Charles William OLSON [1888-1966] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Charles William OLSON [1888-1966]

Charles William
c.1888-02-18 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (country): 
c.1966-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

From Sean's website we know that John Olson I had a son Charles William Olson, born in 1888.

Here's what we know about his working history:

  • 1904: Working at C. E. Warren and Co.
  • 1906: Listed as an Assistant at the International Banking Corporation based at 9 Queen’s Road, Central. (Research Brian Lewis)
  • 1907: Working for Thoreson and Co., based on this postcard:
  • 1917: Also in the 1917 Dollar Directory, Charles Olson pops up as working for Thoreson and Co, Shipping Agents and living at 98b Wanchai Road. (Research Brian Lewis)
  • 1922: It is also noted in the China Directory that C.W.Olson is now joint manager of Thoresen and Co.
  • 1922: The 1922 Dollar Directory shows "Olson, C.W., manager, Thoresen & Co., Ltd"
  • 1923: The China Directory of August, 1923 lists him as a director of Thoresen and Co.


Came across my great uncle Charlie in the 1927 Juror's list if memory serves me rightly.

Left HK about then. Think his debtors caught up with him. 

He certainly made off with, or used, a considerable sum from John 2's business interests in HK. He was supposed to be looking after them but figures of 96/97K which went walkabout have been bandied around the family. Wine, women, song and Macau seem to hve played their part.  John 2 made a rushed visit to HK to sort things out in 1926. Have postcards showing he went the quick way. 

Have been told by another relation, now dead, that Charlie owed money all over the Colony. His marriage to Ethel broke up but I am not sure whether before or after he left HK. Lived for some time at 13 Broadwood Road not far from The Towers.

Went from HK to Canada where he died at Naniamo on Vancouver Island in 1966. Think he spent many years chasing money and women in no pariticular order. Judging by the Will there were no offspring. At least none that he claimed!

Left me 2K sterling in his Will which I thought rather decent. You can read about him and his wife Ethel in HK at of which there is  new version on web.

He was definitely the playboy/blacksheep of the family. Suspect being the youngest of John 1's children with Ching Ah Fung he only ever saw the good times and took them to be his right.



Born Hong Kong February 18, 1888

Died Naniamo, Vancouver Island, Canada, 1966.

Thanks Sean, I've added in those dates. He had a long life - pity we know so little about it.

Regards, David

Canada Ocean Arrivals April 1922

Charles William Olson age 34 merchant born Hong Kong. Race Swedish.Citizenshp Britsh.In transit to Hong Kong Accompanied by Ethel Olson wife

Nearest relative Brother J Olson 20 Nelson Road Southsea