Henry Ching is interested to hear from anyone who knows Mrs Smith's full name and burial place. He writes:
Mrs Smith lived in Fung Fai Terrace with her husband. I recall there was a very large Lung Ngan tree in their front yard, and we used to climb it to help ourselves to the fruit, much to Mr Smith's annoyance! We lived opposite them in Village Road.
Following the surrender ((in December 1941)), Mrs Smith was joined by her daughter, Muriel, and two infant grandsons, David and James Cameron. Her son, N. L. Smith, was a POW batman in Argyle Street. Her son-in-law, Bill Cameron, was a policeman and interned in Stanley. I have been trying to find out what happened to her husband, who I thought was in the Dockyard Police, but I don’t know his name. I also don’t know Mrs Smith’s full name.
I believe Muriel sometimes did some modelling work for Lane, Crawford - she was quite a tall lady. She used often to visit us, and joined in with our frequent sing-songs with my eldest sister at the piano. She had a lovely voice.
Without menfolk, and with no income, they found things very difficult during the occupation, and I think they regretted claiming to be Irish and not being interned. They were helped by the International Red Cross Rep, but when Rosary Hill was opened as a home of refuge they refused to go in.
Eventually, Mrs Smith fell ill with cancer, and they moved into the French Hospital where she died. My parents attended her funeral in June 1944, the service conducted by the well-loved Norwegian Pastor Neilson. Apparently she was not buried in the Colonial Cemetery. It would be great if someone knows her name and where she is buried.
Muriel was also hospitalised and the two boys were cared for in the St Paul's complex - at war's end they were sent to Stanley where their father was an internee ((see Barbara Anslow's diary entry for 19 Aug 1945)). Bill Cameron stayed on in HK and later became head of the District Watch Force. He was reunited with Muriel and the two boys.
Mrs Smith is mentioned several times in my father's diary.
Nicola Davies wrote:
Nosing about in the Dundee newspaper archives for my own family history I saw the attached article ‘From China for Honeymoon’ about another interned HK Police Officer from the area William 'Bill' Cameron. My Grandparents and Dad were on the same village street at the time. It also links to a query from Henry Ching about the Smith family on Gwulo to which it does not look there was a response?
In the brief marriage announcement in the paper a few weeks previously the bride’s parents were listed as Mr and Mrs SG Smith of Hong Kong. I think he was Sidney George Smith listed on CWGC.
The Probate Registry Index from 1947 contains the following.
“Smith, Sidney George of 5 Fung Fai Terrace Happy Valley Hong Kong died 20th July 1944 at British Military Hospital Bowen Rd Hong Kong. Administration to Sidney David Alexander Smith Captain HM Army” (Eldest son I think)
Although the CWGC lists Sidney’s burial place as Stanley Military Cemetery, Ancestry led me to a photo of a gravestone in Hong Kong (Happy Valley) Cemetery which commemorates both him and his wife Annie Florence Smith.
I found some other records which would indicate Sidney was awarded his DCM in WW1 as an NCO in the Royal Engineers and had been with the Army in HK in the 1920s with his family. Perhaps he returned as a civilian after he retired. Surprisingly for the name Smith I think I have found the family in Dublin in the 1911 census, occupation and names match, which explains the Irish connection for Muriel and Annie.
Hopefully the links and PDF attachment work and this makes sense!
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