Hong Kong, French Connections

Submitted by fdremeaux on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 15:27


Numerous French citizens, many anonymous, some famous, have explored every corner of Hong Kong, leaving on it their mark and their memories. Diplomats’ reports, missionaries’ chronicles, businessmen’s stories and artists’ works, so many captivating memories gathered together for the first time.

By means of modest moments from people’s lives, precious accounts previously unpublished, “Hong Kong, French connections” paints an impressionist picture of a city always on the move.

Through the original prism of the French community, the stories in these pages take us back in time on a journey of discovery to lay before us a fascinating city

Edited and written by François Drémeaux, this book also received the contributions of many authors, specialists and amateurs of the history of Hong Kong.

Book type
Dates of events covered by this document


Bonjour Francois My grandpere Maurice Caudron arrived in HK from France in the late 1920s-early 1930s. He set up an import /export business with exotic goods between France and HK which traded until his death in 1973. His business was M K Caudron & Co (aka Franco Eastern Trading). He lived both in HK and France travelling annually between the two countries. I am wondering if he is mentioned in your book. He was registered with the French Embassy and was well known in the French community. Regards Suziepie

I'd be interested to hear more about this group.

Harry Ching's diary for Feb 1942 mentions appx 70 French nationals remained:

Officially estimated that by 1st February 450,000 Chinese had left. In first week of February a ship took to Macau first contingent of Hongkong residents. These mostly local Portuguese numbered 947, and a second contingent of about 400 followed next day. The ship made a trip later to former French port, Kwong Chow Wan. All French nationals advised go there. Those remaining in Hongkong estimated 70, including priests and nuns. One by one friends slipping out, mostly for Kweilin via Macau and Kwong Chow Wan. Each departure leaves us lonelier. 

Brian mentions one of these 70, Louis Osmond Ferdinand REYNAUD briefly at http://gwulo.com/node/18146. He gives more detail about Reynaud and the Free French in Hong Kong at http://brianedgar.wordpress.com/2012/06/01/louis-reynaud/.

Regards, David

Dear Suzie,

I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you regarding your grand-father! I am currently writing a PhD about French presences in Hong Kong during the interwar period, and I am precisely looking for some archives and informations about French merchants and traders at that time.

Please, feel free to contact me: francois.dremeaux@free.fr or 852-66072607



Thank you David, the website you mentionned took the informations from an article I wrote in French. His sources are reliable! And thank you Brian for translating it in English!

In fact, it is very difficult to find more about Louis Reynaud. His position was tricky: against his own government but still in function because it was impossible to destitute him on a British territory. He felt in disgrace regarding the Vichy government and died before having been officially recognized by the Free French Forces.

Very recently, I finally found his "tomb"!
He died in 1943, but his corpse has been registred in the Happy Valley cemetery only in 1975... A picture is enclosed.



Memorial Plaque for Louis Reynaud