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Welfare Worker - Hong Kong Help!

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Welfare Worker - Hong Kong Help!

Postby Emzfamilytree » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:31 pm

Hoping to get some guidance on where I proceed on research of my Great Aunt 'Eva Margaret Davidson' (born 1914). I have hit a brick wall for some years on this now, but find the family tells of her quite intriguing non the less!

The family story is that my Gt Aunt was on the lines of a SOE or at least a Spy. I understand we may never know truly know the authenticity to this!
She was said to have travelled to many an exotic place and the only definate places I have confirmed are Madras, Chennai, India (for her brother who died in WW2), Japan and Singapore / Hong Kong......
However....I have discovered her on a few Passenger lists (1947- Kure, Japan and 1950, 1956, 1959 for Hong Kong, China) in the 1950 list she is said to be travelling to Hong Kong (singapore was crossed out), and intending a permanent residence in S.E.A.C (assuming this means South East Asian Commonwealth?).
Eva was listed as being a 'Welfare Worker' and as I am not sure what this is specifically I do have some other references of a similar job of hers within the UK. She worked on the trains, serving up teas on the trolley etc, as this she wrote in a couple of postcards to my grandmother and Great Grandmother. Another family tale referenced that she was maybe part of WRVS or WVS, although again I do not know where to start to look to confirm this?

I also have a picture of Eva in some kind of military uniform, and my mother remembers visiting her a 'Denby Camp' in or near the town of Newton Abbott in Devon. Sadly, I have not been able to figure out why she might have been at that specific camp, but my nan did say she did some training there.
Could this have been for the WRVS/WVS, would anyone know?

Lastly, Eva returned 'home' to the UK not long before sadly passing away in 1971, her last weeks being nursed by my mum and her sisters. She never married or had children (at least to our knowledge).

Does anyone have any ideas what may be useful to help fill in these travelling gaps of her life, or maybe dicovering the reason for her 'apparent' immigration to Hong Kong?
Any ideas, gratefully Received! :D
Thanks in advance
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Re: Welfare Worker - Hong Kong Help!

Postby MaureenE » Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:36 pm

There are some online newspapers you could try, see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Hong Kong

The Royal Voluntary Service has an archive ... collection

SEAC at one point stood for South East Asia Command, although by 1950 this seems to have been disbanded. I wonder however, if she could possibly had a job working for the military? Perhaps, on a speculative basis, you could see if there is a service file with the Ministry of Defence. There is I think an application fee which you don't get back if there is no file, and there are restrictions as to who can apply.
For details see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Army, section Army personnel serving after January 1921 ... nuary_1921

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Re: Welfare Worker - Hong Kong Help!

Postby junkers » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:31 am

The National Archives have a list of 'personal' (i.e. personnel files of people in SOE, I can't see her on the catalogue but a number of files were destroyed back in 1946, but there might be index cards of personnel. Force 136 operated in the South-East Asia area and became SOE later. I am not sire SEAC was around in 1950 and there was SEATO (the South-East Treaty Organisation). A number of Government records were returned to the UK (and The National Archives as part of the Colonial Office records).
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