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Sir Edward Youde
|26th Governor of Hong Kong|
20 May 1982 – 5 December 1986
|Chief Secretary||Philip Haddon-Cave|
|Preceded by||Murray MacLehose|
|Succeeded by||David Wilson|
|Ambassador from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China|
29 August 1974 – 15 June 1978
|Preceded by||John Addis|
|Succeeded by||Percy Cradock|
|Born||19 June 1924|
|Died||4 December 1986 (aged 62)|
British Embassy, Beijing, China
|Resting place||Canterbury Cathedral, England|
|Alma mater||University of London|
|Profession||Diplomat, sinologist, colonial administrator|
|Branch/service||Royal Naval Reserve|
Sir Edward Youde Chinese: 尤德; Cantonese: Yau Tak; 19 June 1924 – 5 December 1986) was a British administrator, diplomat and Sinologist. He served as Governor of Hong Kong between 20 May 1982 and his death on 5 December 1986.(
In 1947, Youde joined the Foreign Office, where he would serve the rest of his life, and was swiftly posted to British embassy in Nanking, then the capital of the Republic of China. In 1949, amidst the Chinese Civil War, HMS Amethyst came under attack by People's Liberation Army forces while sailing on the Yangtze River. The frigate was heavily damaged by artillery fire and became stranded in the Yangtze River. Using his skills in Mandarin, Youde negotiated with the PLA commander to ask for the release of the Amethyst. His negotiations came to naught, but bought enough time for the Amethyst's to plan a successful escape to Hong Kong under the cover of darkness. Youde was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his actions.
In 1950, following the Communists' victory in the civil war, Britain recognized the People's Republic of China, and the British embassy moved to Beijing. Youde went on to serve a total of four tours of Foreign Office duty in China, the last as ambassador, from 1974 to 1978. He also served in Washington (1956 to 1959) and as a member of the British mission to the United Nations (1965 to 1969).
Youde was knighted in 1977.
Hong Kong governorship
Sir Edward is especially remembered for his tenure as the Hong Kong Governor and his role in negotiating the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which was signed in Beijing in 1984. This, amongst other things, made it clear that the British would leave Hong Kong in 1997 after 156 years of colonial rule.
Hong Kong's only Welsh Governor was widely liked for his kindly demeanour and greatly admired for his formidable erudition. In an editorial following his death, the Chinese-language Ming Pao newspaper compared him to Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period, who had 'pledged to work diligently on state affairs until death'.
The idea of setting up a secondary school to develop students' potential in sport and the visual arts together with a normal academic syllabus was first mooted by Sir Edward. Based upon this idea, the Jockey Club Ti-I College was founded in 1989.
Death and state funeral
At his funeral - Hong Kong's first state funeral with full military honours - the streets were lined with people. The casket, draped in the Union Flag, was carried by ten guardsmen, and a 17-gun salute was fired from the shore station of HMS Tamar. Sir Edward was cremated, and his ashes buried at Canterbury Cathedral in England, where a memorial plaque to him was installed in the nave.
Remembrance and legacy
A fund, the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund, was created from public contributions upon the recommendation of the Legislative Council. The fund is now administered by the HKSAR Government and offers a number of scholarships and sponsorship schemes aimed at encouraging and promoting the education of and research by Hong Kong people. To be eligible for the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund candidates must be proficient in English and Chinese and also have a good mastery of the language in which their studies will be undertaken.
The Edward Youde Aviary in Hong Kong Park was named after him in 1992, in recognition of his birdwatching interest. The Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Hong Kong was named after his wife.
A plaque to his memory was commissioned by the Hong Kong Civil Service and placed on the wall of St John's Cathedral, in the Central District of Hong Kong.
Personal and family
Youde married Pamela Fitt and the couple had two daughters, Jennifer and Deborah.
- Sir Edward Youde of Hong Kong Dies, The New York Times, 5 December 1986
- Sze Yuen Chung (2001). Hong Kong's Journey to Reunification: Memoirs of Sze-yuen Chung. Chinese University Press. p. 148. ISBN 978-962-996-002-5.
- HK's quiet champion, South China Morning Post, 3 December 2006
- Throngs Attend State Funeral for Gov. Edward Youde, Associated Press, 9 December 1986
- Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarships for Overseas Studies Archived 14 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edward Youde, Sir.|
- Edward Youde at Find a Grave
- 5 December 1986 - TVB Pearl News File report on Sir Edward Youde's death
- Corpus of Political SpeechesFree access to political speeches by Edward Youde and other politicians, developed by Hong Kong Baptist University Library
Sir John Addis
| British Ambassador to the People's Republic of China
Sir Percy Cradock
Sir Murray MacLehose
| Governor of Hong Kong
Sir David Wilson
| President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong|