Frederick Howard KEW (aka Fred) [1874-1952]

Submitted by Admin on Sat, 03/23/2013 - 21:15
Frederick Howard
Alias / nickname
(Day & Month are approximate.)
Birthplace (town, state)
Birthplace (country)
(Day & Month are approximate.)
Connections: This person is ...

Photos that show this Person



Frederick Howard Ah Kew Born Victoria, Australia 1874, died Hong Kong 1952. The address of Mrs F.H. Kew is given as 43 Caine Road in the Ladies Directory of 1905-6. 

Peter Hall also gives a family tree for the Kews in Chart 23 of "In the Web". 

The link given by David above gives Jaqueline Harriet Kew (1880-1948) as Fred Kew's wife. These dates don't seem to tie in with the grave inscription 07/07/07 on Patricia Lim's data base which gives Jaqueline Harriet Kew's age at her death in 1948 as 16. I don't have my copy of "In the Web" to hand, so can't double check if there is another Jaqueline Harriet. Fred and Jaqueline are buried in the same grave.



I have been doing research on my great grandfather, Frederick Howard Kew. I believe that this post is about him. The above posts referencing Jaqueline is my great aunt. Jaqueline was Frederick's daughter, who died of a goiter when she was 16. If anyone else has any information about him, I would love to know. Thank you!

I’ve come across the name of Dr F.H. Kew in correspondence between the Governor and the Director of Public Works in connection with a 1913 application by a partnership of architects that included my grandfather C.E. Warren, to buy some Crown land that had previously been sold to F.H. Kew in about 1911, but that he hadn’t developed. He is mentioned as a well-known speculator. Am I right in thinking that he was a dentist by profession? Mrs F.H. Kew is listed in the Ladies Directory as living at 43 Caine Road in 1905, while my grandmother, Mrs C.E. Warren, is listed as living at 33 Caine Road. Your great-grandfather and my grandfather were both in their early thirties at the time, so I imagine the two families knew each other fairly well. The Kew family obviously goes back a long way in Hong Kong. I've also come across an 1894 reference to "the estate of Ng Kew", but that name isn't given as such in Peter Hall's Kew pedigree. Would Ng be an uncle of Frederick Howard?



He died on 15 Sept. 1952 and  was buried in the HK Cemetery,  You can find it in Hong Kong Memory Homepage.

There is another George Whiteley Kew who was dead on 27 Dec 1942 and age 80, beside his grave.Are they related?

There was a Thomas Kew on the list of former wartime BAAG members.  The list was drafted circa 1951.  He served as a Clerk of the RE Store; was SQMS HK Volunteers, India during the War; and Clerk of RAF Store post-war.  The name is unusual, hence I thought there might be some connections to this Kew family. 

Hi there, I found your post and was excited to see that you are a direct relation to Fred Kew.  My husband is his great-great nephew as his grandmother was Fred's niece, Marian Honoria Kew (or Nora as they called her and her father being Charles Herbert Whiteley Kew).  You probably already know this but Fred was a dentist who graduated from University of Pennsylvania Dentistry School and partnered with his brothers Chad and Irwin Kew (who both graduated from Harvard School of Dentistry I believe) to form Kew Bros. Dentistry.  The Kews were a very prominent family in Hong Kong, as you have probably discovered, and arrived in Hong Kong from Austrailia when their father, William Ah Kew, brought his wife Sarah Whiteley and their 8 children sometime after 1880.  William worked as a Chinese interpreter in Austrailia during the gold rush and married Sarah Whiteley, who was brought to Austrailia from England for the gold rush by her father George Whiteley of Whiteley Hatters in Yorkshire.  William and Sarah married in 1860 and had 10 children.  

I have found some information circling about Fred's wives, one being Mildred and the other Sun Wo Min but would love for you to confirm this and fill in any blanks you have about his children and any other Kew relatives.  From what I discovered Fred was a very colourful and active man in Hong Kong's social circles and I have a number of newspaper articles about him I could share with you.

Looking forward to hearing from you.



If you go to and search for 

dental register

you can see the dentists registered in Hong Kong pre-WW2. The last copy is for 1940 and lists one member of the Kew family:

Kew, Frederick Howard 6 & 7, Alexandra Buildings Doctor of the Dental Surgery of the University of Pennsylvania, 1903

Regards, David

On April  22 1943 George Kennedy-Skipton made brief notes on some people he'd seen in occupied Hong Kong before his escape. He noted that Fred Kew was 'well' in health and that he was doing reasonably good business buying and selling things. He sometimes sent food into the internees in Stanley.

These two people were brothers .Their mothers maiden name was Whiteley and she was born in the UK but lived in Australia up to the time of her marriage . My mother Nancy is her great niece and the last member of that generation of the Australian Whiteley clan .


Hi Karin ,

I discovered your post at this site this evening whilst visiting Hong Kong for the first time as I reflected on my knowledge of the Ah Kew/ Whiteley clan . My mother , now 83 , is the great niece of Sarah ah Kew ( nee Whiteley) and the last remaining Whiteley of her generation . Sarahs brother Chadwick was mums grandfather .

The Ah Kews are an interesting and colorful family , as i have discovered , and are located across the world . More importantly William ah Kew returned to Australia after his wife died  and is himself buried in Beechworth cemetery in Victoria. I would be interested in find out what he did for a living after moving to Hong Kong as he seems to have been able to provide very well for his family .





I've always assumed that William Henry Whiteley and his wife Ellen, godmother to my Warren cousins, and who lived at 16 Broadwood Road from the 1920s up to the war, were nothing to do with the Whiteley Kews. Am I right in thinking that, as far as you know?


I am a descendent of Walter Irvin, who is Frederick Howard's youngest brother from the William Ah Kew and Sarah Honora Whiteley Kew clan. Known as Irvin Whiteley Kew, he was my Great Grandfather. He was also a dentist who studied at Harvard and was the other Kew in Kew Brothers with Frederick Howard. Another brother Chadwick Thomas also went to Harvard. I have hear a story that the Whiteley Kew's ran the concessions at a natural water swimming pool and amusement park called "The Ritz" where is now Tsat Tze Mui. Do pictures exists?

I am researching the Kew or Ah Kew Family with the Whiteley connection. Henry Kew was born around 1905 Hong Kong. He married a woman who was born 1906 in Melbourne. Her name was Grace Chum Oi Tye. The marriage would have taken place abt 1930, as two males were born in Hong Kong. Both are still alive. I am certain of the Whiteley connection as one of the boys carried the name Whiteley. I have a problem. I cannot connect Henry to his parents. This is what I know

1 Born abt 1930 Hong Kong

2 Sent Grace and two sons to Melbourne abt 1941

3 Interred about 1941 Hong Kong Camp

4 Some stage remarried an English lady ( I dont know if there was a divorce)

5  Returned to Melbourne with new wife to live in a plush home in Camberwell.  abt 1970

6 Left Australia and presumably died in England, but not sure

One of his Henry's sons looks remakably like Chadwick Kew, but I cant see how Chadwick could be the father of Henry.the dates dont match.  Henry I was told was very well off. I am guessing he may have been an a professional man. Both his living sons have degrees in Engineering and Chemistry, plus most of his Grandchildren. Neither of his sons were in his will...

In 1999 his 1st wife Grace died. She named her spouse as Henry Kew ( deceased)

I am hoping that you can help me    Val


Do you have Peter Hall's book "In the Web" (2012) - ISBN 978 1 906205 83 6? It gives the Kew/Whiteley Pedigree for three generations from William Ah Kew and Sarah Honoraria Whiteley downwards. Peter gives Henry Kew as born in 1906 and with two different unions, one to Grace (no surname) and the second to Ellen Roskilly. Henry's mother was Helena Madar (1887-1955) but his father isn't given. His grandfather was Charles Herbert Whiteley Kew. Chadwick Thomas Kew (b. 1871) was an uncle of Henry's. Chadwick called two of his sons Chadwick. Perhaps one died. Maybe David could put you in touch with Peter Hall in case he has found out more information since he published his book. You many know that Arthur James Kew was his godfather.


Hi  Val,

I am decendant to Sarah Whiteleys brother Chadwick from Australia and am currently visiting Hong Kong.  Some of your queries I can answer . The Henry that you refer to would have to have been a grandchild of William/Sarah and probably the son of either George or Charles as I have no knowledge of their families .Chadwick Kew left Hong Kong to live in England where his descendants remain The descendants of Irving Kew are located in Hong Kong and Canada . Henry would have been Chadwicks nephew

As you suggest the children of William and Sarah Ah Kew seem to have been very well educated and successful professionals and businessmen including engineers , dentists , stockbrokers and merchants. Are you suggesting that Grace and her sons remained in Australia ?  This is interesting as a cousin of mine believed some of the Kew family had returned to Australia at some time as she remembered being taken to Collins Street in Melbourne with her grandmother to play majong with 'family' but didnt understand the connection . Are the sons of Henry still living in Melbourne ?  If so I imagine that they are quite elderly now 

The story of this family would make an interesting book ! .

Good luck with your continued search



Hi Jill

Helen Madar was in fact the third wife of Charles Herbert Whiteley Kew, Ma Ling being the first and Kathleen being the second.  Henry was the child of Charles and Helen although there is rumour in the family that Charles had a concubine and may have had children as a result.  My husband is the great grandson of Charles and Helen as Helen was his mother's grandmother and Henry was his grandmother's brother. I have researched this lineage as much as I can but still have gaps to fill in.  I would love if you could share any info you have.


Charles Herbert Whiteley Ah Kew is the father and Helen Madar ( Indo Chinese) the mother. Grace Chum Oi Tye was born in Melbourne to Samuel Tye and Emily May Andress in 1906. For reasons unknown she went to Hong Kong and married Henry Kew. Two sons were born Robert and Derek, both in their 80's. When the war broke out Henry sent his wife and sons back to Melbourne around 1940. Both sons had by accounts very "English" accents. Henry, and this is my guess may have been a volunteer of the local Hong Kong Force. I know he was interred in a camp. After that I dont know what exactly happened, only that as far as I know Henry remained in Hong Kong and Grace was left to rear her two sons. Around 1970 Henry returned to Melbourne with second wife Ellen Roskilly and set up in the fashionable town of Camberwell. Robert and Derek went to visit with their children. I have been told that Henry and his wife decamped to England where he died, but that is not confirmed. Henry left nothing in his will to his sons. Consequently there would have been bad feelings, but that is only my guess. I am not related to this family, but I am doing research for a member of the Kew family.

Hello Karin,

Well, you've already added two wives to Peter Hall's family chart and you've got quite a research team in the form of Lyn, Val and Pokee, to say nothing of your many Kew cousins whose parents may well have interesting information. I apologise for misinterpreting Peter's chart, in that CHW Kew is indeed the father of Henry Kew. The blank space must refer to his first wife, Ma Ling. Who was CHW Kew's father?

I'm hoping that someone will be able to tell me whether Ng Kew is the same person as William Ah Kew. No 2 Ladder Street Terrace is given as belonging to the estate of Ng Kew in 1894. My great-grandfather, John Olson owned no. 1. If William had invested in Hong Kong property, it would figure that he was able to provide for his family in Australia. It is also interesting that Joseph Whiteley Kew (William's son?) took over the Stag Hotel from my great grandfather in about 1895. I also noticed that the Kews were the first to commission a gravestone from my grandfather, Charles Warren, for Kathleen Kew in 1905. It is the earliest of the gravestones with his company's imprint, CEW & Co. in the Protestant Cemetery in Happy Valley. That made me think that our two families might be friends. The Olsons, Warrens and Kews all lived near each other in Caine Road in 1905-6. I imagine that FH Kew was dentist to all my family, probably using a pedal drill!

In a 1911 document concerning the purchase of Crown Land, FH Kew is mentioned by the Public Works Director rather peevishly as "a notorious speculator", so he probably made some money in land deals. The excellent Sir Paul Chater is similarly accused of having been allowed to buy land too cheaply.  

It seems that FH Kew and my grandfather briefly raced their horses against each other at Happy Valley in the early 1920s, but my grandfather died in 1923, nearly 30 years before FH.

I expect you know the Straits Times article that I mentioned in an earlier post about CHW Kew and family being attacked by pirates in 1926 while on an all night fishing party. It would be interesting to read any other articles about the Kews that you or Lyn may have. I also wonder if anyone has any photos of them in early days.

I'm sure that our two families would have known each other quite well for at least two generations. I shall certainly keep their name in mind in the course of my own research.

Best wishes,


Hi Jill/Val

You are right we are developing a deep well of resources between us all!!  The Kews seem to have been a very interesting EuroAsian family in Hong Kong during this period and I think we are all correct in our understanding that Fred was the most colouful of the bunch.  I have not been able to find out much of what William did once they family returned to Hong Kong but there is a rumour that he left Sarah shorlty thereafter and took a Chinese wife.  William's sons, in order, are; Joseph (1861-1929), George (1863-1942), Charles H. (1867-1934), Robert Akid (1869-1896), Chadwick (1871-1951), Fred H. (1874-1952) and Irwin (1880-1939).  They also had a daughter Marian Harriet, have not been able to find much about her yet,and a set of twins, Alfred and Ida, that died in infancy.  Charles became a very affluent businessman partnering with Rudolff Wolfe and Co. processing scrap metal.  Their company traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange until 1952 and Rudolff Wolfe continues as a very large global company to this day.

I do know that article of Charles et al being robbed at sea by pirates as well as a few others involving Fred and an assault by a chinese employee.  Very interesting indeed!!  I believe I also have pictures of Chad and Fred as part of the local football club.

I can't seem to find much info on Helena Madar either and would love to know anything further you may have as I see you identified her as IndoChinese but my mother-inlaw always referred to her as Persian.  I know there was a Madar family in Hong Kong to which the papers noted them as 'Mohammedian' which I think, back then, was the term for Muslim.





Hi Karin,

Thanks for the confirmation that CHW was one of William's sons. Peter Hall's layout of the Kew tree puts him out on a limb without a connection to William, which is why I was confused. Can anyone confirm if Ng Kew and William Ah Kew are one and the same? People seem to switch between their Chinese and English names without any consideration for the difficulties this poses for their descendants' efforts to trace them!

A bit more on Joseph Whiteley Kew, (1861-1929), William's eldest son: I wrote off the top of my head that he had taken over the Stag Hotel, 148 & 150 Queens Road Central, from my great-grandfather, John Olson. I see now that Olson applied to transfer the Stag's licence to  William Walters in 1892 and that JW Kew applied to transfer the licence to AB De*** (illegible - maybe Demee) on 20 February 1895. So there was probably an interregnum by Walters.

Clearly a man of many parts, like Fred, Joseph's CV goes: 21 June 1880 - apprentice engineer of Cosmopolitan Docks; 1884 finds him in Shanghai working for the China Merchants Steam Engine Company as 4th engineer on the Too-nan. 1888-89 he is the proprietor of Water Boats, Praya Central; around 1893 he adds the Stag Hotel to his portfolio; 1900 he is manager of Schmidt & Co. Beaconsfield Arcade; 1901-2 Manager of Hong Kong Steam Water Boat Co. Ltd., 20 Des Voeux Road; 1 July 1903 finds him in South Australia marrying Ruby Evelyn Holt. [Thanks to Carl Smith for this information]. Their descendants aren't given by Peter Hall, but it looks as if you may have another whole branch of Kew cousins in Australia via Joseph.

The Kew story is undoubtedly a rich one!





1) Carl Smith gives two spellings for the name of the gentleman who was proprietor of the Stag Hotel between John Olson and J W Kew: Walters and Waters. It's clear from annelisec's post at that this is Billy Waters, ex-champion Montana boxer, mentioned in Stéphane Corcuff's "Memories of the Future" (2002) - not a bad qualification for the proprietor of a tavern in the 1890s.

2) I wrongly thought that J W Kew might have settled in Australia after his wedding in 1903. Joseph [Joe] Whiteley Kew's grave is in Happy Valley, Hong Kong. His dates are recorded on Patricia Lim's data base of gravestone inscriptions as 1861-1929.  Going through some issues of the SCMP of 1920, I also noticed that the paper carries a daily advertisement for '"Gardner". Contractors to 18 governments,' for which J.W. Kew & Co., Consulting Engineers and Marine Surveyors, declare themselves to be the sole agents.


From the Argus

1 August 1903

KEW—HOLT. –On the 1st July, at St. Luke's Church of England, South Melbourne, Joseph Whitely Kew, of Hong Kong, to Ruby Evelyn, youngest daughter of the late Isaac Holt, of Murtoa.

Fred Kew was my grandfather and I was named after him . I don't know a lot about him but he came to the United States to see me when I was a young child. 

 I was told a story about a shortwave radio he had  during the war . He kept it in a chair  and when the Japanese came to inspect his home he would offer the chair to the ranking officer so the soldiers would not disturb it during the search .

 My father was George Akid Kew and he joined the US army during the war . He became a US citizen and lived in Albuquerque New Mexico where he was a photographer . We moved to Tucson Arizona in 1960 and my father ran a camera shop for several years . He later worked as a photographer  at the University Of Arizona  until he retired .

I have a brother Ernest Chadwick and two sisters Georgia Ann and Deborah Lou .

I hope that helps .

Fred Kew II

Frederick Howard Ah Kew
BIRTH 11 OCT 1874 • Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
DEATH 15 SEP 1952 • Hong Kong, China
William Ah Kew
BIRTH 29 OCT 1836 • Toishan, Taishan, Guangdong, China
DEATH 1921 • Beechworth, Victoria
Sarah Honoria Whiteley
BIRTH 2 MAY 1841 • Halifax, Yorkshire, England
DEATH 5 JUL 1906 • 43 Caine Road,Torthan, Hong Kong

Both are still alive. Derek is quite frail and is in a hospice. Both were educated at Melbourne Uni and both were Chemists. Robert was a lecturer at Swinburne ( I think) and Derek stayed involved in the science all his life. Robert has 4 sons and Derek 2 daughters. I have not met Derek, but I know Robert and his wife Barbara very well. Robert is 85 and Derek 87.. I think. Dod you have any more on the family. I would love to know where Henry kew died and is buried and also his 2nd wife Roskilly

Cheers Val

I have met Uncle Fred when I was a small boy in H.K. a number of times at a runner's office of Pott's, Pearce.

I could be related to The Kews as my last name is Madar.

I do have a pretty  good family tree of The Madars both of Hongkong and Shanghai.

I have heard of the name Helen Madar but trying to find it in The Madars family.
Will try and check on it again.

I used to work with a Jeffrey Kew in The New Territories Administration in the Hong Kong Govt.

I believed we are also related to The Abbas and The Tipe .


Helena Madar
DEATH 7 DECEMBER 1965 • Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Mother of Henry Whiteley Kew
Charles Herbert Whiteley Ah Kew
BIRTH 2 AUG 1867 • Maryborough, Victoria,
DEATH 29 SEP 1932 • Hong Kong, China

Decades ago my Mom would take the tree of us to visit a certain grave in the HK cemtery during Ching Ming festival. It was the grave of one Fred & Jacqualine Kew. Fred was Mom's father but never grandfather to us. We already had a step-grandfather. We just assumed that FK had divorced grandma and she got remarried. Well, they were never married.

Mom was tugged away in a Catholic school, theDGS, on Kowloon side where she grew up. Every weekend, a Rolls Royce would come to pick her and FK would spend some time with her until it's time to put her out of sight again. My dad met FK just before he married Mom. According to dad, FK was not a friendly guy(who wants his dirty laundry to come out in colonial HK where he was a member of the elite). FK also distanced himself from any Chinese heritage so he could be more acceptable to the Brits. He died of cancer in 52 before we were born. Mom was at his side during the final days.

Now I realize why Mom called me Fred(nickname). Mom has one surviving cousin; a cetain Derek Kew who still resides in HK. Recently, my wife signed me up for a DNA test through ancestry. What do you know? I'm 19 percent English! And all the time I thought I was 100 percent Chinese. By the way, both Mom and Dad had their teeth fixed by FK -  no charge. What a guy! What a colorful, strange guy!

Hello Karin

Read your post...please contact me at wendymoyer19@yahoo

In Canada

Working with a gentleman that is related to George Whiteley

Thanks and have a great day!

I've been collating the owners of the first houses in Broadwood Road in 1916 after it was formally named.  Dr F.H. Kew is given as the owner of no. 6 Broadwood Road (I.L. 1946)  in the Rate Book of 1916-17. Peculiarly, no. 6 is entered on a separate page to the other houses in Broadwood Road where nos. 4, 5 and upwards are recorded but 6 and 7 are not. Rate Book entries had a pattern not always easy to follow. Dr Kew's house had a high valuation by comparison to most of the others on the page.

Broadwood Rd. no. 6 in 1916-17.JPG
Broadwood Rd. no. 6 in 1916-17.JPG, by Jill

Thomas Kew was my grandfather and lived with my parents and myself in Hong Kong when he died in 1952. We were living at Braemar Terrace near Taikoo Dockyard at the time . Thomas and his wife had 4 sons and a daughter.

lyn, interesting kew family, just found that Irene To, wife of harold Kew(or henry/harry kew), son of Walter Kew, grandson of William Ah Kew, was related to a prominent To family and her mother was relative of  Liao Chung-Kai

Hi Patrick , 

Are you a member of the Kew clan? My mum is a cousin of Harry Kew . Thats  certainly interesting information about Irene . Where did you find that ? 



I saw Mr.Wen's tree in ancestry(Alfred Wen Family Tree)…

in his tree, Harry kew married Irene To, and Harry's mom was Mary Leung,though not showing his father's name.

I also saw Irene To's obituary in Lea-Whyte Family Tree. The obituary information fits for the Wen's tree. So I know that Irene must be the daughter of To Ying-Kwan. possibly, her mother was sister of Liao Chung-Kai, accoring her mother 's obituary in SCMP

I don't belong to your clan, just interested in Kew family 


As far as I know. My DNA matched me with a bunch of kews in the US and Australia. My mum is no doubt Fred Lee's daughter - in the dark. It's difficult for her to talk about it. She still call the kews "those people." Grandma worked for Fred. Back in those early colonial days, they owned her. What rights did she have?

Hi Karin,

I am writing a passage about Kew Brothers' contribution on the development of local football in early days. I know that Chad and Fred Kew were both football players for HKFC in early 1900s. I have heard that you have some pictures about them. May I have a chance to take a look? My email is: Thanks.

Raymond Ng

Chairperson of Hong Kong Football History Society