FESTIVAL 2021

Patricia O’Sullivan: The Newmarket Men who policed colonial Hong Kong

Sat Aug 7

An unsinkable constable makes an arrest: the Newmarket Men who policed colonial Hong Kong – Patricia O’Sullivan

Patricia O’Sullivan started researching Hong Kong’s vibrant history in 2010, initially uncovering long-forgotten family stories for Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History, (Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong, 2017). Based in the UK, but spending upwards of three months of the year in Hong Kong (until Covid-19 arrived) she has written a number of articles on forgotten aspects of the city’s life, some of which can be found on her website, www.socialhistoryhk.comWomen, Crime and the Courts: Hong Kong 1841-1941, which explores the lives of ordinary women in Hong Kong’s early years through the stories of what happened when things went wrong, was published in 2020.

Policing Hong Kong – an Irish History (Blacksmith Books, Hong Kong, 2017)

Hong Kong 1918. A tranquil place compared to war-torn Europe. But on the morning of 22nd January, a running battle through the streets of Wanchai ended in the ‘Siege of Gresson Street’. Five policemen lay dead, so shocking Hong Kong that over half the population turned out to watch their funeral procession.
One of the dead, Inspector Mortimor O’Sullivan, came from Newmarket, Co. Cork. He, along with a dozen and more from this little town, had sailed out to Hong Kong to join its Police Force between 1864 and 1950. 
Using family records and memories alongside extensive research in Hong Kong, Ireland and London, Patricia O’Sullivan tells the stories of these policemen, their families and connections in a setting about as remote from rural north Cork as it was possible to be. 
Policing Hong Kong  – an Irish History pub. Blacksmith Books 2017 ISBN 978-988-7792734 is available from bookshops worldwide, hive.co.ukbookshop.org or direct from the author info@socialhistoryhk.com