John Edward BARROW [1890-1959] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

John Edward BARROW [1890-1959]

John Edward
Birthplace (town, state): 
Sheerness, Kent
Birthplace (country): 

My Great Uncle, John Edward Barrow, was an Engine Room Artificer in the Royal Navy.  In 1919 he was assigned to HMS Titania and he sailed from England to Hong Kong.  According to my family members, he spent a lot of time aboard submarines.  After HMS Titania docked in Hong Kong in April 1920, he left the Royal Navy and settled in Hong Kong.  He began work first at the Hong Kong Engineering Co., which had its premises on Moreton Crescent in Causeway Bay.  One year leater he began work for the China Light and Power Company at the new Hok Un Power Station in the Hung Hom district of Kowloon.  The original Hok Un Power Station is now referred to as the Hok Un 'A' Power Station.  It was replaced by the larger Hok Un 'B' Power Station, which began generating electricity in 1940.  Hok Un 'B' Power Station, after recommissioning in 1945, operated until 1991.  The site of the Hok Un Power Station is now the location of the Laguna Heights residential devedlopment.  He remained in Hong Kong until 1938, when the political situation had changed and he felt he should leave.  He returned to England and never came back to Hong Kong.  Some of his friends who decided to stay in Hong Kong had very bad experiences during the Japanese Occupation.  I am gradually reconstructing his story from whatever fragments I can find.  The story of HMS Titania here on this website is very interesting.

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Hi Malcolm,

I've made a separate page for your Great Uncle here to gather anything else we can find out about him. (Any photos of his time in HK would be great to see - here's how to upload a photo).

He first appears in the 1921 Jurors List, showing his first job after leaving the Navy was with "HK. Engineer Co. Ld.":

c Barrow John Edward Shift Engineer HK. Engineer Co. Ld.     1 Moreton Terrace

The next year he'd moved to the China Light & Power Co., and looks to be working at the Hok Un Power Station:

c Barrow John Edward Assistant Engineer China Light & Power Co.   Hok Un

We haven't finished typing up the 1923 list yet - all help gratefully received!

Regards, David

Hello.  Thanks very much for your message.  I have tried to track down information about him in Hong Kong but have always come up with nothing at all.  I have posted what I know about him on WikiTree on

I know he was born in 1890 in Sheerness, Kent, grew up in Jarrow, entered the Navy in 1906 on a 2-year training course based in Chatham (HMS Pembroke II) and in 1908 his Service Record says "12 Years" at the top, so I think it means he was signed up for 12 years.  That period came to an end within weeks of his arrival in Hong Kong in 1920.

I'll have a look at your web page and see what I can do.