30 Dec 1941, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

30 Dec 1941, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp

Date(s) of events described: 
Tue, 30 Dec 1941


The last Japanese soldiers leave Maryknoll House in the early hours of this morning. The Fathers report that the city water goes on again today - it was working in Victoria yesterday, but they're down in Stanley. They need plenty of it as they're cleaning up.


George Wright-Nooth and the rest of his police station, acting under orders given yesterday, leave for the Gloucester Hotel. While there, an 'informal mess' system evolves between him and five other officers: everything but sentimental possessions is shared. There are changes of personnel - for example, one of the original half dozen, W. P. Thompson escapes -  but the principle is kept throughout internment - 'we became practical communists and in our case it worked'


John Stericker, factory manager of the British Cigarette Company, is walking up to the Peak in the middle of the afternoon. Close to the Peak Tram Terminus in Garden Road he sees two groups of Chinese roped together to a tree. He'll see them again tomorrow at the same time, some of them having collapsed to the ground and dragged the others as far as the ropes would allow.


About 7,000 prisoners of war from West Brigade (and the navy) assemble in Victoria in the early morning. They are taken by ferry to Kowloon and then to the former barracks at Shamshuipo, which is now their prison camp. Two thousand men from East Brigade are still at Stanley - they're told they'll be taken to their new camp tomorrow.


Doctors Newton and Gosano are busy in Argyle Street Camp:


Doctor Newton did great work among the wounded also Dr. Casano (sic). They scrounged some ether and did operations by the score, one after the other with practically no kit.



Under the headline Hongkong British Fight Way Out In Launches page one of The Daily Express reports Chan Chak’s ‘great escape’:


EIGHTY-TWO Britons and Chinese made a fighting escape from Hongkong on Christmas Eve, the day the island garrison gave in, Chungking radio disclosed last night.

Led by one-legged Admiral Chang, ((sic)) Chinese liaison officer in Hongkong, the escaping party manned six launches. ((The escape and surrender were of course on Christmas Day.))

As far as the coverage of Hong Kong in The Daily Mirror and The Daily Express goes, this report – a left-over from the fighting – is pretty much it for the next 9 weeks or so - understandably, as reliable news of any kind will be hard to come by. The next time Hong Kong makes the headlines will be March 10/11, and the news will be deeply upsetting to all those with loved ones there:






Maryknoll: Maryknoll Diary, December 30, 1941

Wright-Nooth: George Wright-Nooth, Prisoner Of The Turnip Heads, 2004, 76-77

Stericker: China Mail, December 28, 1946, page 2

Shamshuipo: Tony Banham, Not the Slightest Chance, 2003, 285

Doctors: Diary of Staff-Segeant James O'Toole, R. A. O. C.: