William Kearley REYNOLDS [1889-1943] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

William Kearley REYNOLDS [1889-1943]

William Kearley
c.1889-04-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Birthplace (town, state): 
Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Birthplace (country): 
c.1943-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)
Other reference: 

William Kearley Reynolds is mentioned in the list of mourners at the funeral of my grandfather Charles Warren, immediately after his next of kin. The Jurors Lists of 1922-1924 give him as Secretary to C.E. Warren & Co. Ltd. His name eluded my cousin Brian Lewis when he was researching the history of the company. None of my family has ever mentioned it. Reynolds seems to have taken an administrative role in the company immediately after John Olson jnr left it. He remained during the difficult twelve months following Charles Warren's sudden death in June 1923, when Leslie Warren had to take over management of his father's company. Reynolds seems to have left the company after Lowe, Bingham & Matthews took over the accounting side of the business in the person of John Fleming. He isn't mentioned in the Jurors Lists after 1924.  Carl Smith gives WK Reynolds as Assistant Registrar to the University at the time of his marriage in 1926. There are several Reynolds associated with the sanitary service in Hong Kong - perhaps relatives.

Too many years have probably passed to discover anything about WK Reynolds's relationship with my grandfather and his company or anything about him, but Gwulo contributors have a talent for detective work and come up with unexpected leads. Hence this post.



His wedding is noted at St Johns Cathedral on 29th May 1926, to Lal Muriel Caruthers Hutton.

It was reported in all the newspapers the following Monday. Here's a typical report from page 5 of the Hong Kong Daily Press, 1926-05-31:



A pretty wedding was celebrated at St. John's Cathedral on Saturday, the contracting parties being Mr. William Kearley Reynolds, Acting Registrar of Hongkong University, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. John Reynolds, of Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, England, and Miss Lal Hutton, daughter of the late Mr. J. Colin Hutton, and Mrs. Hutton, Melbourne, Australia. The Rev, C. H. Copley Moyle, M. A., officiated.

The bride, who was given in marriage by Mr. H. A. Jones, was charmingly attired in a gown of silver lace over flesh pink satin. Amongst the flounces of tulle on the skirt were posies of orange blossoms and pink roses. The train which was held by Master Austin Jones a splendid little train bearer in white satin, was of silver tissue lined with pink georgette. A tulle veil was crowned with a wreath of orange blossom whilst the bride's bouquet was composed of white gardenias and pale pink roses.

Miss Kathleen O'Neill, of Melbourne, Australia, who was the bridesmaid, wore a pink georgette frock with garlands of hand-made roses and a wreath of roses upon her head. Her bouquet was also of pink roses.

The bride’s mother wore a dress of black georgette embossed with gold over gold lame and a black hat, and carried a bouquet of autumn tinted flowers.

Mrs. H. A. Jones was dressed in wine coloured georgette with silver embroidery and hat to match. 

Mr. H. J. Pearce, M.C. acted as "best man."

Following the wedding ceremony, a largely attended reception was held at the Roof Garden, Hongkong Hotel, after which the bride and bridegroom left for Repulse Bay Hotel where the honeymoon is being spent. The bride’s going-away costume was a French frock of white pussy willow with persimmon red and silver embroideries, and a picture hat of the same tone.

Many thanks, David, for copying this account of William Reynold's wedding for me. I haven't  yet got the hang of searching successfully for people by name only on the old newspapers site. I find that wedding reports are sometimes a source of information. For example, the report of Dorothy Dransfield's wedding led me to her husband, Eric Walch and the surprising fact (through the Jurors List) that he was giving my grandfather's old house as his address. It's not clear from this wedding report, however, whether William Reynold's late father, John Reynolds, was late of Hong Kong and a possible old family friend. I suspect William Reynolds was a young man and perhaps a newish arrival in 1922, as he gives his address as City Hall. I suspect his relationship with CE Warren & Co Ltd was a purely professional one.


Hi Jill,

The wedding reports usually have a lot more to say about the ladies' clothes than who was present! Still, it's good to include the names that are mentioned, as they all help attract people searching for similar information, and who might be able to help.

I'd also guess William Reynolds was a newish arrival to HK from the way his father is described by a UK address. If Wiliam had parents in HK the reporter would usually say something like "from a well known HK family" or "long term ...".

Regards, David

Yes, woe betide the reporter who failed to recognise the precise shade, persimmon red. I think brides were asked to provide the main text of the reports for that reason. Parents' names are certainly useful.


When I last visited Hong Kong, I learnt from Professor Peter Cunich that William Kearley Reynolds was a registrar of HKU for a short period. 

WWI Attestation Records Military Date 1908

William Kearley Reynolds 18 short service attestation birth place St Peters Wisbech Cambridgeshire 1889.

UK Birth Index William Kerley (sic) Reynolds registered Quarter 2 1889 Wiisbech Cambridgeahire

Australia Death Records William Kearley Reynolds birth year 1888 died 1943 Ferntree Gully Victoria Australia aged 55

Spouse Lal Muriel Carruthers Hutton (1898-1942)

Australia Electoral Register 294 Cotham Road 1931 Kooyong Victoria Australia 

William Kearley (sic) Reynolds

Lal Muriel Carruthers Reynolds

Public Tree

Colin John Kearley REYNOLDS ... was born in Hong Kong on 23 January 1927... to Lal Hutton and an Englishman, William Reynolds, who was a deputy registrar at the university.

1930 Moved from Hong Kong back to Melbourne ... At the age of three the family moved to Melbourne where his brother Richard was born in 1931.

Thank you for finding the information about William Kearley Reynolds's birth and death and his early move to Australia. Sad that his wife died prematurely and that he followed her a year later. I think I misremembered that he was bursar at HKU. He was clearly deputy registrar. I have corrected my comment.