For the past eleven years I have been researching “The Bristol Bobbies” - a group of twelve Bristol constables who volunteered for duty with the Hong Kong Police in 1882. All were born in the south-west of England but their life stories led me on to many lands. To Consulate Constables in China; to the murder of a British Diplomat in Japan; to policing the Plague in Hong Kong; through a scandalous corruption case; off to Australasia and the Prairies of Canada; not to mention policing the streets and postal service of London. Only six of these men ended their days back in the south-west of England the others sought better lives far away. But the fate of one eluded me. He disappeared from the HK scene in 1887 and seemingly dropped off the edge of the globe. Try as I might I could not find him anywhere. But yesterday, after years of searching, a copy of document ordered from one of those far off lands dropped through my letter box – and another mystery has been solved.
Tomorrow I am off to Wales, hopefully, to find the family photo album of one of The Forty Thieves. Research is definitely not dull.