A wedding picture in August 1936 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

A wedding picture in August 1936

A wedding picture in August 1936

The attached photo shows a bride and grroom at a wedding in August 1936. In the back row there is a minister (who ?) and next to him Ben Wylie and his wife Mima. Theladies in the second row are Sheila Haynes and Florence Fowler. Both these ladies who were bridesmaids were in Stanley Internment Camp as indeed was Ben Wyle. Ben was the Manager of SCMP. His wife and daughter were evacuated to Australia in 1940. Sheila married Patrick Cullinan (a policeman and a fellow internee) in August 1945 in Camp and just before liberation. Can anybody identify the minister ? the man in the spectacles in 2nd row (best man I assume) and the bride and groom who married 12th Aug 1936. Can anybody identify the location ? 

Best rgds,

Phil Cracknell

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, August 12, 1936


Hi Phil,

As you have a date for the photo, have you tried reading the local newspapers to see if the wedding was written up at all? It'd probably appear in the papers for the 12th or 13th if it got written up at all, though also worth checking the next Sunday's paper as they sometimes have a photo supplement with photos from the week.

Details of how to look up an old newspaper at:


If you have the original photo you might also try scanning the area above their heads at higher resolution, and enhancing the light levels to see if any building name can be seen.

Regards, David

I think from a second photo of one the Bridesmaids (Sheila Haynes) - that the wedding took place in July 1936 (not August)  - I will check the old HK newspapers for that period. Best rgds,  Phil Cracknell

Henry Ching writes:

The groom looks very much like John Reginald Luke who was the news editor at the South China Morning Post and was interned in Stanley.

Thanks for that Henry - and I wondered whether it could be an SCMP staff given prsence of Ben Wylie but I also have a supposition  - could it be Helen Walker Wylie (Ben's only daughter) who married "Cubby" Duncan in 1936 ?

Best rgds,  Philip


Oh dear I am clearly wrong ! I found Helen married in June 1936 - and Sheila was not a bridesmaid. Interesting write up of the wedding in Hong Kong Daily Press for 20th June 1936.

 So I think your lead Henry is best one so far - checking newspaper archives.    Philip

Hello Philip,

Good to see you have received some responses for the photo.

Kind regards,


1941 Photo of the SCMP Staff appears here

Luke - Coghlan wedding, 1936

A search for "Luke" in years 1930-40 turned up this report of the wedding. The missing names are:

  • Groom: Mr John Reginald Luke
  • Bride: Miss May Coghlan
  • The minister: Rev. H. C. Davies
  • The best man: Mr Norman Stockton
Regards, David

Thanks David. Mystery solved. Judy Bercene had discovered that The Best Man was Norman and apparently he was engaged to Sheila Haynes at some point. Henry thanks for pointing us to John Luke.  Best rgds,  Philip

Philip has researched the people shown in this photo, and written up the results at: