70 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries
- Submitted by Admin on Wed, 2013-01-16 16:01
- Submitted by David on Mon, 2013-04-01 12:20Book / Document:Date(s) of events described:Fri, 29 Jan 1943
((This didn't appear in the Weekly Intelligence Summaries, but was a separate set of documents with information about radio sets in Stanley Camp. Thanks to Elizabeth Ride for sending these from her collection of wartime material.))
OFFICE OF H.M. MILITARY ATTACHE,
Reference: MA/133/3/F. 29 January 1943.
O.C., B.A.A.G., Kweilin.
SUBJECT:- Stanley Radio Set.
The attached are some reports received from New York.
The General does not feel that it is any use relying on S.C. ((probably Selwyn-Clarke)) as he is too afraid of being locked up.
((signature I can't read)) Major, R.A., for H.B.M. Military Attache.
Radio Recieving Set and Sending Set in Stanley Internment Camp, HONGKONG
Attached is a memorandum on this subject from Mr. J. F. DWYER. DWYER lived in the same room in Stanley Internment Camp with PAUL DIETZ, GORDON and FRED HILL. They were handy with their hands and, as noted, had in their room for a while a receiving set which they put together. Source was personally aware there were one or more receiving sets in Stanley Internment Camp but avoided inquiring into its location or the persons concerned with it as source expected to be interviewed by the Japanese at any time and the less information he had the better.
Some reference had been made to this receiving set in the interview of William P. Hunt and he refers therein to Dr. P. SELWYN CLARKE. CLARKE is the Director of Medical Services in Hong Kong and the Japanese did not intern him but permitted him to carry on nominally as Director of medical Services. At the time source left, CLARKE was still living in Hong Kong and was able to make occasional visits to Stanley Internment Camp. At this time, there were numerous receiving sets operating in Hong Kong and CLARKE was one of Stanley Internment Camp's sources of information from the outside world when occasion permitted his visits to Stanley Internment Camp. He naturally had to be very cautious as he was watched very closely by the Japanese.
Probably the most reliable means of communicating with internees will be through CLARKE as it is always possible that the Japanese may discover and destroy the receiving set in Stanley Internment Camp. If they discover it they are certain to destroy it and severely punish operators. Source knows CLARKE quite well as he was his Chief Deputy Medical Transport Officer during the war and source has every confidence in him.
The following appear to have had some information about the location and operation of receiving set in Hong Kong:
All of those people except SCHAFER, have been cautioned to keep quiet about radio receiving set and DWYER, DIETZ and GORDON have been cautioned not to attempt to send any message to Hong Kong.
Source has no information concerning sending set except that contained in DWYER's statement. DWYER is a reliable person.
HUNT when questioned about radio receiving set and sending set in Hong kong replied that he had presented all the information to Lt.Col. G.A. WILLIAMS, Assistant American Naval Attache in Shanghai, and that he gave WILLIAMS a memorandum concerning Times, Station etc. HUNT did not leep any copy of this memorandum and could not recally details.
14th January 1943
From: J.F. DWYER.
Operators of receiving set are W.D. WATERSON ((they spell it WATERTON below)) and REECE. They are responsible to GIMSON and FRASER. They listen regularly news commentary with K.G.E.I. The listen every evening at 8 P.M. until 4 or 5 in the morning.
Before we left Stanley Internment Camp, we arranged with WATERSON that if possible we would try to get some personal message through to him via K.G.E.I. Any message to WATERTON should be addressed to BILL DOUGLAS or WATTY DOUGLAS somewhere in China. K.G.E.I used to broadcast letters and messages to various people in the Far East, particularly broadcast letters, so that any time we wanted to send a message to him or the authorities wanted to get a message to Hong Kong, all they would do was to send it in the form of aboradcast ((sic.)) letter addressed to BILL DOUGLAS.
They also have a radio sending set buried, and they would us this only in case of emergency. WATERTON and REECE know about this. DIETZ, GORDON and DWYER are the only ones who know of this arrangement with WATERTON and the arrangement to communicate through BILL DOUGLAS. Everyone in Stanley Internment Camp suspected DIETZ, GORDON and DWYER of having a receiving set and we had one there for a while. Neither of us have thus far tried to communicate with Hong Kong. DWYER had a letter from DIETZ the other day and had forgotton the signal. We three turned our radio over to WATERTON.
DWYER thinks that the sending set apparatus would work and this buried transmitter can be used in case of emergency but they do not want to use that because once used, it can be traced after it's been on air only a few minutes.
They make a record of all the news on air and that is turned over to GIMSON and FRASER. GIMSON and FRASER callon these men in this certain section now and then and in order to avoid suspicion they have set themselves up a bakers.
HILL made a receiving set that he could hear San Francisco with. He is still there. HILL turned his equipment over to WATERTON and REECE, when HILL was released from Stanley Internment Camp to go back into Hong Kong.
14th January, 1943.
The following information was given to out New York Representatives by William P. Hunt. It deals with two radio receiving sets in the Internment camp.
There are two radio receiving sets in the Internment camp, Fred Hill, an internee built and operated one utilizing flashlight batteries. The other set was operated by the British Colonial authorities, details as to its location and received programmes having been given by William P. Hunt to Colonel G.A. Williams, U.S. Marine officer stationed in Shanghai. William P. Hunt says that on his departure he planned to bring a code with him for use in communicating with internees but destroyed this through a tip received from a friendly guard. He relayed this information back to the internees. He urges the re-establishment of sucha code which should be simple he adds. he further says that internees should be informed as to the wavelength and time of broadcasting. He adds that a code could be established throgh messages to the internees by Chinese couriers via go-betweens. The British Radio, he says, is operated by receivers who are approved by the British authorities and therefore presumably reliable. The British Radio however, needs additional batteries and tubes. He suggests the following method of getting batteries and tubes into the camp:
Doctor Clarke, on an agreed upon day, could place the materials in the space of his car which holds the storage battery. On arriving at the camp he could disconnect the wire and ask Fraser, of the Colonial Secretariat to have an internee repair man see what was wrong.Advised ahead of time of the project, internee repair man could put batteries and tubes in to his blouse and carry them into camp. Doctor Clarke habitually drives his own car to camp and parks in a position where this would be feasible. He emphasizes that the utmost confidence should be placed in Doctor Clarke's resourcefulness and nerve as well as in that on any internee selected for the task.
There are no sending sets in the camp but source says it is believed that a small one could be set up and this was the subject of extended discussions at a time when he, (William P.Hunt) believed he could get his hands on a transmitter.
- Submitted by Admin on Wed, 2017-02-08 14:28Book / Document:Date(s) of events described:Fri, 29 Jan 1943
Jail show cancelled.
- Submitted by billagee on Tue, 2019-09-17 09:45Book / Document:Date(s) of events described:Fri, 29 Jan 1943
This paper is nearly finished now - it has lasted fairly well. I've got some other stuff now and can always get some at the C.S.O.
I see I mentioned my bed yesterday - I don't mind tidying it up in the morning, folding the blankets and sheets and making a nice pile at the top at against which I lean as I write or read but when you are ready to turn in and have to set to and make your bed first - I get so fed up with it all and long for a nice big bed just to go to! Someday soon I hope but even when we get out of here it will be camp beds for a long time I fear - all our furniture has been looted and most broken up for firewood! Then it will be a bunk on board ship so I don't expect to have a decent bed till I get home. Then perhaps I won't be lonely either!
After giving up my ticket for the Concert last night to a man who could only go last night for a ticket for tomorrow night - the Concert has been cancelled by the Japanese authorities - there was a "patriotic" finale which they took exception to. So I have been done out of it. I'm just in from a Committee meeting. Another nice parcel tonight again from Margaret Guttinger - 3 oranges, half lb Coffee half lb Tea 1lb Sugar and a tin of Condensed Milk. It's very good of "her." The sugar is specially welcome as we were out altogether one day until the Canteen yesterday and our Feb issue next Monday.
I've no news today so I'll shut up. All my love. BB.