Policing Hong Kong – An Irish History

Submitted by Admin on Sat, 11/11/2017 - 10:30
Policing Hong Kong book cover


Price: HK$148


“This groundbreaking book is a story of life, death, and crime in colonial Hong Kong. It is also an account of an important part of Hong Kong’s population that has eluded most historians: the European working class. With an arsenal of previously untapped materials in Ireland, Britain and Hong Kong, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the remarkable tales of the families who built their own ‘little Ireland’ in Hong Kong.” – John M. Carroll, Dept. of History, University of Hong Kong

Additional information
The book is a 360-page paperback, with a page size of 140 x 216 mm / 5.5 x 8.5 inches

To find out more about the topics it covers, you can download a PDF copy of the introduction, and read the book's index online.

The book is available to order on Amazon (affiliate link*), or direct from Gwulo by clicking the Buy this button above. [The recent website upgrade means the online store isn't working at the moment, but if you send me an email at david@gwulo.com and let me know which books you'd like to order, I'll be happy to take care of it.] Local and international orders welcome.

Shipping within Hong Kong is free of charge, and shipping to other countries is by airmail. You'll be shown the shipping cost during checkout, before you confirm your order. 


*The affiliate link takes you to the Amazon page for this book. It doesn't affect the price you pay, but if you order via Amazon, they pay a small commission to Gwulo.


Extract from the RASHKB Friends Newsletter:

Lecture and lunch                                         Saturday, 25th November
The Irishmen who policed old Hong Kong
Speaker:                     Patricia O’Sullivan 
Time:                          2:30 p.m.
Venue:                        Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD
Cost:                           £8 per member or guest, to include refreshments
Lunch:                       A self-paying lunch will be arranged at 12:45 p.m. at Chutneys, 124 Drummond Street, London NW1 2PA (corner of North Gower Street.)  Tel: 020 7388 0604. Please tell Paul if you wish to join the lunch.
Booking:                     Paul Bolding at paul@paulbolding.org.uk or tel: 0207 684 5811.
Victorian and Edwardian Hong Kong was a melting pot of cultures, classes and races, where all were aiming to improve their lot and make money in the congested city.  For the Hong Kong Police, the usual fare of maintaining order in the steep streets and winding alleys was periodically enlivened by the challenges of investigating triad murders, violent gang robberies, kidnappings etc.  In addition, they had to avoid the ever present diseases which lurked through the city, including malaria, typhoid fever and smallpox.  
Patricia O’Sullivan’s recent book, Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History portrays the lives of a score of men, all from the small town of Newmarket, Co. Cork, Ireland, who made the six-week journey to serve in the Hong Kong Police Force between 1864 and 1950.  Here they would investigate mysterious murders, engage in running gun battles and search Chinese junks for pirates, weapons and opium.  One man made his fortune, whilst another was caught up in a gambling scandal that ended his career and yet another lost his life in the biggest assault that the criminal world had made on the Police Force.  Meanwhile, over the years they brought their Newmarket brides back to Hong Kong and built a close knit community of their own.
In this talk Patricia will share some of their police cases, give a glimpse of their lives in Colonial Hong Kong and explain some of the research methods for this unique story.  Since completion of the book, Patricia has been researching, amongst other things, criminal women in pre-war Hong Kong and the Irish diaspora in the RAColonial Service.  Her career as a music teacher has now been laid to one side in order to spend more time on Hong Kong’s fascinating history.
A note from Patricia:  ‘In the summer of 2009 I visited my ninety year old aunt in Dublin.  As we looked through photos, and Aunt Ann got down on her knees to drag further boxes of such treasures from under the sideboard, (eschewing any offers of help from me) the subject of the uncle she’d never met arose.  “Patricia, you’re good at that googly thing, you go on your computer and find out what happened to Uncle Murt in Gresson Street.  My parents were such Victorians that they never really told us.”’
‘As a specialist recorder teacher I have had the joy of introducing thousands of young children to music as well as working with many talented older students.  Now I have scaled down this side of my life to give more time to writing – and to spending more time in Hong Kong doing the research for that.’
She will bring a small quantity of her book with her to sign.  Please book with Paul by telephone or email if you haven’t already done so.  pbolding@gmail.com.  Tel: 0207 684 5811.