Mary Dolores SIMMONS (née LYONS) [????-????] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Mary Dolores SIMMONS (née LYONS) [????-????]

Mary Dolores


This could well be my great grandmother, Mary Dolores Simmons, who was in Stanley along with her husband Albert (died in camp 1942), her daughter Florence Alice Proulx and two grandsons Michael Proulx (my Dad) and Roger Proulx.  They lived in Tai Tam Bay in Erinville and just made it to the Repulse Bay Hotel before the Japs reached their house.  Dolores was born in Hong Kong of British nationality and Albert was born of Irish parents in England.  After his death, Dolores arranged for her and the family to be released after convincing the camp commandant they were Irish (some help from Maryknoll nuns came into play I believe), lived in a flat in Hong Kong for a short period and then re-located to Macau for the duration of the war. 

Hi, Thanks for writing in.

The mention in Barbara's diary is:

There was a theft yesterday in Block 2 - Mrs  E. Tollan and Mrs Simmons lost 25,000 prewar HK dollars' worth of jewellery.

The list of internees on the Stanley discussion list has several people named Simmons, so it's not clear which one Barbara is writing about. I asked Barbara, and she replied:

I've looked up the Simmons on my early Stanley list and in Greg Leck's book, and none of them have the Christian names you mention, they are Vera, and Gladys Gwendoline. The Proulx family are on both my lists;  in Greg's list, the words 'moved to Hong Kong' appear against their names.

Do any of your family's memories include a story of having jewellery stolen while in Stanley Camp?

Regards, David

Nothing on having jewelery stolen as far as I know.  Also, I understand she was born in Hong Kong and was raised with 4 or 5 sisters in an orphanage under the name Lyons.  The Proulx family in Greg's book would be my grandmother (Florence P.), my uncle (Roger P.) and my Dad (Michael P.).  My grandfather (Benny P.) was HKRNVR and a POW at North Point, Shamshuipo, then back to North Point where he escaped in February 1942.



Hi Allan,

I've made pages for Florence, Roger, Michael and Benny, with you as the "owner". Feel free to edit them if you'd like to add anything.

I'm always on the lookout for any diaries / memoirs of that time to add to the wartime diaries project (see If your family records have anything relevant, we'd love to see it.

Regards, David

Above we wonder whether this could be the Mrs Simmons that Barbara Anslow writes about having her jewelry stolen (see

Eric MacNider's diary mentions this Mrs Simmons left Stanley camp on 5th August (see, so it must have been a different Mrs Simmons that had her jewelry stolen in camp in November.

Regards, David