Leslie Beal WARREN [1900-1943] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Leslie Beal WARREN [1900-1943]

Leslie Beal
Birthplace (town, state): 
Hong Kong
Birthplace (country): 
Cause of death: 
Typhoid and malaria

Second son of Charles Edward Warren and Hannah Mabel Warren. Educated in Hong Kong, Canada and England. Articled to Arthur Edwards, Architect and Surveyor, Birmingham, 1919-1923. On the death of his father in June 1923, aged only 23, he took over as managing director of C.E. Warren & Co. Ltd. in Hong Kong with the oversight of John Fleming of Lowe, Bingham and Matthews. Lived at 19 Broadwood Road with his wife Cicely and children, Geoffrey and Diana. Continued to run the three aspects of C.E. Warren & Co. as building contractors, sanitary engineers and monumentalists for eighteen years until voluntary liquidation in 1941 when he left Hong Kong. Became manager of William Jack’s subsidiary in Penang until Japanese invasion in 1942. Attended 101 Special Training School Malaya for an Emergency Commission. Was then at the Fall of Singapore. Escaped to Batavia and onwards from there in a fishing boat to Ceylon, where his youngest brother was a planter. Immediately posted to Meerut with the Royal Engineers. He died there of disease and privations shortly after being promoted to Captain in May 1943.


Siblings of Leslie Beal WARREN [1900-1943]

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My recent blitz of the SCMP came up with the following article dated 30 September, 1945 about my uncle, Leslie Warren.


Old residents who remember Mr Charles E. Warren and his son Leslie, will learn with regret that Leslie died in India in 1943.

Warren the elder founded the business of C.E. Warren and Company Ltd., plumbers. He was also one of the pioneers in developing Broadwood Ridge (also known as Happy Valley Peak). His house there, familiarly referred to as Warren’s Castle because of its four turrets, still stands overlooking the racecourse. Just before the war it was a Chinese school. Now it is an empty looted shell.

Leslie inherited his father’s business here and later became Managing Director when it was formed into a limited Company with a shop in d’Agular [sic] Street and the main establishment in Wanchai Road. The name has now disappeared. Joining up early in the war he became Captain Leslie B. Warren but little has been heard of him. His widow is in England. Mrs H. Warren now in Sydney gave the news of his death in a letter to a friend. "

I have two questions, in case any of my Gwulo colleagues can help: the first is about the Chinese school that was apparently in The Towers. I have never found any evidence of this. According to family correspondence, The Towers was run as a boarding house by Eric and Dorothy Walch in 1940 and Leslie lodged with them. If there was a school it can only have occupied the house very briefly in 1941. My second question is about the C.E. Warren shop in D'Aguilar Street. Is there any record to be found of this.? I have no idea of the date. The business became a limited company in 1918, but Leslie didn't become Managing Director until after his father's death in 1923. Mrs H. Warren was his mother. It's possible that she didn't receive the news of Leslie's death until after the war.

Find a Grave

Captain Leslie Beal Warren Death Date 5 May 1943

Buried Delhi War Cemetery India 

Grave Memorial

Treasured memories of a devoted husband and father

Age 43 Royal Engineers Service Number 239216

Son of Charles Edward and Hannah Warren

Husband of Cicely Beatrice Warren of Toronto Canada

Carl Smith Card

Records cause of death as typhoid

Thank you, annpake for looking up Leslie Warren’s grave. His remains were actually moved to the main war cemetery in Delhi after the war. We have a photo of his first newly dug grave at Meerut in a patch of long grass and which consists of a slightly skewed white wood cross with the inscription “Captain L.B. Warren. Died 5th May 1943. Aged 42 years.” There are several vases of fresh flowers placed on the grave. I have learnt that Meerut was the base for SOE’s Advanced Operations School signals wing. I assume that Leslie, with his previous signals experience had originally been taken on as a trainer. When he fell ill, he had been based out at Muradnagar for several months, and  writes in his aerograms that he can’t talk about his job. I have unsuccessfully tried to trace his predecessor at Muradnagar, Captain Ogley and to find out the name of the Brigadier General responsible for this area, for whose visit Leslie was anticipating putting beer on ice only two weeks before his death. Are there any military historians of the Burma campaign out there who know about Muradnagar and Meerut?

CWGC has his age at death as 43.

They record 

Service Number: 239216 Royal Engineers who died on 05 May 1943 Age 43

Son of Charles Edward and Hannah Warren;

husband of:Cicely Beatrice Warren, of Toronto,Ontario,Canada. 


Remembered with Honour


The record is perfectly correct. I miscopied the date of death and have corrected that. The Meerut burial was probably rushed and perhaps people didn't have time to verify Leslie's date of birth. It wasn't my intention to contradict the record. Thank you for confirming it.