This Day in History: 1850-02-11

At Hong Kong, and no doubt with enormous relief, the 59th Foot (later 2nd East Lancashires) disembarks from the troopship Apollo, which has carried them from Ireland in the most hellish conditions. They are accommodated in the newly-built Murray Barracks, where they find waiting for them Major Baughey and his company, who because of the over-crowding in the Apollo had been left behind to await a later ship. Travelling in a slow cargo vessel, Baughey and his men had arrived in Hong Kong on 22 October, a date by which the Apollo had only just reached Cape Town. The men’s relief is not justified. The new colony of Hong Kong is a disease-riddled place of pestilence. Within the next 20 months, 180 of them will die.