Same Mentality, Sharp Metality
For nearly 200 years, to a remarkable degree, racing in China ran in families by brothers or father and son team-mates.
Burkill should be another influential family names among Arnhold, Jardine in past eras and Moore, Cheng in recent decades.
1839 — 1913-11-29 Albert Robson Burkill was born in Louth, Lincolnshire.
He headed A R Burkill & Sons in the silk business, one of the largest British firms in China.
The same named company, though with different Chinese translations, is still incorporated and running in Hong Kong.
1890, Qing 16th year of the Guangxu era, Albert Robson Burkill participated in the reclamation of the Bun to build roads.
1897-05-12 — 1898-01-01, he was elected as Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council after the “wheelbarrow riots”.
1897, Qing 23rd year of the Guangxu era, Burkill Road was named after him for his chairmanship of the Shanghai Municipal Council.
1913-12-06,《North China Herald》reported that A R Burkill was a Steward of the Shanghai Race Club.
One century ago in racing history, two famous Shanghai riders of that decade, Mr ‘Bertie‘ A W Burkill and, later, his brother ‘Chuck’, were sons of Albert Robson Burkill.
According to the《Taiwan Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica》〈Shanghai Area People record〉Burkill was translated to another Chinese name.
1873-02-14 — 1952-01-17 Burkill, Albert ‘Bertie‘ William, was born in Shanghai.
1874-07-29 — 1950-02-24 Burkill, Charles ‘Chuck’ Reginald Goodwin, was also born in Shanghai.
1891-12-25, Burkill brothers’ birthdays and Upper School place were published on the list of the 1553 founded King Edward Sixth’s School.
According to Governor Henry May 《Notes on Pony and Horse Racing in Hong Kong 1845-1887》(published in 1909), page 38:
“There remain to be mentioned the brothers Burkill, whose fame resounds throughout the Far East.
We have had the pleasure of seeing Mr A W Burkill ride on various occasions in Hongkong, and it was a great treat.
He is a strong and very pretty rider and always rides with his head.
It was not till last year that we saw the redoubtable “ Chuck ” Burkill at work in silk.
He, like his brother and the other Shanghai men mentioned above, rides with the long stirrup of what may be called the Meyerink school.
It is claimed, I believe, that with this seat more work can be done on the China pony which, as is well known, needs a great deal of riding.
However that may be, there is no gainsaying the fact that our Shanghai friends are hard to beat at anything and especially at riding China ponies, and that this particular rider is the hardest to vanquish of all.
I saw Mr. ‘Chuck’ Burkill win nine races last Hongkong meeting.
Of these I calculate that he stole two, if not three.
I have never seen a man sit quieter on his mount, or ride with nicer judgment.
When I add that he has a great knowledge of pace, is very strong in the saddle, and can get to the bottom of the most unwilling mount, the reader will understand that he is indeed a “rum ‘un to follow and a bad a ‘un to beat”.
The Burkill brothers totally won the HK Derby 7 times.
The elder brother firstly won 2, the younger brother later won 4 Derby successively.
But all of their official and published records were written as Mr Burkill:
1895-02-20 Burkill BLACK VELVET Not Applicable The 23rd Derby 1-1/2 miles Buxey.
1896-02-20 Burkill STANDARD Not Applicable The 24th Derby 1-1/2 miles Newman.
1909-02-17 Burkill LITTLE GEM ROSE Not Applicable The 37th Derby 1-1/2 miles Buxey.
1910-02-16 Burkill ROYAL ROSE Not Applicable The 38th Derby 1-1/2 miles Buxey.
1911-02-15 Burkill CORONATION ROSE Not Applicable The 39th Derby 1-1/2 miles Buxey.
1912-02-22 Burkill WHITE HAWTHORN Not Applicable The 40th Derby 1-1/2 miles Sir Paul.
1916-02-22 Burkill WINSOME DAHLIA Not Applicable The 44th Derby 1-1/2 miles Sir Paul.
However, from Henry Ching’s 1965 ‘POW MAH’, it is clearly stated that A W Burkill won the HK Derby in 1895 and 1896.
1924, A W Burkill OBE became the Chairman of Shanghai Race Club.
Burkills were active and prominent as found in the《Jewish merchants’ community in Shanghai: a study of the Kadoorie Enterprise, 1890-1950》.
1929, the names of Burkill with major shareholders were shown on (partial list) the allotment of new shares of the Shanghai Land Investment Company.
1934-03-01, A W Burkill inaugurated the new Shanghai Race Club building.
1936-1941, Burkill were the third after Arnhold and Jardine, their rubber companies as agent had high total market value and capitalization percentages.
Burkill brothers had a close relationship but slightly different between their academic, racing and business successes.
1943, the 32nd year of the Republic of China, when the Shanghai International Settlement under the Wang Jingwei regime, Burkill Road was renamed to FengYang Road, remembering a county in Anhui.
【Rum ‘un】 Used in Manchester, England to mean a naughty or mischievous person, usually a child.
【Rum one】 a term used alot in Wisbech, Fenland, and Norfolk by farmery people and general pikeys/ peasnts/ commoners, which means odd/ strange or good, depending on the situation used.
【Meyerink】 In other parts of the Netherlands, it was more common to add -ing or -ink to their last name. This is how Meyerink was created. Meyer-ink. A meyer was sort of a chief of police, and had a high reputation.
960 meters = 1/2 mile 170 yards; 1207 meters = 6 Furlong; 1609 meters = 1 mile; 1766 meters = 1 mile 171 yards; 2012 meters = 1-1/4miles; 2816 meters = 1-3/4 miles.
Acknowledgment to Mr KH; Mr Lacuda Mengnah; HKJC Archives; Hong Kong Racing Museum for relevant content.