Scottish Diaspora in Shanghai and connections to Hong Kong - Dissertation Research Enquiry

Submitted by beccam_279 on Mon, 01/02/2023 - 07:11

Hello, I am hoping some of you may be able to help me with some dissertation research or guide me to sources that may be of use, perhaps a similar website to Gwulo. My Historical research is on 'Scots in Shanghai', until 1945.

I am aware that this topic is not directly related to Hong Kong entirely. Still, as was the case with my family, I know some of you will have either moved yourself from Shanghai to Hong Kong, or had previous generations of your family living in the international settlement.

I am looking for sources that may be able to help me understand the life of the Scottish Diaspora in Shanghai until 1945 that individuals or families would be happy for me to research and reference in my research. This can be related to the first generation of migration and the subsequent generations of Scottish ancestry.

These sources include photos, letters, diaries, birth/death/marriage certificates, official documents e.g. government, newspapers, magazines, posters, advertisements, pamphlets, oral interviews/histories, autobiographies, maps, reports and records of local clubs/schools/societies, films, music, architecture, physical objects and much much more!!

My Great-Grandmother Helen Dick (nee Leach) was just one of many individuals who ended up in Hong Kong after being born in Shanghai of Scottish ancestry, so I have a personal as well as historical interest in this area.

If any individuals would be up for a chat about ideas or sources, happy to share records digitally or in person (within the vicinity of central Scotland), or have any further questions, please get in touch via Facebook or my email address

Similarly, if you have any other ideas of where to request primary sources outwith official archives eg National Records of Scotland or at Kew, please let me know!

Many thanks for reading,

Rebecca Maitland

Hello Rebecca:

I just sent you an email with my private contact information.  I am a descendant of  Colonel Henry Hyndman HEIC the son of John Hyndman of Lunderston and Elizabeth Hunter of Hunterston and his son Captain Henry Hyndman who was born in India and eventually settled in Macau.  Several of his direct descendants spent time in Shanghai.  Most were in Macau and eventually in HK and of course we are now spread all over the world.  I would be happy to chat and to share what information I have.  

I would also refer you to Robert Leitao who has a lot of information on Shanghai and the Macau/HK connection.  He is a member of  Gwulo.  


Francesca Loftis>Photos--->Smash the Old World

Red Scarf Girls

In the Presence of my Enemies by Father John Clifford, University of Santa Clara Press...

Nien Cheng's book Living and Dying in Shanghai

Stephen Spilberg's movie: Empire of the Sun.  Emotional relief for those who was there during the Japanese attacks in 1937-38 before the underground Chinese,i.e. Mao's revolutionists, surfaced to wipe out the "foreigners"(whites/racists/Scottishs/Frenchies/Americans/British/Germans/Jewish/Hungarians and you name it as long as one don't look Chinese or Japanese...)

And many books have many similar stories on why many fleds Hong Kong, before the handed over of Hong Kong back to the Chinese(red/communist)....

U.S. National Archives records on 1930s Shanghai China...where 3 Americans were bombed to death in the 1938 air raide by the Japanese and my grandfather narrowly escaped as the manager of Shanghai Branch Sincere Co. Ltd...



Hello Father John Clifford's book: In the Presence of my Enemies. He stayed behind in Shanghai to safeguard Aurora University(Aurora Mondale)...into "re-education camp" until 1950s return to teaching in the 1960s University of Santa Clara and published the book that no younger generation would regard it has any historic value but me...Late father Alma Mater, today's China don't even mention that there was such a top class university in ShangHai since 1890s operated by the French Jesuits not Scottish but that's the way it was...they were all foreign devils-white racists/ no dogs or Chinese allow on the lawn kind of relationships...