The Cabeldu Family of Kobe, Japan
Philip Samuel Cabeldu
Philip Samuel Cabeldu's connection
with Kobe dates from 1870, two years after the
opening of the port to foreign trade. He was a
native of Saint Helier in Jersey, where he was
born on the 19th December, 1840. He sailed out
to the Far East in a paddle-wheel steamer and
arrived there with his wife, Letitia Bridget Caroline
in Kobe on 4th July, 1870. Their first child was
born in the middle of 1871. In all, they would
have three sons, Philip, Walter and Horace, and
two daughters, Letitia and Evelyn.
By 1871 Philip had founded his own
company operating under Cabeldu and Company, Tailors
and Outfitters, Kobe #3. In 1874 he moved to Kobe
#16 always living and working there. In addition
to his business in Kobe he also tried to gain
a foothold in the Osaka #13 Concession. He was
well acquainted with the technical adviser of
the Imperial Government Mint, William Gowland,
but this connection did not contribute to the
success of his business in the Osaka branch and
he had to close it after only one year. The main
seat of his company remained in Kobe, and still
existed many years after the Meiji era. His three
sons would also work in his company at various
He arrived at Liverpool from Quebec
with his wife and their daughter, Evelyn, on the
22nd May, 1920
Philip died in Bournemouth on the 25th August,1920.
Yokohama Foreigners Great War
Letitia Bridget Caroline Cabeldu
Letitia Bridget Caroline Cabeldu was born
in St Helier, Jersey in 1847, her maiden name being
She arrived at Liverpool from Quebec with
her husband and their daughter, Evelyn, on the 22nd
She was probate for her husband's estate
when the latter died at in Bournemouth on the 25th August,1920.
Letitia died at 29 Woodville Road in Ealing
on the 1st October, 1929.
Philip Arthur Frederick Cabeldu
The eldest son of Philip and Letitia Cabeldu,
he was born in Kobe in 1871. In 1890, after his education
in Jersey (at Victoria College between 1883 and 1887
(Register Number 1940)), he came back to Japan together
with his brother Walter, and both started to work in
the company of their father
In 1893 they moved to Yokohama and established
W and A Cabeldu and Company, Scientific Cutters, Practical
Tailors and Outfitters, Yokohama #80. In 1895 they had
to abandon the company. In partnership with Charles
Thwaites, Arthur founded a new company operating under
Cabeldu, Thwaites and Company Import and Export Merchants,
Sole Agents for Japan of the Waverly Bicycle Company
(Indiana), located at #18-A, Kobe. This partnership
lasted until 1899 when he changed to the Insurance Agency
of the Pollak Brothers at Kobe with the right to sign
per pro. and in 1900 he also worked in Yokohama #26
for this company.
In 1901 he was again living in Kobe, now
employed with EH Tuska, Agents for Howes Scales and
Remington Typewriters. From 1902 to 1905 he is not recorded
in Japan, but in 1906 he became partner in his father's
He died during the Great Kant? Earthquake on the 1st
September, 1923 and was buried in the Foreigners' Cemetery
Walter John Alfred Cabeldu
The second son of Philip and Letitia Cabeldu
he was born in Kobe in 1873. In 1890, after his education
in Jersey (at Victoria College between 1883 and 1888
(Register Number 1941)), he came back to Japan together
with his elder brother and both started to work in the
company of their father in Kobe. In 1893 they moved
to Yokohama and established W and A Cabeldu and Company,
Scientific Cutters, Practical Tailors and Outfitters,
Yokohama #80. In 1895 they had to abandon the company.
Afterwards, Walter is not recorded as being in Japan
He was living at Thornbury, Cedars Road,
Hampton Wick at the time of the 1901 UK Census.
Letitia Jane Cabeldu
The eldest daughter of Philip and Letitia
Cabeldu, she was born was born in Kobe on the 3rd January,
She was attending the Ladies College in
Jersey at the time of the 1891 UK Census.
In 1897 she married Charles Thwaites in
the Union Protestant Church of Kobe. Charles was approximately
6 years her senior.
One daughter, Vera Jane Thwaites, born
in Japan in 1904.
Letitia Thwaites of Woodville House in
Ealing died in Oxfordshire on the 12th July, 1935.
Evelyn Matilda C Cabeldu
The youngest daughter of Philip and Letitia
Cabeldu, she was born in Kobe in 1882. She never married.
In the 1891 UK Census she was living with
her grandmother, M Anthoine, in Colomberie, St Helier,
She arrived at Liverpool from Quebec with
her parents on the 22nd May, 1920.
She was probate for her mother's estate
when the latter died at 29 Woodville Road in Ealing
on the 1st October, 1929.
Evelyn died in the Worthing area in 1956.
Horace Edwin Herbert Cabeldu
The youngest son of Philip and Letitia
Cabeldu, he was born in St Helier, Jersey on the 12th
It is suggested that he was educated at
Victoria College in Jersey, and later finished his education
at Elizabeth College in Guernsey between 1899 and 1900.
The only indication of being an Old Victorian is the
following article in Jersey's Evening post of the 22nd
An Old Victorian in the Trenches. A recent
issue of the Japan Chronicle publishes several letters
from the Front written by an Old Victorian, Private
H Cabeldu of the 10th Battalion, Canadian Volunteers,
son of Mr and Mrs Cabeldu of Coby [Kobe] and a relative
of Mr FE Cabeldu of Roseville Street. In one of his
letters he says
"After going into the trenches several
times one takes it as a matter of course, but the first
time of going in I shall never forget. We moved up quietly
(no talking or smoking) along a well-made road with
tall trees on either side and houses more or less knocked
to pieces by shells. Along the road troops were lined
up and would enquire "who are you?" "Canadians"
would be the reply and we'd ask "who are you?"
"so-and-so Regiment" they would answer. Then
further on, now and again, in a low tone would be "Goodnight
chums". All this seemed so solemn. Then a couple
of stretchers with wounded passed by. We then proceeded
three paces apart into the trenches where a different
atmosphere met one. All the solemn part is over and
everyone is cheerful. We are well supplied with tobacco
in the trenches".
It is interesting to note that Mr Cabeldu
has two other sons engaged in war service, the elder
has been at Woolwich Arsenal for several months and
the younger joined the New Army on the 1st January,
There is no indication in the College's
Register that he did attend, though it appears that
for much of the time between 1883 and 1899 he was living
in Jersey. Given that his two elder brothers had attended
Victoria College, and at least one sister had attended
the Ladies College, it does seem strange that he appears
not to have.
[Similarly, there is no evidence of Horace's
two brothers serving, although Walter had been in Britain
from 1899 when he had married. Did the article mean
Mr FE Cabeldu's two sons?]
He was staying with his brother, Walter,
at Thornbury, Cedars Road, Hampton Wick at the time
of the 1901 UK Census.
Horace sailed from London to Kobe aboard
the SS Malacca on the 2nd October, 1902.
Horace was only in Japan from 1902 to 1903 and was employed
in his father's company. He is not mentioned any further
as being in Japan. He fell in the Great War and was
buried [or is it commemorated?] in the Foreigners' Cemetery
Horace enlisted with the 1st Canadian
Contingent at Valcartier on the 22nd September, 1914,
being assigned to the 10th Battalion. He was reported
as being wounded and missing whilst serving with that
Battalion during the Second Battle of Ypres, and is
noted by the CWGC as having died between the 22nd and
the 23rd of April, 1915. He has no known grave and is
commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing
11th December, 2015