The senior British naval officer in Hong Kong during World War II has died aged 94. Commander Douglas Craven, who died on August 15, was the naval member of the Executive Council set up to govern the colony in the weeks immediately after the surrender. He had been the Naval Staff Officer (Operations) in the colony before the war and was taken prisoner when Hong Kong was captured by the Japanese in 1941. In 1943, he and three colleagues were suspected of using a secret radio, which had been hidden in a tin container and buried beneath a flower pot. They were tortured and charged with spying. Craven was given a 15-year sentence, which was later reduced to five. He suffered from malnutrition and disease at the hands of the Japanese. When Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945, he was in Guangzhou city jail. The following day he was summoned to a meeting with the Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Army in southern China. The general told him the emperor had graciously granted an 'armistice' to the allies 'now that they have admitted their defeat by Japan'. Craven was returned to the territory and accompanied a Japanese officer out to the aircraft carrier Indomitable, which arrived off Hong Kong on August 29. Rear-Admiral Cecil Harcourt gave him a less-than-friendly reception on board, asking who he was. Craven explained that despite having no uniform he was Commodore in charge of Hong Kong. Craven was flown back to Kai Tak the following day and told the senior Japanese naval officer to move all Japanese officers and ratings out of the dockyard within four hours. The commander was subsequently given an OBE for his bravery and endurance as a POW. He resigned from the Navy after the war when the Admiralty insisted he go to sea again. He emigrated with his family to Canada where he joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve and taught navigation at Royal Roads Military College.