Gwulo's 2011 Top Ten | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Gwulo's 2011 Top Ten

A look at the most popular pages that appeared on Gwulo in 2011.


#10 - Inscriptions for cemetery sections 10-16 (25,169 views)

This is one of the longest pages on Gwulo, listing inscriptions that Patricia Lim and Cliff Atkins copied from gravestones in the Hong Kong Cemetery in Happy Valley. It was part of Patricia's research for her excellent book, Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery. After the book was published, Patricia generously allowed us to share her research material on Gwulo, so that it can be accessed by the public.

But why would a list of gravestone inscriptions get so many views?

Because gravestone inscriptions provide valuable clues to people researching their family histories. They often give dates of birth and death, and sometimes mention occupations and other family members too.


Read the Inscriptions for cemetery sections 10-16.


#9 - Blue Books (25,238 views)

Each year, every British colony had to compile a book of facts and figures and send them to London. Here's the 1885 copy from Hong Kong, with its blue cover.

1885 Blue Book


The information in these books can help answer all sorts of questions about Hong Kong's history - I've listed what you can expect to find in each copy on the page about the Blue Books.


#8 - Royal Hong Kong Police (28,978 views)

This page lists resources that will help if you're researching the colonial-era police force, whether you're interested in the organisation, or the people. 

Sir Geoffry Northcote presenting medals to police officers at the Central Police Station
Sir Geoffry Northcote presenting medals to police officers at the Central Police Station , by HKLray


Read more about the Royal Hong Kong Police.


#7 - Inscriptions for cemetery sections 17-47 (38,920 views)

Another long page of gravestone inscriptions, these copied from gravestones in sections 17 to 47. (The Hong Kong Cemetery is split into sections to make it easier to locate a given grave.)

Here are some of the inscriptions from section 18.

18---/06/02- In / loving memory / of / Elizabeth / wife of / R.H.A. Craig / Hong Kong Civil Service / who died / on the 25th September 1909 / aged 49 years / Blessed are the pure in heart / for they shall see the God / R.I.P. / God is love
18---/06/03- 126 / Baluchistan / Infantry / sacred to the memory / of / Alfred Turner Rowlandson / Lt. Colonel 126th Baluchistan Infantry / killed in Kowloon / July 19th 1913 / R.I.P. #7957
18---/06/04- Peace perfect peace / Harry John Watson / born October 29th 1865 / died August 31st 1909 / erected by his loving wife and children
18---/06/05- Sacred / to the memory / of / Dr. William Hunter / Government Bacteriologist / died 9 June 1909 aged 34
18---/06/06- In loving memory of / Lewis Audley M Johnston / C.G.S. (Colonial Government Service) / Postmaster General Hong Kong / eldest son of the late / Wm. Johnston Ballykilbeg M.P. / born 12th September 1865 / died 30th September 1908
18---/06/07- Warren Delabere Barnes / Colonial Secretary Hong Kong / died October 28th 1911 / aged 46 years #7799


Read the Inscriptions for cemetery sections 17-47


#6 - Who is Bruce Lee's biology maternal grandmother what's his German blood come from? (43,673 views)

In the 2010 Top Ten, I mentioned that #2 got its high rating because it mentioned Bruce Lee, and he's always a magnet for Google searches. This year's #6 is another example: Who is Bruce Lee's biology maternal grandmother what's his German blood come from?


#5 - List of Burials ordered by Name (51,267 views)

Another page derived from Patricia's research, this one lists all the burials across the whole cemetery, but without the gravestone inscriptions. Here's an extract:

Family Given Date of Death Age PL-Ref Plot
Ahwee Albert 1918-02-26 63 3382 16B--/01/01-
Ahwee Henry William   49 3383 16B--/01/01-
Ahwee Marie 1918-09-13 50 3381 16B--/01/01-
Ahwee Maude Kathleen 1992-09-17 96 3384 16B--/01/01-


View the List of Burials ordered by Name


#4 - List of Burials ordered by Plot (53,287 views)

And a second list ordered by Section and Plot, so you can see who is buried in a given area.


View the List of Burials ordered by Plot


#3 - The Gwulo Shop (64,230 views)

If you'd like to indulge in a bit of retail therapy and support Gwulo at the same time, this is the page for you! Obviously Gwulo's books are on the shelves:

Gwulo books, Volumes 1, 2, & 3


And you can also order prints of Gwulo's photos, ready for framing. Most people order prints that are 8x10 or 12x15 inches in size, but I'm also happy to do custom enlargements.

XXL-sized Gwulo photo


Recently I had a custom order for my largest prints yet - in fact they're the largest size that the printer can make. They're of the panorama shown above, but delivered in three square sections each measuring 43x43 inches (1092x1092 mm). I'm looking forward to seeing them again once the display is all set up.


Visit The Gwulo Shop.


#2 - Spring-cleaning: Places without "Date completed" (162,712 views)

See #1 below.


#1 - Spring-cleaning: Places without a location (299,390 views)

When people ask what I do, I reply that I'm Gwulo's janitor, keeping the plumbing working.

In the case of a website with tens of thousands of pages, one of the janitor's jobs is to help make sure that all that information is as easy to access as possible. Pages #2 and #1 in the 2011 Top Ten list "Places" (usually buildings) on Gwulo that would benefit from having extra information added to them, to make them easier to find - ether the date the building was completed, or their location.

If it's something you can help with, please click through to the pages for details:

Trivia: This type of work always struggles to attract help, so it's a surprise to see the pages have been visited so many times. I remember that these numbers of visits were artificially inflated, when a search company's "spiders" (their programs that visit web pages and add them to the search results) took a liking to these two pages and kept visiting them again and again. I've since blocked the spiders from accessing them.



The idea behind the Top Tens was to provide some light reading while subscribers are stuck at home under lockdown. The 2011 Top Ten has some great pages for researchers, but not much in the way of easy reading. So here are a few lighter extras from the 2011 Top Twenty.


#16 - China Fleet Club (16,415 views)

This page is actually a single photo:

China Fleet Club
China Fleet Club, by Argentem


The China Fleet Club was a well-known landmark because of its prominent location on the seafront (and its large advertisement for San Miguel Beer!)

1950s Wanchai Waterfront
1950s Wanchai Waterfront, by m20wc51


View the main photo, read more about the China Fleet Club and see lots more photos of it.


#15 - Barbara Anslow's diary (16,743 views)

2011 was the year I started the Wartime Diaries project. Barbara Anslow's diary was one of the first to be included, and has been a key part of the project ever since.

The idea behind the project is to let readers experience Hong Kong's war years one day at a time, by sending them a daily email with extracts from diaries written on that day. (If you'd like to try it, you can subscribe for free, then cancel at any time if you don't find them interesting.)

Here's Barbara (centre of photo) when we met last summer.

David, Barbara, Grace, and Doris
David, Barbara, Grace, and Doris, by Admin


Sadly that was the last chance I had to spend time with her, as she passed away in October.

Her diaries cover the period from the fighting in December 1941, through the surrender and the long years in Stanley Camp, to liberation and repatriation in 1945.


Read Barbara Anslow's diary


#14 - 1970s Stanley Village: photos & memories (17,851 views)

Kirstin Moritz lived in Stanley Village from 1977 to 1980. She writes, "There are a thousand stories to tell, but I will tell just a few."

Close-up of pig in Ma Hang squatter area


Read 1970s Stanley Village: photos & memories


#12 - 1845 Map of Hong Kong (21,875 views)

1845 Map of Hong Kong


I do like old maps! Back in 2011 I added this detailed map of Hong Kong from 1845, displayed overlaid on modern maps.


View the 1845 Map of Hong Kong (but it's worth spending a few minutes to watch the video about how to use the maps on Gwulo first, to get the most out of it.)


If you'd like to see more of the top pages from 2011, here's the full list.