We're occasionally asked how to investigate the history of the Hong Kong Police, and the people who served in that force.
If you are looking for details of an individual, try:
- The list of people tagged police, here on Gwulo.
- The Blue Books (1844-1940) were published annually. Each book includes a list of all people working in the Police Force that year.
- If they were in Hong Kong when the Japanese invaded in 1941, try these.
Here are the Police Stations where they were based:
Then there is general information about the police force:
- The Police website has a "Police History" section.
- The Police magazine "Offbeat" ran a series of history articles titled "Then & Now". The magazines are available online on the police website. A quick skim down the list shows it appeared in issues #760, and #769-#784.
- Also see the Hong Kong Police Museum on Coombe Road.
- Patricia O'Sullivan's book, "Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History", covering the years 1864-1950. As its name suggests, the book focuses on Irish policemen in Hong Kong. But Patricia also covers the changes in the Police Force and looks at the lives of the policemen's families in Hong Kong during that period.
- The Marine Police are covered in a couple of books by ex-marine officer Iain Ward: "Sui Geng: The Hong Kong Marine Police 1841-1950" and "Mariners: The Hong Kong Marine Police 1948-1997".
- Private policing is covered in the book: "Watching Over Hong Kong: Private Policing 1841-1941" by Sheilah E. Hamilton. Visit publisher's website. View preview on Google Books.
Thanks to Guy Shirra, Iain Ward and Roger Houghton for their help in compiling the list. If you know of any other good sources, please could you leave a note in the comments below?
Lots of RHKP on Youtube.
named as royal after the riot
named as royal after the riot in 1967 in hk ?
Books on the Royal Hong Kong Police
The Royal Charter was granted in 1969 and yes, it was because of the force's role in the 1967 riots.
Some other excellent books on the history of the force:
"Asia's Finest," and the new edition "Asia's Finest Marches On," by the late Kevin Sinclair
"The Royal Hong Kong Police 1841 - 1945", by Colin Crisswell and Mike Watson.
A series of books in Chinese by the late LAU Kai Fat, a chief inspector.
I believe there was a pictorial book published by the police museum, but not sure.
Mr. Ward's two books on the Marine Police are highly recommended.
rhkp museum book
Hi C, I've got that book, picked it up at a second hard sale somewhere. Published in 1994. It's got a good pictoial history of the police in the first half, second half details all the exhibits. It's just called Police Museum, editor Ng Chi-wa
Royal Hong Kong Police
also some good photo collections here:
Thanks for the extra material. It'll be a good help for anyone starting their research. I'll add another book, "Prisoner of the Turnip Heads" by George Wright-Nooth. The author was a policeman in Hong Kong, and writes about the time from his arrival in Jan 1940, through the fighting in 1941, the long internment at Stanley, and finally release in 1945. Most of the book covers their time in Stanley Internment Camp, but there's also some general description of Police life in the early 1940s.
A selection of RHKP reference books from the HKU Library:
Selected English and Chinese Books
HK 364.1095125 A563 h
HK 363.2095125B A61
X M.Soc.Sc.94 A
HKP 363.22 C1
X M.Soc.Sc.96 C113
Chan, Tak-shing, Gilbert. Colonization : the root of police corruption in Hong Kong? Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong, 1988.
X M.Soc.Sc.88 C12
X M.P.A.98 C111
X M.B.A.96 C152
X M.Soc.Sc.90 C3
X M.P.A.97 C141
RHKPF related books & movies
RHKPF related books & movies:
Lau Kai Fat, 劉啟法, 1932-2007, had two series published by 博益 & 聚賢館 respectively
警界幕後, 1991, ISBN 9621709830
[Inside police stations]
總督察手記, 1990, ISBN 962 17 0480 4
[Footprints of Chief Inspector of Police]
總督察獨家檔案, 1991, ISBN 9621707188
[Personal File from Chief Inspector of Police]
總督察回憶錄, 1991 / 93, ISBN 962 436 032 4 / 962 436 182 7 / 962 436 050 2 / 962 436 084 7
[Memoirs of Chief Inspector of Police] five volumes.
警官手記 - 六十年代香港警隊的日子, 黃奇仁, 2008, ISBN 978 962 042766 4
[Footprints of a police officer – Hong Kong Police Force in the 60’s]
我的警察生涯, 呂奇, 2008, ISBN, 978-988-99812-9-7
[My life as a policeman] spanning from training in PCS / PTS to police career till 2008
絕書, 天涯不曉生, 2002, ISBN 962-992-060-3
[Out of Print – Rare Books] mentions a few Hong Kong Police related books.
Some police related (local, more serious) movies.
I especially like the Nissen Huts.
At the Hong Kong Movies 600 Reviews from 1988 Till the Handover, 1998, ISBN 962 8114 47 6
RHKPA recommends the Police Museum
[2019 Update: The RHKPA are now accepting inquiries. Please see their comment further down the page.]
Elsewhere I've seen the Royal Hong Kong Police Association (RHKPA) recommended as a possible source of information. I wrote to check with them before adding them to the list, and received this reply from their committee:
We thank you for the suggestion but we feel that we must decline. We are an Association of retired officers who meet for social reasons and we do not have the resources to research questions on Hong Kong Police history - nor do we have the records.
They recommend contacting the Curator of the Hong Kong Police Museum.
Yes, in 1969 the term 'Royal' added..so became the 'Royal Hong Kong Police Force' (then reverted to the 'HKP' again pre.handover to China on 1 July 1997).Princess Alexandra was the Hon.Commandant General(from 1969-1997).
Books about the Royal Hong Kong Police
Readers might also like the following four autobiographies by former RHKP officers:
The Accidental Prawn - "Interesting Times" Policing 20th Century Hong Kong - Guy Sanderson Shirra - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Accidental-Prawn-Interesting-Policing-Century-…
The Sheriff of Wanchai - Peter Mann - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheriff-Wan-Chai-Englishman-Decades/dp/9881376…
Hong Kong Policeman - Chris Emmett - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hong-Kong-Policeman-Streets-Inspector-ebook/dp…
BomBan - "Jack Humphreys" - https://www.amazon.co.uk/BomBan-Royal-Hong-Police-Inspector/dp/15376227…
All of these books are also still on sale in reputable and independent Hong Kong bookstores :-)
The Conferment of the Title Royal on the Hong Kong Police
The Royal Hong Kong Police Old & Bold, a registered society in Hong Kong which is active in force history and heritage, is happy to try and answer any questions about the RHKP that Gwulo readers might have.
Please contact the Secretary via our website: https://sites.google.com/site/rhkpob/
Royal Hong Kong Police Association (RHKPA)
The Royal Hong Kong Police Association (RHKPA) represents many former members of the Royal Hong Kong Police (HKP) and has an active web site at www.rhkpa.org. There is also an active Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/groups/205588969943388. The RHKPA also receives both financial and pratical help from the current HKP. With over 160 members in Hong Kong and many hundreds of others spread out over the rest of thw World, the RHKPA is a good resource for anyone wishing to obtain information concerning the Hong Kong Police.
The RHKPA also has a large archive which includes photographs, books, reports, diaries etc provided by people who served in or were connected with the Hong Kong Police, such as former Government Scientists. Unfortunately this archive is only now in the nasant stage of being digitised but a good first point of contact would be the Archivist of the Royal Hong Kong Police Association, John Cartwright on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date of Conferment
Interestingly, according to correspondence dated 19th November 1969, held by the National Archives, the exact date of which the title changed to Royal Hong Kong Police and Royal Hong Kong Auxillary Police is not exactly identifiable. At the same time HRH Princess Alexandra was appointed honorary "Commandant General". The assumed date (operative date) is 5th March 1969 which is the date on the correspondence sent to the Queen. The Queen endorsed this recommendation with "App. E.R." but no date was given.
This information is confirmed in correspondence from the Protocol and Conference Department (A.H. Ellis) to Brigadier R.G. Leuthwaite of the Colonial Secretariat.
Noted David and I do not dispute what you say, but things have changed after eight years. The main concern there was possibly nobody to respond to any questions.
For a long time we have been responding to requests for information that have come to us, usually from the family of retired police officers, or assoicated government staff.
We do have an archive, and archvits. We are prsently trying to digitalise the collection but have some odd items, such as a sword!. We have 14 boxes of documents, some of which obviously falls under GDPA requirements as personal data. Items range from Police Personnel Records from Stanley and the CP's War Diary, through to a signed menu card from the RHKPA 1938 get together. We are trying to ensure that we also collect some very valuable information presently held by some of our current members who are getting advanced in years.
It should be noted that we would not send these items to outside parties, but would allow access on a case by case basis for research purposes.
Hope that helps.