30 Oct 1943, Harry Ching's wartime diary | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

30 Oct 1943, Harry Ching's wartime diary

Book / Document: 
Date(s) of events described: 
Sat, 30 Oct 1943

((Following text not dated:))

Mavis Xavier into Rosary Hill. Says crowded and not enough to eat. Inmates found soldiers' bones around Mt Nicholson.

People with British passports said get help from Red Cross. Grace Ablong supposedly getting but denies. Mrs Jex ((Daisy, wife of Starling Jex)) refused help when husband died.

Bread up from Y1.80 to Y2.20. Fresh milk only for infants, invalids and expectant mothers. 50 sen per bottle on medical certificate.

Friend Richards goes often Macao. Saw Greaves who told him collect Y180 from broker Leung Yau for us. Carl Anderson there and Kent.

Dot Lo ((W.C.(Bill)Lo, later Deputy Registrar in Supreme Court)) changed to enemy pass and gets Y105 monthly. Guest ((Eurasian)) gets Y200. ((David: Is this person the "Mrs Guest" referred to in Tom Hutchinson's diary, or related to her?)) Fine if destitute or definite chance repat. Otherwise sudden internment would mean losing all possessions.

Rumours more arrests including Fred Kew. Lusitano Club closed and under guard. Grace Ablong caught there, released after three days. Maude Basto also there.

Relatives of Preston Wong and others told no longer take food parcels for them as already dead.


'Carl Anderson' is presumably Charles Graham ('Carl') Anderson (1889-1949). The family tree is in the 2012 eidtion of Peter Hall's In The Web, Page 186.

His daughter, Catherine Joyce Symons, wrote a memoir that includes information about him. Vicky Lee discussed this memoir in her thesis (later book) which can be read in full at the HKU Hub:


Thanks Brian, I've added the Person & links.

A. E. P. Guest was arrested on June 22, 1944 and seen in a Kempeitai house by another arrestee at the same time as 'Dot' Lo, who was presumably taken into custody at about the same time.

I haven't yet been able to find out the charges, but Guest was asked if he knew H. R. Sequeira, who was in prison because the Japanese believed he was part of a spy ring based at the Portuguese Residents Association. The other possibility is that he was suspected of being part of a group that listened to the news on a secret radio, as many of  the arrests in June 1944 were about that - the authorities showed no interest in stopping news of the war in Europe being spread in Hong Kong until D Day (June 6) after which they did their best to find unlicensed radios and punish their owners.


China Mail, May 26, 1944, page 4


Preston Wong was executed on October 29th. The Japanese sometimes lied to relatives about the death of their loved ones, but I suspect that in this case it was the truth and that this diary entry and the one that follows were written within a couple of days of each other. Arrests of the major figures at the Club Lusitano began on October 27th and as it's unlikely they took the minor ones first I'd date this entry about October 30th. The one that follows gives more details of Grace Ablong's arrest - mentioned here - and describes a similar situation so I'd say November 1st is about right for that one.

Thanks Brian, I've updated the date from 15 to 30 Oct.