Charles Robert PHESSE [1857-1885] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Charles Robert PHESSE [1857-1885]

Charles Robert
Birthplace (town, state): 
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Birthplace (country): 
Cause of death: 


Birth: Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom 12th October 1857  

Source: ADM 139/1014/21389

Baptised: St Peter's Church, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, United Kingdom 7th Janaury 1858. Parents: Walter Phesse and Eliza


Service: Royal Navy, Service Number 58082

First Service Date: 1st Janaury 1873

Ships served on: Boscawen (1st Janaury 1873-16th Janaury 1874); Excellent (17th Janaury 1874-19th March 1874); Achilles (20th March 1874-5th June 1874); Duke of Wellington (6th June 1874-4th July 1874); Adventure (5th July 1874-4th November 1874); Blanche (5th November 1874-27th June 1875); Pearl (28th June 1875-?); Fisgard (12th October 1875-?); Pearl (1st February 1877-5th June 1877); Excellent (6th June 1877-31st December 1879)

Last Service Date: 31st December 1879. His character has been rated 'Very Good' to 'Exemplary' 

Source: ADM 188/35/58082


1881 British Census: He was a Domestic House Waiter and servant to head of household (Charles W. Mewett, aged 34) residing at 83-89 Aldgate, St. Botolph, London, England, United Kingdom 



On the 12th July, at "The Camp, Kowloon," of Cholera, Corporal CHARLES PHESSE, Medical Staff Corps, aged 26."

Source: Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 14th July 1885 and Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 16th July 1885

"We regret to announce the death of Corporal Phesse, of the Medical Staff Corps, who died on Sunday, after a few hours' illness, of cholera, contracted in the discharge of his duty during his attendance on another soldier who was afflicted with the same disease. He was a very promising young non-commissioned officer, and though he had only been three years in the service, had already passed the examination qualifying him for promotion to the rank of sergeant and compounder. Owing to the prevalance of disease among the Garrison of late a great deal of extra work has been thrown upon members of this corps, and his loss will be greatly felt."

Source: Hong Kong Daily Press, page 2, 14th July 1885 and Hong Kong Daily Press, page 3, 16th July 1885     


Buried: Section 31, Row 3, Number 4, Hong Kong Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong

Source: Courtesy of Patricia Lim Forgotten Souls: A Social History of the Hong Kong Cemetery

31---/03/04- Sacred to the memory / of / Corpl. Chas. R Phesse / Medical Staff Corps / who died at Kowloon / the 12th day of July 1885 / from cholera contracted in the / discharge of his duty / aged 28 years / This stone was erected by the officers, medical staff and NCO officers ... illegible

Grave:  Section 31 Hong Kong Cemetery

Found this...

"WE are gald to hear that the detachments from the 'Buffs' and the Lancashire Battery of Royal Artillery, which have been for the last week or two quartered over at Kowloon, under canvas, were transferred during yesterday afternoon and this morning to Stanley, where part of the men have been quartered in the Military Bungalow there, the rest going into camp under canvas. The Police who was recently quartered in the military bungalow there, removed into the newly-repaired Police Station at Stanley yesterday morning. It is to be hoped that Stanley will prove to be more conducive to the health of the men than the camp on the ranges at Kowloon has done."

Source: The China Mail, page 2, 17th July 1885