Leontine ELLIS [c.1894-1942] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Leontine ELLIS [c.1894-1942]

c.1894-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Cause of death: 
Secondary breast cancer


I believe she was the proprietress of the Cathay Hotel . Phil Cracknell

Thanks Phil, any idea if it was the hotel in Shanghai, or if there was also a Cathay Hotel in Hong Kong?

Regards, David

It was in Hong Kong - not the famous one in Shanghai.  Best rgds, Phil

From  CWGC -

Leontine Ellis  Nurse  ND/32 (Nursing Detachment)  HKVDC

Died 17.8.1942 aged 45   Buied Stanley Military Cemetery  4 C 3

Any idea where this was?

It is mentioned in the Jurors Lists for 1939 & 1940, but without an address, and no other mentions in HKGRO.

I couldn't find it in the newspapers either. MMIS does have a mention of a Cathay Hotel at 17 Tunglowan Road, but that was in 1974 so it's almost definitely a different business.

Regards, David

RSM E.C. Ford lived there in 1941. It was on Kowloon side. The hotel received several direct hits and was burnt down during the fighting. Ford was with RA and based at Mount Davis. Best regards, Philip Cracknell

Thanks Philip. The fact it was burnt down explains why it doesn't appear after the war. I guess it was a small boarding-house.

Regards, David

David: I was wrong on location. The hotel must have been in Quarry Bay area. This is the reference in RSM Ford's diary   "Left the fort during an air-raid to go to Cathay Hotel to pick up some kit. Miss Ellis the proprietress, just out of hospital, very defeatist  and thinks more of her money  than the outcome of the war. Have a meal, tell her to keep cheerful and depart with such kit as I can carry."   I also saw this reference in S/Sgt O'Toole's diary - after being captured he writes " we were marched  right over Mt Parker......down to Quary Bay near the Taikoo Sugar Factory and along the road to the Ritz in the ball room of which we were stabled. The Ritz is right opposite the Cathay Hotel where Chris and I stayed  for our first week in the colony".

There were a number of others with same surname ( Ellis) in Stanley Camp - listed below:


EllisFrederickRetiree (Ellis & Edgar Stock Brokers)29 aug 1885 10/19
Ellis  (Miss)GraceCafé Owner & HKVDC VAD  (Sister of Fred Ellis)12 Dec 1895 10/19
Ellis  (Miss)SophieCafé Owner & HKVDC VAD  (Sister of Fred Ellis)28 Oct 1897 10/19
Ellis  (Miss)LeontineHotel Proprietress & HKVDC VADAge 4917-Aug-42Dec'd
Ellis  (Mrs)Maud LWife of FM ellis HKVDC POWunclear 5/5
EllisRobert Rudolf Police (A149  ??)18-Jun-02 






Grace Ellis was proprietress of Chantecleer (possibly a sister)

Philip Cracknell


Thanks Philip, good find.

I've made a Place for the hotel at:


Regards, David

Here's a quote from RSM Ford's Diary :

"My box at the Hotel Cathay I know is buried beneath the burnt out ruins of the hotel. The hotel collected 15 shells all to itself one afternoon  and was set on fire."


 Best regards,


Philip Cracknell

Register of Deaths give cause as Secondary breast cancer, she was likely already very ill when RSM Ford describes her as being defeatist.

Thanks Nicola, I've added cause of death above.

Regards, David