Staff of Chengtu Road Police Station 1934, Shanghai.

Between 1854 and 1943, the Municipal Council of the International Settlement at Shanghai oversaw the Shanghai Municipal Police force. Developed over twenty years from published and archival staff lists, newspaper reports, and many other different types of record, this dataset includes details of 2,800 men who served in the SMP. Originally composed of Britons, by the time of its incorporation into the puppet police force of the Shanghai municipality it consisted of Britons, British Indian subjects, ‘White’ Russian and 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 my book Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai (2003).


This set of records that you can search below contains details of British (and Irish), Russian and some Japanese personnel. The lists also include most of the other European staff, but excludes all but a handful of Chinese, which reflects the difficult of accessing materials about the Asian personnel: I have never seen any list of these. A number of photographs of members of the SMP, or taken by them, are on the Historical Photographs of China project site. See this page. Many of the men in the individual portraits have not been identified. I have now added two lists of names of personnel of the Russian Auxiliary Detachment, SMP, from December 1940, and December 1943. These are scans of photocopies from Shanghai Municipal Archives files.


The records here will tell you what I have discovered about the previous employment, and origins of the men, and the outlines of their career in the police, as well as the reason they left and what I have been able to discover about their later career and whereabouts.


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