Are there staff lists in W.T. Featherstone's DBS Register? | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Are there staff lists in W.T. Featherstone's DBS Register?

Apologies for duplicating this enquiry which I added to an existing DBS thread a week ago and have just corrected. It eluded David’s weekly summary last week and perhaps got buried, but now appears below this post. In the HK Daily Press article uploaded to Gwulo which describes the expedition of DBS boys through the Golden Hill Tunnel in 1926, I was startled to see the name of my father, C.R. Warren given as one of the three masters who led the group. I know he was in Hong Kong from 1924-1927, but we have never known what he did in this period. He always complained that he could not be taken on by the family company, C.E. Warren & Co. after his father’s death.  Aged only 15, he had no qualifications and would not have been able to pull his weight. His name appears after those of the other two masters, Waterhouse and Washington and not in alphabetical order, which made me think that the listing was by seniority. Aged 18 in 1926 and with his British public school background, I wondered if he might have been taken on by DBS as a Teaching Assistant and a useful extra for sport and drama at which he had himself been good at school. It is confusing that the expedition was organised by a Mr. P. R. Warren – not a relative. Can anyone tell me if W.T. Featherstone’s Register includes a year on year staff list? A yes or no will give me a start. Of course I should dearly like to know if my father’s name appears, but his participation as a staff member, if it happened at all, may have anyway been too brief.

Hong Kong Daily Press 1926-07-17
Hong Kong Daily Press 1926-07-17, by Herman




Hi Jill,

The Featherstone book has a list of staff members, with the years of the start and end of their employment.  The school history "To serve and to lead" published by the University of Hong Kong Press also has such a list.  I had a quick look at both but the names Warren, Waterhouse and Washington do not appear in either list.

I really am most grateful that you should have bothered to check both these sources for me, C. I wonder if Messrs W, W & W were games masters and selected for their fitness. The appearance of my father's name in the article on the DBS expedition through the Golden Hill Tunnel will have to go into my already large category of "unexplained mysteries". Thank you for answering my SOS on Featherstone!

Hi Jill,

You are welcome!  I am glad to help.

I re-read the newspaper article and noticed that it mentioned the DBS boys went with tbree staff members. The headmaster was on the scene and he must have counted as one staff member.  WU Yan Tak (spelt WOO Yan-tak in the book) and A. Greaves were school prefects and not staff members.

It appears to me if your father as well as Messrs. A. Waterhouse and E. Washington were able to conduct the boys through the Golden Hill tunnel, they would be familiar with the site.  Is it possible that they worked on the site and were not members of the DBS party at all?  Just a thought...

I think you've solved the mystery! Checking the Jurors List for 1926, I find that Albert Waterhouse was the Tunnel Foreman for the Shing-Mun project; Ernest Washington was the Foreman Mechanic - both working for Sir W.G. Armstong Whitworth & Co. The initial "C" of C.R. Warren must be a typo for P.R. Warren , Philip Ridsdale Warren, who, as company manager, led the expedition. By the end of the article, his initials have become "P.K." so it was probably written in a hurry. Although my father's brother, L.B. Warren (was a fully qualified engineer, my father never had anything to do with engineering or tunnelling. The story is that he went to Malaya around 1926 to try out rubber planting, but then went to Ceylon instead. Thanks for helping me sort this red herring out!

Hi Jill,

You are welcome. I am glad to have helped in a small way.

A BIG way! I can now cross this conundrum off the mystery list. Hurray.