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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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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6 Q You saw Lem How, the accused and Lem Ho, and what were they doing? A. Yes I saw Lem How while I was persuading these people not to fight he ran towards me with an axe and gave me a blow on the nose.

7 Q With the axe? A. With the axe.

8 Q Did it cut you? A. Yes it was bleeding.

9 Q Do you know what became of the axe? After the blow was struck on my nose the axe I understand….

MR. COWAN: Understand?

90 Q Did you see what became of the axe? A. Yes I saw Chow Wah and a white man taking the axe away from him.

1 Q From whom? A. Lem How.

2 Q Then what did Lem How do? A. Then he ran away

3 Q In what direction? A. Then he ran towards the end of the street in the direction of the store called Yue Yee, and then finally I saw him supporting his brother.

4 Q Lem Ho? A. Yes.

5 Q Where? A. 556 ½ Shanghai Alley.

6 Q Did you follow them to the door of 556 ½? A. Yes, after they went upstairs I followed up

7 Q You followed upstairs? A. Yes.

8 Q Were you there when the Policeman came? A. Yes, I was there.

9 Q Was Lem How taken away by policeman? A. Yes

100 Q And you were taken along at the same time? A We both were taken away by the Policeman at the same time.


1 Q What is your occupation? Q. Working in a shingle mill

2 Q Whose shingle mill? A. Across the sea.

3 MR RUSSELL: What, across the Inlet, you mean? A. Yes.

4 Q What is the name of the shingle mill? A. I don’t know the name of the mill I only know the name of the boss.

5 Q What is the boss’s name? A. George.

6 Q George what? A. Everybody calls him George

7 Q Now you say it is across the Inlet? A. Yes the inlet.

8 Q In North Vancouver? A. I have to take the blue label car.

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

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