Fernside - Mt. Kellett RBL 48 [????- ]

Submitted by annelisec on Fri, 01/31/2014 - 15:05
Current condition

Later incorporated into Matilda hospital.

Residents were James Dyer Ball, and his wife Gertrude Smith, her brother Thomas Sercombe Smith, and Ball's mother Isabella Robertson Ball.

(Hong Kong Directory 1889, 1890 1891, 1895, 1896, 1899)

All knew each other from missionary days in Canton. James Dyer Ball, his father (Rev. Dyer Ball) and his son Arthur Dyer Ball were all fluent Chinese speakers, in several dialects, and very knowledgable on Chinese culture.

Link to family relationships here: James Dyer Ball on Geni.com

Photos that show this Place



Two days before arriving in Hong Kong on an unrelated visit I discovered that James Dyer Ball was my Great-Grandfather.  Now your website has shown me where he lived!

Do any of you know where he might have worked as a translator and clerk, and whether any of these buildings still exist please?  My Grandfather was Norman Dyer Ball (Born 1895) - could I find out where he went to school in Hong Kong?  He died in 1936 nearly twenty years before I was born and we have little information in the family about his early life.

very grateful for any help or suggestions please

Dave Ball

There are several card in the Carl Smith archives at the Public Records Office on James Dyer Ball.  If you are still in Hong Kong, I'd be happy to take you there on a field trip - if you buy me lunch :)

Online I found:

Gertrude Jane SMITH, b. ca. 1864 at Canton, m. reg. Q1 1885 at St. Albans R.D., James Dyer BALL (I.S.O., b. 1847, d. 1919, a linguist who studied Cantonese). In 1871, living with her father. In 1881, a pupil governess at the Ladies School, 19 Church Street, Stourbridge, Worcestershire. (In 1891, perhaps in Hong Kong?) In 1901, living in her mother's household with her children Lucy, Arthur, and Norman. In 1921, of 55 Lewisham Hill, London S.E. In 1927 and 1931, of 10 Lownds Avenue, Bromley, Kent. In 1936, of Bromley [ref. 1n,3d,3e,3g,6c19,6c26,6c28,6c29]


We had a fine time.

We stood on the pedestrian overpass on Queens road at Landmark. Facing one way we compared  photos of the original HK Club opposite the Supreme Court where Ball worked, Turning other way we saw the entrance to Zetland street and looked at photos of the Masonic hall that stood there when Ball was head deacon. Then glanced further down to see Government Offices where I’m guessing Ball also had an office. 

Then off to the Airport Express and the #1 minibus to the Peak dropping us right at Matilda Hospital just where Fernside once stood, and again compared photos. Off to the lookout at the back of Matilda. Really, not much has changed up there with regard to the view. 

Walked down the road to encounter a big, placid wild boar. Stood amused a bit and then crossed over to get out of the way. Walked down to the peak tram wondering if they had their own personal sedan chairs, down the peak tram ending at the old Government offices with the pictured I view. 

Good fun.