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Alistair W. Hay Collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/RCMS 369

Scope and Contents

The collection includes copies of letters written by Hay to family and friends. Three describe his work with the Protectorate, colleagues, travel and leisure and are dated 1923, Canton; 1929, Taiping; and 1933, Kuala Lumpur (17 sheets). A second series of letters dating from 1940-42 narrates Hay’s wartime experience (57 sheets).

The collection includes a copy of a photograph showing a memorial plaque honouring Hay and other members of the Chinese Protectorate who lost their lives during the Second World War, and an account of a memorial service at Kuala Lumpur in Nov. 1946. There is also a copy of a letter written by Hay in Sept. 1918 describing his service in the First World War as a wireless operator.


  • Creation: 2007

Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Alistair Hay began his career as a colonial civil servant in Canton during the early 1920s. By 1923 he had joined the Chinese Protectorate of the Malay Civil Service and served with it in Taiping (Perak), Penang, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Malacca and Singapore. Hay was based in Singapore when the Second World War began, and he fought with its Volunteer Corps as a captain in the artillery during the Japanese invasion. He was captured after the fall of Singapore and died in a Japanese prisoner of war camp.


1 file(s) (1 file) : paper

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

good condition

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Alistair Hay's daughter, Alison Keating, in 2007.


This collection description was entered by MJC.

Includes index.
2015-03-11 10:21:38+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom