Geoffrey Robley Sayer

MR. G. R. SAYER Geoffrey Robley Sayer died in hospital on January 27, after an operation, at the age of 75. He was a man of many activities and wide interests; of high courage, persistence and integrity. After taking an honours degree in Classics and a “Soccer” Blue at Oxford, he was appointed to the Eastern Cadet Service in 1910 and was posted to Hongkong, where he served in various posts, including district officer, Head of Sanitary Department, and Director of Education, from which post he retired in 1938. During the 1914-18 War he was released for military service, and as an officer in The Rifle Brigade was severely wounded in France. Later he was transferred to the Chinese Labour Battalion in France, where officers with a knowledge of Chinese were urgently needed. As captain of the Hongkong inter-port cricket team he was noted for his witty speech-making as well as for his batting abilities. After his retirement from Hongkong he served in the Second World War as an officer in the Ministry of Food, and in the Chinese section of the Censor’s Office. In his early days he published a translation of Horace’s Odes. After retirement he continued his Chinese studies and translated into English books on Chinese ceramics. These translations are much valued and appreciated by European experts to whom these works would have been otherwise inaccessible. He was also a connoisseur and collector of prints of Hongkong in the early days of British occupation, and he acted as an agent for the Hongkong Government in acquiring a collection of such prints. Both these activities kept him in touch with many Chinese friends, and by them, as by his British associates, his sudden death will be deeply mourned. .

The Times. February 8, 1962.