Sheridan's Escape - His Own Account

Submitted by brian edgar on Wed, 10/31/2012 - 22:29

Staff-Sergeant Patrick John Sheridan was a Royal Army Service Corps baker who, alongside the rest of the garrison, was taken prisoner when Hong Kong surrendered on December 25, 1941. An unlikely set of circumstances presented him with the chance to escape, a chance he seized with courage and determination. He left Hong Kong on June 4, 1942 arriving in Free China on June 7th. He was awarded the Military Medal for this exploit:

Staff-Sergeant Sheridan’s daughter Helen Dodd, with the permission of her sisters, has very kindly allowed Gwulo to publish two substantial sets of extracts from a post-war Memoir in which he described his experiences in Hong Kong. His diary of the hostilities can be found here:


In this document we present edited extracts from those parts of the Memoir that describe his escape.




Book type
Diary / Memoir
Dates of events covered by this document

Sample pages



Passages in italics are linking narrative provided by the editor. Passages in italics and ((double brackets)) are explanatory notes. Staff-Sergeant Sheridan’s diary of the hostilities can be read in full at:…

On January 4, 1942 notices appeared around town telling enemy nationals to report to the Murray Parade Ground on the next day. From there were taken to squalid hotel-brothels on the waterfront and held there until the last 10 days of January when they were shipped to the camp at Stanley. Many people didn’t see the notices or risked ignoring them, but it’s not clear why those in the Exchange Building, not far from the centre of things, weren’t affected. And if…


((Staff-Sergeant Sheridan’s ‘Memoir’ gives the only detailed account I know of life inside the Exchange Building in January 1942 – for more on this see - //


 The Allied civilians (Lane, Crawford staff,…