Thursday, 2 July 2015

Army Chaplain’s Returns of Death Hong Kong 1860 - 1867


 

Whilst working in Hong Kong I would return to the UK every two and a half years on a long vacation leave.  By “long” I mean anything from three to five months.  On one of these long leaves in the 1980s I spent most of my holiday in the Search Room of the General Register Office at St. Catherine’s House in Kingsway, London.  How I loved those rows and rows of heavy tomes containing the vital records of England, Wales and British Overseas.


The task I had set myself during that particular leave was to extract all HONG KONG DEATHS from various Army Indexes.  However, with the tiny typeset in the huge heavy tomes that was no easy job, especially, as the work had to be performed standing up.  


I became such a permanent fixture that on many occasions I was mistaken for a member of staff.  My time was spent compiling handwritten lists of the relevant HK entries  and then, when I returned to Hong Kong, I spent months collating the information with that already in my HONG KONG BURIAL INDEX.   This was many years before the advent of home computers so The Index was formed of paper slips – thousands of them all filed away in alphabetical order in a lovely rosewood cabinet. (For the story of my project transcribing the headstone inscriptions from the Colonial Cemetery please follow this link).


When I retired in the 21st. century I was faced with the never ending task of converting my dear old paper index to a computer database – another huge undertaking.  Now that we have reached 2015 it strikes me that some of the work which I undertook all those years ago might be of use to amateur genealogists searching for means of finding information on family members who spent time in Hong Kong in the 19th. century.  Obtaining Hong Kong death certificates is difficult to say the least and prior to the mid 1890s is virtually impossible.  However, all is not lost if the individual was a soldier (or was the wife or child of a soldier) as a certificate can be provided by the UK General Register Office.  The following is the first of my lists for British Army Deaths in Hong Kong and covers the period 1860 – 1867.

Before ordering a death certificate from the General Register Office it will first be necessary to obtain the FULL index reference.  The days of perusing those lovely huge volumes of indexes at Somerset House, St. Catherine’s House or The Family Records Centre is now long gone but FREE ACCESS  to GRO indexes is available at  the following Libraries & Archives (but it is always worth telephoning first to check that they still have what you require!):

Library of Birmingham
Bridgend Reference & Information Library
City of Westminster Archives Centre
Manchester Central Library
Newcastle City Library
Plymouth Central Library
The British Library

If you are able to access a Family History Library/Search Room (Church of Latter Day Saints) then the following microfiche relates to Army Chaplains Death Indexes 1796-1880):   6137109

Several subscription/pay as you go websites also have these indexes.

On the list which follows I have included a note showing where further information is available from myself for burial and/or headstone details. 


Whilst in Hong Kong 1975 – 1995 and on my trips back to Hong Kong since 2009 I have photographed all surviving memorials so burial details may well come complete with a photograph.  Even those where an inscription is not available may come with a photograph – but you would need to know the whole history of the cemetery to work that one out!  Do not fear I would explain all.

British Army Deaths in Hong Kong 1860 - 1867


Name
Headstone/Burial
Comment
T. ANDREWS
Burial details available

J. ARMSTRONG
Burial details available

Joseph ATKINS         
Burial details available

James BANNISTER
Burial details available

James BARNABY
Inscription & burial available

James BARNABY
Inscription & burial available

Thomas Henry BEARDSMORE
Burial details available

F. BROTHERS
Inscription & burial available

Annie Louisa BROWN
Inscription & burial available

Robert CASSON
Burial details available

Ann Elizabeth CASTLETON
Burial details available

Samuel CHAMBERLAIN
Burial details available

William CHAPMAN
Burial details available

George Willis CHOAKE
Inscription & burial available

Henry CHOAKES
Burial details available

Ellen CLARKE
Burial details available

Georgina CLARKE
Burial details available

Jane E CLARKE
Burial details available

Henry CLAYTON
Burial details available

Richard CLEMSON
Burial details available

Richard CLUNSON
Burial details available

W. COCKING
Burial details available

John COLTMAN
Inscription & burial available

Harry COOPER
Inscription & burial available

John COOSS
Burial details available
May refer to Jonathan CROSS
Charles COX
Burial details available

George DADY                                 
Inscription & burial available

C.H. DAVEY
Inscription & burial available

John DOCKSON
Inscription & burial available

Elizabeth DORKIN
Burial details available

Charlotte FIELDING
Inscription & burial available

William FORD
Burial details available

Elsworth FURSDON
Inscription & burial available

Geo. GANNAVIN
Burial details available
May refer to George GANNAWAY
Louisa GODBY
Burial details available

John William GOLDING
Burial details available

Morres GUARD
Inscription & burial available

George HAIGH                                   
Inscription & burial available

Charles HALSEY  
Inscription & burial available

Frances HALSEY
Inscription & burial available

R. HARKER
Inscription & burial available

Emily Jane H ENDERSON

Headstone and burial details are in the name of Emily Jane ANDERSON
Henry HENIDGE
Inscription & burial available
May refer to Henry HERRIDGE
William John HEWOON
Burial details available
May refer to William John HEWSON or William John HEMSON
George HOPKI NS
Burial details available

J. HOPKI NSON
Inscription & burial available

Harriet Susannah HOWARTH
Burial details available

George Edwin HUME
Burial details available

Charles HUSSELBY
Burial details available

Samuel JEPHSON
Inscription & burial available

Bernard JOHNSTON
Burial details available

John JONES
Inscription & burial available

John JONES
Burial details available

Henry William KELLY
Burial details available

John KENT
Inscription & burial available

M. KINSLEY             
Inscription & burial available

William LANE
Inscription & burial available

John LEATHERLAND
Burial details available

Amelia LYONS
Burial details available

Isabella LYONS
Burial details available

Alexander MacINTYRE
Inscription & burial available

George MALE
Burial details available

Benj. MANN
Burial details available

N. MARLBOROUGH
Inscription & burial available

John MCADAMS
Burial details available

Charles MCARCKLE

Alternative spelling for MEARCKLE
William McCONNOR
Burial details available

Charles MEARCKLE
Burial details available
Alternative spelling for McARCKLE – 1861 Army Index shows name as Charles MAERCKE
Henry MILTON


Thos. MITCHELL
Burial details available

John NIXON
Burial details available

James NORTHLOCK


William NORTON
Burial details available
Possibly William MORTON - father and son who died one week apart
William NORTON
Burial details available
Possibly William MORTON - father and son who died one week apart
Frederick OAKES
Inscription & burial available

Alfred Edward PARKINS
Burial details available

John PIERSE
Burial details available

Joseph POOLE
Inscription & burial available

Joseph PRINCE
Burial details available

Elizabeth RALPH
Burial details available

W. RALPH
Burial details available

James RILEY
Inscription & burial available

Robert SAGGERS
Burial details available

John SMALLDON
Burial details available

Isabella SMITH
Burial details available

James SMITH
Burial details available

Peter SMITH
Burial details available

William STANLEY
Burial details available

Robert STEPHENS
Burial details available

James C. TAYLOR
Inscription & burial available

Louisa Mary TAYLOR
Burial details available

Thomas WALKER
Inscription & burial available

Joseph WALL
Inscription & burial available

Robert WHEATLEY
Inscription & burial available

Louise Agnes WHILEY
Burial details available
Possibly an alternative spelling for Louisa Agnes WHITE
Charles WHITE
Burial details available

Louisa Agnes WHITE

Possibly an alternative spelling for Louise Agnes WHILEY
Harry WIGLEY
Burial details available

William WIGLEY
Burial details available

Francis William A WILLIAMS
Burial details available

John WILLSON


Benjamin WILSON
Burial details available

Henry WILTON


John WRIGHT
Burial details available


I will post more lists in due course




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