Waichow Intelligence Summary #28, 25 Apr 1943 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Waichow Intelligence Summary #28, 25 Apr 1943

Date(s) of events described: 
Sun, 25 Apr 1943


Group M report that about 10 Europeans including a barrister-at-law have been released from Stanley under guarantee of ROBER ((sic.)) KOTEWALL at whose house they are now staying. (Further particulars have been asked for).

Group U reports that the Assistant Camp Commandant of Stanley Internment Camp called the Staff together and lectured them. They were told that they were to give no service or facilities to any of the internees. On the same day one of the Chinese employees in the camp was called up and questioned.

A doctor who was implicated in some recent incident is seen to be limping slightly. This may refer to Dr. HARRY TALBOT who has previously been reported as involved in a charge of carrying money into STANLEY CAMP. (Z.C)


98 reports:-

"The accusation of sending money into Stanley through Dr. TALBOT has been dropped. They are now charged with conspiracy under the following headings:-

(1) Assisting FENWICK and MORRISON to escape.

(2) Corresponding with FENWICK and MORRISON since their escape.

(3) Financing their escape.

It is reported that their treatment in Ventris Road Station is horrible and unbearable, third degree having been used. The evidence supporting the charge is in CANTON. It has been suggested by the SUN WAH people (the Bankers) that broadcast through CHUNGKING or B.B.C. might effect their early release. Lady GRAYBURN was detained and questioned for 2 hours last Monday (5 Apr.) after being sent for by NOMA, Head of the Gendarmerie."

60 reports:-

"re V.M.GRAYBURN. He is now put in solitary confinement. Indian Guards changed to Japanese Guards. Actual reason for his incarceration still unknown. The rest of Bankers sent petition to Governor requesting investigation and proper trial. This petition motivated by news that he was at one time put among other criminals and petty thieves. Latest is that he has been transferred to Stanley prison after being found guilty of whatever he was charged with, but this lacks confirmation. Lady GRAYBURN arranged to meet Colonel NOMA on 8 Apr. regarding detention of husband, however, meeting did not materialise as she was afraid unable stand up to possible grilling, as savage Japanese methods no respecter of sex."

(The gist of these reports was sent in our message D.7 of 17 Apr. to H.Q., KWEILIN).


A report from 98 dated 14 Apr 43 states that:

Four Sanitary Inspectors
Eric Humphreys
Dr. Watson

have been warned that they may have to return to STANLEY at any moment.

GRAYBURN: (Source:99)

The following story accepted as true has just been received:-

Suspicion, that Chinese workers at Stanley Internment Camp were helping the internees, was apparently aroused and action taken by the Gendarmes. One of the assistants was detained for a few hours and there is a possibility that the Japanese had warning that TALBOT was to attempt to smuggle something into Stanley.

TALBOT returned in the usual way in an ambulance, but, before entering the Camp, the ambulance was subjected to a thorough search and the money already referred to was found.

All money for internees should be sent through the International Red Cross. TALBOT apparently admitted who had given him the money and the obvious question the Japanese want answering is from where did GRAYBURN get the money. The answer, so are almost certain, is from Indian merchants in exchange for Rupee Drafts.

The Japanese then seem to have jumped to the conclusion that GRAYBURN is financing all British activities and he is now being accused of helping FENWICK and MORRISON.

As he had not the slightest idea they were leaving, he will be unable to give any details away as I do not believe he has the slightest idea how it was arranged.

After GRAYBURN's arrest, he was visited by his boy who was eventually allowed to see him and who reported that he was in with all the other Chinese criminals and thieves and getting rice only to eat.

The boy immediately reported this to EDMONSON and a petition was sent to the International Red Cross by the other bank staff. The International Red Cross intervened through the Foreign Office and the Gendarmes were highly annoyed that news of GRAYBURN's conditions should have got out.

Lady GRAYBURN was then allowed to see her husband and was accompanied by the "boy". On the way to the prison, Lady GRAYBURN asked the accompanying Gendarme, "Couldn't something be done for GRAYBURN's comfort?" He immediately turned round and said, "How do you know how he is being treated?" The boy who was acting as interpreter replied direct saying that he had given the information.

GRAYBURN was given new clothes and it is said that the old ones were lice infested. GRAYBURN was asked one question only by his boy, i.e. "then will you be getting out?", to which he is reported to have replied, "Me, never."

GRAYBURN is now getting cold food supllied by the Bankers and clean clothes once a week.

He was reported to be quite cheerful, but STREATFIELD was said to be pretty depressed.

The above story came from a source in very close touch with the Bankers and is believed to be substantially correct. There is no evidence yet of third degree being used, but the report that TALBOT was seen limping is considered to be correct, but he is known to have been in a very poor state of health and the inference drawn by friends suggesting torture is considered to be unsound in the absence of greater proof.

One of our men is very conveniently placed and is permanently at the disposal of the bankers should they require any assistance.

GRAYBURN's detention is considered to be due entirely to the fact that the Gendarmes now realise he has supplies of cash available and may therefore easily be financing Allied enterprises. All F.I.G's. who contacted him in connection with his proposed escape are in Free China and have been for a considerable time.

Meanwhile, note-signing has been speeded up and it is rumoured that all Japanese requirements will be completed within two months when the Bankers will be interned presumably having served their purpose!

An agent reports that notes signed since the fall of Hongkong have been seen in circulation, but no definite proof is available.


'Four sanitary inspectors':

Leslie William Robert Macey (http://brianedgar.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/lesley-william-robert-macey/)

John George Hooper - he seems to have been in charge of this group.

Edward Charles Kerrison

Edward Warburton

Alexander Christie Sinton


These five men are all listed as health/sanitary inspectors in one document or another and are believed or known to have been 'in town'.

John Fox (wife Barbara also in town) is listed as a civil servant, but seems to have been working with this group. (http://brianedgar.wordpress.com/2012/07/13/john-barbara-and-maureen-fox/)

They don't seem to have been living at the French Hospital in early 1942, but were probably there by May 1943, as a BAAG agent reports that was the location of Sinton's arrest, and Leslie Macey wrote a post-war letter describing his transfer to Stanley that only makes sense if he was in the Hospital on May 2.


Thanks Brian, you're making good progress on knitting all these different threads together.

Regards, David