6 Ashley Road, Kowloon [????-????]

Submitted by jill on Fri, 05/13/2016 - 07:45
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists

6 Ashley Road, Kowloon is the address given in the 1907 Ladies Directory for Mrs C.A. Warnes, wife of Charles Aspinell Warnes and formerly Elizabeth Olson, half sister of my grandmother, Hannah Warren. I'm a little bit hesitant about this address and what it consists of, as it is given several times in the Jurors Lists as the address for various people employed by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Wharf and Godown company. Warnes is given as a Sorter in the Dock Co. at this address in 1907. It is also given as the address for Edwin Henry Spark, Storekeeper for the Hong Kong Wharf and Godown Co. in 1907. Charles and Elizabeth had one child, Iris, by this time. Would this address have been home to several families?





You asked if 6 Ashley Road is at the same location in the 1900s and the 1950s. I don't have any early maps that show road numbers, unfortunately.

On today's maps, number 6 is on the eastern side of Ashley Road, north of Peking Road.

Thanks for replying, David. 6 Ashley Road had stuck in my mind as one of our family addresses. At least it looks as if Ashley Road today is the same Ashley Road as in 1907 and handy for the docks, where Charles Aspinell Warnes worked. Ann Pakes’s recent discovery that  he may have been a seaman is interesting, as that is a social context in which he might have met my great-grandfather, John Olson, and possibly been introduced to his Eurasian daughter, Elizabeth. Olson’s eldest daughter, Hannah, had married at 17. Elizabeth was already 24 when she married the 33 year-old Charles Warnes in 1905. I still haven’t been able to discover what happened to him after 1914 when he disappears from the Hong Kong Jurors Lists. I believe that his father and perhaps a brother served in the Royal Navy during the 1st World War, but Charles's fate is still a mystery.

I was born at No.4 Ashley Road, 1/F.  The apartment faced the slope of what was the hill of the Marine Police HQ.  The blocks were demolished by the mid 1960s.  It redeveloped into what is now the J.Hotung House.  I do not recall more than one entrance along this section of Ashley Rd.  Therefore, I presume No.6 would be the apartment on the south beside our place by the same staircase.  The buildings were said to have been used by the Japanese authorities during the Occupation.  Father said Japanese PoWs were sent to help him cleaned it up before our family moved in in 1945.


Lawrence - Ho Tung Mansions was the forerunner to J. Hotung House and the Ashley Road side would face the slope of the Marine Police HQ. Ho Tung Mansions can be viewed here Noted an address for the Ashley Road side of Ho Tung Mansions as being located at 2 and 4 Ashley Road.

Jill -  Ashley Road can be viewed on maps provided at http://www.hkmaps.hk/mapviewer.html but there is no road numbering to indicate where No.6 was.  A view of Ashley Road can be seen below:

c.1927 Aerial view of TST, by eternal1966c1

The huge vacant plot of land behind the YMCA straddling Ashley and Hankow Roads would later become Ho Tung Mansions/J. Ho Tung House. As seen from the maps, it appears that there was nothing substantial built on the lot for the time frame that you are looking at. Peking Road would appear to have been the more developed side. Indications point to No. 6 Ashley Road as being on the northern side of Peking Road.

My family and I lived in 5 Ashley Road for the first two years of the Japanese Occupation. At the time I was just 5 years old but I do have a recollection that Number 5 was then on the Eastern side of Ashley Road. We lived in the top floor of the 3 storey apartment block, with private access to the roof. We occupied just one room in the flat, and the other rooms were occupied by several other Russian families. There were four of us in that one room, and we all shared a single large bed, sleeping nose to toes. The only other Russian I remember from that flat was a Mr Pokrovsky. He remains in my memory because he had a hobby which got him into big trouble with the Japanese Kempetai. He had a large telescope which he used to take up onto the roof of the apartment building, and gaze at the stars. After the first American bombing raid on Hong Kong, the Japanese spotted him on the roof with his telescope. They assumed that he was signalling the American planes and they promptly arrested him on the roof, tied him up, and beat him viciously. The Japanese Kempetai were like the Nazi Gestapo, but without the latter's charm.