Francis Leslie BALL [1896-1966]

Submitted by kelwoody on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 16:32
Francis Leslie
Birthplace (town, state)
West Brixton, London
Birthplace (country)
United Kingdom

I am researching Francis Leslie Ball. He lived at 364, The Peak prior to WWII. He married Frances Mary Trevor-Smith, daug of John Thomas Smith AKA John Trevor-Smith and Marie Emma Barchet (descendant of Stephen Paul Barchet and Johann Georg Bausum - Chinese Missionaries from Germany).

The family immigrated to Australia in May/June 1940 and he returned to finalise business in Hong Kong. We believe he may have worked for Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank as he names the Bank as his forwarding address in travel documents between England and Asia. We know that Burns Philp paid for the trip for the family to come to Australia. We know he started as a Silk Inspector and eventually a Merchant.

The Hong Kong War Diary website said that he was first taken to the Tai Koon Hotel when he "surrendered" and then went onto Stanley Camp. He was employed by Gibb, Livingston & Co prior to the WWII.



Photos that show this Person


Hi David

Thanks so much for this. I can identify the ship in the picture as the MV Neptuna, the ship that Francis Leslie Ball and Family travelled on to Australia. The ship was moored at Darwin on the 19 February 1942 and was sunk by the Japanese during their air raid. Unfortunately the ship also had depth charges on board so the ship exploded sending debris everywhere. The ship eventually was somewhat dismantled in the 1960's but part remains in Darwin Harbour.

The ship was purchased by Burns Philp in 1935 as it was operating in competition with its own shipping service.



Additional notes from Kelly on the Stanley Camp discussion list:

My grandfather (in law) in Francis Leslie Ball who was a Merchant for Gibb Livingston & Co. He married Frances Mary Trevor-Smith, the marriage producing two children, Joan and Gillian Ball. Joan was born in 1933 at Shanghai and Gillian in 1939 on The Peak. The family moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong following the Shanghai bombing. As a result of the pending war, the family emigrated/were evacuated to Australia in May 1940 aboard the MV Neptuna - the trip paid for by Burns Philp & Co - who would provide ongoing care for Frances, Joan and Gillian in Australia. Francis returned to Hong Kong to finalise business and became a civilian internee firstly at the Tai Kwan Hotel or the Tai Koon Hotel and of course later, at Stanley. I have been in contact with Geoff, Tony and Phil who have all provided wonderful information regarding Francis, or known as Frank Ball. He was held in Block C Room 11.

After the War, Frank returned to Australia. His wife Frances died in 1946 of cancer. Frank died in 1966.