Writing this somewhat unusual post because I have some random pieces of information that I don’t want to lose to time…
Lewis Richard Andrews, born (aprx) 1892 is my Great-Granduncle, that is, my Grandfather’s Father’s Brother. My Grandfather, Richard Andrews - 1929 and my Great Grandfather, Leslie Lawrence Andrews 1894(5?). Lewis, along with Leslie are sons of Richard Andrews (1861) and Letetia Jane Andrews. Leslie and Lewis also had three sisters, Daisy, Doris and Violet and an elder brother, Ernest Charles.
Lewis was born in Battersea, London and led a rather interesting life, as a solider in WW1, later moving to Shanghai, China where he ended up working for Butterfield & Swire, then as a bouillon dealer. He met his wife, Hope Wilson Nelson. They were interned in China by the Japanese in WW2. Once released, Hope and Lewis moved to Hope’s, home country the USA, where they bought a grand plantation house called Tulip Hill in Maryland which they restored.
Over the past few years I’ve tried to piece things together about Lewis’ life. There is a great deal of snippets available online and I have spent hours and hours going down rabbit holes looking for things! Unfortunately I’ve never been able to make much of it or get too far and I am terrible at saving things that I find.
There are many records that I know exist and are either very expensive to access (for example, international passenger manifests via ancestry.co.uk) or require physical access, such as the resources held at Havard University.
Hopefully this post will help me keep track, perhaps help others too.
It goes without saying, if you have any more information on Lewis, please do get in touch with me via Twitter or email.
Below is a copy of a written biography of Lewis. The original seems to have been printed on a computer some time ago, perhaps in the 90s. The document is in my Grandfather’s possession, I believe I took photographs and used software to digitise the text. There are some errors which I’ve tried to correct (e.g letter H is sometimes shown as L, etc.). Unsure of the author, but there is mention of “for me”, when referencing the gifts from China - along with “for the Childen”, which leads me to believe it was written by a sister of Lewis, perhaps Doris. I will try and find out…
I’ll add that the below words are not mine and I’m not publishing for anything more than an interest in family history.
Born in London 18th April, 1892, the fourth child of Richard and Letitia Andrews. From an early age, Lewis has always been a keen sportsman; he took up Boxing and with several boys had expert instruction from “Professor” Milford at premises near home - often he would come home with a black eye but declared that “he’d had the time of his life”, full of enthusiasm for the prowess of his Instructor. Imagine his disillusionment when one day, confined at home with a chill, he recognised our Chimneysweep (Mr. Milford) who called to clear the chimneys, to be none other than his PROFESSOR MILFORD!
He started his business career with a firm of city solicitors. He enlisted in the City of London Yeomanry (“Rough-Riders” as they were known) and became a territorial for the next few years, proudly wearing his Dress uniform for the Annual Lord Mayor’s Show procession in London, the regiment being entitled to this privilege. It was during this period that he developed his love for horses and became quite an accomplished rider after many a bad spill from the frisky horses with which they were trained the hard way.
He was on manoeuvres in August 1914 when War broke out. His regiment volunteered for foreign service and after a short period of time at the East Coast defences around Norfolk and Suffolk, he embarked at Devonport for the Suez zone where fighting had broken out against the Turks. The Regiment did mounted patrol work on the East bank of the Canal around Ismailia. Whilst on one of these patrols around Ismailia, his Troop was attacked by a force of Turks and he was wounded in both legs. He spent about 3-weeks in the local hospital at Ismailia but made a quick recovery and rejoined the “Rough-Riders” at Suez where they had been transferred. Rumours were rampant about being sent to Gallipoli as the initial landing at Cape Helles had gone sour. Eventually the Regiment left all their horses at Suez and were shipped to Gallipoli dismounted, where they shared in the landing at Suvla Bay.
During one of the many raids he received a minor wound in his left wrist; this went septic and, combined with a bad dose of Dysentery (shared by everybody) he was evacuated to a hospital at Malta where, by coincidence, he met up with brother Leslie (posted to Malta in Dec. 1914) and also cousin Ernest Ford who was in the R.F.C. and had been posted to the same hospital following a flying accident.
He was invalided home from Malta in 1916 and, after training in Kildare (Ireland) was commissioned as 2nd Lieut. to the Northants Yeomanry. After a few months with the 2nd Regiment on the East Coast of Yorkshire, he was posted to the 1st Regiment in France. From there the regiment was ordered to the Italian front where they remained until the end of the War. It was here that he gained the Military Cross, about which he told us nothing, but we afterwards learned about it from one of his fellow-men. The following is an extract from the Supplement to the London Gazette of 10th Dec. 1919:
“Award of the Military Cross: (Italy,)
Lt. Richard Lewis Andrews, Northampton Yeomanry - for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when two troops in the attack of the Corps Mounted Troops on Sacile on 30th October 1918, had been heavily counter-attacked and ordered to retire, he remained in action with one section until a strong force of the enemy were within 10-yards of him. He thus enabled the remainder of the two troops to get mounted and retire, and all the time showed great coolness and disregard of danger. He eventually got his men away dismounted and rejoined his squadron”. (Presented at Buckingham Palace on 10th July, 1919 by King George W.)
Telegram received on 4th July 1919 from Buckingham Palace:-
To: Lieut. Lewis Andrews, 53 Grandison Road, Clapham Common, SW “Your attendance is requested at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, the tenth instant at ten twenty of clock a.m. Service dress. Please telegraph acknowledgment – Lord Chamberlain, London”
When the War was over in 1919, he eventually accepted an appointment with the firm of Butterfield & Swire in Shanghai, who owned many ships doing trade up and down the China coast. He soon made friends, thanks to his sporting flair, and many introductions from hunting friends in England, and took part in all the activities around - Point-to-Point races (at which he excelled), Polo, Golf, Tennis, Sailing etc. He became friendly with a Mr. Hooper, who was a Bill & Bullion Broker; Mr. Hooper had no Sons, only two Daughters, and he took a great liking to Lewis and persuaded him to become a Bill & Bullion Broker under his apprenticeship for 6-months. This meant that Lewis had to buy himself out of Butterfield & Swire, having signed an agreement for 3-years’ service - which was a serious blow to Lewis’s modest savings, but he decided it was worth venturing upon. Unfortunately, before his apprenticeship period expired, Mr. Hooper died suddenly and although he left the good-will of the business to Lewis, the risk of carrying on was a great one to take in view of his depleted finances. However, he literally “tossed up a coin”, heads to carry on the broking business and tails to return home to England. *Heads” it was and he never looked back from that day onwards!.
In 1922 he returned to England for leave, his success being crowned with prosperity and I shall never forget the countless gifts he brought back with him from Shanghai, for family and all folks who had befriended him during the War years. Our lounge looked like an Eastern Bazaar with: 3 Priceless Chinese hand-made rugs 2 beautifully embroidered Silk Shawls 3-Bolts of Chinese silk 2-stone-marten furs (for me) 2 Traditional Chinese bronze ducks. 2 Ivory Mahjong Sets Several colourful Chinese Kimonos/Mandarin coats Jade/Ivory necklaces & pendants Joss sticks/Ivory charms as well as a host of miniature Chinese figures carved in boxwood for the children. 3 Model Chinese Junks for his Nephews, and countless other Chinese novelties.
His life as a bachelor for the next 6/7 years continued happily and prosperous, with his various sporting activities and regular 3-yearly visits to England and his family, for whom he made the most generous provision to keep them in comfort - always lending a helping hand financially to any member of the family in distress through illness etc.
There was a period in the mid-20’s when War broke out in China and Lewis - already a member of the Shanghai Light Horse in Shanghai - had a worrying time, back to War-time trials, during which he lost some of his treasured possessions, his home being requisitioned by Chinese Forces for occupation, but with the advent of more peaceful conditions, he resumed his normal life.
In 1925, on a sailing holiday, he met Hope - a delightful American-born girl, the elder Daughter of a Professor from Lakewood, New Jersey, USA. Hope was at the time working for the American Embassy in Shanghai and, early in January 1926 they married in New Jersey, USA and spent a 9-month honeymoon touring Europe, Gt. Britain, etc. Life flowed very happily from then onwards.
Alas! the Japanese invasion of Shanghai in 1941 altered all this and both Hope and Lewis were interned and the whole of their lovely home confiscated by the Japanese, most of which they were never to see again. Fortunately though, with the help of one trusted Chinese servant, he buried in their garden some of his treasured china, silver etc. , which was miraculously recovered intact when they came out of internment after the War. Incidentally, Hope could well have escaped these difficult years of internment as, being an American citizen, she could have been evacuated from Shanghai at the outbreak of hostilities, but she elected to stay with Lewis come what may and refused to leave, preferring to share the hardships at Lewis’s side. They had so much to endure during the 3/4 years of internment in Shanghai where they were herded into cramped accommodation with others and, according to a book which I have since read by one of the Internees at their camp, if it had not been for Lewis’s harassment of the Japanese officials to let them have the Red Cross parcels provided for them, many would not have survived - Lewis being the Commandant in charge and Hope spending much of the time teaching the young children interned. As many as 16 were harboured into one small room and they suffered great privations but neither Hope nor Lewis would ever talk about it on release, anxious to put those unhappy years behind them.
When the War was over in 1945/6, the International Treaty with Shanghai became null and void and the Communists took over, which meant giving up their home (then in ruins anyway). They were given an open visa to dwell in any other Country within a period of 6-months and they first of all sailed to South Africa, as many of their friends had taken up residence there and they thought they might like to do likewise. However, after a period of staying they realised that it was too much “at the back of beyond” with dangerous tensions mounting all the time and with England in its state of economic strain after the War, under a Labour Government, they decided to seek a home in Hope’s own country, U.S.A., They eventually found Tulip Hill - a dream of a house though much neglected as it had not been occupied for several years - so they set themselves the task of renewing it to its former splendour, which they have done to perfection! Tulip Hill is a delightful house, built in Georgian style for an Englishman, Samual Galloway, a member of a Quaker family whose Great-grandfather emigrated to America in 1649. The house itself was built in 1756 and is over 200 years old and in its garden is a grove of very old Tulip Trees after which the house was named. Hope and Lewis celebrated its 200th anniversary in October 1956 when an *at home” day was held and costumed in the 18th century.
There is an oral transcript and tapes held by Columbia University catalog item is accessible here. Seems that an interviewer called Frederick Peterson Jessup recorded Lewis in 1980, where he shared information about his life. The records are accessible, but only in-person at the library in NYC.
Most interestingly of all, there is a collection of four boxes of papers, photographs, diaries, plays, etc held at Harvard Univesity. Which is noted as a gift from a Johnathan Cannon in 2010. Link to the catalog item here. It references the Columbia oral transcript. This is held at the Harvard-Yenching Library in Boston, MA, link to the archives here.
From 1946 onwards Lewis and Hope lived in an absolutely stunning house called Tulip Hill. It was built between 1755 and 1756 by the son of quaker. The house is of significant historical interest and has it’s own wikipedia page. Tulip Hill is on the US register for historic building, but remains privately owned and most recently sold in 2011 for somewhere in the region of 2.5 Million dollars. My grandfather, Richard Andrews met Lewis in the US in his later years and was shown the house.
There is a fantastic amount of detail provided about Tulip Hill in the September 1952 edition of the Maryland Historical Magazine. It features a description of the construction and ownership though the years. Page 208 mentions Lewis and Hope as the owners of Tulip Hill from 1946
Another interesting link here to the US National Register of Historic Places for Tulip Hill. It mentions Lewis and Hope as the present owners. There is also a separate ‘tenant house’ on the estate which has it’s own records, again mentioning Lewis.
Another document available here, provides further insight into the architecture. It notes that the arched chimneys are a distinctive feature.
Randomly, some bowls, dishes etc, sold by Sotherby’s in 2013 which are noted as from the collection of Lewis and Hope Andrews at Tulip Hill. I’ve seen other auctions for similar things from time to time, but can’t find the links any more.
Hope published a cookbook in the early 1960’s. The book includes many traditional Maryland recipes. I recently found an original copy available to buy online which will hopefully arrive soon. Here’s her book on Goodreads. There is an article in the Washington Post in 1983 which talks about the book’s success.
While living in Shanghai, this link seems to suggest that they lived in a villa which was sold in 1936 to serve as the Italian Consulate. I did find another document to support this theory.
Richard enlisted prior to the breakout of WW1 and served in the City of London Yeomanry mounted regiment. There is a non-digitised record of his service held in the National Archives at Kew, link here.
Lewis was awarded a Military Cross for service in Italy. There is a post in the London Gazette confirming.