189_People_LC_Mess_Queens_Road_1904.jpg | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

189_People_LC_Mess_Queens_Road_1904.jpg

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189_People_LC_Mess_Queens_Road_1904.jpg
Lane Crawford, founded in 1850, has started a heritage project. It has a file of interesting old photos, many of them unlabelled, which we'll be putting on Gwulo. The individuals in this one, taken in the firm's Queen's Road mess in 1904, were subsequently identified by someone unknown who wrote these brief names, and notes about occupation, on a piece of paper:
 

[reading from left to right, back row]

Mackintosh - Outfitting
Reeves - Ship Chan [i.e. ship chandlery]
White - Tailor
Anderson - Music
Little - Furnishing
Miller - Ship Chan (Harbour)
Crapnell - Office
 
[Middle row]
Eustace - Outfitting Store Manager
Evans - Grocer
Scriven - Furnishing
Crawford - Office
Bevan - Music (tuner)
 
[Front Row]
Clarke - Hardware, Sports
Brown - Music
? - Tailor (Sorry don't remember the tailor's name)
Hayward - Office
 
Here's some further information on some of the names but we'd love to know more:
  • Crapnell was A.E. Crapnell. According to the SCMP, he went off to work with E.S. Kadoorie & Co in 1910 but in February 1922, when Lane Crawford was incorporated, he became its managing director.
  • The Clarke [sic] in the photo may have been E.S. Clark who arrived in 1901 and left in 1908. (There was another Clark, connected with the firm - Duncan - but as a married man he would not have been in the mess. He was a store assistant who, in 1887 married Daisy, daughter of D.R. Crawford - brother of the store's co-founder, Ninian Crawford - at the Union Church. He became a partner in the business in 1901. They had a son, Lindsay, who was educated at Mill Hill School in London.)
  • Eustace was William Albert and later became a managing director of Lane Crawford. He retired, and returned to England, in 1927.
  • Mackintosh left Lane Crawford and set up his own outfitting business.
  • Crawford is possibly Frank Malcolm, son of D.R. Crawford, who was born in 1884. His connection with Lane Crawford lasted until 1928 but was slightly fraught after the family firm became a public company in 1922; at one stage there was legal arbitration. He died in 1939 in Hertfordshire in a house called Craigeburn. The SCMP obituary says he didn't return to HK as a young man until 1908, which is why there's a query if this is actually him. (But the obit also said he was the grandson of Ninian Crawford; he was the nephew.)
  • Bevan's initials were H.S. In September 1906 he jumped into the harbour during a typhoon to rescue a Chinese man who'd fallen in, and was later presented with a silver cup in thanks. The man was called Pau Wa Sin and worked in Norddeutscher Lloyd's godown.
  • Scriven's initials were H.E. He died in 1932 and his wife and child went to Australia.
We don't know the name of the dog!
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Friday, January 1, 1904

Comments

The Jurors Lists will be a good tool for you. Here are the Lane Crawford entries from the 1904 Jurors List:

c Anderson William Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Mackintosh Frederick Alexander Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Evans William Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Hastings Bertram Emmanuel Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Whyte James Fleming Marshall Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
s Clark Duncan Partner Lane Crawford & Co.       Magazine Gap  
c Reeves Henry Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Crapnell Albert Edward   Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
s Wilford Francis Cumming Partner Lane Crawford & Co.   College Chambers      
c Little James Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road & Praya Central  
c Hayward Ernest Malcolm Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Wingate Walter Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Bert Eutace Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
c Clark Ernest Sidney Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
s Skelton Alfred Holland Merchant Lane Crawford & Co.       Upper Richmond Road  
c Bevan Herbert Staton Assistant Lane Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  

and from the 1905 Jurors List:

c Miller Joseph Oswald Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Crapnell Albert Edward Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Clark Ernest Sidney Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Hayward Ernest Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Little James Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Mackintosh Frederick Alexander Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
s Skelton Alfred Holland Storekeeper Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co   Upper Richmond Road  
c Evans William Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Bevan Herbert Staton Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co   Queen's Road Central  
c Reeves Henry Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Bird Bernard Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co      
c Eustace Bert Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      
c Browne Percy Edward Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co     East Point
s Wilford Francis Cumming Storekeeper Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co      
c Scriven Henry Ernest Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co      
c Whyte James Fleming Marshall Assistant Lane, Crawford & Co.       Queen's Road Central  
s Clark Duncan Storekeeper Lane, Crawford & Co.   Lane, Crawford & Co.      

The 1904 list shows Ernest Sidney Clark living at Queen's Road Central, so looks like he's your man.

We also get to see how the Jurors lists aren't 100% reliable, as the 1904 list shows a "Eutace Bert", but in the 1905 list it is corrected to "Bert Eustace".

The Jurors lists are typed up by volunteers, so we're always looking for help to type a page. We're currently working on this list: http://gwulo.com/current-j-list

Regards, David

Thank you for that pointer to the Jurors' List, David.

Lane Crawford has a Mess Archive - the first entry, amazingly, is dated 1865 (it lists food prices). There are then two entries from 1886; these are about security concerns and locking up the premises. But after 1896, entries are fairly regular and are signed by D.R. Crawford. They're usually concerned with house rules about smoking or tardiness (in those days, the store opened at 8am) or ordering newspapers from Home or 'extreme rowdiness'. 

The first mention in the Mess Archive of women is in the entry dated 29th June 1918. Presumably, the war made it difficult to employ enough male assistants. Their names are simply Miss Gittens, Miss Brockett, Miss Garth and Miss Mackenzie. An entry of 15 October 1920 is copied to Mrs Nelson, Mrs West, Miss Garth [again], Miss Stonham, Miss Puncheon, Miss Marcal and Miss Johanssen. As these names obviously won't be on the jurors' list, they're rather harder to trace. (We checked with the Helena May but they don't have pre-war records).

They won't be as easy to track down, but you might get lucky, especially when the name is unusual. eg here are the results of a search for Brockett.

They lead us to the marriage of Charles Edward Frith and Katherine Elizabeth Brockett on 14 Mar 1913 (may be typo for 24 Mar, as the dates are usually in order). If you find the report of the wedding in the newspapers, I guess her sisters would have been listed as bridesmaids, giving you potential names for your Miss Brockett. Happy hunting, and please keep us updated with what you discover.

Regards, David

Henry Ching writes:

Katherine Elizabeth Brockett who married Charles Edward Frith in Hong Kong in 1913 was Eurasian (Chinese mother).  Her daughter Doris was the wife of Oswald Chan (Tyson) who was killed in action with the RAFVR.  Her daughter Iris married Albert Prew who was killed in action with the HKVDC.

May I add an enquiry about Charles Aspinell Warnes to this thread? His name appears (misspelt) in the Jurors Lists as Assistant in Lane Crawford for the years 1908-1914 and then disappears. He married my grandmother's half-sister, Elizabeth Olson in 1905 and had three children, Iris, Marjorie and Cyril. Marjorie, who became Marjorie Cook, was interned in Stanley Camp. I'm in touch with Marjorie's daughter and grandchildren, as well as Iris's grandchildren, all now living in Australia. Iris's granddaughter has a studio portrait of the Warnes family taken about 1911, but that is all.

I've been unable to find out what happened to Charles Warnes after 1914. He doesn't appear in Patricia Lim's cemetery records. Did he fight and die in the Great War? Is his name listed among the Hong Kong dead in the newspapers?  It could be that I simply haven't found it. Perhaps there's some record at Lane Crawford about his fate.

Grateful for any other information that may be held by Lane Crawford.

Jill

Thank you very much for this information, Jill. Unfortunately, Lane Crawford's mess archive doesn't mention Charles Aspinell Warnes by name; in fact, that time period between 1908 and 1914 is rather a no-man's-land as far as information goes. The entries in the mess archive become sporadic and the Directors' Minutes books - which, amazingly, survived Hong Kong's occupation (when Lane Crawford became Matsuzakaya) and are extremely useful for pinpointing individuals - only begin in 1922. We're currently going through the thousands of Lane Crawford entries in the South China Morning Post's archive (which has recently been digitised) and will get back to you about this.

Thank you very much for this information. Do you happen to know if she had sisters?

Unfortunately, a search of the South China Morning Post archives - including trying to second-guess possible mistaken spellings of the name - has turned up nothing on Charles Aspinell Warnes or Iris, Marjorie and Cyril. But we'll keep looking out for him.