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They were there because the then head of Army Training, Col (later, in HK, A/Brigadier) J.K. Lawson had declared -spring of 1941 - both units as being NOT ready to go to England and join a division.
The assertion was they were new, untrained recruits who did their basic training overseas, which is incorrect. The troops were already trained when they departed for Hong Kong, even if the brigade wasn't ready for combat.
Of course they did. But we recruited and had a basic unit training before going over seas. I mean it’s not like entire divisions were just kitted and send overseas and learn how to drill and shoot.
Well actually that did happen, with predictable results in Hong Kong.