7 May 1943, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp
18 people (and one child and one baby), the main body of those living at the French Hospital, are sent into Stanley today, arriving at 2 p. m. They are assigned to Bungalow D. ((R. E. Jones records 5 more arriving on May 19.)).
The new arrivals include Hilda Selwyn-Clarke and her daughter Mary. They move into D6, a tiny amah's room, with their friend Margaret Watson, who's been in Stanley from the start (it was Watson who was Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke's main informant as to the needs of the Camp in its early period).
Thomas and Evelina Edgar are in Room D1. Thomas is able to take advantage of a scheme described by George Gerrard and immediately sends home a letter pre-dated to April 30 announcing his arrival in Camp - internees who do this will be allowed to send home another card at the end of May. It is the first time his parents, brothers and sisters have heard directly from him since the start of the war, as none of his previous cards arrived.
Another couple who take advantage of the pre-dating scheme is Mr. E. Gelling and his wife, who write to their daughter in Barrow-on-Furness:
Daddy is secretary in the Camp Hospital, is also a keen gardener, studying Chinese language and now has joined a mixed choir. I spend my time cooking, mending and doing other chores in the room where Camerons and two friends live. We keep fairly well but weights could be improved.
Mrs. Cameron passed away in March, after an operation. It was a terrific shock. Moira is well looked after by her Auntie and Daddy.
Love to all, Dearest love to you.
MUMMY AND DADDY
Of course, 'gardener' has a special meaning in Stanley Camp - a cultivator of a vegetable patch for extra food.
A third 'April 30' message goes back to Chesterfield in Derbyshire from Frederick Ivan Hall. It gives them an important update: they know he's engaged to Phyllis Bliss, the daughter of a retired army officer, who's he met in camp, but he now tells them they're married.
It will be the last message they receive ever from their son.
Gerrard describes the 'misdating' plan, which enables another letter to be sent out in late May, towards the end of his weekly 'retrospective' entry on May 8, which probably means it began to be put into effect May 6/7/8.
Selwyn Selwyn-Clarke, Footprints, 1975, 73, 92
Imperial War Museum, Private Papers Mrs. E. Gelling, Documents 9610
Hall: Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 14 September 1945, 5
Bird's Eye View:
Who Came In Today?
Ten names (marked *) are provided by an internee diary; the same diary lists those who came in on May 19 (see that day's entry). I've added the names of those recorded by the Red Cross delegate Rudolf Zindel and conveyed to Geneva on May 10.
Most of these people went to live in Bungalow 'D'; I've recorded the room number where I know it (thanks to Philip Cracknell.)
Hilda Selwyn-Clarke* (D6)
Mary Selwyn-Clarke (D6)
Thomas Edgar (D1)
Evelina Edgar (D1)
Serge Peacock (D9)
John Fox (D1)
Barbara Bridget Fox (D1)
Molly Churn* (later Mrs. Mackie)
The Red Cross document describes John Fox as 'Assistant Malariologist', so presumably he was helping Dr. Mackie. Edward Kerrison is described as 'Officer in charge of Sea Transport' - probably because he had been forced to help collect the corpses of those the Japanese packed on to boats and murdered.
This makes twenty people, not the 18 given in the diaries: but that's easily explained by the assumption that people = adults!