20 Mar 1942, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

20 Mar 1942, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp

Date(s) of events described: 
Fri, 20 Mar 1942

After a night of intense effort, Priestwood and Thompson are disappointed to find they've only covered a couple of miles and are on the upper slopes of Stanley Mound. Through binoculars they pick out their old home, Bungalow 'C'.  Priestwood spends the hours of daylight hiding her list of internee names, while Thompson mends his shoes.


Back in Stanley, Bill Hunt, Franklin Gimson and the head of the Dutch internees are summoned at 5 p.m. to discuss the escapes with Mr. Maejima {from the Foreign Affairs Department}. The head of the Kempeitai Colonel Noma is present and demands that Hunt, the leader of the Americans, tell him what happened. Maejima says that Hunt is only there in an advisory capacity, and he accepts the suggestion that the three leaders leave.

They return at 9 p.m. and talk to Mr. Yamashita and Mr. Nakazawa {Camp Commandants; the second name is sometimes spelt Nagasawa}, explaining that the escapes were caused by the bad conditions in the camp. They add that the escapers will inform their governments of these conditions. The Japanese demand details of the escape routes and the leaders reply it's  unreasonable to expect them to facilitate the recapture of their own nationals. Yamashita tells them he quite understands. Nevertheless, he must take disciplinary action.

Later today ((see comment below which relates to an earlier version of this entry)) it's announced that there will be two roll calls each day (8 a.m. and 10 p.m.), all lights must be off at 11 p.m. and all internees must be in the region of their buildings at 8 p.m. (later when it gets lighter)  No one is to be billetted in the room from which the Americans escaped. Gendarmes are to patrol the camp at night. Internee chairmen are to be held responsible for those in their areas - this point is disputed by the internee leaders.


Gwen Priestwood, Through Japanese Barbed-Wire, 1944, 69-70; 72

George Wright-Nooth, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads, 1994, 109, 113-114


"Three days later it's announced that there will be two roll calls each day"

Maybe earlier - RE Jones writes in his diary for 20th March: "Roll calls introduced."

Regards, David

Yes, I think this is one of the places where the diaries correct the printed source. Priestwood was relying on Hunt's written statement (I think Hunt got repatriated from Shanghai?). But I don't think Jones can be wrong about this, assuming that he wrote his diary at the end of each day or the start of the next, which is certainly the impression I get.