Francis King PAGET [1907-1996] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Francis King PAGET [1907-1996]

Francis King
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birthplace (country): 

He is mentioned in the 1941 Jurors list,

c   Paget, Francis King District Sales Engineer, Standard-Vacuum Oil Co. 524 The Peak.


Charles S. Paget and Henrietta Mead Paget

From SS Gripsholm Passenger List  arrived New York 24 August 1942

Francis K PAGET 35 born 3 April 1907 Canton China (holding US passport)

Henrietta M PAGET  64 born 7 August 1878  Corona New York

My father, F. King Paget was born in 1907 in Canton to  U.S. citizens, Charles S. and Henrietta A.M. Paget. Charles had an engineering and architectural partnership with an Aussie at that time. Together they participated in building a number of significant structures in Canton, some on Shamian Island and some of which are still in use. Henrietta at one time started an import-export business in Canton.

My father was employed by Socony Vacuum (Standard Oil of New York.) We were living in HK in 1940, I believe at the Peninsula Hotel. Due to the war storm clouds`of the time my mother, Elva Jo Nelson Paget, my brother and I were sent to the U.S. in late 1940 by Socony. My father stayed on in HK and was interned in December 1941 at the Stanley Camp. He did not talk about his time in the camp very much although he did say  they did not have much food and they ate insects. Eating insect is not a big deal in China I have learned, but when I was told that story at a young age it is revolting. My grandmother was interned too, in or around Canton.

They both were exchanged and repatriated in the Fall of 1942 on the S/S Gripsholm.

Here is the information I know about each of them:

1. Newspaper photo of my family in HK just before our departure to the U.S., although contrary to the photo explanation my father did not come with us to the U.S.

Paget family in HK
Paget family in HK, by shamian


2. Two photos of my mother on a beach, probably on HK Island, perhaps at Repulse Bay. The two kids in one of the photos were my brother Nels and me. On the back of each photo were notations that the photos were taken in October 1940 at "Laichik...hok" or something like that. Can't make it all out. Would you know what that location would be? The reverse of each photo is included.

Paget family on beach
Paget family on beach, by shamian


Elva Jo Nelson Paget on beach
Elva Jo Nelson Paget on beach, by shamian


img019.jpg, by shamian


img018.jpg, by shamian



3. Photo of me with an injured arm getting a shoeshine in HK and the back of the photo with a typed explanatory note.

Shoeshine for Peter Paget
Shoeshine for Peter Paget, by shamian


img022.jpg, by shamian


4. Three pages of an article from a U.S. national magazine with item #3 photo which photo explanation is decidedly incorrect. I was told I injured my arm in a heavy door in the Peninsula Hotel.

Magazine cover
Magazine cover, by shamian


Peter Paget
Peter Paget, by shamian


5. News clipping of the arrival of the S/S Gripsholm in New York. My father and grandmother were both repatriated on this voyage.

Gripsholm arrival
Gripsholm arrival, by shamian

In the Harrison Forman photo collection from 1940-1941, there are more photos of the Paget family walking down Pedder Street in the business area of Central. See here and here or browse through the entire collection.

The boating scene would refer to Laichikok Bay. The bay is long gone. The spelling today is Lai Chi Kok.

Thanks for sharing these with us. As Moddsey notes, Harrison Forman took several photos of your family - I grouped them under "second family" at

I wonder if you know the name of the first family shown there, as I guess they may have traveled back to America with you.

You can see the location of Lai Chi Kok beach at

In the last 2 photos here of the first family group, I think Mr. F. K. Paget can be seen in the background probably emerging from the APL offices.

Burial in IOOF Cemetery Bickleton, Klickitat County, Washington USA

Francis King Paget 3 April 1907 - 19 October 1955


Elva Jo Nelson Paget 16 March 1906 - 9 December 1997



I wasnt sure which one of you was the son of Mr, Paget so I decided to adress you both just in case.  I believe I have something of your fathers from when he was imprisoned in the stanley.  Do contact me at my email.

Thank you!



Shamian is Mr Paget's son.

Regards, David

Does shamian have an email or number I could reach him at? There may be something on this website that already provides rhat,  but I'm unfortunately unfamiliar how to get there.  Every time I click on the name it just sends me to the home page. Thank you for your help!


Dear author of the page, 

May i introduce myself. I am Yvonne from Hong Kong and i am an architecture conservation student from Hong Kong and i am studying about the building designed by Mr. Charles S Paget currently. i am now exploring the history about the building and ancillary Shamian area and found your post on this website incidentally. i am eager to learn more about the subject building as we are doing a research about the Building and my teacher and his team actually is doing a conservation project on the same. 

As we are writing a story about the conservation about the building, would you mind if I contact you here or other means (i can give you my email) so that we can talk more specifically about the hisotry and the design of the building built by your grandfather?

Many thanks for your help in advance and i look forward to hearing from you. 

NOTE: the year of my father's death was 1996.

Yvonne you may contact me here or at Best to use my gmail account tho. I will see if I can help you. Please tell me what your objective is or what story you will be trying to convey.

Pete Paget





Dear Mr. Paget, 

I am Yvonne, the architectural conservationist student from HKU who had contacted previously.  You have previously left a message and your email contact to me. 

I further sent you emails to your gmail account and wonder if you received them. 

I now left my mobile number my latest email and hope to reach you. 

I am really interested about the work by your father and want to investigate about it. Hope to hear you soon!