70 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

70 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

Shows diary entries from seventy-one years ago, using today's date in Hong Kong as the starting point. To see pages from earlier dates (they go back to 1 Dec 1941), choose the date below and click the 'Apply' button.
  • 1 Aug 1944, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    Death of John/Jack Moss from pulmonary thrombosis.

    John Moss was born in Fulham on August 20, 1885 and became a boy entrant to the Royal Navy in 1895, serving until 1908. In 1912 he went to Hong Kong to join the Police Force, retiring in 1932. He worked later for the Admiralty as a caretaker with special qualifications (police experience). At some point he married Lily Beatrice (born in London on June 26, 1891). Before Stanley he was held at the Nam Ping Hotel.


    The Japanese Army finally takes over day to day control of the Camp, which has been officially the Military Internment Camp since January, but was still administered by civilians. For the first time an Army officer, 1st Lieutenant Hara, takes up residence.  There's a new interpreter too, the already feared Japanese-American Niimori Genichiro.

    There is much speculation in Camp as to whether the Army's arrival will make things better or worse. First indications are not promising: it's announced that the weighing of rice will not take account of the weight of the sacks, meaning a cut of about 5% in the rice ration.


    Probably as a result of this change, Rudolf Zindel, International Committee of the Red Cross Delegate, finds things get tougher. From now on he has to apply to in Tokyo for permission to visit Stanley, and it takes three months to get a reply. And when he does get into the camp he's no longer allowed to talk with Franklin Gimson.


    Moss: cause of death: Comendador Arthur E. Gomes, Newsletter, 1 February 2004 (this source gives his year of birth as 1886); date of death, hotel:

    http://www.hongkongwardiary.com/searchgarrison/nonuniformedcivilians.html#_Toc43367492 Details of life: http://www.curiousfox.com/history/gtlondon_13.html

    Army: George Wright-Nooth, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads, 1994, 207

    Zindel: Hong Kong Sunday Herald, September 16, 1945, 5

  • 1 Aug 1944, Barbara Anslow's diary

    Book / Document: 
    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    J. Moss died.

  • 1 Aug 1944, R. E. Jones Wartime diary

    Book / Document: 
    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    Felt much brighter but still bunged up this am. Dr. prescribed some Med & Asp.

    A Jap. Officer smashed some windows that had V on them.

    Another roll-call – 8am the same as the previous weekly ones.

    Meeting called.

    Jap big wigs arrived this am.

    Two days rice arr. Temp. 5% cut in rice ration.

    No papers but we do not know if that is due to a hitch or if the new Adm. have disallowed the privilege.

    With Steve pm.

    Rumours about already re am.s meeting.

  • 1 Aug 1944, Eric MacNider's wartime diary

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    Death - John Moss (58), Insp. HKP (Ret’d) Caretaker, Admiralty House

    Lt. Hara in charge of Camp. Mr Nimurii interpreter


  • 1 Aug 1944, Harry Ching's wartime diary

    Book / Document: 
    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    ((Following text not dated:))

    Relief no longer available for free enemy nationals. Alumni released Stanley recalled. Enemy nationals on relief like Guests called in to Ma Tau Chung Camp. Septic and dame ((probably Selwyn-Clarke's wife, Hilda)) there also. Fortunate we decided against.

  • 01 Aug 1944, WW2 Air Raids over Hong Kong & South China

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Tue, 1 Aug 1944

    OBJECTIVE: Staggered single-aircraft night raids to harass Canton airfields and prevent JAAF from flying night bombing missions

    RESULTS: Due to cloud cover, B-25 #405 fails to find the target and does not release its bombs.  B-25 #403 bombs Tien Ho and White Cloud airbases, but damage is unknown.

    TIME OVER TARGET: ~7:55 to 10:20 p.m.

    AMERICAN UNITS AND AIRCRAFT: Two B-25s from 11th Bomb Squadron (341st Medium Bomb Group)


    • B-25: #403: 1st Lt. Stanley A. Johnson; 2nd Lt. Boyd A. [last name illegible]; 2nd Lt. Warren Curtis; 2nd Lt. Philip [last name illegible]; Sgt. Frank L. Gaines; Staff Sgt. Roy A. Jones; Staff Sgt. Frederick T. Kaveney
    • B-25 #405: 1st Lt. Gordon R. Francis; 2nd Lt. Harry G. Charles; 2nd Lt. William G. Pauger; Staff Sgt. Charles A. [last name illegible]; Staff Sgt. Ervin B. Terwilliger; Sgt. William Cullen.

    ORDNANCE EXPENDED: 20 x 100-pound bombs



    SOURCES: Original mission reports and other documents in the Air Force Historical Research Agency archives at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.

    Information compiled by Steven K. Bailey, author of Bold Venture: The American Bombing of Japanese-Occupied Hong Kong, 1942-1945 (Potomac Books/University of Nebraska Press, 2019).

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