78 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

We are all expectantly waiting for Col. Hattori to come back from Japan with good news of parcel, food and repatriation. He is said to have arrived yesterday, but when he will come into the camp is not sure. Everyone is generally fed up with present conditions. The Japanese authorities ordered a general spring cleaning throughout the camp and at the usual weekly roll call they made an examination which was very casual. Nevertheless the order to spring clean was carried out and it was very necessary and especially so in our room which with so many in it is rarely as clean as it might be.

Last Sunday we cleared everything out, brushed the roof and cleaned out the cobwebs and dust, washed the floor after it was all over it was a good job done, tho' most of us the next day felt as if we had been whipped.

The Japs are good at giving orders but fail to supply us with the necessary cleaning materials such as soap, brooms, cloths etc. however we overcame these difficulties. With me being block quartermaster I can get access to soft hair brooms of which we have two. It was a fine bright sunny day so our camp beds were put outside and got a good airing. The weather has been very broken ever since so we were lucky.

There are strong rumours of the second front having been opened, but the Jap local rag says nothing about it.

We had a very busy time with rations at the beginning of the month, lately the Japs have been issuing us with 10 days rations comprising rice, salt, sugar, tea, curry powder, beans and oil, but this time after having given us the 10 days they suddenly decided to issue us with another 31 days rations, which of course made a big demand on the ration parties and also on our storage space which is very limited.

Dow / Wittenbach



Fine, humid.

Took on more work, wood chopping etc.

No news, all seems hopeless sometimes.

Steve to practice but he doesn’t like it due to inability of other players to play.

Full moon.

3 ½ hrs work.