Charles Henry BLAKE (aka Harry) [1900-1966]

Submitted by Bob Tatz on Mon, 11/07/2016 - 10:33

Over the past few years I have followed with interest information between Jill and Allan, and I wonder if the following persons were connected with their stories.

Certificate of Marriage at the Caholic Cathedral, dated 2 October 1893 of Y. John Blake, born at age 25 to Mary Lyons, born at age 22. Witnesses were R. Lerr and M. Boyd; Minister was a Father L. Piazzoli.

Certificate of Birth of Charles Henry on 1900-04-07. Name of Father: John Johnson Blake; Name of Mother: Mary Blake née Lyons. Rank and profession of father: Expense Store Account Officer, Army Service Corps.

Harry Blake, as he was known to me, died in Australia. He was also interned in Stanley Camp. I have in my possession original documentations, and if interested, please let me know.


Hi Bob,

I've changed this to be a forum page, as we've already got a person page for Harry at:

Did Harry ever talk about his father's background, eg where he was born and what nationality he was? The copy of the 1893 Marriage Certificate shows the name as "Y. John Blake", but the 1900 Birth Certificate shows it as "John Johnson Blake". I've seen some Russian names spelled with Y as the first initial, so wondered he had changed his name at some point? Or it may just be that when the Marriage Certificate was copied in 1957 the initial wasn't copied correctly.

Regards, David

Thanks for your post, Bob.

Mary Blake (Lyons) was my great grandmother's (Dolores Simmons) sister.  Ronnie Hardwick, son of another of Mary's sisters, Eliza,  wrote of being in Stanley with Mary and John's son, Harry.  From what Ronnie wrote, Harry had a sister, May Alice who married a Dane, Sven, and had three sons - Billy, Jimmy and Derrick whom he thought were somewhere in Scandinavia.  He also mentioned a Mimi as being the wife of a Bllake - did Harry have an older brother?  Apparently, Mimii was French and they had a daughter Joyce.

I have been trying very hard to find out about Mary's, Dolores' etc. parents.  From what I was told as a kid, they were orphans in Hong Kong.  There were 5 sisters and 1 brother and there may have been 2 surnames, presumably due to re-marriage.  Mary was identified as Lyons on her marriage certificate but I gather from Ronnie Hardwick that her and Dolores' surname may actually have been Wagner.  The other siblings were Lyons.  I have had absolutely no luck in finding anything beyond that generation and am not at all sure where to search in Hong Kong, assuming records exist.

Mary Blake (Lyons) may have owned the Wyndham Hotel which was torn down in 1924.  I have seen a ship's passenger list where Dolores Simmons and her husband, William Albert James Simmons (died Stanley 1942) identified their Hong Kong address as c/o Mary Blake, Wyndham Hotel, Hong Kong.

If you have any hints on where to search for Mary's and Dolores' parents, I would really appreciate hearing!  I have a bit more information on the other sisters and nothing on their brother Henry.  I would be happy to share this information with you and this forum.



David, I am almost certain that Y. John Blake was copied incorrectly and I also doubt very much that he had any Russian connection. I will upload some photographs of Harry in another post as I don't know how to add it to this message.

I first met Harry before the war when I was about 7 years old, and again after the war and got to know hime very well over 11 years. He was a great guy.

Hello Amp51. I was so interested to read your post about Harry and his connections. I am afraid I know very little about Harry's background, but all the names and circumstances you have mentioned are very familiar to me, as I've heard about them quite often. What little I do know might interest you.

I understand that Harry was married before the war (I don't know her name or when). Apparently his wife "disappeared". After some years he applied for a divorce on the grounds of this disappearnce because he was interested in another person. The war disturbed the court proceedings, but after the war it appears that the decree nisi came through; there should be some court documentation which will probably have her name.

Harry married Olga Robinson on 27 September 1952. She was my godmother and we lived at 220 Prince Edward Road. The marriage certificate shows his father as John Johnson Blake (deceased). After Harry retired from Holts Wharf, they retired to Australia, where he died sometime in March 1966. If you like I can send you photographs I have of Harry; there are some you might be interested to see. David can give you my email address.

Gwulo site is just marvellous how the distant pass so often comes back to life, even for a brief period.


Hi Bob and David,

Thanks to both of you for all the information and the help!!

In my attempt to build a family tree, I recently searched Henry Lyons to see if I could find anything on him but drew a blank.  There was nothing either on a wife for Henry.  I really muddied the waters when trying to search under Wagner too for the potential father for Mary and Dolores but no joy there. 

I have seen posts on John Johnston Blake on Gwulo relating to his ownership of matsheds at Happy Valley racecourse.

Bob I would love a photo of Harry as I have never seen anyone from that side of the family. I will pass my email address on through David. 

Coincidentally, when Ronnie Hardwick retired, he and Dorothy divided their time between Hong Kong and Australia, but that would have been long after Harry had died. 



Henry Charles Blake is my cousin 3 x removed - his father was born in Scotland. 

my cousin 4 x removed is Benjamin Davies Evans who I believe was director of the observatory? 

I would love to see any photos of Henry and his family  - many thanks