 – 11 March 1981) was a British Hong Kong soldier and entrepreneur who spent most of his life in Hong Kong.[1]

Early Years[edit]

Born in South Rhodesia, in 1917[2], Clague arrived in Hong Kong in 1940 as a lieutenant in the Royal Artillery, and on the outbreak of World War II became a prisoner in the Sham Shui Po PoW camp.[3] He later escaped, and joined the British Army Aid Group in free China.[4] On the ending of the war, he famously took the surrender of Japanese forces in Bangkok more or less single-handedly.[5]

Business Career and Involvements in Hong Kong[edit]

After the war, he became the tai-pan of with the British Hong Kong hong Hutchison, better known as Hutchison Whampoa.

He overstretched his finances, which resulted in HSBC taking over the firm, replacing Clague, and lead to the sale of Hutchison Whampoa to Li Ka-Shing's Cheung Kong in 1979.[6]

Clague was also one of the commandants of the Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force, and a member of both the Executive and the Legislative Councils of Hong Kong, when he succeeded Cedric Blaker on 21 March 1958. From 1950 to 1951 he was President of the Gunners Roll of Hong Kong.[7]

Clague owned a lodge at Kam Tsin in the northern New Territories alongside many other wealthy people.[8] He was also a racehorse owner and one time chairman of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club; it was under his tenure the Sha Tin Racecourse was developed. The Clague Garden Estate in Tsuen Wan is named for him[9], as he was also one of the longest serving chairmen of the Hong Kong Housing Society.


Clague was married to Lady Margaret Isolin Clague (née Cowley) and three children (Jonathan, Penny and Isolin).[10]

He died of cancer aged 64, in 1981[11] and Lady Clague in 2011.


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ HONG KONG: Trouble in the Hongs, Time magazine, 20 October 1975
  4. ^
  5. ^ "China's Business Newspaper". The Standard. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  6. ^ Stephen Vines, The Other Handover, Time magazine, 6 August 2005
  7. ^ "Documents". Gunners Roll. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  8. ^ "Royal Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force : Silver Jubilee 1959-1984" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
Business positions
Preceded by
P. S. Cassidy
Chairman and Managing Director of John D. Hutchison & Co.
Succeeded by
as Chairman and Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa
Preceded by
as Chairman of John D. Hutchison & Co.
Chairman of Hutchison Whampoa
Succeeded by
Bill Wyllie
Preceded by
as Managing Director of John D. Hutchison & Co.
Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa
Succeeded by
Li Ka-shing
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Sir John Saunders
Chairman of the Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club
Succeeded by
P. G. Williams