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Woo Ying Fo


1. As a student (LaFargue Collection)  2. 1919 CEM Reunion (LaFargue Collection)  3. undated (LaFargue Collection)


Pinyin & Chinese characters Wu Yingke 吴应科

Variant Spellings & Other Names

Woo Ying Fu
Ying Fo Woo
Woo Ying Kho1
Woo Yung Fu
Woo Yung Fo
American nickname "Stork"2

Other Chinese Name(s) Wu Yingzhi 吴盈之

Detachment 2

LaFargue No. 32

Date of Birth 1860 (1859?)3

Place of Birth Sihui 四会, Guangdong

Age at Departure for US 14 (Lunar Calendar)

Date of Death 1947 (?)10
Place of Death Beijing

Place(s) of Residence in US (1) Washington, CT
(2) Greenfield, MA
(3) Andover, MA

American Host Family/ies (2) Rev. Aretas G. & Elizabeth B. Loomis, Greenfield, MA
(3) Willard Pike, Andover, MA4

School(s), with dates

The Gunnery School, Washington, CT, ?-1878
Phillips Academy (English Dept.), Andover, MA, 1878-1880, graduated
Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, 1880-18815

Notable Activities/Awards in School  
College/University, with dates Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (one year)

Notable Activities/Awards in College  
Degree/Diploma Obtained (date)  
First Assignment in China Fuzhou Naval School (2 years)

Later Positions After training transferred to Beiyang Squadron.  For academic merit given 5th rank military award 积功赏五品军功 and conferred the bazong 把总 (the 7a military rank).

1889: Promoted to dafu of flag ship 督隊船大副 and 3 years later to youji 游击.

1894: Flag Lieutenant to Admiral Ding Ruchang 丁汝昌 on battleship Ting Yuen 定遠 at Battle of Yalu River, 17 September.6

1895: After the War the decimated Beiyang Squadron and its officers were disbanded.

1899: Woo was redeployed by the Government to other duties.

1901-1905: Put in charge of the shipyard of Kiangnan Arsenal, Shanghai. 1905-1908: After reorganization of the shipyard as the Kiangnan Shipyard 江南船坞 Woo was appointed its Director.

1902 Feb. 26: appointed First Interpreter to Special Embassy, headed by Prince Tsai Chen (Zaizhen) 载振, to coronation of King Edward VII in June.7

1908: Admiral of cruiser squadron. Vice Admiral of the Navy.  Director of Beijing Telegraph Administration. Chief Auditor of Board of Communications.

1911: April, attached to the naval mission to attend the Coronation of King George V in June on the cruiser Hai-chi 海圻 commanded by Rear Admiral Cheng Biguang 程璧光.  The Hai-chi sailed on a world tour, the first Chinese warship to do so.  While en route home, learning of the success of the 1911 uprising, Cheng and the whole crew pledged loyalty to the Revolution and transferred their service to the new Republic.8 

Post-1911: Minister of Communications, then Admiral under Yuan Shikai 袁世凯.  Advisor to President Li Yuanhong 黎元洪.

1916: Retired.

Employment Sector(s) Navy; Government: Communications; Telegraph Service

Final Rank, if in Gov't Service  
Father's Name  
Mother's Name  
Family Relations w/ other CEM Students  
Children's Names  
Descendants Great-grandson: Wang Zeyang 王澤養.
Other 1895 Received Manchu title of "Bahtuhlu" 「巴圖魯」 for conspicuous bravery in Battle of Yalu River.9

Woo's portrait was painted in 1938 by the well-known portraitist and illustrator of historical scenes, Jiang Zhaohe 蔣兆和 (1904-1986).

Notes and Sources

1. Springfield Daily Republican, 26 July 1873, 3.

2. Noted in a handwritten caption to a print of a photograph taken of seventeen former students at a reunion of the CEM in Shanghai, August 1919. LaFargue (Pullman).

3. A modern biographical source gives Xianfeng 9th year (3 Feb 1859 - 22 Jan 1860) as year of Woo's birth.

4. See LaFargue (1987), 81, which notes that Woo resided in Greenfield, MA, for five years, attended Andover Academy for two years, then went to Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute (in Troy, NY) for one year.  The U.S. Census for 1880 places him in Andover, MA, boarding with some fourteen other students at the home of Willard Pike.

5. Schools, with years attended, in Rhoads (2011): Table 7.1, p. 90 (The Gunnery School); Table 7.3, p. 100 (Phillips Academy, Andover); Table 8.1, p. 117 (Rensselaer).  Phillips Academy data courtesy David Chase, Phillips Academy, Andover, MA.
6. Yung Shang Him (1939), 23; Qian & Hu (2003), 197.  The Ting Yuen was a German–built steel battleship, launched 1882; during the siege of Weihaiwei 威海卫, February, 1895, it was  torpedoed by the Japanese, beached, and eventually blown up by the Chinese.  Wright (2000), 50; 100; 105.

7. "The Special Embassy to London," North China Herald, 26 Feb. 1902, p. 392.

8. On world cruise of Hai-chi in 1911, cf. Wright (2000), 127-28. In September, it was rumored that the Hai-chi would sail to Mexico as part of efforts to pressure the Mexican government to settle the indemnity claims agreed upon in the negotiations following a massacre of Chinese at Torreón in May, 1911. But the ship did not include Mexico in its return itinerary. On the indemnity negotiations, cf. profiles of Ouyang King (Ouyang Geng 欧阳庚 I, 5) and Woo Chung Yen (Wu Zhongxian 吴仲贤 II, 33).

9. Phillips Academy web site:  <http://www.andover.edu/About/NotableAlumni/LongList/Pages/1800s.aspx> (2009.09.22)

10. Unconfirmed; based on family's belief. (Information courtesy Wang Zeyang, great-grandson of Woo Ying Fo; email 2013/05/27.)