Eric Russell WALCH [1911-1959] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Eric Russell WALCH [1911-1959]

Eric Russell
c.1911-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 
c.1959-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

ER Walch was an accountant with Lowe, Bingham & Matthews from about 1936-1941. Address in Jurors List for 1936 was The Peak Hotel. His 1937-1940 address is given as 20 Broadwood Road, usually known as The Towers. He is given as an auditor in Hong Kong in the 1941 Government Gazette. He married Dorothy Olivia Dransfield, daughter of Albert and Laura Dransfield on 20th April 1939 at the Union Church. There is a press photo that I can't find. Walch was probably a friend of Leslie Warren who also gives his address as 20 Broadwood Road in the Jurors List of 1940. 

If possible, I'd like to find out what happened to Eric Walch after the 1941 invasion. If he followed the Lowe Bingham & Matthews tradition, it is likely that he would have joined the HKVDC.



Photos that show this person



The press photo of the wedding appears here

Thank you so much for this instant link to an excellent photo, which has spared me my normal fruitless searching (+ all the refs to Walch.)  Is it possible to get the SCMP on the Old Newspapers link? There's an alternative photo there apparently. 

Best wishes


Scotlands People

Eric Russell Walch born St Peters Dundee 1911

National Archives Pretoria

Louise Smythe Whyte nee Walch wife of David R Whyte died 22 June 1944. Eric Russell Walch her brother was mentioned  on her death notice and he signed it.His address was shown as 151 Ninth Avenue Highlands Johannesberg

Married Dorothy Olivia Dransfield 18 April 1939 in Dundee

Thank you, annpake for finding this information about Eric Walch's whereabouts in 1944. He disappears from the Jury Lists after 1939 and I wondered what had happened to him as I think he was one of the key staff under John Fleming at Lowe Bingham & Matthews and originally recruited by Fleming while he was on leave in Scotland. Moddsey has posted a link to the HK Telegraph photo of the Walchs "leaving the Union Church after their recent wedding," published in the 24 April 1939 edition. I had assumed that the photo was taken in Hong Kong, but it must have been taken in Dundee.

No sign of them in UK death records. Will check Scotland and South Africa. No sign in Scotland.

Death in 1959 South Africa Eric Russell Walch

Transvaal Estates Death Index (Master of the Supreme Court, Pretoria), form the National Archives in Pretoria, Reference Number: 8612/59

Poor chap! 48 isn't very old to die. Thank you eurasian_david for finding this record and thank you, annpake for finding Walch's birth and marriage record as well as his signature on his sister's death certificate. She probably died young as well. I wonder if the Walches had any children.

I haven't managed to find any more references to "Walch" in the Old HK newspapers after 1939 by searching under his name.

Many thanks to everyone for your help!

Hi Jill, can't account for the entry for Dundee regarding the wedding. But Union Church and King's Studio do refer to Hong Kong. As noted here , Leslie Warren attended the funeral of Albert Dransfield but the Walch family is not mentioned.

I wonder if it’s a mistake that the Walches got married in Dundee on 18 April, 1939 - unless it was possible to have the marriage registered in Dundee by proxy two days before the Hong Kong ceremony? The absence of Eric Walch from his father-in-law’s funeral in November 1940 is odd, unless he was on leave. One would have expected him to be a pall bearer.

Willie Maycock was the no. 2 in Arthur Dransfield’s company, which explains the presence of several of the Maycock family at his funeral. My uncle, Leslie Warren moved out of The Towers in 1941 and moved in with the Maycocks in Broom Road. Both he and Eric Walch both give their address as 20 Broadwood Road in 1940.


The marriage was in Hong Kong 18th April 1939. He and his family was from Dundee. 

Eric Walch Dundee Courier page 12 3rd May 1939.png
Eric Walch Dundee Courier page 12 3rd May 1939.png, by eurasian_david

And there is a brief mention of him in the 'local' paper in Dundee about him being a metal company secretary in Jo'burg in July 1950

Eric Walch Dundee Courier page 2 28th July 1950.png
Eric Walch Dundee Courier page 2 28th July 1950.png, by eurasian_david

Brilliant Scottish sleuthing, David! You have certainly nailed the date and place of the Walch wedding, confirming moddsey's initial detective work. As one of our children managed to have three different marriage ceremonies in different countries over several months, I wondered if it had been possible to have the wedding registered remotely in Dundee and that that was the one that was coming up on etc.

As to Jo'burg, Mrs Dransfield seems to have had a daughter by a previous marriage, according to Carl Smith, and I wonder if that was what took her there in the first place, as she doesn't seem to have liked it very much. The uncertain conditions in the Hong Kong of 1940 made it a logical decision for the Walches to follow her.