Lula Bell HOUGH [1906-2002]

Submitted by @dibden on Fri, 01/20/2023 - 01:45
Lula Bell
Birthplace (country)
United States

Lula Bell Hough was an American missionary (born 1906) who was ordained by the Assemblies of God and went to South China in 1929, working there and in Hong Kong for 46 years.  Before the war she planted a mission church near the cross-roads in Fanling NT, which she pastored for 24 years and which had nearly 200 attendees by the start of the war. 

She was a friend and neighbour and a regular visitor to Miss Mildred Dibden who opened the Fanling Babies’ Home nearby in 1940, which had some 98 babies at the start of the war.  On the 2nd day of the invasion (December 1941) she had been found in her church by the Japanese and detailed to help at the Babies’ Home, so she called with her amah to offer assistance to Mildred, whose amahs had all fled in terror (temporarily as it proved). 

The Home was invaded by groups of soldiers looting and plundering and raping where they got the chance.  The European women (Mildred, Lula Bell and Ruth Little) thankfully did not suffer, but the Chinese amahs who assisted in the work weren't so lucky.  By trial and error though, the women staff and the amahs found that the most successful ploy when threatened was to resort to mass screaming, which always had the desired effect and caused their assailants to flee.  The soldiers did not want to be found out by their officers in case of repercussions.

But then on the evening of the 10th, the three European women ('foreigners') were arrested, tied up and taken off to spend the night in a barn occupied by Japanese troops.  This did not bode well and each of them realised that the end of their life could be near.  But as they waited through the night, Mildred Dibden describes (in her story The Yip Family of Amah Rock) how a wonderful feeling of peace permeated the three of them, and she marvelled at the serene expressions on her companions' faces.  The next morning at dawn, Mildred and Ruth were marched out and to their great surprise they were marched back to the Home and inexplicably released.

Hough was subsequently interned by the Japanese for 7 months before being returned to the USA as an exchange prisoner in 1942, but she returned after the war. 

This Flower Pentecostal Heritage Centre link gives her picture and more of her life.

Gloria Deo. 

Photos that show this Person


Passenger List Gripsholm arrival in New York 25 August 1942

Lula Bell Hough Single  born 29 September 1906 in Covington Kentucky

Kentucky Birth Records

Lula Bell Hough born 29 September 1906 daughter of A.J. Hough and Minnie Fryer Hough

Find a Grave U.S.

Lula Bell Hough

Birth date 18 September  1906

Death date 22 February 2002 aged 95

Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery, Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio USA

Lula Bell Hough was a neighbour and friend of the Fanling Babies' Home, and frequent visitor.  The children called her Aunty Hut.  This piece from the Fanling Babies' Home Brochure mentions her and gives us a delightful glimpse into the Home and its young protegees.  I would guess a date of this diary piece as post war, between 1947 and 1948.  It can't be before that as the child mentioned is aged 11.

February. It was a Sunday afternoon and Miss L B Hough, Aunty Hut, from the Mission at Fanling crossroads, had brought two of her friends to visit the Home. The two gentlemen had not long arrived from America. They were on a tour of the various stations of their mission in China. A group of the older children escorted them round the Home and to see the babies in the nurseries upstairs. They seemed most interested in everything . We were standing at our front entrance for a last-minute chat, and Heng Huan* who is now 11 years old, was standing nearby regarding the guests with admiration. They were such big gentlemen - towering above Heng Huan - majestic and grand in their great overcoats.  One particularly inspired her with awe. She gazed and gazed at him - her eyes big with wonder - and took a step nearer to Aunty Hut to hold her hand.

"Aunty Hut" she whispered, "Is he the President of America ?"

*Name changed