Diary of a Journey Among The Lois of Hainan

Scope and Content

The diary of Lieutenant John (Jack) de Luze Simonds' thirty-six day expedition to the 'Lois' [Li] people of Hainan Island, China during February and March 1910. The expedition team included the Rev. C. H. Newton (American Presbyterian Mission, Hainan); G.W. Pearson (Consul; Hoi Ho); Ling Sun (cook); Meng Ngi (personal attendant); Sand Do (head groom); and two soldiers.

The diary comprises forty typescript pages containing daily diary entries for the period and three pages of statistical appendices. It also includes twenty photographs of the expedition, including 'Lois' [Li] villages and at Nam Fong and Fan Hiang and two loose geological maps of Hainan Island.

Administrative / Biographical History

John (Jack) de Luze Simonds was born in Reading, Berkshire, in 1884, the son of Louis DeLuze Simonds and Mary Elizabeth Turnbull; a Berkshire family of brewing magnates. Simonds was educated at Winchester School.

Simonds joined the Royal Artillery in 1904, serving with the Garrison Artillery in Malta before being posted to Hong Kong as the aide-de-camp to the commander in chief, General Sir Charles Anderson. While serving in Hong Kong in 1910, Lieutenant Simonds led a 5 week expedition to the aboriginal 'Lois' [Li] people of Hainan Island in the South China Sea.

During the First World War, Simonds was posted to France in 1914 with an Indian Mountain Battery, before being transferred again to the Garrison Artillery. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on January 1st 1917. Major John de Luze Simonds DSO was killed on 22nd April 1917 during fighting at Mazingarbe, Belgium.

John de Luze Simonds' elder brother Gavin Turnbull Simonds (1881-1971), who became 1st Viscount Simonds, was a British judge and Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Initially deposited at SOAS Library on loan in March 2010. Subsequently gifted by the Duncan Simonds Family to SOAS Library on 24th April 2015.

Conditions Governing Use

For any future displays/exhibitions of this item, please note: "Gifted by the Duncan Simonds Family to SOAS Library"

Copyright held by SOAS, University of London

Geographical Names