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

79 years ago: Hong Kong's wartime diaries

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  • 6 May 1943, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Thu, 6 May 1943

    Dorothy Lee is re-arrested and questioned about Selwyn-Clarke.

    This time she is not mistreated, and is released on May 14.


    China Mail, January 7, 1947, page 2.

    Note: see also the entry for February 11, 1943

    Note: for more information see


  • 6 May 1943, R. E. Jones Wartime diary

    Book / Document: 
    Date(s) of events described: 
    Thu, 6 May 1943

    Fine. New Moon.


    Watched softball with Steve pm.

    Brown harm [?] shop.

  • Waichow Intelligence Summary #29, 6 May 1943

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Thu, 6 May 1943


    Om 26 April J. L. QUIE and F. A. OZORIO arrived at A.H.Q. from HONGKONG. A joint statement is attached to this Sub-division at Appendix 'A': this contains much information about prisoners, internees, Third Nationals, etc.

    OZORIO brought a letter from EMILY HAHN, an American journalist who is free in HONGKONG. The letter is addressed to:

    First National Bank Building,
    CHICAGO Ill.

    The following extract may be of interest:-

    "Charles' arm has made what looks like a complete recovery, but I can't see very well at that distance." 

    The above refers to Major CHARLES BOXER, who was wounded during hostilities and is now a prisoner in ARGYLE STREET P.W. Camp.

    "I can manage by borrowing and selling things but that can't go on forever. Once upon a time we were told that the Red Cross would be allowed to lend money to Americans, but that idea evaporated. Their official here is not very effective. He is scared to death to ask for things and he would die of terror rather than insist."

    The following information has been supplied by YEUNG TAK YI, a reliable Penang-born Chinese who arrived at A.H.Q on 27 Apr. 43:-


    These two men were found guilty - charge not known but suspected to be smuggling money into STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP through DR. HARRY TALBOT - and are now in STANLEY PRISON together with other criminals. When they were at HAPPY VALLEY GENDARMERIE H.Q. food was at first allowed to be taken in to them; later this was not permitted but attempts were still made to send them vitamin tablets though the Indian guards. The Indians were later replaced by Japanese guards. Part of the sum of money with which this case is said to be connected was from Mr C. P. WONG to Mr. C. C. ROBERTS.


    Dr. SELWYN-CLARKE has privately given money to wives of interned Volunteers to be sent into SHAMSHUIPO P.W. Camp for unknown regulars (Dr. SELWYN-CLARKE supplies the names of these regulars.)


    In the French Convent ((was this the same as the French Hospital?)) some children of interned Volunteers are given education under a Miss CHEN. Parents are recommended by Dr. SELWYN-CLARKE to send their children there instead of to the other schools operated by the permission of the Japanese.


    The Japanese have refused to allow families of Indian and Chinese Volunteers to be given help by the RED CROSS. RED CROSS aid is similarly denied to families of "essential service workers"  (e.g. A.R.P. workers) killed during hostilities.

    Considerable resentment has been expressed at this "discrimination".


    Three Volunteers, until recently prisoners in SHAMSHUIPO P.W.Camp, have been released under ROBERT KOTEWALL's guarantee. They are: FRED ZIMMERN, FRANCIS ZIMMERN, and ARCHIE ZIMMERN. They are now living in a garage in HATTON ROAD near KOTEWALL's house. ((Henry Ching: These three Zimmern brothers eventually married three daughters of Sir Robert Kotewall.))

    There is a rumour that Volunteers may be released if a responsible person will guarantee that they will be given work.


    Both Regular soldiers and Volunteers are amongst those sent away to JAPAN or FORMOSA. TEDDY FINCHER (of No.3 Coy. H.K.V.D.C) was seen in a lorry in NATHAN ROAD together with others bound for a ship. MRS. WOOKEY (Wife of a Volunteer) is certain that her husband, formerly a P.W. in SHAMSHUIPO P.W.Camp, is no longer in the Colony.


    Strong rumours have been heard from various sources to the effect that at least some of the civilian interneeys now in STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP will shortly be exchanged and sent to Allied territory.

    Appendix 'A'.



    Among the Chinese and Foreign Community there is no doubt about the ultimate outcome of the war - complete victory for the United Nations. There was a wave of optimism during the winter that the war would be finished this year, but feeling has now become resigned that it will last two years or longer. The anti-Japanese feeling is very, very strong in all classes of the community. The Japanese, however, have the community completeley cowed with their "terror" tactics which they appear to deliberately foster in order to keep the population cowed. The anti-Japanese feeling amongst the Chinese is daily growing stronger due to the extreme difficulty of making a livelihood, the very high cost of living (the depreciation of the Hongkong Dollar - viz four to one Military Yen contributed greatly to this), the brutal treatment meted out to petty offenders and the forced evacuation of large numbers of the masses without any future means of livelihood. CIVIL INTERNMENT CAMP - STANLEY, SHAMSHUIPO & ARGYLE STREET PRISONER OF WAR CAMPS. Judging from chits smuggled in and out, the morale in these camps is high. The fact that parcels are permitted to be sent in once weekly has alleviated the hardships of these camps to a great extent.

    ECONOMICALLY: The cost of living is rising and will undoubtedly continue to rise in the future. Business has consisted of dealings in stocks already in Hongkong and as these are being repidly depleted Chinese holders are reluctant to sell as there are no imports apart from a certain amount of foodstuffs. These conditions have been intensified since the Japanese took over KWONGCHOWWAN. The Japanese have placed practically everything under their control and Japanese firms are given preferences. All Public Utility Co's are being run by Japanese. A business tax has been instituted since the 1st April and is payable on profits made during the past year. Inspectors are being sent to all Chinese firms to examine books. The tax is (the figures are approximate) 10% on profits of Y5,000., 15% up to Y50,000., 20% up to Y100,000. - with a maximum of 30%. This tax will, no doubt, lead to a further rise in prices. A 10% tax has also been instituted on all drinks or meals taken in restaurants.

    SHIP MOVEMENTS: Convoys appear to be arriving more regularly of late. These convoys consist of approximately 8 to 10 ships escorted by a destroyer and a sloop or 2 destroyers. The ships appear to be anything from 2,000 tons to 5,000 and anchor in Kowloon Bay, off Stonecutters and off Capsuimun. Hospital ships arrive regularly and appear to be loaded with other things than wounded. All scuttled ships in the harbour have been salvaged and put into commission by the Docks. The Docks are also extremely busy making wooden vessels run by auxiliary engines for coast trade.

    GENERAL MILITARY MOVEMENTS: Troops appear to arrive regularly for training and after several months are shipped off or replaced by further recruits. The training is intensive, specialising in night fighting and none or very little parade ground stuff is indulged in. The training grounds are Gun Club Hill and ground attached, Marina ground and grounds of Kowloon Cricket Club and Bowling Green Club and Kings Park. Troops are quartered in Whitfield Barracks, Gun Club Hill, Humphreys and Carnarvon buildings and houses along Mody Road, Water Police Station, Y.M.C.A., Diocesan Girls School. It is believed that patrols in the New Territories have been geratly increased due to the escape of Indian soldiers.

    Hongkong & Shanghai Bank: Occupied as Governor's Offices.

    Hongkong Club: Admiralty.

    Supreme Court: Chief of Gendarmes.

    MURRAY BARRACKS: Occupied by troops and trained on Murray parade Ground.

    Kowloon Magistracy: Opposite Alhambra Theatre - occupied by Chief Gendarmes for Kowloon.

    King's Building and Union Building: Opposite Hongkong Post Office - occupied by Water Police.

    Light Anti Aircraft Guns are in positions on Hongkong & Shanghai Bank, Supreme Court, Bank of Canton, Peninsula Hotel, Kowloon Water Police Station, Observatory Hill, Gun Club Hill. One Heavy anti aircraft gun fixed between Green Island Cement Co. premises and Kowloon Docks.

    Chinese Councils: Appear (recently) to be making as few speeches as possible with the exception of LAU TIT SING, who, it is believed, is very pro-Japanese.


    SIR VANDELEUR GRAYBURN & R. P. STREATFIELD (H.K. & SHANGHAI BANK): Sentenced (sentence unknown) to Stanley Gaol for supplying money to be smuggled into Stanley for use of internees. DR. TALBOT said to have been 'third degreed' upon the same charge.

    VOLUNTEER FAMILIES & DEPENDANTS: these people are undergoing more hardship and privation. An allowance is now being given through the International Red Cross of Y25 per month per person which is totally inadequate. Many families have been able to supplement this income by the sale of personal belongings but this cannot continue much longer. A number of the women have been driven to acts of prostitution. No words can emphasize strongly enough the necessity for increasing this allowance. These families, Chinese, Portuguese and other nationalities considered by the Japanese to be non-enemy are not allowed in Stanley Internment Camp. The belgian Government make an allowance of Y75 per month per person to those of their subjects who are in Stanley where food is provided. Information would be welcomed by the writers upon the following particular case - H. P. LIM, an Australian born Eurasian, was attached to Command Headquarters for some years as an assistant surveyor. Upon outbreak of war, he was drafted to the R.E.'s with rank of Staff Sergeant. He is now a prisoner of War in Japan. His wife ((Lily Lim)), an American born Chinese, wishes to know if she would receive an adequate living allowance if she were able to get into Free China or if she would be able to receive assistance to reach her home in America. She has one daughter nine years of age. She is receiving Y30 per month which she has supplemented by the sale of personal belongings. As these have practically all gone her future is desparate.

    LEE WAN. (REGD. IN DOCKYARD NO.L901) - This man carried the writers' passport and papers to TAMSHUI (taking a different route to that of the writers) and was formerly Mess Compradore to the Dockyard Police and the R.A.M.C. stationed at SHAUKIWAN. Apparently some accounts were due him at the outbreak of war and he would like to know if he could collect anything here. He proposes to return to Hongkong during the course of the next few days.

    CONCLUSION: The Japanese appear to be confident of their ability to retain Hongkong and are taking long term steps to supplement their war effort. Buildings damaged during hostilities have been or are being repaired. The old Government House is being repaired for use of quarters. The last census figures (issued two months ago) showed the 2,000 Japanese civilian families are now residing in Hongkong and Kowloon. The writers own personal opinion is that they are not so confident. The Japanese are buying as much Real Estate as they can under Chinese names with the result that the price of property is booming. The prices paid are ridiculously high which in the writers opinion evinces the desire to get rid of Yen which in turn is a "no confidence" sign.

    The above is supplementary to the notes taken by your goodself yesterday. Any further information will be gladly given.

    (Sd.) J. L. QUIE

    (Sd.) F. A. OZORIO

    27th April, 1943. - WAICHOW

    INTERROGATION: 26 Apr. and 27 Apr. 43

    J. L. QUIE and F. A. OZORIO, arrived WAICHOW 24 Apr. 43

    J.L. QUIE: Before hostilities Secretary of Humphres Estate & Finance Co., Ltd.; Secretary of Peak Tramways & Managing Director of Q.B. Piggeries near YEUN LONG, N.T.; Asst. Q.M. of 2nd Battery, H.K.V.D.C.

    Quie said he was 3 weeks in NORTH POINT CAMP then in S.S.P. ((Shamshuipo camp)) from which he escaped early in Feb.42 by cutting the wire about half way along the most Northerly sector, between the two sentry points and running across to shelter of buildings North of the vegetable patch just outside the wire. An R.E. Staff Sgt., LIM H. P. (see QUIE's report) gave him the wire cutters and OLIVER and PULLEN (both of 2nd Battery, H.K.V.D.C.) kept watch. B.S.M. ROSE (2nd Bty. H.K.V.D.C.) undertook to fake the roll call for 48 hours. (He has said that he knows how to get in touch with the P's.W. in S.S.P. and that it's easy, but he apparently did not try to find out if his escape was noticed, when and what were repercussions if any. B. HERSCHEND, the Dane, was writing a lengthy report on H.K. when he left WAICHOW and it is thought this may contain some reference to QUIE about whom he spoke strongly as being pro-Japanese, running his Q.B. Piggery for them and having taken a trip to SHANGHAI). After escape QUIE says he took a Chinese name, but obtained no Third National Pass but did have inoculation certificates, etc. He had Hongkong $10,000 with which he entered into the diamond business and did other brokerage jobs. He said his Q.B. Piggery was seized by the Japanese and he got no payment of any kind for the 2,000 or so animals there. All his clothes were saved from his former house in Boundary Street, KOWLOON. He lived after his escape in HOMUNTIN with a Chinese family. He came out with OZORIO and between them they have 9 pieces of luggage - everything they posess - a draft for U.S.$2,000 on the Belgian Ambassador in CHUNGKING obtained through his friend MARTIN, Manager of Belgian Bank in Hongkong. The draft bears MARS???'s ((Name unclear. Martin Heyes suggests it could be J H Marsman)) name. He and OZORIO spent H.K.$4,000 coming out and had some H.K.$700 plus a little C.N. Currency on arrival in WAICHOW. He holds a British Passport and carries a letter obtained from CLARK of Humphreys Estate & Finance Co., Ltd., who is in STANLEY.

    F. A. OZORIO was, before hostilities, employed by DALZIEL in Central Dairy Supply Co., Ltd. During hostilities, he worked for Food Controller in KOWLOON and then joined a Volunteer Medical Unit under Capt. RODRIGUES was with whom he could not cross to Hongkong. ((Henry Ching thinks this was A M Rodrigues: "I think there were two Captains in the HKVDC in 1941 named Rodrigues. One was Captain A.M.Rodrigues who was in the Field Ambulance, and I think this is the one referred to.  I believe this was the Albert Rodrigues who in later years became Sir Albert and was appointed to the Legislative Council.  The other was a Captain J.S.Rodrigues – don’t know his unit.")) He stayed in KOWLOON when the Japanese arrived and has done nothing since. He carries a mutilated British Passport issued in SWATOW where he once worked.

    QUIE and OZORIO got a Chinese to bring out their passports and other papers by a different route when they left Hongkong. They are fed up with conditions in Hongkong under the Japanese and have come to offer their serivices to the British.

    Between them they have supplied the following information:-

    They found that if they dressed well they were not interfered with by the Japanese. They made several preparatory trips to TAIPO by train to test the possibility of coming out unmolested. Their luggage was carried by road when they did come (by train) and they got past the Japanese sentries, near TAIPO on the road leading to EU TONG SEN's house ((ie "Sirmio")) on the East Side of TAIPO BAY, by paying some money.

    S.S.P. and ARGYLE STREET P.W.CAMPS: Conditions are now not really bad. Volunteers get parcels weekly. Regular O.R's for a long time got parcels from their girl friends, but funds have gradually diminished and they get few now. Parcels were stopped for about 6 months during 1942 but were resumed just before Xmas when the first Red Cross supplies arrived. In 1942, sickness was severe - dysentery and typhoid - but now the men are divided into three categories A, B and C. A class look well and are now taken out to work. In 1942, work parties at Railway tunnel and Kai Tak could frequently be seen bringing back on stretchers men who had collapsed. B class work inside the S.S.P. Camp and C class are sick. RED CROSS representatives are frightened of the Japanese and are ineffective. ZINDL is in charge and several other Swiss including SUTER (later of S.O.C.O.N.Y.). once in '42, a request to inspect S.S.P. was refused and after 3 days a very cursory inspection was allowed. P's.W. chief needs are cholera and dysentery and eye medicines and vaccines, shoes, sunglasses. Attached is a copy of letter from Miss EMILY HAHN about RED CROSS matters. ((No copy of that letter found.))

    They frequently said communication with the camps was easy and frequent. When asked how they said P's.W. inside made friends with the guards - chifly Formosans - who, for a sum, dealt with correspondence, etc. Major BOXER and COOKS (of Kowloon Dock) correspond with outsiders from ARGYLE STREET. Informants knew that in S.S.P. S. LEONARD of Dairy Farm and R.A.S. WATSON of China Mail carried on correspondence and "95% of non-regulars" do the same.

    Some deaths in P.W. Camps they mentioned were :-

    HOUSTON - H.K. Government Cadet, about 2 months ago.
    CHRISTIANSEN - A Dane (2nd Bty. H.K.V.D.C.) just before Xmas (S.S.P.)
    PETER LLOYD - 3rd degreed as result of ALKO (sic!) PEARCE's escape and died. 

    ESCAPES: About October 42, OZORIO was for some reason called to a gendarmerie station where he saw 3 Canadians, with long beards, in a pitiable condition, apparently having dysentery and being left in an uncleaned cell after beating and torture. He heard 4 other Canadians were captured a wek later in WANCHAI. He knew no names.

    STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP: Conditions are said not to be bad and again it is easy to contact outsiders. The chief intermediary being CHESTER BENNET, and American formerly U.B.Beer salesman in LOXLEY & CO., who is free and who can be contacted at a bookshop run by PASCALL (a Jew, nationality not known, - formerly HARRIS Book Shop) in Ice House Street. BENNETT takes shoes to be repaired for internees and is general agent for them. DA SILVA - lawyer - "helps him and is pro-British".

    Those allowed out of Stanley, and now free, include:-

    • KERRISON - Inland Revenue Dept,. in which he is now again working.
    • ERIC HUMPHREYS & HALLIGAN ((Maybe George Halligan?)) - Engineers working at French Hospital for food and M.Y.15 a month.
    • MACLAREN - working in Gas Works, East point.
    • SELWYN-CLARKE and his assistant ANGUS - In Medical Dept. People used to be able to see SELWYN-CLARKE freely and he distributed funds to the needy. Japanese now will not allow free access to him.
    • GRO?ER, GREGORY, JACKSON and some Russians - Work at Dairy Farm.

    Those over 55 years old are allowed out if guaranteed. Informants thought a Chinese "shop guarantee" was sufficient. Amongst the guaranteed free are:

    • DR. MALTHRN ((spelling?)), an American.
    • HILL, a British subject. ((There were several people with this surname - I'm not sure who it refers to.))
    Those free as IRISH include:-
    An American who is free is GINGLE who used to run Palace Hotel, off Haiphong Street, Kowloon.


    CRESSAL - Puisne Judge, died early Apr. 43.


    QUIE had lunch every Monday with STREATFIELD and MARTIN (of Belgian Bank). The bankers say their work could have been finished six months ago and will be finished shortly when they expect to go to STANLEY.

    Formerly anyone could enter the Bank and talk to whom they pleased. Now - since GRAYBURN's imprisonment - names and addresses must be left at the door.

    INDIANS: Indian P. W. are worst treated. A former Indian police Reservist, DIN, now an Inspector with Office in Ice House Street, sent a message by QUIE to say Indians were at heart loyal but might be misunderstood for working for the Japanese.


    On MARINA PARADE GROUND alsongside K.C.Railway beside CHATHAM ROAD, KOWLOON, are stocked drums of oil.

    Japanese troops train a lot here and on former KOWLOON CRICKET CLUB Ground COX's PATH, KOWLOON, especially at night when bayonet practice, etc. is also done.

    On STONECUTTERS, there has been some building. Japanese style roofs can be seen and W/T masts have been erected.

    Naval H.Q. are in Hongkong Club.

    Convoys appear to sail weekly and consist of about 8 ships of 2/3,000 tons accompanied by two or more destroyers.

    Hospital Ships come in about twice weekly and are laden down NOT with wounded. This is a standing joke amongst the populace.

    ADMINISTRATION: OZORIO says he has seen Chinese tortured with the water treatment at former 2/14 Punjab Officers' Mess in Cameron Road (leading into CHATHAM ROAD) Kowloon.


    The British Consul - REEVES - is said to have forbidden foreigners to escape from MACAO. 

    He pays Macao $125 monthly to foreigners and Macao $90 monthly to locals.

    H.B.W. 28 Apr 43.

  • 06 May 1943, Eric MacNider's wartime diary

    Date(s) of events described: 
    Thu, 6 May 1943

    St George's concert

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