Stanley Civilian Internment Camp [1942-1945]

Submitted by David on Mon, 05/21/2012 - 16:14
Current condition
Demolished / No longer exists
Date completed
Date closed / demolished

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, several thousand civilians were interned here.

Overview of the camp

For an initial overview of the camp, see:


Photos of the camp

Gwulo has a selection of photos of Stanley Camp.


Books describing the camp

  • "Hong Kong Internment, 1942-1945" by Geoffrey Charles Emerson. A much more thorough account of Stanley Camp. It was originally written in 1973 as Geoffrey's thesis. A copy of the thesis is available online at:
    Recently the thesis has been expanded and printed as a book. View an online preview of the book, or order it online from HKU Press.
  • "Tin Hats & Rice" by Barbara Anslow. Barbara had just had her 23rd birthday when the Japanese attacked Hong Kong in 1941. Her diary follows events through the battle & surrender, the long internment, and the eventual liberation in 1945. Barbara has added comments throught the book, explaining events and descriptions that might not make immediate sense to modern-day readers. There is also an index of the people mentioned, and additional material from accounts written by Barbara's mother and sister. Details and how to order.
  • "We Shall Suffer There" by Tony Banham. This covers the experiences of all the groups from Hong Kong who were imprisoned by the Japanese, both civilian internees and military prisoners of war. View an online preview of the book, or order it online from HKU Press.
  • "The Survivors" by Diana Fortescue. Her account of her parents' lives has several chapters about their experiences in wartime Hong Kong and Stanley Camp. Review and how to order.


Wartime diaries and other contemporary accounts of the camp

Here on the Gwulo website we're collecting diaries and other material about life in the camp. Here are some examples:

Here is the full list of diaries and accounts (look at the years in the left columns to see which ones apply to the war years).

You can also subscribe to receive a daily email message with extracts from the diaries that were written on today's date. It's free of charge, and you can unsbscribe at any time.


Lists of people interned at Stanley

  • Here on the Gwulo website, we're building a list of the people interned in Stanley. Click here to view the list, then click any family name to see further information about an individual person, and any photos we have of them. On the person's page, click the "What links here" tab to see which other pages on Gwulo mention the person. This is very much a work-in-progress. Corrections & additional information welcome!
  • The Stanley Camp Nominal Roll is a list of internees at Stanley, published by the BAAG in late 1942.
  • John Black's list of Stanley Camp internees
  • List of Civilian Internees, "Compiled from information received by the Colonial Office, London, from the Japanese Authorities, Tokio, in telegraphic despatches between the 18th August and 16th December, 1942..."
  • List of the children in Stanley Camp.


Other Resources

  • Brian Edgar, author of the "Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp" listed above, also has a blog with lots of articles about wartime Hong Kong and Stanley Camp:
  • Philip Cracknell's blog, Battle for Hong Kong, shares his research on WW2 Hong Kong. Several recent posts have looked at events and people connected with Stanley Camp.
  • Tony Banham's publishes a monthly summary of discoveries about wartime Hong Kong on his website, The bulk of the news is about Hong Kong's soldiers, but there are also mentions of civilians and Stanley Camp.
  • Stanley Camp Discussion Group on Yahoo Groups. Members of the group include former internees, their children & relatives, as well as people such as Geoffrey Emerson and Tony Banham who have researched the camp. It's a great place to ask questions and share information about the camp. [2020 update: At the end of 2019 Yahoo stopped archiving the e-mail conversations, and deleted past archives along with the files and photos that had been uploaded. It's still possible to send an email that will be read by all members, but it's not the great resource it used to be.]

What other resources have you found useful?

Photos that show this Place


Mention must be made of George Wright-Nooth’s “Prisoner of the Turnipheads,” (1994). G W-N was a HK Police officer who rose to very senior rank in the Force post-war. He joined as an Asst. Supt. not long before the outbreak of the conflict, and his book predominantly covers his experiences as an internee in the Camp. Well worth a read.

I also have an unpublished account of life in the Camp from June Cheape, a lady with whom Barbara Anslow (mentioned elsewhere here) was friendly in captivity. June took her daughter Fleur, whom I met some years ago and with whom I visited Stanley with her husband, into captivity when the latter was little more than a year old.

I can provide copies of June’s recollections, (about 12 sides of A4), to anyone interested.