78 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

Criticism is never far away from Franklin Gimson - 'the Representative of the Internees' - who is almost always being blamed by someone for something. Today he notes in his diary a rather mysterious source of discontent:

At the Chairmen's meeting {meeting of the senior elected District representatives} in the morning I was glad to be able to state that I had never given through Arthur Blackburn {a repatriated British diplomat} any report on camp conditions though the camp generally believes I have. The subject has cropped up again in connexion with a statement in a letter about an interview Blackburn has given to the "Daily Mail" saying all was well at Stanley. I hope my denial will circulate throughout the camp.

Whovever wrote that letter was well-informed: the article based on the Blackburn interview will not be published until May 24. In any case, Gimson's denial does not put the matter to rest.


Franklin Gimson, Diary, Weston House, Oxford, p. 71 (recto)

Classical concert (Goodban, Talbot, Woods, Bicheno, Drown) ((Not sure which "Woods" he's referring to.))

“Strong reparations about rations"

("Bidmead, Fay, Morrison, Randall to be released on June 20 and come into Camp”)


Fine, overcast aft., rain 10pm.

Double Y10 Canteen.

Steve to concert pm. Talked with M till he returned.

Re-organised labour in Block. 

Franks about the poorest specimen of ex R.N. I’ve ever met. ((R E Jones was also ex Royal Navy))

Entertainment Comm. asked to be prepared to give farewell concert. 


Another Jap.CinC shot down. They specialize in flying CinCs. ((Jones is probably referring to the death of Mineichi Koga, Commander in Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet.))