Team photo from the 31 March 1923 interport game between Shanghai (Black) and Tientsin. Focken played in this match and is therefore pictured in black. I have only identified a few names:
Shanghai team in black
Back Row: ?, ?, ?, ?, Geoffrey Francis Hammond Bichard
Middle Row: ?, ?, John C Stewart, John Gordon Baxter Dewar, ? E A Jenkinson
Front Row: ?, G E Goolden, ?, ?
One of the ? is Focken
Born in Manila in the Phillipines in 1904 or 05, Focken played rugby in Shanghai from 1922 until 1930, making several appearances in 'Old Crock" teams in 1934 and 35. He played one interport fixture against Tientsin in March 1923. His Shanghai rugby league team was the Machine Gun Company which later was renamed the Armoured Car Company.
I have found very little about Focken, what I did find out was too late to include in my book 'It's a Rough Game but Good Sport'. Unfortunately I did not find out that he was killed while on active servive during World War Two and he is missed from my list of those killed during the war in my book.
The details about his death are sketchy. He was serving as a Captain in the Hong Kong Royal Army Service Corp, fighting to defend the Colony against the Japanese invasion in 1941. He was reported as missing late in the battle of Hong Kong. It is thought that he was killed by a landmine at Repulse or Deep Water Bay sometime between 18th and 25th December. His body was never identified and so he is listed on column 21 of the Sai Wan War memorial in Hong Kong.
It was noted on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission site that he was the son of Frederick John Charles and Mary Focken and the husband of Frances Beatrice Focken (nee Allen, married 10 May 1934), of Bowral, New South Wales, Australia.
Frederick John William Focken (1904/5 - 1941)