Shanghai Municipal Police

These pages are copyright © Robert Bickers, 1999
Updated 7 January 2002, 14 February 2006,

31 January 2007, 23 December 2008

26 April, 29 June 2012

The force was founded in 1854, and policed the International Settlement at Shanghai until 1943. Originally composed of Britons, by the time of its incorporation into the puppet police force of the Shanghai municipality it consisted of Britons, British Indians, White Russian refugees, Central European Jewish refugees, Japanese and of course Chinese, who made up the bulk of the force throughout the twentieth century. For more on the SMP see also the Wikipedia entry for Shanghai Municipal Police.

A table showing the results of my working database of SMP British (and Irish) personnel is available here as an experiment, for consultation, queries and comments. The lists also include most of the other Europeans, but excludes all but a handful of Japanese and Chinese. This stems from the range of my interests in the social history of the force, but also reflects the difficult of accessing materials about the Asian personnel. As this is a large file I have broken it down into smaller batches. Only a portion of the information I have on these men is shown here. The full records include citations, promotions, sometimes the branch of the force. For any further information about individuals please contact me. If you have any extra information about any of these men I would also be delighted to receive it. I am also keen to uncover more photographs of the men, at work, or at play. A number of photographs of them, or taken by them are on my ‘Historical Photographs of China’ project site. See this page. Many of the men in the individual portraits have not been identified. Please let me know If you recognise any of them. For information about how to cite these pages please check out the citation page.

These pages have been updated (April, June, 2012), and now incorporate many additional names (of nineteenth-century personnel, of members of the Gaol staff, and names of Japanese staff).  There are now entries on 2,742 men. I am very grateful to all those who have sent me information. I have also included a scan of a programme for the 1 November 1940 Presentation of Medals, and of the 1938 Police Guide and Regulations, compiled by Inspector Bill Widdowson. One branch of the force not included here is the volunteer Police Specials. I have never seen a list of Specials personnel. If you have one from any point in its history, do let me know. I would also be interested in lists of Indian personnel, and of Chinese.

Surnames A-B

Surnames C-D

Surnames E-G

Surnames H-J

Surnames K-L

Surnames M-P

Surnames Q-S

Surnames T-V

Surnames W-Z


For books on the SMP see:

Robert Bickers, Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai (London: Penguin, 2003, New York: Columbia University Press, 2004)

E.W. Peters, Shanghai Policeman (London: Rich & Cowan, 1937). A new edition with an introduction by me was published by Earnshaw Books, Hong Kong, in 2012.

Ted Quigley, A Spirit of Adventure:  The Memoirs of Ted Quigley (Lewes: The Book Guild Ltd, 1994)

Peter Robins with Nicholas Tyler, The Legend of W.E. Fairbairn: Gentleman and Warrior, The Shanghai Years (Harlow: CQB Publications, 2006)

John Sanbrook, In my father’s time: A Biography (New York: Vantage Press, 2008).

Maurice Springfield, Hunting opium and other scents (Halesworth: Norfolk and Suffolk Publicity, 1966)

Frederic Wakeman Jr, Policing Shanghai 1927-1937 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

Frederic Wakeman Jr, The Shanghai Badlands: Wartime Terrorism and Urban Crime 1937-1941 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1996)

Last updated: 29 June 2012