Robert Cyril REED [1903-1969] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Robert Cyril REED [1903-1969]

Robert Cyril
Birthplace (country): 
Other reference: 

The above details on the birth and death dates of Robert Cyril Reed, uncle of Angela Niles, were supplied by eurasion_david, who kindly copied his obituary from the SCMP:


Mr. Robert Cyril Reed, a long-time resident, died on Saturday. He was 66.

Mr Reed was a teacher at the Moral Training School in Kowloon Tong.

He was a keen follower of hockey, cricket and lawn bowls.

Mr Reed was also a former prisoner of war in Shamshuipo Camp.

He is survived by his brothers, Willie and Reggie.

The funeral arrangements will be announced shortly."

Source: South China Morning Post, page 6, 6th October 1969




Robert Cyril Reed born 18 March 1903 in Victoria Hong Kong

Lance Bombradier HKVDC D.R.4.

Father  Amaro John

Mother Maria Rita Reed

Destination fo Report Mrs M R Reed 8 Broadwood Road Hong Kong

Robert Cyril Reed 

Father Amaro John Reed 1865 -1936 Mother Maria Rita da Silva 1871 - 1948


Edgar Vincent Reed  10 January 1905 - 19 January 1941 Jardines Lookout

Wilfred Alexander Reed 25 March 1906 - 20 March 1971 Hong Kong

Arthur Augustus Reed 1908 - 19 December 1941 Jardines Lookout

Stephen Arnold Reed c 1910 - 1942  Wounded 19 January 1941 Jardines Lookout and died  15 January 1942 Military Hospital Bowen Road

Francis Oswald Reed c 1913 - 18 January 1941 Sai Wan Fort .Gunner HKVDC

Reginald John Reed 1914 - 1980 Rhuddlan, Clwyd, Wales 

Name: Robert Cyril Reed

D.O.B: 18th March 1903

Nationality: Hong Kong/Portuguese

Date of capture: 25th December 1941

Date of liberation: 2nd September 1945

Rank: Lance Bombardier

POW camp: Shamshuipo

Service Number: DR4

Duty location: Hong Kong

Next of kin: Mother: Maria R. Reed, 8 Broadwood Road, Hong Kong

Service: British Army

Primary unit: Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps

Archive reference: Ron Bridge's Collection and WO 392/26


Additional information on WO 345 Japanese Index Cards of Allied POWs: the date of capture was 16/12/25 (= 25th year of Showa era = 16/12/1941) which is probably more accurate than generic date of 25/12/1941. Occupation is included and inked under Robert Cyril Reed's name is Kanji writing which appears to be an attempt to give him a Japanese transliterated name but I can't read Japanese.



How terrible for Maria Reed to lose four sons as a result of the Battle for Hong Kong, one taking a year to die of his wounds. 

Ann, thank you for posting the information on Robert Cyril Reed, his parents and brothers.  I appreciate seeing the names, dates and locations of death for the Reed brothers all in one place.  There are, however, some discrepancies in some of the dates shown in the listing above.  I wonder if it is possible to have these records corrected?

My father Wilfred's actual birthdate was March 2, 1906.  In this listing his birthdate is given incorrectly as March 25, 1906.  In the case of Stephen Arnold, he was wounded on December 19, 1941 and brought to the Military Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds on January 15, 1942. Francis died on December 18, 1941, not January 18, 1941.  I have photos of Stephen and Francis' graves at Stanley Military Cemetery which shows the dates of their death.  Stephen was 32 and Francis was 28 when they died.

Edgar and Arthur's remains were not found as they both died from an explosion.  Their names are included on a war monument in Sai Wan.  Edgar was 36 and Arthur was 33.

Robert (Bobby) was captured on December 25, 1941 and was a prisoner of war at Sham Shui Po until December, 1945.  Reginald (Reggie) was a prisoner of war at Sham Shui Po until January 31, 1946.  I am not sure why they were released on different dates if this information is accurate.  I can't recall the source of this information that I came across.

My father Wilfred (Willie) stayed out of battle to look after his mother and the women in the family (my grandfather Amaro died in 1936).  Willie, along with my grandmoher, my mother Anna Joaquina D'Almada E Castro (known as Belle) and Arthur's wife Marie Diniz and daughter Mary Rita left for Macau and remained there during the war years (when I was born) before returning to Hong Kong sometime in 1946.  My grandmother, Avo Rita as we called her, died in 1948.  Marie and Mary left Hong Kong for Toronto in 1952.  Mary still resides in Toronto with her husband Bob Engesser.  They have two married daughters and grandchildren.

Francis, the sixth son, left behind a widow, Vera de Carvalho, after they had only been married since October, 1941, at St. Margaret's Church in Hong Kong.  Edgar, Stephen and Bobby never married.

Reggie, the youngest Reed brother, left for London in 1946 as one of those chosen to represent the Hong Kong Volunteers at Britain's "Great Victory Parade".  He settled in London and married Rita. He later moved to Rhyl, Wales where he met his second wife Gladys.  They married in 1957 and had one son, Stephen.  Stephen had a son Carl, who in turn produced a son called Jacob Matthew.  Reggie died on February 14, 1980. He was being treated for a long-standing complaint arising from the malnutrition he suffered as a prisoner of war and was awaiting his appointment at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Rhyl when he suddenly passed away in his chair.  His wife Gladys eventually remarried in 1996 but was in poor health in her final years.   The remaining Reed males reside in Wales and are carrying on the family name.


Thanks, David, for the additional information regarding my uncle during the war.

He and his brothers lived with their parents, Amaro and Maria, at 8 Broadwood Road.  I was told the house was taken over by the Japanese as a command center.  The house was left as a shell after the war, as was probably the case with so many of the other homes.

Thank you, Jill, for your note of sympathy. As you can see from my prior response to Ann, Stephen Reed was wounded on December 19, 1941 and died from his injuries on January 15, 1942 at the Military Hospital at age 32.  I was told by my mother that he was bayonetted and that his older brother Robert brought him to the hospital. 

Stephen worked as a clerk at the Hong Kong General Post Office where his father had worked before as Chief Accountant before his retirement in 1927.

Thanks again, Jill, for all your help with uploading photos for me, much appreciated.

I took the names and dates from the Macanese Tree on Ancetrstry

It is good to know from an impeccable source where discrepancies lie.


I'm just appreciative that you took the time to post the information about the Reeds.  Glad I was able to address some of the discrepancies. Thanks again!

According to Carl Smith Card they got engaged 24 October 1945

Card Number 135699

This is interesting news to me as I never heard about the engagement!  I don't know exactly when Reggie was released as a prisoner.  In my earlier comments I gave Robert's date of capture as December 25, 1941, and his release date from Shamshuipo Camp as December 1945, with Reggie's release date being January 1946, according to an article a relative wrote about the Reed brothers. This doesn't seem correct if Reggie got engaged to Vera on October 24, 1945. I was told that Reggie departed for London after the war ended as he was one of those chosen to represent the Hong Kong Volunteers at the Great Victory Parade on June 8, 1946.  I don't know if he returned to Hong Kong immediately after the celebration, but did hear that his stay in London after that was work-related before he eventually moved to Rhyl, Wales.


Hi Angie,

I believe Robert and Reggie were imprisoned at different camps by the end of the war. Robert was in the Shamshuipo Camp from 1942 to 1945, whereas Reggie was sent (probably in late 1942), together with a few hundred other PoWs, to Japan. He stayed in the Sendai Camp in Japan until 1945.  Below is a photo of the PoWs at Sendai Camp, taken on 28 August 1945. Reggie should be the fourth from the right, second row.  If you have some old family photos, you may be able to confirm if that is really Reggie.

A Choi


Thanks so much for this new information about my uncles.  I was not aware that Reggie was sent to the Sendai camp in Japan. This explains why the two brothers were released at different times.  An interesting point, Robert was the eldest of the seven Reed brothers and Reggie was the youngest.  I would very much like to see the photo you have.  Unfortunately, it did not appear under your comments.  I hope you can upload the photo or email it to David at so he can kindly post it.  You can also look at what I posted about Reggie or access the Reed family gallery on the Gwulo website where there are two photos of Reggie.

1945-8-28 Sendai Camp.jpeg
1945-8-28 Sendai Camp.jpeg, by ashchoi


Got some more info:

When the war was over, the ex-PoWs in Sendai Camp had to go to Tokyo, then travelled to Manila and stayed for a couple of weeks before returning to Hong Kong.  However, the list of ex-PoWs arriving HK from Sendai via Manila on 8 Oct 1945 did not include Reggie's name, nor was he among those that had chosen to go to UK or elsewhere.  So he could be among the few that were hospitalized in Manila, mostly due to malnutrition.  This does align with your earlier post that his health had been seriously affected by malnutrition in those PoW years.  Just my deduction from the newspaper cutting.

There were no newspaper reports on the Reggie-Vera engagement on 24 Oct 1945 as reported in the Carl Smith card 135699.  As mentioned above, Reggie did not return on 8 Oct.  So if there was really an engagement, it could only take place very soon after his return around mid Oct.  And as you said, even if there was an engagement, it was a short-lived one, as Reggie went to the UK for the Great Victory Parade in June 1946, and then stayed behind.

1946-7-27.jpg, by ashchoi


As for Vera, she married a Maurice Grenier from Los Angeles in Nov 1949.

1949-11-27.jpg, by ashchoi

A Choi


A Choi, that is great that you were able to find the above information and news articles.  I was especially pleased to see the wedding notice for Vera de Carvalho Reed to Maurice Grenier in 1949, and that my mother Belle Reed (married to Willie A. Reed) decorated the church for this occasion.  This piece of information is one of my missing links! I did learn recently that Vera had two brothers, Antonio (Tony) and Johnny, besides her sister Ina.  Tony married a Barradas lady and Johnny immigrated to Los Angeles where he married an American lady. They were already divorced when he died there.  I have no information on her sister Ina de Carvalho who was the bridesmaid at Vera's wedding to Francis Reed.

It was also interesting to me that when Reggie remained in England after the parade, he took up agricultural work. In Hong Kong he worked for Deacon's law firm as an accountant.  After his move to Rhyl and marriage to Gladys, I heard the couple ran a bed and breakfast business.  My cousin Mary Reed Engesser met Gladys when Gladys visited Toronto and they remained in touch.  Gladys informed Mary that both Bobby and Reggie were sent to Burma as POWs and had to help build the railroad.  Although this contradicts your findings, I know Bobby was released from Shamshuipo camp, so am sure that your account is accurate. It is feasible that Reggie was hospitalized in Manila due to malnutrition since this contributed to his continued health issues until his death in 1980.

I studied the photo and zoomed in on the men in the second row, comparing the photo to those I have of Reggie.  Unless the photo actually identified the men in the group, I believe that Reggie is the fifth man from the right, behind the man with the sunglasses. In photos I have of Reggie, he was not wearing glasses, and seems to resemble the fifth man in the photo more than the other person.

Thanks again for your posts.  Your information and photo are important to me and much appreciated.