15 Apr 1944, Harry Ching's wartime diary

Submitted by Admin on Tue, 04/15/2014 - 14:57

((Following text not dated:))

Jimmy Kitchen and family taken..... ((Probably Jimmy Landau and family)). Rosary Hill excited by yarn me and family all in. Barma said in with Doc Arculli. Part of Dragon Terrace mob.....Dragon Terrace Indians mostly out and permitted leave.....Peter Abesser says applying permission go. George Lee (Dorothy's brother) applied fortnight ago. Perry ((not sure who this is)) said succeeded getting permit. Rose Peters and John Shea's wife also. Story anyone allowed to leave now. Masters and wife Morgie said going though he was P.O.W. and in gaol.

Still pondering whether go away. If no more flour ration might as well abandon Eurasian pass become enemy national eligible Red Cross relief perhaps. Waiting see how prices going. March cost us over Y1,400 including extra rice. Budget for April looks like Y1,000. Lot of people say feel must go but will give it another month before deciding.

Book / Document
Date(s) of events described


H. T. Barma was arrested on April 6, 1944. He was held fro about 28 days at the Happy Valley Gendarmerie and then transferred to Stanley Prison.

He appeared as a witness in a War Crimes trial.


China Mail, February 20, 1947, page 2

Aaron Landau, proprietor of Jimmy's Kitchen, was arrested on April 13, 1944. His son Emil and his wife were arrested on the same day. At some point Nancy Yip, described both as Aaron's housekeeper and a cashier at Jimmy's Kitchen, was also arerested.

It seems that Emil's arrest arose from a dispute over the sale of the Parisian Grill to the Japanese, but while he was in prison the Gendrames dicovered papers that proved he'd been lending money, through the banker Charles Hyde, the Medical Director Selwyn-Clarke and perhaps others, for the relief of Allied civilians. He was also accused of being in touch with the BAAG, but this untrue. His wife was released on July 28, but he saw outt the war in Stanley Prison.



Aaron Landau: China Mail, July 11, 1947, page 11

Emil Landau: China Mail, July 18, 1947 (the last page, unnumbered)

Nancy Yip: China Mail, July 11/July 17, 1947

Henry Ching writes:

Barma was a respected leader of the Indian community, and lived with his family at Dragon Terrace; he is probably mentioned because he was a friend and his son went to school with me.

Peter Abesser was a stalwart of the Eurasian community; don’t know much about his background, I’m afraid. He helped a lot with the running of the Mutual Aid Society during the occupation (getting rations for the Eurasians).

George Lee was Dorothy Lee’s brother, again Eurasians (surname Ahlmann). Dorothy Lee was arrested because of the work she did helping Selwyn Clark.  After the war she became a prominent social worker with the Social Welfare Department.

Perry was again a member of the Eurasian community. Don’t know much about him, but his son Ronald qualified as a doctor after the war and worked in  the Urban Services Department in charge of environmental hygiene.

Rose Peters’ maiden name was Shea, a granddaughter of Norwegian Schjoth who was a commissioner in the Chinese Maritime Customs, daughter of She Po Sham who was at one time compradore of Hong Kong Hotel, and sister of John Shea of (after the war) Harper and Shea.  My wife’s mother – her husband W.H.Peters was in the HKVDC and was killed in action at the Ridge on Repulse Bay Road. He worked for Canadian Pacific.

John Shea served in the HKVDC and  was a POW in Sham Shui Po.

Master and wife Morgie – they were Indian and lived next door to us in Happy Valley.  He was in the HKVDC and was a POW in Ma Tau Chung Camp. He and his wife were arrested, involved (I think) with the passing of messages encouraging the escape of Captain Mateen Ansari of the Rajputs.

Not sure about Doc Arculli, but fairly certain this was not Tubby. I think it was the Arculli who was much involved with the St John Ambulance.

She was the beautiful mistress of my grandfather Aaron Landau..they set up house together, and lived together for 20 years..he was seperated from my grandmother who was liveing in China ..

Fakir Mohammed el Arculli (Hong Kong 30th September 1906-Hong Kong 2nd November 1956) = ‘Tubby’ aka ‘Frank’

‘Doc Arculli’ = Hassan el Arculli (Hong Kong May 1885-Hong Kong 17th August 1945) was a doctor and uncle to Tubby el Arculli. His parents were Abdullah Fakira - later styled with surname ‘Arculli’ from May 1902 (Hong Kong 18th October 1857-Hong Kong 3rd September 1920) and Amina Ismail (Shanghai 1862-Hong Kong 4th February 1932)

Hassan was educated at Queens College, then at Aberdeen Street in the city of Victoria, earning academic distinctions during his tenure there. He studied medicine at Liverpool University with his cousin Jaffir Rumjahn (Hong Kong 8th Septmeber 1887-Whiston, Lancashire, UK 1st February 1961), also from Hong Kong, and was recorded living together as boarders in Anfield, Liverpool in the 1911 British Census.

Hassan qualified as a doctor on the 6th July 1912. He was a licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (London), Member of the Royal College of Surgeons (England) (1913) and a diplomate in Public Health (Liverpool) and Tropical Medicine (Liverpool). Jaffir stayed on and practiced medicine in Liverpool and got married in England where he lived and died. Hassan practised as a General Practitioner in Liverpool for several years (he was the one family member who was not able to attend his father’s funeral in Hong Kong on 3rd September 1920 as he was in the UK) but eventually came back to live and work in Hong Kong. I have seen him regularly listed in the local newspapers as an attendee to a number of funerals in Happy Valley, Hong Kong when members of the local Indian Muslim community died from the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s.

There is a photo of him here at the bottom of the web page: