William Charles JACK [1857-1919] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

William Charles JACK [1857-1919]

William Charles
c.1857-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 

His obituary appeared on page 5 of the Hong Kong Daily Press, 1919-05-23:



It is with regret that we have to record the death, which occurred at his residence in Kowloon on Wednesday evening, of Mr. William Charles Jack, M.I.N.A., head of the well-known engineering firm of W. C. Jack & Co., Ltd. It was not known to many that Mr. Jack had been ill and consequently the news of his death came as a great shock. He contracted jaundice a few months ago, resulting in internal troubles. At the end haemorrhage set in and during the last few hours on Wednesday evening he was unconscious.    

Born at Portsoy, Scotland, in 1837 [actually born in 1857 - see comments below], Mr. Jack served his apprenticeship as a Marine Engineer at George Clark's Southwick Engine Works, Sunderland, Subsequently going to sea as an Engineer for a short period. In 1887, he was appointed Engineer in Chief of the "Service Subventionne des Correspondances Fluviale," Tonkin, remaining in that post for eleven years. During his tenure of office he superintended the building of a fleet of river  steamers, including the Yunan, the first steam vessel to navigate the Red River successfully and reach the Chinese frontier through Tonkin. For this he received the decoration of the Officer of the Ordeer of the Imperial Dragon of Annam from the French Government. In 1898, he came to Hongkong and joined the Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Company as Superintendent Engineer, and, as their representative, contracted with Admiral Dewey for the salvage of sunken Spanish war vessels in Manila Bay, three of which were successfully floated and refitted for the U.S. Navy. Between 1901-03, Mr. Jack was Assistant Manager of the Docks, conducting several salvage operations. In 1905 he contracted, in conjunction with Sir Paul Chater, for the salvage of the French cruiser Sully, stranded in Tonkin Bay. Just as the work seemed to have been completed, however, a big typhoon destroyed the vessel. About 18 years ago, Mr. Jack left the Dock Company and started business with Mr. Wilks as Consulting Engineers. When Mr. Wilks left Hongkong the business was carried on under the name of W. C. Jack & Co., Mr. Jack being its head and remaining so until the time of his death.

The deceased took an active interest in the Shipbuilding and Engineering Institute of which he was President in 1904, and read several most interesting and instructive papers before the members, including one on the relative cost of shipbuilding locally and at Home. He always endeavoured to stimulate interest in the scientific side of the Institute’s activities and towards this end offered gold medals for the best papers. He was also a member of the General Committee of St. Andrew’s Society and was an ardent and enthusiastic worker on behalf of War Charities. At the outbreak of war, he joined "D" Co. of the. Hongkong Defence Corps. His genial presence will be missed in several of the lodges of Freemasons in the Colony, especially the Eastern Scotia Lodge of which he was one of the founders and in which he held the office of substitute master.

The late Mr. Jack leaves a widow and family to mourn their loss and to them we extend our sincere sympathy. Two of his sons are serving in Salonika. One of his daughters yas [sic.] recently married at Shanghai, and another at Portland, Oregon.


The funeral took, place, yesterday evening, at Happy Valley, the Rev. V. H. Copley Moyle conducting the service. There was a large attendance, including Dr. G. P. Jordan, District Grand Master of Scottish Freemasonry, and a number of Freemasons.

Among others present were: Messrs. R. M. Dyer, J. Reid, K. Greig, A. H. Lowe, P. Kremer, G. M. Shaw, A. Ritchie, J. W. Graham, R. Packham, B. L. Frost, J. Macdonald, P. T. Farrell, T, J. Tully, G. J. Harman, S. Baker, J. H. Underwood, H. Bridger, T. Oliphant, A. 8tevenson, R. V. Cameron, J. Taylor, D. Templeton, A. Henderson, R. Henderson, J. Gardiner, A. Davidson, C. W. Brown, D. Muir, S. Musso, J. Parsons, A. Dubois, Jeannou, P. W. Ramsay, T. Petrie, D. W. Ramsay, Forsyth, A D. Macdonald, J. Dalziel, E. M. French, J. Hyde, G. Jack, Keith, Neave, N. L. Railton, J. Hanson, McIvor, Mandin, G. W. Gegg, A. Stalker, Capt. T. Innes, Capt. French, Capt. R. Hall, Capt. T. Mitchell, and Lieut. Johnstone.

Amongst the wreaths sent were those from the following:- Wife and children, office of W. C. Jack & Co., Workshop of W.C. Jack & Co., Kowloon Cricket Club, Hongkong Electric Co., Hughes & Hough, Carmichael & Clarke; Past Presidents, Institution of Engineers & Shipbuilders Committee, Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders, the Hongkong Tramway Co; the Kowloon Dock staff, Brossard, Mopin & Co.; Messrs. Lowe, Bingham & Matthews; United Asbestos Oriental Agency; Chairman and Directors of the Hongkong and Whampoa Dock Co. ; Wm. Powell & C0.; Naval and Military Lodge 848, S.C.; East Scotia Lodge 923, S.C.; Grand Lodge of Scottish Freemasonry ; Hongkong and S.C. Districts; St. John's Lodge 618, S.C.; St. Andrew’s Society; Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Bridger, Mr. and Mrs. A. MacKenzie, Mr. and Mrs. S. Baker, Mr. and Mrs. J. Thorburn, Mr. and Mrs. N. L. H. Railton, Mr. and Mrs. J. Hyde and family, Mr. and Mrs. D. Harvey, Mr. and. Mrs. C. W. Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. D. Gow, Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Green, Mr. and Mrs. S. Bessey, Mr. and Mrs. D. Purves, Mr. and Mrs. Holt, Mr. and Mrs. W. O. Lambert, Capt. and Mrs. F. Wheeler, Mr. and Mrs. J. , Macdonald, Mr. and Mrs. A. A. H. Milroy, Capt. and Mrs. Ritchie, Mr. and Mrs. T. Petrie, Mr. and Mrs. V. . McC. Liddell, Mr. and Mrs. R. Packham, and Miss Packham, Mr. and Mrs. Witchell, Mr. and Mrs. J. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. M. Bannerman, Mr. and Mrs. T. Neave, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Clark, Mr. and Mrs. J. Oram Sheppard, Mr. and Mrs. G. H. May, Mr. and Mrs. F. G. Herridge, Mr. and Mrs. Piltrie, Mr. and Mrs. P. E. Rosser, Mr. and Mrs. D. A. Goodwin; Mr. and Mrs. G. P. Lammert, Mr. and Mrs.. B. L. Frost and family, Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Heron, Lieut. and Mrs. Johnstone and family, Mr. and Mrs. R. E. Gunn, Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Stapleton, Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Scott; Mr. and Mrs. E. Walker, Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Elson, Mr. and Mrs. Innes, Mr. and Mrs. S. E. Green, Mr. and Mrs. J. Reid, Mr. and Mrs. Davison, Mr. and Mrs. A. Stevenson, Capt. and Mrs. T. A. Mitchell, Mr. and Mrs. Templeton, Mr. and Mrs. S. T. Williamson, Mr. and Mrs. R. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. J. Lambert, Madame M. Flint and Mr Manden, Mimi and Lely; Mrs. E.O.Murphy and Miss Kirkwood, Miss Clark, Mlle. Rogues, Miss C. Medina, Miss Russell, Mrs. A. Gellanars, Capt. A. Jenkyns, Mr. A. O. Brawn, Mr. F. A. Chopard, Mr. R. E. Greig, Mr. P.Kremer, Mr. R. M. Dyer, Capt. and Mrs. Liddell, Mr, H. W. B. Kennett, Mr. J. O. Hughes, Mr. A. G. Gordon, Capt. Skilton, Mr. H. F. Campbell, Mr. A. Ritchie and Mrs. G. R. Edwards, Mr. J. H. Gardiner; Mr. J. H. Lawrence, Mr. T. Ramsay, Mr. J. W. Graham, Mr. S. Goldschmidt, Mr. J. H. Wallace, Mr. J . W. Paton, Mr. E. T. H. Bunje, Mr. G. M. Shaw, Mr. W. Nicholson, Mr. A.  M. Black, Mr. J. Tully, Mr. C. Ahmed, Weng Cheong, A. Kan and Mr. P. H. Nye.



Scotlands People William Charles Jack born Portsoy Fordyce in 1857

There are no records for a birth of William Charles Jack in Portsoy Fordyce 1835 +/- 5

The date included in the newspaper article is wrong

He died 23 March  1919 in Hong Kong aged 65 years

Cemetery Records He was buried in Hong Kong Cemetery Happy Valley in 1919 aged 65 years https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/130547083/william-charles-jack

Scotlands People His wife was Jane McWilliam Paterson born in Portsoy Fordyce 1862

They married 31 March 1886 in Hong Kong

1871 Census Portsoy Fordyce Jane Mc William Paterson living with family aged 9

August 1930 London to Hong Kong Passenger List

Jane McW Jack 64 and James Staple 11 travelled together 

Death  of Jane McWilliam Jack 8 July 1938 in Portland Oregon (where her brother and sister in law lived) Buried in Riverview Cemetery Portland Oregon.

Memorial Mother of William, Laura (Crum), Jessie(Logan), James, Lawrence and George. Sister of Margaret Bradshaw.

US Border Crossing List 29 May 1906Miss Jane Jack age 17 (dob abt 1889) permanent residence Hong Kong travelled to visist her aunt Mrs J A Paterson (sister in law  of Jane McWilliam Paterson wife of William Charles Jack)

https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/130547001/jane-mcwilliam-jack age 18 years [dob abt 1887]

Passenger List 20 May 1909 Hong Kong to Seattle

Jane McWilliam Jack 41, Laura Jack 17, Jessie Jack 10, Lawrence Jack 7, George Jack 4

US Census 1910 Multnomah Portland Oregon

Wiliam C Jack 52 born Scotland Jane McW Jack 46 8 children born 7 living

May Jack 23 born China, William C Jack 21 born China,Laura Jack 19 born China, James Jack 15 born China, Jessie Jack 12 born Scotland, Lawrence Jack 10 born Scotland, George Jack 9 born China


There is a reference to the 1907 death in the St John's burial records of a Jeannie McWilliam Jack   on 12 November 1907