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All slept badly last night.

No roll call of any description.

Carmen Hailstone (a friendly neighbour) gave us a tin of sugar. Mrs. Lambert, for what reason we know not, came and gave us a tin of York Sausage Roll which we forthwith ate. Margery Fortescue gave us some onions. Our neighbours the Hamiltons also gave us some food ((diary indecipherable here)).

Rev. Sandbach told us the war was over. ((To avoid drawing too much Jap attention, certain camp dignitaries were deputed to announce this news to small groups of people: in our Block lots of us congregated on the internal concrete staircase and landing.))

Our Police went on duty patrolling this evening, mostly their hats their only uniform.

Couldn't eat the Victory Pasty Peggy brought me.

Heard a crowd of Formosans singing gaily as they went up the hill in lorry.

Franklin Gimson issues a statement saying that Stanley's Commandant, Kadowaki, has told the guards to lay down their arms and to treat internees with the utmost civility. Gimson adds that he's taken over responsibility for camp discipline, and that the British police will henceforth resume some of their functions. Most of the guards leave for town.


There's a Thanksgiving Service and St. Stephen's Hall is filled to overflowing.


But Hong Kong is in the hands of looters, the food's running out, there are no Allied troops anywhere close by - and no-one is sure what the Japanese military will do next. These are frightening as well as joyous times for the internees.


Gimson: George Wright-Nooth, Prisoner Of The Turnip Heads, 1994, 245

Thanksgiving: Bill Ream, Too Hot For Comfort, 1988, 54


See also the entries for yesterday and tomorrow.

Thank God the War is over. Mr Gimson has just issued official statement that the Japs have accepted the terms as laid down by the Potsdam Conference. He is now in command of the camp. We now hope for an early release when the army and navy arrive. It wont be long now Nell.

Noon - "Hostilities ceased" bulletin read

Police resume duties as guards

No am roll-call.

Thanksgiving service S.S. / Sandbach / Martin / Short

Sleepless night. Brain active writing leader. To town. Aeroplane causes rush. Pamphlets. Merely repeats surrender stuff. No interference with people reading. That night no mention Hongkong on radio. Gendarmerie has decided form special squads to keep order. Also large number gendarmes to guard rice and other shops selling daily necessities.

What excitement in camp! They say peace, or at any rate a truce has really been signed with Japan! I have grown so chary about accepting any such news that I really do not believe it. I think that peace is round the corner, but I feel it will be a few weeks yet before it comes into sight.

The first we really knew of anything unusual was the behaviour of the Formosan guards on Thursday morning (16th August). Many of them were quite drunk; they would not bother to take the roll call chits from the Block Chairmen and many of them came round to see their black market contacts and call in their goods and money. They had somewhat differing stories, some said peace had been declared, others that it was a truce for peace negotiations. The general belief is that a truce has been called while Japan considers the peace terms and that if these are accepted a general armistice will be declared; if they reject them, fighting will be resumed.

Apparently a Chinese paper came into camp on Thursday (this I know is true) which stated that the Japanese Emperor had issued a rescript in which he said he had accepted the Russian – American – British terms as laid down at Potsdam and he ordered the cessation of hostilities. So it looks as though there really might be some truth in it.

Yesterday, everyone was running round in small circles: we dashed up to Maudie immediately we heard the story (we had been to see Vera Armstrong and verified the fact that her Formosan contact had told her this story) and sat and talked and smoked and talked.

On Thursday morning the Japanese issued everyone with a huge roll of American made toilet paper which we promptly christened ‘Victory rolls’. Now, how would the Japs have come by such quantities as that except from American supplies brought by the Awa Maru? I’m sure we shall find there were stacks of American parcels, medical and bulk supplies for us of which we never saw a sign. It is ridiculous to suppose that a big ship like that would call at Hong Kong and unload a few thousand old and damaged British parcels. Some Japanese are going to have some awkward questions to answer.

Yvonne has been up to Maudie and we have arranged to celebrate with a Victory Lunch. We are opening our one remaining tin of ‘Kam’ meatloaf for the occasion. We managed that part of our iron rations extremely well – just one tin of meatloaf left for celebrating peace! We have quite a bit of rice in hand and some tins of biscuits and quite a lot of egg yolk, so we can start tucking into those straight away! We want sugar now – or chocolate! The Japs sent in our cigarette ration with the toilet paper; also soap – we think peace must have been declared! They sent in also some of the arrears of workers cigarettes and I received 60 of these: so with our ordinary ration Y and I had 130 cigarettes between us! We had got down to 1 cigarette per day again (½ at lunch time and the other half in the evening!). We had always carried a reserve of cigarettes for the purpose of swapping them for food and latterly with the yen depreciating so rapidly we had converted all our spare cash into cigarettes which we sold again at the enhanced value when we needed cash for canteens etc.  So we had 18 additional packets which, it appears now, we can smoke instead of having to save! It is marvellous to be able to open a packet and hand them round without feeling “there goes my next week’s ration”!

Fine. E wind.

No roll-call. all Camp control by Japs eased. 8 Formosans left by sampan early am. 

Delegate expected today from Macases [?Macassar?]

Kadawaki issued official statement this forenoon re Rescript.

Inundated with food now, what with reserve rations & what people cannot eat. ¼ lb Mutton, bran, rice & biscuits issued.

Attended Thanksgiving Service pm with V & G. Prepared U.J. [Union Jack] and staff for hoisting. Electricity on pm. HK Police on guard duty. ∴