|A very interesting photograph supplied by Mr. Karl Spencer of Hong Kong depicting Francis Haskey a sergeant of engineers
of the Shanghai Volunteer Corps.
Established in 1853 the corps was not actually part of the British military in either a regular or volunteer context. Shanghai
was never a colony of the British crown but British subjects living in foreign enclave of the city organized themselves into one
company of what became known as the Shanghai Volunteer Corps. Other companies were formed by expatriates and would
eventually be comprised of members from some 20 nations including Americans, Italians, Russians, Portuguese, Jews,
Filipinos and Scots. There was even one company each of Eurasians and Chinese. The Corp must have looked quite colorful
while on parade since each unit was uniformed according to there own national tastes.
In his book Sin City, Ralph Shaw describes a bit of the flamboyance that accompanied a public appearance of the Corps:
"The most picturesque unit was the kilted Scottish Company complete with pipes and di-ut-ns but the mounted American
Troop commanded by a local lawyer, Major H. D. Rodger, ran the Scots a close second in their 'Boy Scout' hats and
American-style cavalry uniforms."
The Corps continued it duties in Shanghai until being disbanded after its occupation by the Japanese in 1941.
Shanghai Photographic Enlarging Company - Photographer
11 Foochow Road, Shanghai, China
|Above: The reverse side of the photograph showing Sergeant Haskey's inscription.