ONRAET, René. Singapore Police Background. London, Dorothy Crisp, .
8vo. Original red cloth, spine lettered in white, map endpapers at the front, illustrated dust-wrapper designed by William Stirling; pp. 151, one head-piece by William Stirling; cloth a little discoloured; wrapper with a few wrinkles and repaired marginal tears; internally very good.
Very rare first edition. 'A fascinating, anecdotal story of Malaya, recounted as it was seen by Rene Onraet, the well-known Inspector General of Police, Straits Settlement. The chapters of the book which deal with the activities of Chinese Communists were serialised in the Singapore newspaper. The Straits Times, early in 1946 and caused a sensation in that part of the world' (inside front-wrapper).
'Famous for his campaigns against gambling and communism, René Henry de Solminihac Onraet (1887-1952) was the Inspector-General of the Straits Settlement Police between 1935 and 1939. Proficient in Hokkien and Malay, Onraet worked as an undercover in Chinatown and successfully busted the operations of many gambling dens. In 1922, after his promotion to superintendent, Onraet was tasked to monitor political threats, especially those coming from the communist organisations. He retired in 1946 and returned to Hampshire, where he died six years later at an age of 67. Onraet Road was named as a tribute to him' (History of The Singapore Police, online under remembersingapore.org).
The only copy we were able to trace in the trade was sold in 2013 at auction for £350. It did not have the dust-wrapper.