Grayburn was buried at Stanley Military Cemetery. Click here for more details.
Born in 1881, Vandeleur Molyneux Grayburn played many games of rugby in Shanghai with great success, including the first rugby interport fixture in 1907. He also appeared many times for the Shanghai Cricket Club without excelling at either batting or bowling. In one game he was out by hitting his own wicket. His golf handicap of twenty-five suggested that he was no natural swinger of the bat or the club.
Like many of his peers, Grayburn was a volunteer fireman with the Mih-Ho-Longs. In the 1908 final of the Skottowe-Prentice association cup between ‘Ireland’ and ‘England’ He played for ‘Ireland’ in goal, his opposite number was his rugby captain George Billings.
Grayburn worked for the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank and rose to become its Chief Manager. He left Shanghai sometime around 1911. He later lived in Hong Kong where, almost fifty years after Mr H R H Tripp, followed in his footsteps to become the President of Hong Kong Football Club (1936 – 1938). He was knighted during his Presidency in 1937 and around this time was the person responsible for ordering the famous bronze HSBC lions that to this day stand outside Hong Kong’s HSBC building, bearing the scars of the 1941 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong.
After the invasion of Hong Kong, Sir V M Grayburn was captured by the Japanese. He bravely resisted the Japanese before and after he was interned in Stanley goal which led to brutal treatment by the Japanese Kempeitai. He died on 21 August 1943 from meningitis and the effects of malnutrition. Prior to his death, his wife had sent him some vitamin pills but they were returned to her unopened after his death.
Shanghai vs Tianjin
The first rugby interport fixture. Played in Shanghai on 13 February 1907
Shanghai won 14 – 0
Back Row: I.R. Wheen (Touch judge), P. Lancaster, C.C. Dunman, A.H. Arnold, T.G. Drakeford, R.E. Gregson, J.L.M. Gibson (Referee)
W.O. Lancaster, A. F. Wheen, H.H. Fowler, G.A. Turner, H.G. Allen,
V.M. Grayburn, P. Fowler (Captain), A.W. Walkinshaw,
Front Row: R.M. Saker, D.E. Donnelly
Sir Vandeleur Molyneux Grayburn (1881 - 1943)