Who were the Hong Kong British, and where did they live? This question sat at the heart of anguished and angry debates prompted by the colonial government’s edict in June 1940 ordering the evacuation to Australia of all women and children of ‘pure European descent’. In this article, I focus on thematic strands in the debate on Hong Kong British identity, such as race, class, legal domicile, reputation and migration, to explore the complex character of such British communities outside the Dominions. This article aims to characterise what it meant to be British in the wider empire, and deepen our understanding about the place of such communities in the picture of colonial migration.
- British migration
- Hong Kong
- overseas Britons
- World War Two British evacuees
- British communities