This article appears in the North China Herald on the eve of the retirement of S. C. Young in 1938. It is an excellent summary of his career and civic life in Shanghai since he arrived to serve as a constable in the police force in 1904. I used this and many other news articles that appeared in the North China Herald and Daily News while researching the article I wrote on the story of S. C. Young and his unusual rise in the SMP. My article can be found in the 2018 edition of the Journal for the Royal Asiatic Society China.
Mr. S. C. Young Retires: Deputy Commissioner Saw Vast Development Here In the Course of Career; Active in Civic Life
(North China Herald, Sept 28, 1938)
Shanghai, Sept. 25
Mr. Stewart Cromie Young, one of Shanghai’s most popular and most senior police officials, retires tomorrow from the post of Deputy Commissioner of the S.M.P., after 34 years service in the course of which he rose through the various ranks and distinguished himself repeatedly in dealing with crime and political unrest. Although he is relinquishing his charge of the S.M.P. Crime Branch, he will nevertheless remain in Shanghai until next spring and serve the Council as a special liaison officer with the Chinese community.
Mr. Young joined the Police as a constable on November 8, 1904, coming out from Ireland at a time when the Russo-Japanese War was in full swing. He saw damaged Russian warships in Chinese waters as he arrived. In those days the force was very small, with but few foreigners, end the built-up area only a tiny fraction of what it is today. Mr. Young recalls shooting pheasant where the Bubbling Well Police Station now stands and, north of the Soochow Creek, in the vicinity of the site of the Ward Road Jail.
In those early days crime in Shanghai had a different complexion from the one it wears today. Mr. Young soon was posted to Hongkew Station, where at the time the most difficult task facing the police was dealing with foreign sailors. Being a policeman north of the Creek meant being constantly called upon to subdue the toughest bluejackets of various nations in an effort to save the limbs and property of the residents. Mr. Young recalls a tussle he had in Hongkew with an American negro sailor of gigantic proportions which resulted in the policeman and the sailor going together through the wall of one house into the adjoining building to the complete dismay of the unsuspecting residents. Broken noses and uniforms torn to shreds were almost daily “events” on the waterfront and whereas medical attention was provided free of charge it was pretty hard on young constables and sergeants to have to pay for new uniforms again and again.
Trained Police and Specials
Mr. Young was promoted probationary sergeant in the spring of 1907 and three months later, sergeant. He became a sub-inspector in 1913 and inspector in 1917. He early held responsible posts as officer in charge of stations. From 1914 till 1921 he was in charge of the Police Training Depot in Gordon Road, where besides his work with the regular poliqe recruits he was given the important task of training the police “Specials,” who were then more or less in the formative stage. Mr. Young was the first police officer to train the Specials for their vital work in the Settlement.
Promotion to the higher ranks followed in due course. Thus Mr. Young became chief inspector in 1923, assistant commissioner in 1927 and Deputy Commissioner on January 1, 1934. He assumed charge of the Crime Branch in the spring of 1935, in succession to Maj. K. M. Bourne, now Commissioner of Police. He was in charge of the entire force between August 23 and September 17, this year, during the absence of Maj. Bourne on summer holiday.
Mr. Young was first commended by the Commissioner of Police in the summer of 1913 for his handling of cases. He was highly commended in June, 1919, for exceptionally good work during the internal trouble which occurred in the International Settlement that month. Another high commendation was conferred by the Commissioner in January, 1927, for “prompt and energetic action” that prevented what might have been a very serious riot on the evening of January 22, 1927. Decorations bestowed on Mr. Young are the Police Long Service Medal with two bars (medal originally conferred in December, 1924); the Chinese Government Police Medal (Class I, Grade III) in March, 1937, for services rendered in the arrest of important criminals; and the S.M.C. 1937 Emergency Medal.
In earlier days Mr. Young was an outstanding athlete in Shanghai, both in Police and international sport. He held Police championships in running and jumping (long), and took prizes in international walking competitions. He was one of the moving spirits in the Police Rifle Club, serving that organization as hon. secretary, and was a member of the Police Shooting Team. Other sports which he cultivated were cricket and lawn bowls. He was a member of the Police Cricket Team from 1905 to 1920, and captain of the Lawn Bowls Section in 1930-31 and 1932-33. In the Police Recreation Club Mr. Young served on the general committee from 1911 to 1913, was hon. secretary from 1911 to 1914, and vice-president in 1930-31.
Mr. Young for many years has been active, outside of Police circles, in charitable, social, church and fraternal affairs. He has been a member of the Vestry of Holy Trinity Cathedral for the last twenty years, and is on the committees of the Cathedral Boys’ and Girls’ Schools, and the Lester Chinese Hospital. A native of Ireland, he has been prominent in the activities of the St. Patrick’s Society, of which he is a former President. He has received high honours in the Masonic Fraternity, and has long been active in the affairs of the Rotary Club.
Guest of Colleagues
Colleagues in the French Police will be hosts to Mr. Young at a dinner to be given tomorrow evening at the French Police Club, 47 Rue Victor Emmanuel III. A presentation will be made to him by the members of the Police Recreation Club at a gathering in the S.M.P. Club, Foochow Road on September 29.
Mr. and Mrs. Young intend to remain in Shanghai until next spring when they will return to Europe. They have three sons at Home, one being a physician, one a film director and the third at school.