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Hongkong - 1841 to 1941
(give or take a few years..)
A unique place at a time now slipped from memory.

Stories of the people who lived and worked here - British, Chinese, Irish, Portuguese ....
Bringing to life some of the social history of Hongkong's colonial past through the tales and documents they left behind. 



Upcoming talks in Ireland - May 2024

I'm really thrilled to have been invited to give at talk at Dublin's new EPIC The Irish Museum of Emigration on May 22nd. EPIC's a wonderful new immersive museum charting many aspects of the story of Ireland in the wider world, from earliest time to the present moment. But, as they said, the story of the Irish who went to Hong Kong for careers in the police and related services is one they haven't covered. So I'm delighted to be bringing something new to them, and talking about the north Cork men who joined the Hong Kong Police from 1864 to 1950.

The talk is on Wednesday 22nd May at 5.30 pm and admission is free, although tickets should be booked on the eventbrite site. All information is here.

The next day I'm heading south to Charleville, Co. Cork. I'm very grateful to the Charleville Heritage Society for hosting Irishmen in the Hong Kong Policeforce. I'll be just 20 miles from Newmarket here, where all my men hailed from - Charleville is in the very north of Co. Cork, close to the Limerick border. The talk is open to all, and is on Thursday 23rd May at 7.30pm at the Charleville Park Hotel. Information for this is on the Charleville Heritage Society Facebook page.

Women, Crime and Courts front cover

Women, Crime and 

the Courts:

Hong Kong 1841-1941 

 published by  BlacksmithBooks 18th December 2020. ISBN 978-988-79639-8-1 more information here

Next project - the Hong Kong Police who went to war.
Screen Shot 2021-11-01 at 19.16.59.jpg
That title would imply 1941 and the Battle for Hong Kong to many readers - but I've always been fascinated by the earlier period, 1914-18, when hundreds of the British subjects in Hong Kong sailed to London to enlist in the fight against Germany.

But there's more to the story - the general idea that 'World War One didn't touch Hong Kong' isn't quite right. War came to the whole region, and affected, to some extent, all communities there. One outstanding development was the birth of the Reserve Police Force - entirely voluntary and unpaid, with almost 700 men - Chinese, Portuguese, Indian and British - helping the HKP keep the place safe. And it was in this organisation that the Chinese and Indians took their place in the senior ranks, years before equality came to the regular force.
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