Wallace Lawrence KINLOCH / KINLOCK [c.1917-1997] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Wallace Lawrence KINLOCH / KINLOCK [c.1917-1997]

Wallace Lawrence
Kinloch / Kinlock
c.1917-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
c.1997-12-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

DoB from John Black's list, which gives Kinloch's occupation in 1941 as "Police".



Probably Wallace Kinlock: British Army-Shanghai Police-Hong Kong Police. Worked later in the defence industry in UK I believe.

Brian Coak writes:

Twenty two year old Wallace KInloch ex Scots Guards joined the SMP in August 1938 together with a 54 strong contingent of ex Met Police and soldiers. There was a serious gun battle between SMP lead by Kinloch and the Japanese puppet police leaving two dead and two wounded. Kinloch was castigated by the puppet police and he was eased out to the Hong Kong Police.

Awarded the Colonial Police Medal for meritorious service, noted in the Supplement to the London Gazette, 9 June, 1949:

Wallace Lawrence Kinloch, Sub-Inspector, Hong Kong Police Force

Obituary, published in the Herald Scotland on 16 December 1997:

WALLACE Kinloch, who was my election agent when I won the then parliamentary seat of Perth and East Perthshire in 1974 and who died recently at the age of 80, was quite a remarkable man, not only for the dedication, professionalism, and almost military precision which he brought to that campaign, but he was also remarkable for many other things.

His bravery was outstanding during his early career in the Scots Guards and subsequently in the Shanghai Municipal Police. An example of this bravery came in 1939 when he was on patrol in the Shanghai International Settlement and when he came across a large group of Japanese police who had no right to be anywhere near there. He got out of his armoured car and told them to move off.

As he returned to his car he was shot in the back but, despite this, he was able to swing round and spray the Japanese with a long burst from his Tommy gun, as a result of which the Japanese admiral of the fleet offshore put a reward on his head.

He was, however, happily smuggled out of Shanghai.

Matters did not rest there, for he proceeded to join the police in Hong Kong, only to be captured as a PoW and interned between 1941 and 1945 in the colony there.

After the war, he rejoined the Hong Kong police, was subsequently transferred to Malaya as Assistant Superintendent, and thereafter his final police posting was as Commander of the Gambian Police Field Force between 1958 and 1966.

He then went into business in Blairgowrie, but during the months of 1974 devoted his time almost entirely to the SNP.

George Wright-Nooth refers to Kinlock (his spelling) on numerous occasions in his book “Prisoner of the Turnipheads.” W-N describes Kinlock as “a colourful character who features several times in this story,” i.e. internment in Stanley Camp from 1942 - 45.

But there is one thing which I have never been able to fathom out and I would be grateful if anybody has any ideas on the subject. The late Brian Coak describes the incident whereby Kinlock apparently shot a number of Japanese in 1939 military / gendarmes / police in Shanghai, as does W-N, in detail. The latter goes on to state, (quoting W-N), that “the Japanese admiral of their fleet offshore put a reward on his head....but he was smuggled out of Shanghai by the Police Special Branch.”

I have never understood why the Japanese Gendarmerie, (the Kempetai), didn’t single out Kinlock for special treatment (torture and execution) once they had him in their hands after their capture of Hong Kong. Did Kinlock assume a false identity during the occupation, to the extent that the Japanese never knew his true identity for all that time? We know from W-N that Kinlock went on to enjoy a distinguished career in Colonial Police Forces before retiring to his native Scotland in 1966.

Of course, it may be that the Japanese knew full well that they had captured Kinlock. I just find it surprising that given what he had allegedly done in Shanghai before the war, they allowed him to live.

At the time of the Japanese invasion Wallace Kinloch held the rank of Lance Sergeant 142 and was attached to the Emergency Unit, Hong Kong Island. In the HKP War Diary he is recorded as receiving commendations for good work during the conflict:

(a) F.W. Shaftain, Director of Criminal Investigation, reported that " he was most willing and useful in assisting the CID in carrying out tasks of a hazardous and often gruesome nature, although he was not in CID".

(b) Sub-Inspector J Fell, OC Emergency Unit, Hong Kong Island, noted that "excellent work was done by L.S. Kinloch. This officer carried out dangerous work during air raids and heavy shelling and is worthy of some recognition".

As regards his identity while in Stanley Camp, he is listed as W. Kinloch (Police) in the nominal roll of March 1942.


Interesting to read about Wallace Kinloch's career.  He didn't change his name in camp, and was very well known there.   My Stanley lists all show him as Wallace Kinloch, Police.