|Given Name(s)||Leon (“Leo”)|
|Place of Birth|
|Date of Birth (Eng)||circa 1905|
|Date of Birth (Heb)|
|Date of Death (Eng)||April 27, 1944|
|Date of Death (Heb)||4 Iyar 5704|
|Age at Death||38|
|Spouse’s Name||Vera Weill|
|Father’s Name||Albert Weill (4B7)|
|Mother’s Name||Rosie Weill (4B4)|
|Title (e.g., Dr)|
|Religious Status (כ/ל/י)|
|Cause of Death|
|Other Family Data||Sons: Gerald & Bernard|
|Inscription (Eng)||IN LOVING MEMORY OF LEON WEILL THE BELOVED HUSBAND OF VERA AND FATHER OF GERALD AND BERNARD AND LOVING SON OF ROSIE WEILL. DIED 27TH APRIL 1944 AT SHAMSHUIPO CAMP AGED 38 YEARS|
|Inscription (Heb)||לזכר עולם פה מצא מנוח המ ליון וייל נ״ע נלב״ע יום ד לר״ח אייר שנת תש״ד והיו ימיו ל״ט שנה תנצ״בה|
|Inscription (Other)||“WM NODES. LTD.” and “203” on front|
|Historical||Hebrew inscription says he was 39. Served in the HKVDC as a gunner. (The UK Forces War Records says that he died in 1945, not 1944.) Vera was a volunteer nurse during the war.
Bernard Weill writes (26/10/15): “I was born in St. Mary’s Hospital in Pokfulam on 7 Aug 1934. Thus, I never met my grandfather, Albert Weill. My dad, Leo, died of malnutrition in Sham Shui Po POW camp in, I believe, 1944. He was a stockbroker at Leo Weill & Co of Ice House Street, Hong Kong. My mother, Vera, being married to a French national, was considered by the Japanese to be a ‘Third National’ and a subject of Vichy France, which was not at war with Japan. Therefore, like my grandmother Rose, she was not interned in Stanley civilian POW camp. They all spent the duration of the Japanese occupation at Alberose. Sophie Odell, my father’s sister was also there for the duration of the occupation. I, along with my brother Gerald (now deceased) and David Odell (Sophie’s son), had been at school in Tsingtao at the British American school and were interned in Lunghwa camp, Shanghai. However, in 1942, we all travelled by sea on a Japanese freighter from Shanghai to Hong Kong to join the family at Alberose.
Incidentally, there were two houses at Alberose, one where my father and mother lived and the other where my grandmother lived. The upper house (my father’s) was commandeered by a Japanese colonel and his family for the rest of the war. During this time, my mother, who was receiving money from China for food parcels for the POWs, was taken in for questioning and tortured by the Japanese.
Albert and Rose Weill owned a jewellery company called Senet Freres situated at the Hong Kong Hotel building on (I believe) King Street.
I only knew my father up to age six (1940). We were then packed off to boarding school in Tsingtao. After the war, my mother, brother and I went to England to live together with her mother in Bristol. My mother married again in 1948 in Hong Kong to John Stericker, author of ‘A Tear For The Dragon’. I spent two school holidays in Hong Kong in 1949 and 1951. Later I worked in Hong Kong for Carreras (Craven A) Tobacco Co, from 1965 – 1968, also APB advertising in Princes Building in 1969. Then I left for London, England where I now live. I returned twice in the 1980s for short visits.”
Do you have any information about this person that you would like to share?
If so, we’d like to hear from you!