St Joseph's School class picture?

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 21:07

This picture is of a class or group at St Joseph's School probably taken around 1915. The pupil on the right of the picture with the green ring around him may be one of my uncles as the snap is in our family collection. However, if anybody can identify anybody or has anything to say about the picture I would be interested to hear.

Date picture taken


Hi Sean

I could try to pass the photo onto someone who knows about St Joseph's College history in HK, and who may be able to identify the adults in the photo. The adult on the right seems to be wearing a de La Salle Brothter's habit. The Brothers were running St Joseph's College the located on Robinson Road. The other clergy is probably the school chaplain. That makes me think that the boys probably had just been through something like First Communion. Notice each boy is wearing some sort of a medal.


Hi Mark,

Thanks. I would appreciate any information as it is the only school picture in the family files. My father and his three older brothers all went to St Joseph's and subsequently were sent to St John's College, Southsea, UK, another de la Salle school in 1919.

So I suspect that this picture is before 1919 if that is of help. You may well be right that it is a First Communion picture though there is quite and age differential among the boys.

Any help would be gratefully received.



Mark, you can find lots more about Sean's family history here. I think the names you're interested in are under 'Generation No.5' in the Family Tree section, ie:

John Olson 2 was born 1884 in Hong Kong, and died 1951 in
London. He married Annie Louisa Moore Burke Sep 1906 in St Joseph's
Church, Kowloon.
Children of John Olson and Annie Louisa Moore Burke were:
Ernest Olson, b. 14 Aug 1907, Hong Kong; d. 1950, London.
Hugh Olson, b. 06 Feb 1909, Hong Kong; d. 22 Feb 2000, London.
William Olson, b. 04 Jun 1910, Hong Kong; d. 26 Aug 1992, London.
Charles Olson, b. 31 May 1913, Hong Kong; d. 13 Jun 1943, Raalte, Holland.

Hi Mark and David,

Just to say that as usual you are spot on David. Those four brothers all went to St Joseph's and it is my supposition that they - the De la Salle brothers - "forwarded " them on to St John's in Southsea, UK. That establishment has a record of them being rgistered in September, 1919. However, as my father was very young the next year he was taken back to HK by his mother, my grandmother, and my grandfather. My grandmother had stayed in the UK for a year and my grandfather visited the UK that year for the second year running. I suspect Charles probably went back to St Joseph's before the family left HK in 1921.



Sean, just wished to update you that the Brothers have not yet been able to identify the Brother or Priest in the photo, as there are no other photos or material to cross reference them to as of now.  As mentioned, most of the school's records prior to the war were lost.  We are still working at it.


Hi Sean,

It doesn't look like the c.1915 St Joseph's School buildings in the background. I think these photos show the old school buildings on Robinson Road:

They were built from stone rather than brick.

Any chance this was taken away from Hong Kong? It would be good to see other photos of the school taken around the same time to see if there were many chinese pupils in the school then - none are shown here.

Regards, David


Hi David,

This is a mystery picture because nobody in my family knew who the marked person was. It may well have been taken away from HK. Have scores of pictures that were taken in UK when boys were young, Kew Gardens and stuff. This picture does not fit into any of those sets.

I don't know what year the boys went to school in HK but they all went to St Joseph's and I do have a memory of seeing Robinson Road mentioned in a Carl Smith card. 

I uploaded to you you in the hope that soembody had something similar and might be able to identify the boy marked. 

Please don't waste time puzzling over it as I have so little for you to go on. Just hoped I might get lucky.

Regrds, Sean