Harry OWEN HUGHES [1901-1984] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Harry OWEN HUGHES [1901-1984]

Owen Hughes

His wedding to Miss Frances Isabel Oakley was described page 24 of the Hong Kong Sunday Herald, 1929-12-08:


Ceremony in St. John’s Cathedral


Practically all the prominent people of Hong Kong were in the St John's Cathedral yesterday afternoon when the marriage of Mr. Harry Owen Hughes to Miss Frances Isabel Oakley was solemnised at 3 o’clock.

The interior of the Cathedral was prettily decorated with an abundance of fresh cut chrysanthemums, Seating capacity was taxed to the full.

The bridegroom, who is the oldest son of the Hon. Mr. J. and Mrs. Owen Hughes, is an all-round sportsman and athlete, and represented Hong Kong at the last triangular Interpart cricket match, when he scored a century. He is also one of the three Britons who played for the Hong Kong Baseball Club this season, and showed himself very proficient in the game.

Ho arrived at the Cathedral precisely at ten minutes before three o’clock, attended by Mr. A. C. I. Bowker, who discharged the duties of best man. It may be mentioned that Mr. Bowker is also an Interport cricket player, and has also played side by side with the bridegroom in the American game of baseball.

Punctual to time, the bride, who is the daughter of Mr. H. G. Oakley, C.B.E. and Mrs. Oakley, of Berkhamsted, Hertsfordshire, arrived in the company of the Hon. Sir Henry Pollock, K.C. She looked very charming in her dress of white velvet georgette and lace train. She carried a bouquet of white chrysanthemums and maiden hair fern.

The bridesmaids were the Misses Alwen Owen Hughes, Pauline Wolfe Murray, Yvette Doyle, Hazel Lauder and Molly Wynne-Jones. They were attired in white satin with caps of gold braids and pearls, and each carried a tiny basket of white and gold Chrysanthemums.

The ceremony, which was conducted by the Very Rev. Alfred Swann (Dean of St. John’s Cathedral), was fully choral.

The bride was given away by the Hon. Sir Henry Pollock.

The wedding march, "Lohengrin” from Wagner, was played as the bride entered the church. "O Perfect Love” was also sung by the choir, and as the bridal pair left the church the wedding march from Mendelssohn was played.

The Attendance

There was a large number of friends present at the ceremony and among those present were noticed H.E. the Governor, Sir Cecil Clementi, K.C.M.G., and Lady Clementi, accompanied by Capt. Sillitoe, the Hon. Mr. W. T. Southorn, Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Hynes, the Hon. Mr. H. T. Creasy and Mrs. Creasy, Mr. and Mrs. P. Jacks, Mr. Roger Tredwell, Mr. C. C. Muccio, Mr. H. R. B. Hancock, Mr. H. B. L. Dowbiggin, Mr. E. L. Wynne Jones, Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Hamilton, Dr. and Mrs. E. H. Blake, Mr. W. E. L. Pattenden, Mr. C. G. Alabaster, the Hon. Sir Henry and Lady Pollock, the Hon. Mr. Owen Hughes, and the Chief staff of Messrs. Harry Wicking & Co.


A reception was held at St. John's Place, kindly placed at the disposal of the bridal party by the Hon. Mr. and Mrs. Hynes, and was attended by a very large number of friends, including H.E. the Governor and Lady Clementi.

The health of the bridal pair was proposed by His Excellency, Sir Cecil Clementi, and after the bridegroom had suitably replied, other friends offered their felicitations.

The honeymoon will bo spent In Baguio, Philippine Islands. The bride’s going away dross was of green crepe de Chine, green cloth coat trimmed with fur.

Wedding Gifts

The bridegroom's present to the bride was a silver dressing table set, and the bride's gift to the bridegroom was a silver flask.

Among the numerous gifts received were a cheque from the bride's father, and a fur coat from Mrs. Oakley. A canteen of silver cutlery, and a dressing case and a cheque were the presents made to the happy couple by Mrs. and Mrs. Owen Hughes. The maids at Berkhamsted sent a silver and cut glass jam jar.


Photos that show this person



Henry Ching sent these details of Owen Hughes's ranks in the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps:

  • Sgt to 2nd Lt            25/2/26    (92)
  • 2nd Lt to Lieut            4/7/28   (416)
  • Lieut to Capt            8/1/33  (45)
  • Capt to Major            16/5/39  ( 441)
  • Major to Lt.Col            ?????

(number in brackets is the Gazette entry number for that year)

One date is missing – Owen Hughes’ promotion to Lieutenant Colonel.  I think this must have been in late 1941, as in his own account of his activities on 9th December, 1941 he records that he called in at the Corps Headquarters to draw the badges of his rank as Lieutenant Colonel, suggesting that perhaps he had just been promoted as such. 

He left Hong Kong on the last plane out in December 1941 after the Japanese had invaded. He describes that night at http://gwulo.com/node/9586

Passenger List Hong Kong to London arriving May 1932

Mr Harry Owen Hughes age 31 merchant UK address Stonycroft Shrublands Road Berkhampstead

Mrs Frances Owen Hughes age 25

Miss Pauline Owen Hughes age 18 months

Miss Susan Owen Hughes age 6 months