Stanley Camp embroidered tablecloth | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Stanley Camp embroidered tablecloth

Stanley Camp embroidered tablecloth

This tablecloth, containing approximately 300 signatures of internees, was handed on to me recently by my mum (Sheila Staple)'s cousin, Jennifer Pate (nee Warbrick). I remember being shown it as a child by my great-aunt Isa Warbrick who embroidered all the signatures.

What intrigues me is that it is almost certainly in too good condition to have been done in camp (like the Day Joyce sheet). So my theory is that somehow my aunt had a piece of good linen that perhaps she asked friends and colleagues to sign and that she embroidered it later after the surrender (she had to return to Hong Kong for a year or so after repatriation for some reason). The signatures are clearly individual, many of them being those of friends or colleagues of Aunt Isa and Joan Staple - eg Barbara Redwood, doctors (eg Drs Valentine, Digby and Uttley) and fellow nurses.  (I've also cross checked some of them with camp lists but this task is WIP). 

Unfortunately, Barbara - who may well be the last surviving link - says she can't actually remember signing it as several internees got others to sign their names on pieces of material. Nevertheless, it is still very special to me.  I still wonder how my aunt had a piece of such good quality linen in camp - perhaps because nurses from Queen Mary's were allowed to take some possessions, it was tucked away until the time when people were still in camp awaiting repatriation and the signatures were gathered then?  Have any other relatives of internees got similar pieces tucked away?

Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017