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Duration 40:53

The Hong Kong colonial cemetery

The National Archives provides a treasure trove of material for discovering more about our colonial ancestors. This talk focuses on the former British Colony of Hong Kong – a thriving trading centre and home to merchants, the military and members of the colonial service – and specifically the tranquil spot in Happy Valley which became last resting place for many who travelled to the Far East from Europe during the 19th century. Christine takes us on a virtual walk through the cemetery, stopping to examine the stories of a few very ordinary people who are buried there.

Christine Thomas spent a 40-year career with the police in Hong Kong and London working in the fields of research and archival records management. For the past few years she has run her own research service specialising in families with ancestors who spent time in Hong Kong and China.

Image courtesy of Christine Thomas.


  1. Jill Sampson says:

    A most interesting and helpful audio presentation – a pity I was not able to view it.

    For some time now I have been researching my husband’s Grt. Grandfather- Anthony Field Sampson, and recently spent a day at TNA looking for records that would substantiate the family story that he was not only a Mariner, but was a Master Mariner, and that he was a Harbour Master in Hong Kong (he left Bristol sometime between 1865 -1871) but sadly I found no evidence that this was so.

    Last year I found the report of his death in the N.C Herald and S.C.C. Gazette of March 24th 1886, in which it stated he was a ‘servant of the Hong Kong Government’. To my great delight just last week I found on the web a record at the National Maritime Museum (recorder CHRISTINE THOMAS) of his Gravestone (M317) in Happy Valley Cemetery. It gives the Organisation as Harbour Department, but no rank or occupation.

    With the helpful references to the ‘Blue Books’ at TNA -of which I was told nothing when I visited, I will continue my research to prove whether the family stories are true.

    Thank you again Christine for a helpful talk.

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