Unsinkable Constable O'Sullivan
I've just come across a nice little story about one of the three Police Constable O'Sullivans who was in the HKP in October 1897, Edmund, Patrick and Mortimor. The newspaper report doesn't identify which man ... well, read it here:
The Hongkong Telegraph writer may attribute the constable's buoyancy to his being from Cork ... but Newmarket is about 30 miles from the nearest coast. So I consulted the oracle of all things historic in Newmarket, Raymond O'Sullivan (see the post about Island Wood) and he's pointed out that it was very unusual for farm boys to be able to swim. But Raymond recalled from his younger days (many decades after the PC O'Sullivans were boys, of course) there being a swimming hole in the section of the Glenlara River that runs through the Curraduff farm, from where Edmund hailed. And by 1897 he had been two years in Hong Kong, and maybe had taken the opportunity to improve on his swimming skills on the sandy southern beaches.
What I love is the image of the constable, dripping though he might be, doggedly hunting out the sampan owner's licence number and arresting the man. They made them tough in Newmarket!