Albert DRANSFIELD [1872-1940] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Albert DRANSFIELD [1872-1940]

c.1872-10-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Other reference: 
Soldiers and Sailors Home

According the Eulogy published in the Hong Kong Daily Press of 26 November 1940 Albert Dransfield died suddenly, aged 68, at his home in Broom Street, Happy Valley on 24 November 1940. He is described as a loyal member of the Methodist Church and energetic supporter of the Soldiers and Sailors Home. He was resident in Hong Kong for over 30 years according to the Eulogy. The Jurors Lists give him as Storekeeper and then Timekeeper at the Taikoo Sugar Refinery Company. (Is Timekeeper more complicated than it sounds?} Latterly he founded his own import/export company, A. Dransfield & Co. in partnership with William Maycock. ( He was married to Laura Jane Dransfield and had two daughters, Dorothy Olivia Dransfield and Laura Woolnough Campbell (perhaps daughter of a previous marriage.)

Dorothy Dransfield married Eric Russell Walch, an accountant with Lowe, Bingham & Matthews on 20th April 1939. (I can’t now find the SCMP photo). I have only seen a blackened copy.

My information from a Warren cousin was that the Dransfields rented The Towers, 20 Broadwood Road and that my uncle, Leslie Warren, stayed with them after his wife and children went back to England in 1938. I can’t find proof of this. On the other hand, Eric Walch gives 20 Broadwood Road as his address in the jurors lists of 1937-1940 and in 1940 Leslie Warren suddenly changes his address from no 19 to no 20, his old home. Although Leslie left Hong Kong after winding up C.E. Warren & Co. Ltd. in mid-1941, it’s possible that the Walches lived at The Towers up until the war. Lowe, Bingham & Matthews were the accountants for C.E. Warren & Co. and closely involved in its financial management.

Albert Dransfield was an exact contemporary of my grandfather, Charles Warren, also born in 1872, and, after the family members, appears third on the list of mourners at his funeral in the SCMP obituary of 11 June 1923. Dorothy Dransfield became a close friend of Leslie and Cicely Warren and was held in affection by their children. There are several surviving photos of the Dransfields and Warrens together on Stanley beach, that I'll post in due course.

I’d like to find out what happened to Eric and Dorothy Walch and Laura Dransfield after the 1941 invasion. I haven't found them in the Stanley Camp list. It’s possible that Laura and Dorothy had already been evacuated, but I doubt that Eric Walch, who seems to have joined the company around 1936, would have left it so soon.There was a strong tradition of the LBM accountants joining the HKVDC and I would expect him to have done so. Any information about the Dransfield or Walch family or their descendants would be welcome.