The perils of Broadwood Road
BROADWOOD ROAD INCIDENT
Mrs Deacon Gives Evidence
Au Hing, boilermaker, Leung Hung Kwan, a carpenter, and Mak Kam, a P.W.D. watchman, appeared before Mr. R.E. Lindsell at the Central Magistracy, yesterday afternoon, charged with robbery with violence against Mrs. Deacon, of 21 Broadwood Road on October 4th.
Mrs. Deacon appeared in the court room with bandages about her wrists and head, and when she was called to the witness-box described her attack by the three men.
About 10 a.m., she said, she walked down Broadwood Road intending to take a tram. She had $31 in her handbag and was wearing a crystal necklace and ear-rings. She was suddenly seized from behind. She knew that her assailants were more than one, but could not tell their actual number. They threw her to the ground, and as soon as she could rid herself of a quantity of earth which had got into her mouth, she screamed loudly. One of the men wrenched at one of her ear-rings nearly tearing her ear off. Another struck her a severe blow on the temple.
Another man, continued the witness, tugged at her necklace with such force that it was broken, and a severe cut made in her throat. She was left lying in the road, but managed to get up in time to see the men, whom she then knew to be three in number, running down the new pathway leading to Causeway Bay. She was then in a hysterical state, and screamed continually. Dr. Aubrey came along in a chair, and she told him what had happened. He at once ran and tried to overtake the men, but without success. When he came back, witness went with him into No. 4 Broadwood Road, and telephoned to the police.
A small Chinese boy, employed in a rice shop, who had been delivering rice on the morning in question, gave evidence that he saw the men running away, and a little later on coming upon Mrs. Deacon screaming and gesticulating, he blew his whistle.
The men were remanded until next Monday afternoon.
SCMP, 24 October 1924, p. 1
This article took my attention as a part of the context into which Cicely Warren, the young wife of my uncle Leslie Warren arrived in 1923 to live in 20 Broadwood Road. Florence Deacon in no. 21 was her nearest neighbour and confidante. Exactly seventeen years later in 1941, Leslie Warren would write to his children from Penang: “The Straits’ Chinese women go about loaded up with diamonds; bracelets, coronets, necklaces, rings, &c. This is supposed to be a very honest place and no one ever gets their jewellery snatched.”