John Alfred Bond, 18781907 (aged 28 years)

Birth November 7, 1878 35 24
Marriage of parentsGeorge William BondEmma Ann CooperView this family
July 26, 1879 (aged 8 months)
Birth of a brotherErnest Henry Bond
October 28, 1880 (aged 1 year)
Residence 1881 (aged 2 years)
Baptism of a brotherErnest Henry Bond
May 11, 1881 (aged 2 years)
Birth of a sisterMary Eliza Bond
1882 (aged 3 years)
Baptism of a sisterMary Eliza Bond
July 2, 1882 (aged 3 years)
Birth of a sisterBertha Bond
December 8, 1883 (aged 5 years)
Death of a sisterMary Eliza Bond
1884 (aged 5 years)
Birth of a sisterLouise Bond
1886 (aged 7 years)
Death of a sisterLouise Bond
1886 (aged 7 years)
Death of a maternal grandfatherSamuel Cooper
1888 (aged 9 years)
Burial of a maternal grandfatherSamuel Cooper
November 28, 1888 (aged 10 years)
Birth of a brotherEdward Francis Bond
1889 (aged 10 years)
Baptism of a brotherEdward Francis Bond
April 17, 1889 (aged 10 years)
Birth of a sisterAnnie Gertrude Bond
1890 (aged 11 years)
Baptism of a sisterAnnie Gertrude Bond
June 22, 1890 (aged 11 years)
Occupation
cotton mill hand.
1891 (aged 12 years)

Residence 1891 (aged 12 years)
Death of a sisterAnnie Gertrude Bond
1891 (aged 12 years)
Birth of a sisterAlice Bond
1893 (aged 14 years)
Death of a sisterAlice Bond
1893 (aged 14 years)
Birth of a sisterMay\Mary Bond
1893 (aged 14 years)
Death of a sisterMay\Mary Bond
1893 (aged 14 years)
Death of a brotherEdward Francis Bond
1894 (aged 15 years)
Birth of a sisterEdith Emily Bond
December 5, 1895 (aged 17 years)
Baptism of a sisterEdith Emily Bond
December 25, 1895 (aged 17 years)
Military service
Ist Battalion Manchester Regiment.
1900 (aged 21 years)

Residence 1900 (aged 21 years)
Occupation
Infantry Private.
1901 (aged 22 years)

Residence 1901 (aged 22 years)
Marriage of a parentWalter PipeEmma Ann CooperView this family
1901 (aged 22 years)
Death of a fatherGeorge William Bond
after 1901 (aged 22 years)

Death of a motherEmma Ann Cooper
1906 (aged 27 years)
MarriageMyrtle Gladys FarnworthView this family
January 30, 1907 (aged 28 years)
Occupation
House decorator
January 30, 1907 (aged 28 years)

Occupation
Guard (East Bengal Railway Company).
October 26, 1907 (aged 28 years)

Burial of a fatherGeorge William Bond

Note: NOT Find-a-Grave 152539933 Southern Cem Grave KConsecrated 137.
Ancestors interest
Great Uncle

Descendants interest
Weldon Clan: Bond line

Death October 26, 1907 (aged 28 years)
Cause of death: Malarial fever.
Burial October 30, 1907 (4 days after death)
Birth of a daughterGladys Doreen Edith Bond
November 26, 1907 (on the date of death)
Baptism of a daughterGladys Doreen Edith Bond
December 16, 1907 (1 month after death)
Religion
Church of England

Note

1878 BIRTH: 7th Nov 1878 at 11 Windsor Street, Rhyl, Flintshire. Father: George Bond, Coach painter, of 11 Windsor Street, Rhyl. Mother: Emma Anne Bond (formerly Cooper). 1881 CENSUS: RG11/3954 Book 20. 5 Green St, Salford. George Bond Head Mar 38. Decorative painter. Born Spalding Emma Ann Bond Wife Mar 26. - Liverpool George William Bond Son Unm 4. Scholar. Lincoln >John Alfred Bond Son Unm 2. - Rhyl Ernest Henry Bond Son Unm 5m. - Manchester 1891 CENSUS: RG12/2796 f11 p17. 62 Coronation St, Reddish. George Bond Head Mar 47. Coach painter. Born Spalding Emma A Bond Wife Mar 36. - Liverpool George W Bond Son Unm 14. Cotton mill hand. Lincoln >John A Bond Son Unm 12. Cotton Mill Hand. Rhyl Ernest H Bond Son Unm 10. Cotton mill hand. Manchester Bertha Bond. Dau Unm 7. Scholar. Rochdale Edward F Bond Son Unm 2. - Reddish Annie G Bond Dau Unm 1. - Reddish 1901 CENSUS: RG13/1105 folio87 page 27. Tourney Barracks, Farnborough. >John Bond. S 22. Infantry Private. Born Rhyl, Flintshire. (NB Regiment is NOT listed) 1907 Marriage: India Office Records Film N1 Volume 339 folio 41. St Francis Xaviers, Bow Bazar, Calcutta. John Alfred Bond aged 25, house decorator residing Calcutta. Son of George Wm Bond. (marriage by Banns) 1907 Death: John Alfred Bond aged 26. Guard EBS Railway. Died 26/10/1907 from malarial fever. Buried 30/10/1907 General Episcopal Cemetry, Calcutta under Church of England Rites.

POSSIBLY (but yet-to-be-proved) this is one-and-the same as: 4325 Private John Bond, Ist Battalion Manchester Regiment. Wounded 6th January 1900, Wagon Hill area, seige of Ladysmith.

TO INDIA & BEYOND

The Totem Pole

Fed on a diet of “western” films, “cowboys and Indians” was a popular game for boys like me, growing up in the Fifties. So, when stories emerged of family photographs that included Indians, it caused a bit of a stir. Speculation was rife as to what might have conceivably happened whilst Buffalo Bill Cody was touring with his famed “Wild West Show” at around the turn of the century. Certain relatives were remembered as having had slightly darker complexions than the rest of the family. My brother even made plans to erect a totem pole in his front garden. The truth though, was somewhat different, if just as interesting.

The Adventurer

My Great Uncle John Alfred Bond was an ordinary chap, born in 1878 into an ordinary working-class family. His father was a decorative painter by trade, and, in John’s formative years, the family moved around quite a bit, no doubt following the work. Perhaps that’s what gave John a lust for adventure. Though by 1890 the family had settled down on the outskirts of a big city and John, like many others, was holding down a labouring job in a local textile mill.

Maybe it was that lust for adventure, or maybe the then worldwide economic depression threatened his livelihood but, for whatever reason, John “joined up”. So, as the New Year – and the new century – opened, John found himself holding a rifle and defending the town of Ladysmith, under siege from the Boer Army. Times were tough, but things took a turn for the worst in the early morning of January 6th, when the Boers attacked Wagon Hill, right where John was positioned. The attack was successfully repelled, but John was left wounded.

Shipped back to England to recuperate, John left the army behind, but soon put on a different uniform, that of a Guard on the East Bengal Railway. Based in Calcutta (or Kolkata as it’s now known) in January 1907 he married Myrtle Gladys Farnworth, a local girl of Anglo-Indian descent and, in the following November, their daughter Gladys Doreen Edith Bond was born. Tragically, John didn’t live long enough to meet his daughter, as he died of malaria in October that year.

The Black Panther

Brought up in Calcutta by her mother and stepfather, by 1939 Gladys was working as a professional dancer, probably in the Calcutta nightclubs. Although evidently the name Gladys wasn’t anywhere near exotic enough for her profession, so she adopted the Stage Name “Kallecheta” (meaning “Black Panther”) and even claimed to be the niece of the Maharajah & Maharanee of Kucia.

Gladys (or “Cheetah” as she was by now known) soon formed a professional partnership with Billy Carroll, an American dancer born in New Jersey, but raised in Fresno California. By 1940 they had found their way to Shanghai, where they worked as professional dancers in the nightclubs and at the Cathay Hotel.

At that time Shanghai was under Japanese control, but the “foreign concessions” (the areas where most ex-pats lived & worked) were comparatively unaffected by this. However, it was clear that things were changing. So, like many ex-pats, in June 1940 Billy & Cheetah boarded a ship to Manila in the Philippines, and from there on to Los Angeles on the M.V. Dona Aurora.

The ship arrived in Los Angeles on July 15th and their plan was to return to Billy's Fresno home to get married, after which they had a contract to appear at the Biltmore Bowl in Los Angeles. However, Billy & Cheetah weren’t married and Cheetah’s flimsy excuse of “a one-year visit to her friend Mrs R Nelson in Fresno” (Billy’s sister) didn’t wash. So, when Gladys tried to enter the USA in the 'non-quota group', she was detained by the authorities and held for over than a month on Terminal Island, before being deported back to the Philippines.

Billy & Cheetah arrival back in Manila on the MV Dona Nati could have been better timed. Almost immediately, the Japanese Navy blocked the harbour and invaded the Philippines, and the couple found themselves interned in Santo Tomas camp (previously a part of Manila University) which was to be their home for over a year.

Then in 1942 the Japanese offered to return to Shanghai any internee who came from there and, as the Santo Tomas camp was grossly overcrowded, the Carrolls took up the offer. Although Shanghai was of course still under Japanese control, there they found themselves more-or-less free in Shanghai's International Settlement. But in 1943 all that changed and all Allied nationals in China were interned.

The Carrolls were sent to Chapei Camp, where things were tough; but Billy & Cheetah threw themselves into organising entertainment as a distraction from the everyday drudgery. It was here that Billy & Cheetah were at last married and where their daughter Sharon was born.

The Carrolls were eventually freed from internment in 1945 and celebrated their freedom with appearances at the “Argentina Nite Club” (claimed in the Shanghai Herald to be "Shanghai's only American-run Night-Club & Cocktail Lounge”). Although it had a chequered history and had once been the haunt of Nazi agents and Japanese officers.

Billy, Cheetah & Sharon at last made it back to California the following year on board the Troop Ship USS Hugh L Scott. Their arrival in Seattle on March 5th was captured by a Press Agency photographer.

The Photographs

Those old photographs never have shown up, though several people do remember seeing them. But at least we do now know the story behind them.

In the First World War, my Grandfather Samuel Wilson Weldon fought in the Dardanelles (Turkey) & then Mesopotamia (now Iraq). In 1919, after the war ended, his Regiment stopped over in India en route home and Samuel took leave to visit his Sister-in-Law Myrtle and niece Gladys in Calcutta. What I’d give to see those photos now.

With thanks to:

  • The British Library (London): India Office Records
  • Families in British India Society
  • China Families website
  • Desmond Power, author of “Little Foreign Devil”
  • Greg Leck, author of “Captives of the Empire”
  • Catherine Morison Rehart, author of “The Valley's Legends & Legacies (Volume 2)”
  • Bernard Wasserstein, author of "Secret War in Shanghai"