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An officer fires the Noonday Gun in Causeway Bay, Hongkong. The tradition seems to have originated over an incident in the 1860s when Jardines, who had their main godowns and offices at East Point, had their private militia fire a gun salute to welcome the tai pans arrival by sea. The Royal Navy thought that such a salute should be reserved only for government officials or senior officers of the armed services. In penance, Jardines has been required to fire a gun at noon ever since, to serve as a time signal.
In 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army occupied Hong Kong and dismantled the cannon. When Hong Kong was liberated in 1945, the Royal Navy gave Jardines another cannon, so that the noon-day gun tradition could continue. On 1 July 1947, the Noonday gun was back in operation. The current gun is a Hotchkiss three-pounder that saw action in the First World War during the Battle of Jutland.