Title: Family Tree of Dr. Thomas Alexander McNeil Stanley Military Cemetary The Rea Genealogy
Publication: Name: 1971;
Author: John Harris Rea M.B.E. F.R.S.A.I.
Note: Notes from Hal Moorhead: "He was very brilliant, went through schooland Cambridge as a top scholar. Upon graduation, joined the ColonialCivil Service, got married to Margaret Fife something, also a very clever type. They were sent to Hong Kong in about 1937. When the Japanese overran Hong Kong in 1941, he was taken prisoner and died ofdysentry in a prison camp. They had two children, a boy born in say 1939 and a daughter born December 1941. Margaret was in hospital having her daughter when the Japanese threat became serious. She and the two kids were evacuated from there before the Japanese over ran those islands. They now live in England." From the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: B.A. (Cantab.), B.Sc. Queen's University (Belfast). Stanley Military Cemetery is just beyond the town of Stanley in thesouthern part of Hong Kong island on the Tai Tam Peninsula. FromStanley take the Wong Ma Kok Road. The cemetery is adjacent St Stephen's College and is close to St Stephen's beach. It is reached from Victoria by car along a winding, hilly road which at firstoverlooks the harbour and mainland. After climbing to the pass calledWong Nei Cheng Gap the road descends to the sea at Repulse Bay andthen continues along the rocky hillside to Stanley. The cemetery is constructed on a hill with the only means of access being via fourflights of steps, rising approximately 10 metres above the road level. Hong Kong fell to the Japanese on Christmas Day 1941 following a brief but intense period of fighting. During the Japanese occupation,Stanley jail and village were used as a prisoner of war and civilianinternment camp and the cemetery, which had not been used for morethan 70 years, was reopened for burials from the camp. After the war,the cemetery was extended on its northern side when graves werebrought in from civilian burial grounds and isolated sites in thesurrounding country. Although the cemetery as a whole is laid out andmaintained as a military cemetery, in the older part, service gravesand the graves of civilian internees who died during the Japaneseoccupation are intermingled. A number of the graves in this part ofthe cemetery are still marked by the original headstones erected bythe prisoners of war, who collected the granite from the 19th centuryfortifications and carved the inscriptions themselves. Nearly allcasualties of the local defence forces, chiefly the Hong KongVolunteer Defence Force and the British Army Aid Group, are buried inthis cemetery. The British Army Aid Group was a military establishmentwhich came into being early in 1942 to encourage and facilitateescapes, to assist escapees and to get information and medicalsupplies into the camps. Attached to the establishment was a largestaff of civilian employees operating in an extensive area of enemyheld territory and the group gradually developed into an organisationfor the collection of intelligence of military value and later into anescape and evasion organisation for the American Air Force. There arenow 598 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried orcommemorated in this cemetery. 175 of the burials are unidentified buta number of special memorials commemorate casualties known to beburied among them. The names of the 96 civilian internees buried inthis cemetery are recorded in volume 7 of the Civilian War Dead Rollof Honour. The cemetery also contains special memorials to three FirstWorld War casualties buried in cemeteries in Kowloon and Hong Kong,whose graves have since been lost. Transcription of Miss McCready's news clippings saved in a diary atGilford Castle. HOUSTON - In camp at Hong Kong, Thomas Jackson, B.A. Cantab.,Colonial Administrative Service, son of Mr. And Mrs. J.E. Houston, 14 St. Jude's Avenue, Belfast. MARRIAGE HOUSTON-BAYNE May 27, 1939 at the Peak Church, Hong Kong by the very Reverend J.L. Wilson, M.A. Dean of Hong Kong, Thomas Jackson Houston, B.A. (Cantab), Colonial Administrative Service, only son of Mr. And Mrs. J.K. Houston, 14 St. Jude's Avenue, Belfast to Margaret Emilie Sloane, M.A. L.L.B., younger daughter of John S. Bayne, W.S.and Mrs. Bayne, Edinburgh. OBITUARY - DIED IN HONG KONG Mr. And Mrs. J.K. Houston, 14 St. Jude's Avenue have been informed of the death, in a camp at Hong Kong, of their son, Mr. T.J. Houston, B.A. of the Colonial Administrative Service. Mr. Houston had a brilliant scholastic career and in 1934 wona Mathematical Wrangleship in the Cambridge University Triposexaminations. He was a pupil at Methodist College and gained exhibitions in both his Junior and Senior Certificate examinations. Heentered Queens University in 1930 and two years later was awarded a Major Scholarship at Christ's College, Cambridge. In June 1933, he obtained a first-class honours degree in mathematics and mathematical physics at Queen's University. Gike Jackson told me (October 2003) that Thomas had taken his wife, Margaret, who was about to give birth to Australia and had just got back to Hong Kong in time to be captured just before Christmas. His daughter was born just before he left.
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