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Ipoh Street Names
This is an extract from the book “Malayan Street Names, What They Mean and Whom They Commemorate”, written by S Durai Raja-Singham in 1939. Unfortunately it is no longer available, but the text below is as it was when published:
Street names are fingerposts to History. These picturesque names are on the lips of thousands every day. Postal employees have their eyes on them. Ambulance and Fire Engine drivers take their directions from them as they rush by. Taxi drivers and rickshawallaws know them all. Yet how many of those know that the story of Malaya lives in these names?
In Malaya we have a fine mixture of English, French, Dutch, Portuguese, American, Australian, Malay, Chinese, Indian and Ceylonese names for our streets, including a Japanese name at Ipoh (Togo Street), Kings and Queens, Sultans and Rajas, Governors and Residents, lawyers and schoolmasters, editors and doctors, commercial magnates and Municipal Commissioners, planters and miners – all these who have worked for the country have had their names perpetuated. (Editor’s note – remember this was written in 1939, it no longer applies in the 21st century does it?)
(From Connolly to Bandsmen’s quarters).
Named after the late Mr M Andal, Band Master of the Perak State Band. On retirement, he returned to the Philippines where he died.
Anderson Road (and School)
(From the junction of Chamberlain Road and Jalan Masjid to Douglas Road).
Named after Sir John Anderson, GCMG, KCB, who was Governor of the Straits Settlements and High Commissioner for the Federated Malay States from 1904-1911. He succeeded Sir Frank Swettenham in April 1904. He achieved a unique record by becoming Permanent Under Secretary of State for the Colonies and then in December 1915, went to Ceylon as Governor and served there till his death in 1918. Important Acts during his regime were the fixing of the value of the Straits Dollar, the institution of the Government Monopolies Department, the practice of appointing Civil Servants to the Judicial bench and to be Municipal Presidents. He was “a strong Imperialist with a fine brain.”
(From Kuala Kangsar Road to Maxwell Road).
Named after Mr P A Anthony CMG who was General Manager and Chief Engineer of the Federated Malay States Railways from 1910 to 1924. He was responsible for the Penang Hill Railway, the Prai Wharves, the Central Railway Offices, Kuala Lumpur, the new station and Hotel at Ipoh, the Railway Sanatorium at Port Dickson, the starting of the Johore Causeway and for large sections of the East Coast Line.
(From Anderson Road to Tambun Road).
Named after the late Mr. William John Bernard Ashby, the only child of the late Mr William Ashby, European Inspector of Police, Straits Settlements. Joined the service in 1891. First Secretary of the newly formed Kinta Sanitary Board under the chairmanship of Mr (now Sir) Arthur S Jelf. He retained the position until June 1926. Member of the Kinta Sanitary Board from 1931 to 1938. On his death Col Rae at the Ipoh Rotary Club said one tribute he would pay to the late Mr Ashby, a founder member and past president and that was the greatest he could pay was that Rn Ashby had lived up every Rotary principle.
(Between Tat Lock Street and Togo Street).
Named after the late Mr H A W Aylesbury, the founder of the firm of Aylesbury and Garlarand now Harper, Gilfillan and Company Limited, Ipoh.
(Clayton Road to Conway Street).
Named after Sir H C Belfield KCMG British Resident, Selangor from 1902 to 1911 and later in Perak. He joined the Selangor Government Service as Chief Magistrate (the judge of those days was thus called) and later became Commissioner of Lands. He left Malaya to become Governor of East Africa Protectorate (1912-1919).
(People’s Park to Belfield Street).
Named after Sir E W Birch KCMG who was, in turn, British Resident of Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Perak. In addition to being an able and energetic administrator, was a keen cricketer and an all round sportsman. His father, Mr J W W Birch was murdered in Perak when officiating as the first British Resident in that State. Sir Earnest Birch retired in 1911. He then joined the London Board of several important tin and rubber companies and was at one time Mayor of Bexhill. He died in December 1929.
(From Tambun Road through Cantonese Cemetery to junction with Golf Club Road).
Named after Mr Robert Peebles Brash of Penang. A former member of the Federal Council and proprietor of G W Wilson & Co Ltd, Ipoh, Penang, Sungei Petani and a director of many mining companies.
Named after Mr E J Brewster who was District Officer, Kinta (1904-1910). He retired in 1916 as British Resident, Pahang.
(From Tambun Road to Race Course Road).
Named after Mr William John Caldwell, a miner and part founder of Sengat Estate and one time manager of Miru Tin Mines. He built a palatial house at Tanjong Bunga since acquired by the War Office in connection with defence of Penang. He was at one time Agent for the Straits Trading Company at Menglembu and lived at Lahat.
Named after Mr G E Cator C M G a former Resident of Perak. He left Malaya on retirement in November 1938. He won high respect in the State, during a period in which, he had to handle important problems. He is at present Agent at the Malayan Information Agency.
(From Junction of Jalan Masjid and Anderson Road to Chung Thye Pin Road).
This road made in 1907/08; is named after the late Right Hon; Joseph Chamberlain M P, father of the present Prime Minister of England, Mr Neville Chamberlain. A Radical politician, Mayor of Birmingham (1873-1876) Secretary of State for Colonies in the Coalition Government. In 1906, he withdrew from public life on account of ill health.
First Chancellor of Birmingham University. Died on July 2nd 1914. Sir Frank Swettenham in his “British Malaya” says “I am responsible for the Malay States lines, with the exception of the eight miles branch in Larut, from Taiping to Port Weld, and the twenty-four miles branch in Sungei Ujong, from Seremban to Port Dickson (which was built by and belongs to a private Company) and I may recall the fact that when I first recommended the construction of the Province Wellesley line, it was disapproved. But when I again repeated all the arguments in favour of the work and pressed to be allowed to undertake it, Mr Chamberlain, then Secretary of State for Colonies, gave his sanction on the ground that, if the value of a great work could be satisfactorily demonstrated, the sooner it was taken in hand the better. Mr Chamberlain is one of the few public men who realize this principle.
Nothing is as common as to express great interest in a new proposal, great sympathy and even high approval: but when it involves the expenditure of money, the running of risk, the acceptance of responsibility, enthusiasm for the scheme is not only tempered, but often entirely counteracted, by the decision to put off its accomplishment to the Greek Kalends.” Before the departure of Sir Cecil C Smith, Sir Frank Sweetenham had drawn up a scheme for the Federation of the Malay States and submitted it to him. This proposal was forwarded to the Secretary of State and Sir Charles Mitchell recommended that is the Malay rulers favoured the proposal, the Federation should be adopted. Mr Chamberlain, the Secretary of State for the Colonies approved of this.
Sir Frank visited the several States explained the scheme very fully to the Malay Rulers and British Residents and secured the written consent of the Rulers. That the Institute for Medical Research owes its being to Mr Joseph Chamberlain, was stated by Dr A Neave Kingsbury, Director of the Institute, at the opening of the sixth international course in malariology.
Mr Chamberlain, as Secretary of State for the Colonies, was instrumental in sending to Kuala Lumpur a research worker to investigate the cause of beri-beri, which was then a most serious disease among the Chinese, said Dr Kingsbury. “Our foundation,” he continued, “antidates all other institutes in British Colonies and Protectorates. Today, the senior staff numbers no less than 16, and we like to think that we have not altogether lost our original start.”
(From Anderson Road to Cowan Street).
Named after Mr W T Chapman, Protector of Chinese, Ipoh, who later became Secretary for Chinese Affairs. He retired in 1927.
(Maxwell Road to P W D Store).
Named after Mr C N Maxwell who was at one time Chairman, Kinta Sanitary Board. He was Commissioner of Trade and Customs when he retired. An authority on the Malay language. Author of “Malayan Fishes”.
(Anderson Road to Cowan Street).
Named after Dr Tertius Clarke, who was Health Officer, Kinta.
(From Belfield Road end to Douglas Road).
Named after Mr R J B Clayton, who held many appointments in Perak. He retired as British Adviser, Kelantan in November 1930. Brother of Tubby Clayton, founder of Toch H during the Great War.
(From Lahat Road to Silibin Road).
Named after Dr R M Connolly M D of Ipoh, who was District Surgeon, Taiping and Ipoh. Later he went into private practice and was interested in the “Malayan Daily Chronicle”. A good writer. He was living at an advanced age at Tapah. Recently he sold his estate and left for Ireland.
(Club Road Junction to Belfield Street).
See Belfield Street.
(From Sanitary Board offices to Station Road).
Named after the late Mr Herbert W Cooper who was for sometime in the P W D and then a planter at Teluk Anson and finally a partner in the firm of Aylesbury and Garland.
(From Hugh Low Street to Green Lane).
Named after Mr William Cowan who was Protector of Chinese, Perak, Ipoh. He retired several years ago and died in Edinburgh after serving in France.
(From Clayton Road to Anderson Road).
Named after Dato Francis William Douglas M C S, perhaps Ipoh’s most famous Chairman of Kinta Sanitary Board and Klang’s popular District Officer. It was during his time that the whole of the new town of Ipoh was built, (1904-1907) Chairman, Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board (1911), B R Brunei (1913), Director of Food Production (1920-1922). Retired in 1928. Now Adviser and Treasurer of the Royal family of Selangor at Klang and President of the M A H A
(From Maxwell Road to La Brooy Road)
Named after Dr P G Edgar who was a Medical Officer in Teluk Anson and Kinta. He left Government service and went in for mining as Managing Director of Tronoh Mines Ltd. He died in England a few years ago.
(Jelf Road to Court House)
Named after Mr G W Fryer, Chief Construction Engineer, FMS Railways. He died while holding the appointment. There is a bronze bust of Mr. Fryer in the Kuala Lumpur Station.
Foo Choo Choon Street
(Laxmana Road to Togo Street)
Important mining Towkay, at one time he owned “Tronoh Mines”, “Lahat Mines”, “Sungei Besi Mines”. Father of Mr Foo Meow Chin, who is married to a daughter of Mr Choo Kia Peng OBE.
(Golf Club Road to Tambun Road)
Named after Mr E F C Garland who was head of the Perak firm of Aylesbury Garland and Company.
(Belfield Street to Leech Street)
Named after Mr A Hale who was at one time (1899-1904), Collector of Land Revenue, Kuala Lumpur and previously at Ipoh. On his retirement from the Civil Service, a few years later, he became Assistant Agent at the Malayan Information Agency in London. He was the author of an entertaining book entitled “The Adventures of John Smith in Malaya (1600-1605).”
(From Teacher Street to Labour Office)
Named after Mr Valentine Hill who was ADO Kinta (1903) and later in 1913 was District Officer, Kinta. He retired as British Resident of Negri Sembilan (1921-1922). It may be so named because it scaled the highest point in Ipoh.
(From Brewster Road to Towkay Leong Sin Nam’s shop-towards North)
Named after the late Rev W E Horley, MBE, the great educationist of the Methodist Mission. He was born in 1870 and died in 1931. He founded schools and did church and educational work in Perak and Selangor for 37 years.
The ACS, Ipoh and the MBS, Kuala Lumpur was the schools which he started. On his death at the graveside the Bishop of Singapore, the Right Reverend BC Roberts paid a generous tribute to his memory.
The following is one passage from the Bishop’s address:- “For 37 years William Edward Horley spent himself in passionate devotion to the social and spiritual welfare of the people of this country. His zeal did not go without recognition and he gained a public distinction which many men might covet, but far more precious to him must have been the confidence of the hundreds of simple souls which he won, and the personal friendships which he made by his cheerful and sympathetic nature. But he was more than a good comrade and kindly humanitarian. He had an exceptionally clever vision of God, and the witness whom he bore was never obscure or half hearted or compromising”.
Hugh Low Street
(Club Road to Tambun Road and Gopeng Road Junction)
Named after Sir Hugh Low GCMG who was Resident of Perak from 1877-1889). An uncle of Sir Hugh Clifford. The immense prosperity of Perak had its beginning during his time.
One of his greatest reforms was the final abolition of debt slavery. He died in 1905. Perak was his “political child”.
Dr W Linehan in an address at the Taiping Rotary Club referred to Sir Hugh Low thus “After the death of Mr J W W Birch, Mr Davidson acted for about a year as Resident, but the country was virtually under military occupation and he retired. Hugh Low was then appointed Resident, and he landed at Telok Kertang on April 19, 1877 and walked to Matang. Hugh Low came to Perak determined to respect the customs of the people. He saw that some these customs – that of slavery were bad, but he wisely realized that Perak would not be built in a day and that the first thing to gain was the confidence of the people.”
(Between Russell Street and Hugh Low Street)
Named after Lt Col W J P Hume who retired in 1921 as British Resident, Perak (1877-1889).
(Silibin Road to Fryer Road)
Named after Sir A F Jelf who was Chairman of Kinta Sanitary Board in 1914 and Colonial Secretary, Jamaica when he retired in 1935.
(From Treacher Street parallel to Hugh Low Street, running due cast of Treacher Street)
Named after Mr A N Kenion, the senior partner of the legal firm of Maxwell and Kenion.
Mr Kenion was an unofficial member of the Federal Council where he did excellent work during his tenure of office from 1915-1924.
After Mr Kenion retired at the end of nine years service on the Council, official tributes were paid to him.
The Chief Secretary to Government (Sir George Maxwell) said:- “I would like to associate myself with what has been said by the unofficial members of this Council in regard to the services rendered by Mr Kenion during the long time he served as a member of the Federal Council. I think that I can say that the Government always felt stronger when they knew that they had Mr Kenion on their side and that they always felt that they had need of all their strength when they knew that he was against them. Mr Kenion often jested in this council; but I think he did so in order to relieve our somewhat portentous solemnity and because he felt that it was good for us. But whatever he did, through-out he worked his very hardest and he gave the country of his best.”
(Maxwell Road to Edgar Road)
Named after Mr W C H Labrooy, a prominent citizen of Ipoh. He was formerly in the Sanitary Board Service. An architect and builder and the owner of the Caxton Press, Ipoh.
Leong Sin Nam Street
(Parallel to Brewster Road and lying between Anderson Road and Cowan Street)
Mr Leong Sin Nam, O B E is a leading miner of Ipoh and a leader of the Chinese community in Kinta. Mr Leong Sin Nam, OBE, JP, MCH, MSC, is the eldest son of the late Leong Tin Siew of Canton, who came to Penang in the early seventies and carried on trade between Penang and Achin.
Mr Sin Nam’s name and fame as a prominent miner reached his mother country and the Governor of Yuen Nam Province invited him to China for the purpose of demonstrating and instructing the Chinese miners regarding the modern mining methods and improvements which were adopted in Malaya. The Governor of the said Province in appreciation of the services and the valuable advice and assistance rendered by Mr Sin Nam awarded several medals and decorations to him, and also offered him the appointment of Warden of Mines of that province.
He was selected as one of the representatives for Perak at the Malaya – Borneo Exhibition which was held during the visit of the Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 1921. During the food shortage in 1919, he proved himself to be of great assistance to the authorities in helping them to enforce rules and regulations which were introduced in order to relieve the distress and suffering among the poor.
He has always been an ardent supporter and patron of education and has been chiefly instrumental in securing State – aid for some of the Chinese schools. In recent years, he has identified himself in all State affairs.
(From Brewster Road to Cross Street)
Named after Mr J M B Leech, District Officer, Kinta perhaps the most famous District Officer of old times.
(From Dhoby Lines Silibin Road to Kuala Kangsar Road)
Named after the late Mr Eric Maxwell of the legal firm of Maxwell and Kenion, Ipoh. Brother of Sir George Maxwell and Mr C N Maxwell.
(From Russell Street to Brewster Road)
Named after the late Mr Douglas Osborne founder of Osborne and Chappel, mining engineers, Ipoh. He founded a dozen successful mining companies in Malaya. Part owner of the land in which the new town of Ipoh was built. Was a well known gentleman – rider. Mr Douglas Osborne was a member of the Federal Council at its inception in 1909. He died soon after his retirement leaving a large fortune.
(From Anderson Road eastwards and south of Hume Street)
Named after Mr Archie Russell who owned a large part of Ipoh. He died in 1933.
(Sungei Pari Road to Pumpun Halt)
Named after Mr C E Spooner CMG, who was transferred from the Ceylon PWD to re-organise the Selangor PWD in the early nineties of the last century. He ultimately became General Manager of the Federated Malay States Railways (1901-1909) and died in Kuala Lumpur whilst still holding the appointment. During his administration of the Railway Department the through line from Penang to Kuala Lumpur was opened. There is a bronze bust of Mr Spooner in the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
(Tambun Road to Race Course)
Named after Mr A J Sturrock who was Chairman, Kinta Sanitary Board and later British Adviser, Trengganu. He retired in 1931.
(Between Laxmana Road and Aylesbury Street)
Named after Mr H Tatlock who was for many years the Perak manager of the Straits Trading Co.
(Gopeng Road to Golf Club Road)
Named after Mr H W Thomson CMG who retired in 1929 as British Resident of Perak after having served in Pahang and Selangor as Resident. He later became Agent at the Malayan Information Agency in London. He has completed a Dictionary of Malayan Medicine, the work of Dr J D Gimlette who died in 1934.
(From Jalan Masjid to east corner of YWCA)
Named after Togo, Heihachiro, Count (1907) OM (1906) Japanese Admiral, born at Kagoshima in 1847, served against China (1894) and as Commander in Chief of the Japanese Navy, completely defeated Russia at sea (1904-5). He died in 1934 on the 29th anniversary of his triumphant return to the naval base Sasebo, after the annihilation of the Russian fleet at Tushima.
(Editor’s note: After the war and the Japanese atrocities during the occupation, the street was quickly renamed Cockman Street in memory of the one-time Chief ADO, Herbert James Cockman, DFC MCS, who, the onset of war became a Major, 1st (Perak) Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force. He died 15th February 1942. Aged 43.)
(Jalan Datoh to Panglima Street)
Named after Sir William Hood Treacher KCMG who was British Resident, Selangor (1892-1896), British Resident, Perak (1896-1901) and Resident-General FMS (1901-1904). The Victoria Institution was built at his instigation. A very kind and courteous man whose departure was regretted by all classes.
Watson Road, Ipoh
(From Brash Road to Garland Road)
Named after Mr R G Watson CMG, who was in the Chinese Protectorate, Singapore and of the most popular British Residents of Perak (1912-1917). He also acted as Resident-General FMS (1910-1911) and as Chief Secretary to Government (1914-1915). A musician, a good cricketer and a great mimic.
(From Golf Club Road to Garland Road)
Named after Sir Lionel Mabbot Woodward Kt Bach MA (Cantab) Chief Justice Federated Malay States. A great judge whose years of service in Ipoh are still held in particular veneration. He joined the service as a cadet in January 1888 and was stationed for several years in Penang and Province Wellesley in the judicial branch.