John Cecil CONDER (aka Jack) [1907-1976]
Notes from contributor 1314:
John Cecil CONDER aka Jack Conder, born Plaistow,Essex in 1907,served with HM Forces in Shanghai and then 1928 - 1931 as member of the Shanghai Municipal Police.
See also www.chingchic.com/masonry-1969.html which has a photo - Google has a chinese article which alludes to him being an employee of Butterfield's in China in 1944.
The HKPL have an RTHK interview with him, recorded in 1968. The most remarkable part is where he says he escaped from Japanese internment camp to get away from his wife! Some highlights from the interview:
- Born the 13th child of 13!
- 1925 - Joined army, RAMC
- 1927, 28th Jan - Embarked on ship from UK to HK. Stayed in the Peninsula Hotel for a few days, then boarded another ship to Shanghai. ((Between completion of the structure of the Peninsula Hotel, and its final fitting out and opening as a hotel, it was temporarily used to accomodate British troops.)) British army was protecting the International Settlement in Shanghai. Aged 19.
- 1928, Oct 1st. Finished Army service, joined Shanghai Police.
- c. 1931 After three years, left police and joined Shanghai Gas Company. Stayed with them for over 8 years.
- 1939 Left Shanghai and went to Australia, but didn't stay. Returned to Asia, joined Butterfield & Swires and back to Shanghai.
- c.1943 Interned with his wife, son & daughter. He stayed in camp for 6 months and 10 days then escaped. Said the reason he escaped was because he was experiencing "domestic friction", but the Japanese refused to allow him to move to another camp.
- Met nationalist guerillas and stayed with them for several months.
- 1944, April. Arrived in Kweilin and met the BAAG. Became a Captain with the BAAG.
- c.1946 After WW2, first job was as manager of Red Lion pub in Kowloon where he learned to run a pub.
- 1957. Went home to UK for first time in 30 years. Saw mother, brothers & sisters. Visited Carlsberg Brewery in Denmark and Guinness Brewery in Dublin.
- ???? Opened a bar in Queen's Road Central.
- ???? Had to get out of old establishment. Bought the new place in Kowloon, and it came with extra land. So set up a bowling alley there.