Memories of the trip from Stanley Camp to Shanghai: View pages

We first assembled on Dec.23, 1942 in front of the Stanley Prison and were checked off and then waited.

The Japanese then told us the ship was delayed and to assemble again the next day.

Back we went to our rooms to find in our case the occupants had to make room for us again.

The following PM ((24th Dec, 1942)) we again assembled and after being checked off we were marched down to the old wharf at the beach and boarded a tug which took us out to an old rusted coastal freighter which we boarded and were told to go down into the forward hold.

Much to our surprise the hold was quite clean and the whole area was covered in Japanese tatami mats. The vessel obviously had been used to ferry Japanese troops prior to our boarding the ship.

All of us could only take with us whatever we could carry which created sme problems for the elderly.

The hold had 2 lights for illumination, one entry which was locked at night and unlocked at approx. 7:00am.

Toilet facities were a trough on one side of the hold which emptied directly to the sea. As troops used the hold previously no dividers were used which was embarassing for thewomen in our group. As the lights were doused at app. 7:00 pm access to the trough was very difficult in the pitch darkness.

When we got settled in the hold the crew sent down some food. It was great compared to the Stanley food, also a lot more too.

Some of the younger prisoners bribed the Chinese crew to bring down some booze which they consumed by candle light and not being used to drinking proceeded to argue and a few blows were exchanged but saner heads quietened things down. No one was too concerned as it was Xmas Eve and we were out of Stanley.

Four days later ((ie 28th Dec, 1942)) we docked in Shanghai and were told to get off the ship. We all got off and stood in a group on the dock not knowing what to do, no one paid any attention to us and we just stood there in the dark waiting for someone to tell us what to do - we had lost all initiative in Stanley.

Eventually an old charcoal driven bus chartered by the British Residence Association in Shanghai took us to the Cathedral where we were registered and given some clothing and funds by the Association. What a change from Stanley!

In the next few weeks we were again interened in various camps in the Shanghai area where we stayed until late August 1945.