— Anti-Piracy Guards ~ 1939-1939

During the 1920s, piracy was a big problem for merchantmen going from Hong Kong to Shanghai and other ports along the coast so the Royal Navy was tasked to protect these ships. However in 1929 it was decided that it should not be up to the Navy to look after commercial ships so the Hong Kong Police set up an Anti-Piracy Guards unit to take over that duty.

25 Russian policemen were brought into that unit, amongst other nationalities, and all the costs were paid for by the companies whose ships needed protection.  The main companies were the big Hongs, like Jardine Matheson & Swire Pacific.

Click to enlarge

Names of the Russian Anti-Piracy Guards :
Constantine Alexander Kriloff (front row second from left); Constantin Petrovich Sherevera (Back row ninth from left); Dmitry Vsevolodovitch Mikailovsky; Boris Georievich Ivanchenko; Vitaly Leonid Veriga (back row sixth from left); George Cyril Rousakoff (front row fifth from left); Soulin / Svoulin; Biakoff; Mihaeelov / Michaelov; V Pleshanoff ; A Rostovsoff; V Djigimont / Dijioniost; S P Dometz

 

Statistics showed that when the Anti-Piracy Guards were on board the merchantmen, there were no attacks by pirates; however that was not the case with ships without guards.

Towards the late 1930s the Commissioner of Police decided it was not the duty of the HK Police to guard commercial ships so this was discontinued and so the Hongs had to employ their own guards.

A cage fitted around a wheelhouse on one of the ships

A cage fitted around a wheelhouse on one of the ships (Click to enlarge)

Captured pirates on board an RN ship 1930s

Captured pirates on board an RN ship 1930s (Click to enlarge)

Lyova got the job as a guard in May 1939 but it didn’t last long, as he was dismissed for “neglect of duty” six months later.

God knows what happened to cause that, as I can’t imagine he wouldn’t have given the job his all, if he was anything like George, but there you go.  Another job bit the dust.

A burning ship, attacked by pirates in Bias Bay 1930s

A burning ship, attacked by pirates in Bias Bay 1930s (Click to enlarge)

 

 

 

Shipping losses to piracy in the South China Sea (From the book by Aleko E. Lilius. "I Sailed with Chinese Pirates")

Shipping losses to piracy in the South China Sea (From the book by Aleko E. Lilius. “I Sailed with Chinese Pirates“)

 

 

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