CCDO Staff Hong Kong 1940 - IMG_20211006_0001.jpg | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

CCDO Staff Hong Kong 1940 - IMG_20211006_0001.jpg

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CCDO Staff Hong Kong 1940 - IMG_20211006_0001.jpg

David Green, an old friend has asked if anyone can shed any light on this photograph taken in 1940. It shows a group of C.C.D.O. staff and the photograph was shown to David by his neighbour.  As far as is known the only person named is the central figure on the photograph known as 'Uncle Billy' by the relatives in the UK.  It's not much to go on but perhaps somebody in the Gwulo family can let us know what C.C.D.O stood for and perhaps name the location and any of the others on the photograph.  Is the 'C.C.' a reference to Cheung Chau?


Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, January 1, 1940


C.C.D.O. is not an abbreviation that readily comes to mind. Is there information about "Uncle Billy'" like his full name, occupation etc ? 

Just curious why the suggestion Cheung Chau - oral history from owner of photo?

Cheung Chau District Office? 

If so, what is the organisation? A branch of the HK civil service/Government department as there is a good mixture of western and Asian personnel? 

Billy = William. Lots of Williams on Jurors Lists 1939/1940. And the JL is not comprehensive so a full name would be useful.

Cheung Chau was just suggested to me as a possibilty.  So far, no information fothcoming about a surname, but I hope that the photograph's owner might be able to supply other information and images to help.

As an ex-draughtsman very many years ago, the 'D.O.' would signify to me 'Drawing Office' so perhaps they are a group of drawing office staff'.

Pre-covid I seem to recall signs on Hong Kong contruction sites relating to 'C.C.E.D', or a similar combination of letters, presumably a government civil engineering department, which might explain another letter or letters in C.C.D.O.

If I am seeing it aright, it seems to me there is a gap between CC and DO, so two abbreviations, "CC" and "DO". That doesn't add a lot, but might close off some blind alleys.


Cheung Chau District Office also crossed my mind but in the Royal Asiatic Society  ( HK Branch) Journal of 1977 , W Schofield,  who served as Southern Islands Disrict Officer in the 1920s -1930s describes how the D.O's travelled by ferries or hired private launches from their office in the Post Office Building in Central.when required to visit Cheung Chau or the other outposts..  He wrote that the only substantial Western style  buildings were a Community Hall set among the European bungalows on the hillside and the heavily fortified police station. 

Also, in the 2011 Journal of the RAS (HK Branch)  there is a review of a book by John Strickland on Southern District Islands District Officer Reports but I do not have access to this book at hand. This book might conclusively rule out that there were District Office buildings on Cheung Chau during  1940s..  

Glancing through HKGRO, it would appear that the New Terroriies in 1940 was divided into two large districts - the Northern District and Southern District. I think that rules out Cheung Chau. The men also appear to be very well-dressed for the occasion.



Thank you all for your suggestions.  I have zoomed in on the slightly higher resolution copy that I have on my computer and there is indeed a very small gap between CC and DO, but that might not be significant. My R.A.F. friend David Green will check with his pal David Stone as to whether there is any more in the way of material, either photographs, written documents or in family memory, that might narrow the search.