Denis BRAY [1926-2005] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Denis BRAY [1926-2005]

Birthplace (country): 


In 1978, in London, I was part of a batch of new recruits to the HK Govt. Mr Bray, as Commissioner, was introduced to us as a rare gweilo who could speak both Mandarin and Cantonese. He gave a fairly uninspiring speech I seem to remember.


Denis Bray was the govt officer who lived in the Lookout along Tai Po Road.

I believe his son (Rupert) drowned whilst out kayaking in Tolo Harbour.

Denis Bray was at school in Chefoo in China, with my father, Alan Bailey, in the 1930's. they were good friends. My recollection speaking to my father, was that Denis had something to do with the decision (by the Government) to abandoned the day-light saving (putting the clocks back) idea?

Hi There,

Ah, Mr Bray.....   He would have much to do with the now heated 'New Territories Small House Policy'.

Best Regards,


Denis was my father and my brother Rupert died in a drowning accident in our swimming pool when we lived in Island House, Tai Po.  In later years there was a Kayak club that stored their kayak's in the old garage at the bottom of the driveway up to the house.  We lived in The Lookout when I was a small child but moved to Peak Mansions before Rupert was born.

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for writing. I've added links to the pages for the places you mentioned in your post above. I'd be very interested to see any photos of the Island House or the Lookout if you have any.

We also have a photo that may show your mother:

Regards, David

My parents donated several cine films to the Hong Kong Film Archives including times at The Lookout and my grandfathers films of the farmers in the area around Fatshan (Foshan) in the 1920's and the building of the Chinese Methodist Church in Wanchai.  They had to shoot these films to show in UK when they went back on furlough.

I'll pass the link of Peak School on to my mother, we'll be in HK in September and you can reach us through the Barrettos in Taipo.


Thanks Jenny, good to know about the cine films.

If your mum recognises anyone in the Peak School photo, please could you let us know and I'll add the names to the list.

Regards, David

Mum had loads of memories and names of all the people inthe picture.....she's an incredible mine of information like this, she's the kind of person who remembers birthdays and birthdays of people's kid, sisters, aunties.....the lot!  I thought my sister Alison had added all these names a week or so ago.

Dear Jenny,

Read your message here concerning your dad and your brother.

We try to connect your family cause we are producing a documentary focusing on HK back to 60's, your dad's book carries important information.  We visited villagers in Taipo recently for oral historty, they remember Mr Bray so well, he could speak their languages and they missed him dearly.

We need your permission for using a few old photos in the book "

Hong Kong Metamorphosis".

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Connie Lo




I was wondering if anyone has any information on other occupants of Island house?

I am keen to find out more about the period 1923-1939 when Frederick Eaves served as the 1st Police Magistrate and assistant Land Officer of Hong Kong. He lived in Island house during this period and it is believed that my great uncle Kenneth Evans either visited him or lived with him for a period in the 1930s. Kenneth also ran a missionary at Tai Po with his wife for a period too. But I do not know which particular one this would be.