Help ID police staff at old Tai Po police station

Submitted by guyshirra on Fri, 01/22/2016 - 12:13

Idy and Stella have asked us to try and identify the officers in their display photos at the Old Tai Po police station Green Hub; can you help? 

1. two Expats (Donald Burlingham ASP below?)

IMG_1134.JPG, by guyshirra


2. three VPP or VPU

IMG_1146.JPG, by guyshirra


3. one Expat, one local IP ("Bing" Crosby?)

Image00006.jpg, by guyshirra


4. one Expat DI (I know that face)

Image00007.jpg, by guyshirra


5. one Corporal

Image00008.jpg, by guyshirra


6. group

OTTP in 1900.jpg
OTTP in 1900.jpg, by guyshirra


7. one Expat CSP?, one Expat government, one Local CIP? (John F. Green, Tony Cooper?)

Image00001.jpg, by guyshirra


8. CI NT McHandy with Donald Burlingham ASP?)

Image00009.jpg, by guyshirra

Guy Shirra

Pic no.3, the Local PI reminds me of Larry LUNG Hung-cheuk who was PTU Staff for a long time in the 70s.

Pic. no.4, I have impression of that face of the Expat too, but not the name.  Was he trying to demonstrate how close the drawing was to the person arrested?

Pic. no. 5, obviously the person in the middle was CI/NT McHindy, according to the title of the photo, being sent off on 2nd Aug 1949.

I hearsay that the Chief Inspectors of those days were very fearsome persons to everyone in the Division.  Senior Inspectors became 3-pips CIPs later (early 70s), taking away that mystique rank; and Assistant Superintendents with similar 3-pips, became SPs, with a crown on the shoulders (or was it the head...)




So far, members of the RHKP Old & Bold, who recently had a fantastic guided tour of the Old Tai Po police station KFBG Green Hub, with Gwulo assistance, have managed to identify the following officers:


Top Left CIP William McHardy CPM for Gallantry (1939)

Bottom Right ASP Donald Burlingham

2. Nil


Left SIP Arthur "Bing" Crosby

Centre IP Larry Lung


Left Charlie Mayger - retired as CSP

5 & 6 Nil


Left Johnnie Greene retired as CSP

Centre Tony Cooper, former IP who became an AO


CI NT William McHardy and Donald Burlingham or N.B. Frazer?

Thank you for your interest. Guy Shirra RHKP O&B


William Stirton McHardy awarded CPM (G) vide Supplement to London Gazette  of 19.5.1939 as ' Sgt - Hong Kong Police ' ..In same notice were Inspector F D Tuckett ,Sgt G C Taylor,L/Sgt C S Pile  and Coxswain Chan Hung,No citations for these awards were given.In 1949 McHardy was also awarded the BEM.


By pure accident I have just seen a picture of my late father, Arthur (bing) crosby at Old Tai po police station.

I was born on the island, but returned to the UK at the age of 4 when my parents seperated.

I know very little regarding his police career, and have just a couple of photo's of him. if any body has any recollection of him or photo's I would be most grateful

Hi Dale

I remember "Bing".

In 1965 I had been allotted a staff quarter at Wong Tai Sin (WTS) Police station (then virtually brand new) although my posting was to Sham Sui Po (SSPo) . Before I had saved up enough to buy my first second-hand car , I travelled to work daily between WTS and SSPo on a KMB double deck bus wearing my uniform although technically I was not 'on duty'. In those days the buses had open rear decks for boarding ( like the London Routemaster buses) and I used to jump onto the slow moving bus between stops to avoid getting soaked in sweat walking up-hill to the nearest bus stop. Sometimes when I climbed on board two to three other men would immediately jump off the bus upon seeing me. Obviously fugitives "on the run"  or heroin addicts carrying the stuff. Since it was not my police division, I didn't chase after them because I could not afford to be late for work at my own station and I probably wouldn't have been able to catch them. Little did they know that the leather revolver holster on my belt contained only a wrapped egg and ham sandwich for my lunch break. I could have bought a grease-soaked sandwich from the SSPo Rank & File canteen but old "Cooky"s sandwiches from WTS officer's mess were so much tastier and not so oily.

At that time Bing was the SDI of WTS under his boss, Tommy Dow, who was one of the last remaining pre-war Chief Inspectors (CI's) serving as deputies to the Divisional Superintendants ( there was only one SP in many divisions in those days although the CI's were being progressively replaced by Asst. SPs).  When I was off duty in the WTS mess, I remember Bing often coming in during the lunch times and going straight to the fridge for a large bottle of  "San Mig"; he would normally have two before going back to his office. I also recall he wore a 'red lanyard', which was awarded for a Governor's Commendation. Not sure what he earned his for ? Perhaps during the 1956 riots. I think Tom Chalmers was then Bing's ( WTS) Divisional Commander although we rarely saw him in the mess.

If you download the old  Police Magazines (pdfs) from Hong Kong Univ. Library in the Winter 1957 and Spring 1958 editions, there is mention in both of A. Crosby's marriage to Ms Hazel B Jones (your mother?) The Summer 1967 edition also reports that "Bing" Crosby was SDI at WTS and suddenly "had to return to England".

Just a correction - Thomas Lillie DOW,born Musselburgh 1915,served in the Eastbourne Borough Police,enlisted in the Scots Guards in WW2,involved in the landings in Norway at Narvik,injured.Enlisted in HKP 26.1.1946 as Sub Inspector,.Awarded Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service.In the early 1960s held the post of Chief Instructor,Police Training School.He was an imposing,yet fatherly figure.

Tommy Dow was definitely posted at WTS in 1966 ( I received a verbal warning from him to remove a picture and a flag I had hung on the wall of my staff quarter because they  "offended the PCs".)  And here is my proof that Tommy was at WTS:

Or was my error to suggest he was pre-war?


A few months ago I had the pleasure of escorting an 82 yr old Scottish lady, making her first visit to the Far East with her son and the latter’s wife, to Tai Po and the old Tai Po Police Station (NTHQs) shown above. This lady was the niece of William McHardy and his wife, who are pictured above, and to whom she was quite close growing up in Scotland. Many are the stories which her aunt and uncle told her about life in pre and post-war HK.

William McHardy and his wife had no children of their own. He appears to have enjoyed a very eventful career with the HKP, being awarded the CPM for Gallantry for a Border incident in 1938 and later being imprisoned in Stanley Internment Camp during the Japanese Occupation. He reached the rank of Chief Inspector having continued to serve in the Police after the war, before retiring a little early as his mother did not want him to continue living in HK after Mao Tse Tung came to power in 1949 and established the PRC! (His mother, who had lived in HK, did not trust the Communists). Bill apparently turned down promotion to ASP (or SP) as an inducement to stay on, and was appointed BEM upon retirement in about 1950.

As mentioned, Bill’s mother had lived in HK. This was because her husband, Bill’s father David McHardy, had joined the HKP in the 1890’s following short service with the Edinburgh Police. Bill and I think 1 of his 2 sisters were born in HK, but David “did not make old bones” and died aged about 41 in service in early 1914.He is buried in the Hong Kong (Colonial) Cemetery.

Following David’s death his widow returned to Scotland where she brought up her children in difficult circumstances, eventually receiving a widow’s pension from the HK Govt. Bill returned to HK after a short period in the Army to follow his father’s career.

You can imagine how moving it was to be able to show the elderly lady places associated not only with Uncle Bill and her aunt, but also those associated with David McHardy and his wife - her beloved granny. In addition to showing her David’s grave in the cemetery, I took her to the old Aberdeen Police Station where David was posted soon after it opened in the late 1890’s and where he lived with his wife.

A memorable two days enjoyed by all.

A couple of mis-spellings of the CI NT’s name appear to have crept in to the posts. (We’ve had McHindy and McHandy).

His full name was William Stirton McHARDY.

A little more on this HKP family.

David McHardy,reported to be a native of Spittalfield(s),Perthshire enlisted in the HKP in 1891 and was promoted to Sergeant in 1899.He achieved further promotion thus - Inspector 3rd Class 1905, 2nd Class 1910 and full Inspector 1911.His postings included Stanley in 1904,Kowloon City in 1909 and Central in 1913.During his service he was awarded the HKP Medal 3rd Class ( for Long Service).He died on the 5th December 1914 and was buried in the Colonial Cemetery.his Police pension was credited to Isabella..