Twin sister of Doris.
The Woods twins, Doris and Aileen, were born in Sydney in 1886 and were well known in the early 20th century as a singing duo. They toured Australia and New Zealand, were based in England for a time and during World War I moved to Asia, where they appear to have stayed. They were billed as "the New Zealand Twins" even though they were Australian. They seem to have attached themselves to the New Zealand and South African rugby union teams in Britain in 1905 and 1907 respectively; there is a photo of them with one twin wearing an All Black jersey and the other, a Springbok one. They seem to have been in Hong Kong in December 1941 and apparently interned at Stanley Internment Camp. I have not been able to find what happened to them after that. Did one or both die in the camp? Did they survive the war and if so, where? Any help would be much appreciated.
I found a newspaper article that showed they were both in Hong Kong in 1960.
PS Here are some tips for researching people that lived in Hong Kong.
There are a number of extracts from Aileen's diary during the 1941 fighting in the Stanley Camp Chronology. You could start here and move forward through the days for a couple of weeks if interested:
I think there are also references to the twins in Barbara Anslow's diary but I don't know if there in the parts that are currently available on Gwulo. Barbara's given a vivid account of their accomodation in Stanley here:
Hi, They're mentioned on four pages of Barbara's diary. Just click the "What links here" tab above to see the list of pages that mention them. (The same trick works for anyone that is mentioned in Barbara's diary).
Thanks very much all for very helpful links. All that remains now is to establish when they died. You'll all cleared the trail nicely.
I don't remember much about Aileen and Doris Woods post-war. I think one of them had a weekly programme on the radio ZBW, presenting (ie choosing and playing) gramaphone records.
They owned a flat in Kowloon (I think in Nathan Road) which was rented to a friend of my Mum's and this friend let Mum stay there with her in late 1946 til Mum got other accommodation. (Perhaps the twins hadn't then got back to Hong Kong).
Brian has found several pages about the Woods twins in the book "Rugby: A New Zealand History".
i remember them well from my girlhood in Hong Kong. They were quite the fixtures, living there well into the fifties and posibily the sixties.
The South China Morning Post should have a record of when they died. i believe at that time they were well known the the vast number of cats they had as pets.
Google searches on 'Aileen Woods RTHK Hong Kong' brings up quite a bit on her radio days etc including her date of death
Thanks to Graham Fletcher, who writes:
I read the piece about Aileen Woods, and recalled having listened to her radio programmes in the '60s. Then I found this - http://app4.rthk.hk/special/rthkmemory/details/profile/616 if you haven't already discovered it for yourself. Click on the picture of Aileen, and you'll hear the speech given by 'DB' (Director of Broadcasting) which suggests Aileen passed away on 13th March 1970, at the age of 83.
The link also plays Aileen's last show, recorded shortly before she died.
The twins are mentioned in an article about Christmas 1941, 20 years later. In the page finder, scroll to Page 13 of the China Mail dated 16 December 1961.
China Mail 5 November 1924
Before coming on to Hong Kong, Miss Doris Woods disembarked at Penang and joined her sister Aileen in Sumatra where they have been giving remarkable successful demonstations together of the Ball room "Tango", "Blues" (which is now so popular in London), Fox Trot and Waltz.
Their appearances have evoked great interest among the community, the Dutch Press commenting in the highest praise of the Twin Sisters' dancing as being poetry of motion and acme of grace combined with that pretty sliding movement so essential in the Ball room now. Miss Doris hopes to commence her tuition next week. Miss Aileen remains in Sumatra.
Passenger List arriving Eillis Island New York 9 November 1911
Maud Woods 48 widow born London occupation none
Aileen Woods 22 occupation singer born London
Doris Woods 22 occupation singer born London
Passenger List Manila to Vancouver arriving June 1928
Maud Woods 67 born Melbourne Dancing Teacher
Aileen Maud Woods born London 39 Dancing Teacher (date of birth c 1889)
Doris Kathleen Sheila Woods born London 39 Dancing Teacher (date of birth c 1889)
Alien Passenger List arriving Los Angeles USA 11 October 1929
Doris Kathleen Sheila Woods 39 Teacher born London temporary visitor .Visa issued Hong Kong last residence China (dob c 1890)
UK Birth Records
No record of births of either Doris Woods or Aileen Woods 1885 - 1895. Not sure of the significance of giving their place of birth London or whether their surname might have changed.
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