1937 C. E. Warren & Co. Ltd Advertisement | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1937 C. E. Warren & Co. Ltd Advertisement

1937 C. E. Warren & Co. Ltd  Advertisement

Source: HK Telegraph dated 14 July 1937

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, July 14, 1937


Many thanks for taking the time to post this, moddsey. There is quite a variety of C.E. Warren & Co. ads reflecting the ups and downs of the company. I only have ones from the SCMP, available on microfilm at the British Library and some others that people have kindly posted on Gwulo. I shall add this one, that comes near the end of a series of more than 20 years, to the collection. As the war nears and before the company closes, it begins to advertise products such as black-out windows.


Came across this article in the newspapers about C. E. Warren & Co. Ltd building a private air raid shelter for a wealthy Chinese resident as seen here . Scroll to Page 7.

What a fascinating (and lucrative) commission - and quite a feat of engineering. I wonder which wealthy Chinese family living in the mid-levels was responsible for commissioning the shelter and whether anyone else followed suit. At about this time a Scottish engineer called John W. Russell is listed as having joined the company. Although Leslie Warren was a fully fledged architect and sanitary engineer, trained in England, this sophisticated, bomb proof underground shelter may well have needed extra expertise.

Thank you for drawing my attention to this article.


Since your reply, I had recalled reading about an raid shelter built for a wealthy family on Robinson Road, Mid-Levels many years ago. Strangely enough after googling, the return link is to Gwulo. As noted  here the air raid shelter in the article may refer to the former residence at 103 Robinson Road. It is interesting to note that the construction of the private shelter in 1939 is a full year before  the Government's ARP scheme came into force with the building of air raid shelters for the public in the urban areas.

1940 Custom-Built Air Rad Shelter Advertisment

1940 Custom-Built Air Raid Shelter Advertisement
1940 Custom-Built Air Raid Shelter, by Moddsey

China Mail 27 August 1940

The Government announced that it was prepared to purchase Anderson-type air raid shelters for the general public at a cost of $130 exclusive of transportation and erection costs. Each shelter would accommodate 8 to 9 persons. The Government invited residents having houses to apply on the understanding that the steel shelters would be erected in gardens and backyards. 

Sunday Herald 8 September 1940

Ten local residents, mostly Chinese applied to the Air Raid Precautions Department for Anderson-type air raid shelters.

Anderson Shelter at the Imperial War Museum

Anderson Air Raid Shelter
Anderson Air Raid Shelter, by moddsey




That's an impressive feat of memory, moddsey and intriguing to think that the custom built air raid shelter may still exist as a working entity within the house at 103 Robinson Road. Presumably it was put to good use during the Japanese bombing. Leslie Warren sent his own family back to England at the end of 1938 out of fear of a potential Japanese invasion. I suppose events in China must have caused other ripples in Hong Kong even though the main evacuation of wives and children didn't take place till 1940. What has happened to the public air raid shelters?

Hi Jill,

Many of the tunnels that were built as shelters still exist:


Regards, David