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

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

Date(s) of events described: 
Tue, 10 Mar 1942

Phyllis Harrop arrives in Kweiyang at about 3 p.m. She takes a bath at her guest house and meets the notorious Mimi Lau while making her way back to her room.


Rhoda Reeves, the wife of John Reeves, the British Consul in Macao, is allowed to leave Hong Kong to join her husband and daughter. She was trapped in the colony by the Japanese attack while on a Christmas shopping trip, and spent much of the time before her departure  with other refugees in St. Stephen's College in Lyttleton Road, in a poor state of physical health and 'in an extremely bad state of nerves.'


The Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, speaking to the House of Commons, makes the first official statement about atrocities in Hong Kong. This matter had been discussed and a statement drafted at a meeting of the War Cabinet on March 5. According to Edmund Hall-Patch, the financial advisor at the British Embassy in Chungking, the statement was based on information provided by Lindsay Ride, who gave the Embassy the first reliable information about conditions after the surrender.

Extracts from Eden's Speech:
Out of regard for the feelings of the many relations of the victims, His Majesty's Government have been unwilling to publish any accounts of Japanese atrocities at Hong Kong until these had been confirmed beyond any possibility of doubt. Unfortunately there is no longer room for doubt. His Majesty's Government are now in possession of statement {sic} by reliable eye-witnesses who succeeded in escaping from Hong Kong. Their testimony establishes the fact that the Japanese army at Hong Kong perpetrated against their helpless military prisoners and the civil population, without distinction of race or colour, the same kind of barbarities which aroused the horror of the civilised world at the time of the Nanking massacre of 1937.
It is known that 50 officers and men of the British Army were bound hand and foot and then bayoneted to death. It is known that 10 days after the capitulation wounded were still being collected from the hills and the Japanese were refusing permission to bury the dead. It is known that women, both Asiatic and European, were raped and murdered and that one entire Chinese district was declared a brothel, regardless of the status of the inhabitants. All the survivors of the garrison, including Indians, Chinese and Portuguese, have been herded into a camp consisting of wrecked huts without doors, windows, light or sanitation…

Most of the European residents, including some who are seriously ill, have been interned and, like the military prisoners, are being given only a little rice and water and occasional scraps of other food. There is some reason to believe that conditions have slightly improved recently, but the Japanese Government have refused their consent to the visit to Hong Kong of a representative of the Protecting Power and no permission has yet been granted for such a visit by the representative of the International Red Cross Committee…

The House will agree with me that we can best express our sympathy with the victims of these appalling outrages by redoubling our efforts to ensure (Japan's) utter and overwhelming defeat.


Phyllis Harrop, Hong Kong Incident, 1943, 182

Reeves: Editors Colin Day and Richard Garrett, John Pownall Reeves, The Lone Flag, 2014, KIndle Edition, Location 218

Commons: http://ww2timelines.com/britain/misc/420310edenhongkong.htm

War Cabinet: http://ww2today.com/5th-march-1942-war-cabinet-discusses-japanese-atrocities-in-hong-kong

Note: Harrop's chronology of this part of her escape is a little confused. I've dated events as best I can.