Philip Ernest WITHAM [1899-1955] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Philip Ernest WITHAM [1899-1955]

Philip Ernest
Birthplace (town, state): 
Hoogryan, Bengal
Birthplace (country): 
c.1955-12-31 (Month, Day are approximate)

John Black's list gives Date of Birth as 1900, and profession as "Tea Adviser to the Chinese Govt".

He was husband of Joan. Their young son was also interned at Stanley.

We get to hear a little about his background a lecture he gave in 1947. He was introduced as follows:

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Mr. Witham, who is going to speak on "China Tea and Trade Routs"., tea being a subject of which he knows a great deal. After serving in the British Army during the first Great Wat, Mr Witham very wisely gave up a military career and went tea-planting in Assam, where he spent fourteen or fifteen years. He then entered the service of the Chinese Government in China, they being interested in improving the quality of the tea grown there, and in arranging for new and improved trade routes between the tea-growing countries of Asia and China. Mr Witham has a wide and varied experience of China. During the recent war he was interned as a prisoner of war for four years in Hong kong, but he does not seem any the worse for that experience.

The text of the full lecture is available at:



India Select Births and Baptisms Philip Ernest Wittam (sic) born 10 July 1899 Hoogryan, Bengal, India son of Ernest Wells Wittam and Eva

1939 UK Census Ernest Walls (sic) Witham b 15 March 1865 medical retired and Eva born 27 December 1868 living at  3 Landsdown Crescent Bath Somerset

Army Enlistment Records World War One  Philip Ernest Witham born 10 July 1899 2nd Lieutenant Grenadier Guards

1929 Philip Ernest Witham age 29 tea planter arrived in London from Assam. Address in  UK Glen Avon Landsdown Bath Somerset

Philip E Witham married Joan F Smith in Kensington 1937

1939 - 1945 Lieutenant Grenadier Guards

Philip Ernest Witham death age 55 Cuckfield Sussex 1955