John George SWANSTON [1879-c.1935]

Submitted by jill on Mon, 11/16/2020 - 02:59
John George
(Year is approximate.)

In my efforts to unravel the social circle of my grandfather Charles Warren from the names of the people who attended his funeral or sent wreaths, I've had difficulty identifying this person because of differences in the spelling of his surname and also the date of his death. Carl Smith describes him as a marine engineer, which seems right as we can find him in the Jurors Lists of 1909-11 as Foreman at the Taikoo Dockyard. There is a John George Swanston listed at the DBS in 1887 which would probably mean that he was born in Hong Kong. Carl Smith records his funeral at St John's but puts his age as 86 and the year of his death as 1938, whereas he must have been 56. I couldn't at first find him in Patricia Lim's record of cemetery inscriptions because his inscription is recorded there as John George Swanton and the year of his death as 1935. Carl Smith records his wife as "Mona" which matches the name of his wife on the same grave. In her book, Patricia Lim records Sergeant John  Swanston of the Hong Kong Police who died in 1891 and lies next to his five children none of whom survived beyond the age of five, according to the gravestone. She mentions a single surviving son who attended the DBS in 1887 without naming him. This must be the John George Swanston I am looking for, named after his father.

Other reference
Hong Kong Police

Photos that show this Person


I have    ---------John Calder SWANSTON,  ex Scottish Contingent of 1872, Sergeant by 1877,Service Number 50,Inspector 1st Class 1.1.1888, native of Dunnet,Caithness,deceased 6.2.1891,aged 38,gravestone marked " errected by members of St Johns Lodge as a mark of esteem ".

See also   hongkongcemetery.blogspot for detailed account of his life and service ( Thanks yo Christine T.)

Thank you 1314. Your John Calder Swanston who died in 1891 is the father of "my" John George Swanston (1879-1835), possibly born in Shau Kei Wan police station like his elder sister. Perhaps the "G" on the gravestone 27/3/2 has been mistranscribed to Patricia Lim's data base instead of "C". Here it is: "Sacred/ to/ the memory of/ John G. Swanston/ late/ inspector HK Police/ a native of Dunnet Caithness/ who died on 8th February 1891" etc. Patricia Lim doesn't give his middle name in her book Forgotten Souls pp. 428-429. I will look at Christine Thomas's blog.

Find a Grave Hong Kong Cemetery

John George Swanston born18 April 1879 died 8 December 1935

Buried Hong Kong Cemetery

Siblings listed

D M Swanston ? - 1887

Annie A Swanston ? 1890

Archibald Swanston  ? - 1896

M T B Swanston

M L Swanston 18177 - 1879

Son of J G Swanston 1853 - 1891 [the G is not visible in the photograph and could be a C the headstone is discoloured and streaked where the middle initial is located]…