Guide to the Gloria Watson Curtis Kliene Collection

Special Collections & Archives
University Library
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8326


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Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives
Title: Gloria Watson Curtis Kliene Collection
Creator: Kliene, Gloria Watson Curtis, 1926-2010
Identifier/Call Number: OCH.GWCK
Extent: 0.21 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1927-2008
Abstract: Gloria Watson Curtis Kliene was a British national born and raised in Shanghai, China. During World War II Gloria and her family were interned by the Japanese at the Yu Yuen Road Camp and the Yangtzepoo Camp from February 1943 until April 1945. The collection consists of materials related to Gloria's life in Shanghai, such as identification documents, internment notices, and personal mementos.
Language of Material: English Chinese

Biographical Information:

Gloria Watson Curtis Kliene was born May 31, 1926 at the Victoria Nursing Home in Shanghai, China to British nationals, William Arnold Watson and Frances Watson (née Tilley). She was given the name May Gloria, but went by Gloria most of her life. Growing up she attended the Cathedral School in Shanghai. During the WWII Japanese occupation of China, Gloria and her parents were interned at the Yu Yuen Road Camp beginning in February 1943 when Gloria was sixteen years old. The family was transferred to the Yangtzepoo Camp where they stayed until their release in April 1945.
Later in life, Gloria married and took the name Curtis. She and her husband had three children together and resided in South Africa. In the early 1990s, Gloria attended an Old China Hands reunion where she reconnected with Albert A. Kliene who had also grown up in Shanghai. The two were married April 10, 1995 in Martinez, California and settled in Brentwood, California where they lived until relocating to Sparks, Nevada in 2004, to be closer to friends and family.
During her youth, Gloria enjoyed acting and dancing. She was a gifted seamstress, artist, and organist. She loved photography and collected cameras. She was also a talented chef.
Gloria passed away in Sparks, Nevada on May 21, 2010; her ashes were scattered off the coast of California.

Scope and Contents

The Gloria Watson Curtis Kliene Collection consists of documents and mementos related to Gloria's life in Shanghai and her internment during World War II. An assortment of identification documents are included, such as Gloria's birth certificate issued by the British Consulate-General at Shanghai, a photographic identification card issued by the Swiss Consulate General in charge of British interests in occupied China, and various documents in Chinese. Identification documents from Gloria's later life are also included, such as a membership card to the Lion Match Group Pension Fund, a passport issued by the United Kingdom of Great Britain, a passport issued by the United States of America, and an identification booklet issued by the Republic of South Africa. Internment materials include a total evacuation notice issued by the British Consul General, a notice indicating Gloria's area leader with contact information, and a copy of the pamphlet thrown over Shanghai by Allied planes on August 19, 1945. The collection also includes the arm band worn by Gloria during the war, an offer of employment letter from the Jardine, Matheson and Co., and a selection of personal mementos, including a photograph of Chinese military and political leader Chiang Kai-shek, a bill of fare from Sun Ya Restaurant in Shanghai, and the business card of Gloria's father from the Public Works Department of the Shanghai Municipal Council. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically within.

Related Material

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Diane Kliene Dahnert, 09/25/2015.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Processing Information:

Christine Hertzel, 2015

Box 1, Folder 1

Identification Documents, 1927, 1942-1943, 1991-2008

Box 1, Folder 2

Internment Notices and Civilian Armband, ca.1941-1945

Box 1, Folder 3

Letter from Jardine, Matheson and Co., 1948

Box 1, Folder 4

Personal Mementos, ca.1943-1949