George Gordon STOPANI-THOMSON (aka Stops) [c.1903-1945] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

George Gordon STOPANI-THOMSON (aka Stops) [c.1903-1945]

Names
Given: 
George Gordon
Family: 
Stopani-Thomson
Alias / nickname: 
Stops
Sex: 
Male
Status: 
Deceased
Birth
Date: 
c.1903-06-03 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Death
Date: 
1945-01-16
Cause of death: 
Killed in Bungalow C by mis-directed American bomb

Comments

George had two children born in the 30's , Shirley and Malcolm. I am Malcolm's second child Marita. I have 3 of my own children. I welcome any contact from family or friends.

Hi Marita, thanks for writing. I've made you the owner of this page, so you can click the 'edit' tab above to add any more details about George.

Where did George's wife and children spend the wartime years?

Any other background on his time in Hong Kong will be very welcome!

Regards, David

Hi Marita: 

I have a little information on George Gordon Stopani-Thonson aka "Stops" . You may well know all this but just in case there is anything new. He was a Lt in the HKRNVR - one of a small number who ended up in Stanley Camp rather than POW Camp. He was first mobilised in October 1939 and then from May to August 1940 he was required to spend i/2 his time with his civilian employment at HK Electric Co. He was given indefinate leave from 31 Aug 1940 to focus on essential services with HKE. On the outbreak of war on 8th December 1941 he reported for active service to HMS Cornflower  but Cdr Vernall of HKRNVR received instructions  that he (George S-T) must return to his civilian duties at the main power station. This is why he ended up in Stanley Camp rather than SSP or North Point POW Camps. He was actually on leave in Sydney with his wife Elsie Mary (married 28/10/33) in late 1941. Elsie Mary and children were evacuated to Sydney in June/Juy 1940. He was required to return to HK by the Navy and he took passage to HK arriving 29th November 1941 (one of the last ships to reach HK from Australia) arriving a week before war broke out. I believe Mrs EM  and her two children returned to HK after the war and worked with Peat, Marwick, Mitchell Co. His was such a tragic death so close to the end of the war on 16th Jan 1945.

Philip Cracknell

Thank you so much for this information. My father was not quite clear on the circumstances by which his father returned to HK. I am still trying to locate more information to add to this. Always, Marita DeVries My father Malcolm is now in a nursing home with advanced Alzheimer's at the age of 76 in London, Ontario Canada. He was born 22 May 1937 in Hong Kong China. He married Helga Anna-Gerda Friedrich in Germany on November 29th 1961. He has an adopted older son of Helga, Christian and three daughters: Gina (1962), Marita(1964) and Patricia (1966).

Thank you for allowing me to honour a Grandfather by tracing and recording his history so that others may be able to find it. Always Marita DeVries London, On, Canada

Hi Marita,

You are very welcome. The idea of these pages is to slowly gather information about the people who lived here, and I'm always pleased when a family member gets in touch. We'll be interested to hear any more that you find out, so I hope you'll keep us updated.

Regards, David

My father Raymond Smith worked with your grandfather George at the Honk Kong electric station pre-war. I have some group photos which may include your grandfather but I am not sure. May I send them to you by email for you to look at and possibly identify your grandfather ?

My grandmother, Grace Smith, has a memorial stone in Stanley Cemetry, near that of your grandfather's.

I look forward to hearing from you.

John Anton-Smith

Dear John, I've made a page for your father at https://gwulo.com/node/40672 in case you can add any more information about his time in Hong Kong. We'd love to see those photos too - here's how to upload a photo to Gwulo: https://gwulo.com/node/2076

Regards, David

Hello Marita, My father is in possession of a book belonging to your grandfather while in the Stanley Camp. This book contains pages and pages of trigonometry and calculus equations, diagrams, etc., this all makes sense now seeing that your grandfather was an electrician. Assuming he was the one who wrote in it, he was quite the mathematician. There is a hole through the book where it was hit by shrapnel, perhaps when he was killed.  I have photos, but I don’t see how to share them in this post. My father would like to see this book go back to the family. As it’s been six years since anyone has posted on this page, I hope you or someone who knows you sees this message.

Kathy

Hi, My father is in possession of a book hit by shrapnel belonging to G.G.Stopani Thompson during his time at Staley Camp. He would like to see this book go back to your grandfather’s family. Links to photos of book below.

Kathy

https://gwulo.com/atom/34751

https://gwulo.com/atom/34750

 

 

 

 

Many years ago I took a chap by the name of Bill Bethell back to Stanley Camp. He had been interned there at the age of about 13 with his mother and sister, together with his step-father who was a Sgt in the HK Police who went by the nickname of "Traffic" Bethell - for obvious reasons.

I took him to the mass grave of the victims of the bombing of Bungalow C, and whilst looking at it he smiled. Bill told me that his (I presume) step-father had been a friend of Mr. Stopani-Thomson in the Camp, who went by the nickname of "Stop Me And Buy One."

And if you don't know what is meant by that espression, write to me on tideswell27@hotmail.com & I will tell you!

Thank for for posting the photos of the damaged book.

I am working with John Anton-Smith, whose late father Raymond Smith worked with George Stopani-Thomson at Hong Kong Electric Company before the war. 

John has a number of photos in which he can identify Shirley Stopani-Thomson, George's daughter, who was a childhood friend in Hong Kong. A couple who appear to be Shirley's parents figure in a couple of shots, but we have no definite proof.

We too are keen to make contact with the family. Sadly, Marita De Vries who was active on Gwulo a few years ago has passed away.

David Young

I am saddened to hear of Marita's passing, I hope there are others in her family who are as interested in her family's history as was she. 

This site is interesting. I have never been to Hong Kong, but wanted to see it while still a colony. My father is of Russian ancestory and grew up in Shanghai, spent the war years there. In 1949 they were forced to leave and he and his family spent a year in the camp at Tubabao in the Phillipines. We have it so easy these days...

Kathy

Hi Kathy,

I have been working with John Anton-Smith, whose father Raymond was a work colleague of George Stopani-Thomson in Hong Kong. It turns out, many decades on, that we have misidentified George in a couple of photos - a correction we need to make on Gwulo. However, your images of the shrapnel-damaged book are incrediibly compelling and it would be great if they helped to make a connection with the Stopani-Thomson family. However, if no family connection turns up, you might want to donate the book to a museum in Hong Kong.

You say you haven't been to Hong Kong. It is just amazing. As a Scot who has visited a couple of times [Lots of Scottish connections there], I have been fascinated by the place from the start. Of course it is in an inevitable state of flux following the UK's hand-back to China in 1997, not to mention the unrest in the last several months, but still seems to retain the wonderful vibrancy of a place where people just want to "get on" - let's hope they can!

You mention your father's terrible experience in the 1940s, saying we have it so easy these days... We have so many lessons from history to learn to keep it that way!

[Sorry, to explain, I am David Young - working with John Anton-Smith to help him record his family's experiences in Hong Kong and their relationship with the Chinese people around them]

Hello. I just happened to find this site while researching my family history. I am currently doing a project to find relatives who served in wars and compiling them to create a family history book.  I was wondering if the book belonging to George Thompson Stopani is still available? I did not know Marita and was going to reach out to her, but then sadly read the about her passing.  George would have been my distant cousin, I believe. I'd love to have the book as a family heirloom if it is available. 

Hello. I am researching my family history and hope to write a book about the Stopanis. I just recently learned about George Gordon Stopani Thompson and how he died. I would love to see photos of him. If you have any you can share with me, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Hi Suzanne,

If you happen upon any photos of George, please can you post them on Gwulo? My colleague, John Anton-Smith, was a childhood friend of Shirley Stopani Thompson, George's daughter. John has hundreds of his father's Hong Kong photos, some of which almost certainly feature George, a work colleague at Hong Kong Electric Company, but we have nothing that directly identifies him. Thanks.

David Young 

Yes, I certainly will do that if I find any.  Where can I find the photos that John has? Are they posted here?  The Stopani men have some very distinct features. I'd love to take a look.  I could potentially identify George based on his facial features. 

Thanks for the speedy response. All the photos on Gwulo will be tagged with Raymond Smith. Good luck!

David

Thanks!

I received an email 2 days ago requesting help from the mother-in-law of PATRICIA THOMSON, the granddaughter of GEORGE GORDON STOPANI THOMSON - asking if I could help her solve a few issues in the Stopani family tree, which also exists in my Walker Family Tree on Ancestry.

 Patricia is the sister of MARITA who appears on these pages and sadly died on 27 December 2014 at London, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada.

I found this excellent site whilst looking for further information and discovered the story by Raymond Smith about the personal book of George Gordon Stopani Thompson - he wishing to return it to a member of George G. G. Thomson's family.

I contacted the family a few hours ago - and I have received a reply that Patricia (granddaughter) would be "over the moon" to have the book in her possession. Can someone please help to find out if the book is still available?

Please forgive me for my ignorance about how to go about using websites like this - as I assume I am not allowed to leave my email address for contacting me.

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help.

Kind Regards - Derek Walker in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. 

Kathy in CA had the book - see earlier posts - and had a response from Suzanne Stopani - also posted here - enquiring about the book's availability, so it may perhaps have gone to her.

Regards,

David Young

Hi, I am sorry it has taken so long to post again, I actually did reach out to Suzanne through another platform regarding the book. Derek, in the time that transpired between my initial post and now, the book is not currently available. Should it become so, I did tell Suzanne she could have it, maybe you and she can discuss it if and when that time comes. This is awkward and difficult to explain, but sometimes people go through phases where they want to do something, then, having some time to reflect, realize that perhaps they weren't ready. The book has been in my family for a very long time, and it is special to my father. I hope you understand. Kathy

I knew the book came from my father's step uncle, Arkady Korshoonoff, who was in the Hong Kong harbor police. I looked up his name on this site a few minutes ago, it turns out he was interned at the civilian camp (it was previously thought he was at the POW camp as he was in the police and was involved in the Battle of Hong Kong). The story my father was told about the shrapnel hole in the book is that it was on the table in front of his uncle when the shrapnel hit it. There is a sketch of a boat similar to that used by the harbor police, perhaps done by Arkady, also of note Arkady excelled at mathematics like George. There are so many questions we'll never have answers to - was Arcady in Bungalow C as well? Was he in a nearby bungalow with the book when the bombing happened?  The one thing that makes sense now, is knowing George and Arkady were obviously friends interned at the same camp. The book was special to Arkady, enough so that he wanted his brother to have it upon his death. 
 

I will take some more (and better) photos to share in the future.

 

 

Good Morning Kathy, from Aberdeenshire in Scotland.

May I first thank you for responding to my post so quickly, regarding the book of George Gordon Stopani Thomson, which seems to be uncovering little pieces of information and facts behind it's origin.  Now, 75 years later, the book evokes the sentiments and emotions of two families who are unrelated but both of them eager to preserve the memories of now lost relatives whose characters, both back then and now, surround the book.

It was a member of your family who we must remember had seen and lived through some terrible times, yet decided that the book was worth preserving and was to come with him, half way round the world - and he and his family have been good caretakers of the book for all this time. I wish to say that I respect your wish to change your mind about passing on the book and being so honest about it.

As I mentioned before in my first post - I was only researching the Stopani line in the Aberdeen area at the request of the mother-in-law of Patricia Dai-Dai Stopani Thomson, the granddaughter of George G.S. Thomson, who asked for assistance with finding some confirmation of Stopani members. (I am only distantly connected to the Stopani / Thomson family - but my tree has extensive information on them - hence the request to help). The research has lead me here - and I will pass on all the information noted in these posts to Patricia, who I am sure will understand your sentiments regarding the book.

I will leave you with my good wishes and if you would like to get in contact with me or send any information or photos - then here is my email address:

derek.walker@hotmail.co.uk

Kind Regards - Derek Walker in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

 

Hi Suzanne,

I'm the mother-in-law of Patricia Stopani-Thomson who is married to my son, Alan.  She is the youngest sister of Marita who passed away in 2014.  I have been doing family genealogy for Patricia as well as for myself.  I know she would be glad to hear how you are related.  Her father was Malcolm George Stopani-Thomson, son of George Gordon Stopani-Thomson.  George Gordon was the son of Joseph Charles Thomas and Jane McDonald Stopani.  Jane's father was George C. Marr Stopani and his father was John Andrew Stopani born in Lambardi, Italy.

You can reach me at    nepeanbev7@gmail.com    Would love to hear from you.

Beverly

Hi Beverley,

I am working with John Anton-Smith, whose father, Raymond Smith, was a colleague of George Gordon Stopani-Thomson's at Hong Kong Electric Company until the Japanese Occupation. John was a childhood friend of Shirley, George's daughter. If you search Gwulo for Shirley Stopani-Thomson, you will find a number of photos. If you have any photos of George, we would love to see them as he may feature, unidentified, in other photos in John's possession.

David Young
davidboneyoung@gmail.com