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

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

Date(s) of events described: 
Sat, 21 Mar 1942

Gwen Priestwood and Walter Thompson leave behind Stanley Mound as soon as it gets dark on March 20. They find the taps are working in a deserted bungalow and this solves the water problem for the moment. They proceed cautiously northwards up the Tai Tam Road.

As dawn approaches they take shelter in another abandoned bungalow. Priestwood sleeps but is woken by a white-looking Thompson, who tells her that three Japanese soldiers are approaching. They hide in an alcove just off the kitchen, covering themselves in old newspapers. Eventually they emerge, as the soldiers seem to have left:

A window near us opened, and a Japanese apparently left behind stuck in his head within four feet of us. He started to climb in - and then, in the nick of time, there came another shout from below. He stopped, turned, yelled something, and ran down the path.

That night they find a junkmaster, who, after an initial refusal, agrees to take them to the mainland. They end up at the fishermen's Tin Hau temple at Joss House Bay, a favourite meeting place for Chinese guerillas.

From there they will be taken into China, eventually arriving in the wartime capital of Chungking (Chongqing).


The Epstein party board a junk that will take them from Lantau to Macao.


Priestwood: Gwen Priestwood, Through Japanese Barbed-Wire, 1944, 77; George Wright-Nooth, Prisoner of the Turnip Heads, 1994, 111-112

Epstein: My China Eye, 2005, 149