Transcription Page

1914/195 Rex vs. Lem How – attempted murder

As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here. 

*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person. 

BC Archives G-0419

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(Before C.J. South Esq., P.M.,)

Vancouver, B.C. Sept. 1st 1914.


Province of British Columbia

County of Vancouver

City of Vancouver


LEM HOW charged on the information of Gim Wing of the City of Vancouver on the 1st day of August 1914, for that at the said City of Vancouver on the 13th day of July A.D. 1914 Lem How in and upon the said Gim Wing did unlawfully make an assault with a deadly weapon to wit; an axe with intent to murder him the said Gim Wing.

J.A. RUSSELL ESQ. Counsel for Prosecution.

CKC. A. COWAN – ESQ., K.C., Counsel for the Defence.


LAMBERT SUNG, sworn as interpreter.

L.H. HEANEY Sworn as stenographer.

CURT: I am going to take this as a preliminary hearing.

MR. COWAN: I think your Worship, witnesses should be excluded.

MR. RUSSELL: I am going to call first a white witness and after that two Chinese witnesses.

JOHN HARRISON 1042 Kingsway. Called as a witness being first sworn, testified as follows :-


1. Q. What was your address on the 13th of August? A. 1908 42nd Avenue East, South Vancouver

2. Q. What was your occupation on the 13th of August? A. Trackman, B.C. Electric Railway.

3. Q. Were you engaged at work on the 13th? A. Yes.

4. Q. In what locality, whereabouts were you working A. Well we were working all over the City. We work all over the City.

5. Between twelve and one on that day, what were you doing? A. Well, we had lunch. We started lunch at twelve o’clock.

BC Archives GR-0419 Box 193 File 1914/195 / BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. / Attorney General documents.

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