Sikh policemen were an indelible part of the landscape of Shanghai in the first decades of the twentieth century, and have left their mark in the ways in which the city is remembered up to the present day. Yet their history has never been told and historians of the period have, at best, simply referred to them in passing. This paper redresses this gap in the literature by accounting for the presence of the Sikh branch of the Shanghai Municipal Police and exploring their role in the governance and policing of the International Settlement. This enriches our understanding of the nature of the British presence in China and the ways in which Indian sub-imperialism extended to China's treaty ports, for on the streets of Shanghai, and not Shanghai alone, British power had an Indian face.
Bibliographical noteThis paper would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and institutions. I am particularly indebted to the guidance of Professor Robert Bickers of the University of Bristol, who supervised my M.A. dissertation (funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council), on which this paper is based, and encouraged me to publish this work, providing invaluable guidance whilst supervising my Ph.D. thesis (funded by the Economic and Social Research Council via the British Inter-university China Centre). I am grateful to the questions and comments received from various people who have heard me present different versions of this work at the University of Bristol and at the British Association for Chinese Studies 2009 conference, and especially to the comments made by the two anonymous reviewers of Modern Asian Studies. During my research I received assistance from archivists and researchers at
several institutions including the British Library, The National Archives at Kew, the Shanghai Municipal Archives and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.