On January 16, 1941, the Russian Regiment of the SVC was reorganised into a separate Russian squad of the Shanghai Municipal Police (SMP) and called the Russian Auxiliary Detachment.
Translation of the back of the photo:
“A parade is reviewed by a police chief. From that day we joined the police force, and were called the Russian Auxiliary Detachment of the S.M.P. The Brigade Commander, Major Ivanoff, is the one with a sword in his hands.”
[Kindly translated by Inna Donaldson]
I had no idea that Lyova was involved with the SVC but, according to this document which was sent to me by RusGenPro, he was with the Russian Regiment from its inception in 1927 before going on to different pastures, then applying to join again about 12 years later, in 1939.
George had that photo of everyone lined up in what I thought was the Russian Regiment of the SVC for a parade and I thought it was him in the photo, but I couldn’t figure out when he had time to be in the SVC as he was busy with his musical career at the time.
Another thing that threw me was the fact that I knew he had a moustache when he was in Shanghai – well, pretty much the whole time when he was an adult. The person who I thought was George was clean shaven and now that I know that Lyova was in Shanghai at the time, it is obviously him standing to attention.
As you can see from the translation of the inscription on the back of the photo showing the group at the Race Course, it was not the SVC but the Russian Auxiliary Detachment of the Shanghai Municipal Police and, from what I’ve discovered, that was formed in 1941, when George and Lila were already in Hong Kong with Lindy.
The International Settlement of Shanghai became the only neutral area in east China between the time of the Japanese occupation in 1937 and the attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941. However when the Japanese took control of the International Settlement in December 1941, the police came under Japanese control. It was a hard time for the SMP as they had to maintain law and order during times of violence between the Chinese and the Japanese Army.
Several British officers were arrested as “political prisoners” and interned in the Haiphong Road camp but most others had no other choice but to stay in their posts until their eventual dismissal during the first few months of 1943.
Those who remained were incorporated into the police force of the amalgamated Municipality of Shanghai in mid-1943 and stayed until the force was disbanded when the Chinese Communists took Shanghai.
I could be wrong but it looks like Lev sitting on the right of the commander as you look at the photo! How cool if it were him 🙂
I feel so sorry for Lyova – thinking he had secured a future with the police only to find his future up-in-the-air after a couple of years.
Poor guy, it really was such a hard life for him and for his wife and daughter too 🙁
From what Irina said, he went back to the USSR in 1954 but I have nothing to show what he did in China from when the SMP was disbanded until that time.
I couldn’t read the other places where Lyov lived but I have details about Route Vallon. It was named after a French pioneer aviator called Rene Vallon, who made the first flight to China (from France?) and made many flights across China.
He died when his plane crashed on the Race Course in May 1911, and a monument was erected in his memory in French Park.
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