Serge PEACOCK (aka Sergei Piankoff) [????-????]

Submitted by brian edgar on Fri, 12/13/2013 - 17:54
Alias / nickname
Sergei Piankoff
Birthplace (country)

Serge Peacock was a baker at Lane, Crawford's Stubbs Road Bakery in the period leading up to WW11. His father also worked there.

At some point before the war he took British nationality by naturalization and anglicised his name.

He baked bread during the hostilities, and after the surrender he was held in the Exchange Building and the French Hospital with the other bakers. He was sent to Stanley Camp on May 7, 1943, where he spent the rest of the war.

He is probably to be seen in the Edgar weddding photo of June 29, 1942:


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I took a copy of his naturalisation application that is in the National Archive. The full text is at, but the main points are:

  • Born in Irkutsk, Russia on the 7th October 1905
  • Parents:
    • Father - Peter Patrowich Piankoff (Russian).
    • Mother - Evdokia Filipovna (nee Maslova) (Russian)
  • Arrived in Hong Kong on 24th Feb 1925, and started work at the Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels on 24th June 1925.
  • His brother, Michael Patrowich Piankoff, was already in Hong Kong, having arrived in 1923. He worked at Lane Crawford.
  • The naturalisation application was signed on 21st July 1931. 

Sheridan writes that Serge was working with his father at Lane Crawford, but he may have been mistaken and it was Serge's brother instead.

Thanks, David. The naturalisation paper makes very interesting reading.

As to your suggestion that it was Serge's brother not father who worked in the bakery during the hostilities:

In February 1940 Serge organised a Lane, Crawford bakery syndicate to buy lottery tickets in a racing sweepstake. My father's share of the winnings was about £80,000 at the most conservative estimate in present day value. 'M. P. Piankoff' had a share, as did 'Mesdames Piankoff'. Michael had changed his name to Pincott in 1934, and he appears as such in a number of newspaper stories e.g one in which he dived into the harbour to save a Chinese woman from drowning. My guess is that the winner was the father and the reporter got his first initial wrong as he did my father's). The SCMP has a  'Mr. P. M.' and "Mrs. E. Piankoff' leaving for Shanghai in August 1940 and my guess is that this is another  (different) mistake in initials.

Mr Piankoff senior left Hong Kong for Shanghai during the occupation and Serge was later told by the Red Cross that he'd died there (if my memory is correct his wife was with him).