Peter George Holloway MARTIN [1931- ] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Peter George Holloway MARTIN [1931- ]

Peter George Holloway
c.1931-01-01 (Month, Day are approximate)

As a boy, Peter was interned at Stanley. He talks about his experiences there in this SCMP article from 2008:

Peter Martin, an Australian now in his 70s, was one of the internees.

'When we [my family] were in the Mary quarters [part of the camp], we overlooked the jail. There were a few prisoners from Stanley camp who escaped and headed away to China. Unfortunately, the Japanese caught most of them and they brought them back, and put them in Stanley jail.

'And if you looked into Stanley jail, there used to be a big compound in the middle. There they used to maltreat them,' said Mr Martin, who saw internees being shot. . 'But in the camp itself, that sort of thing didn't happen.'

He said the Stanley camp was 'a lot more civil' than military camps, and they were allowed to study and entertain themselves.

'We used to be able to go swimming down at the beach below Stanley Fort. That was one of the good things,' he said. 'For the first 18 months, maybe, the children at the camp would be able to go to school.'

The school was in St Stephen's hall, which is now a library.

He said that, of the four teachers he knew, three were from the camp and the other was from St Stephen's College. But classes were suspended when they ran out of paper.

'Down at the end of the hall there was a stage. They used to have plays and everything like that in camp,' he recalled. 'The Japanese used to come in sometimes and watch things. Other times, they didn't. They let us alone.'

Carefree as it might sound, he said he felt anxious in the camp, fearing that the Japanese would kill them all if Japan lost the war.

The school's sports field was turned into a vegetable farm to provide much-needed food for the internees but Mr Martin said they still did not have enough to eat.

'I think they say you need so many hundred calories, like 1,600 calories minimum a day. I think we were down to about 700, so people lost a lot of weight. We were all skin and bone. I know when I came out of the camp, I was 31/2 stone [about 22kg],' he said. He was then about 14 years old.

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Siblings of Peter George Holloway MARTIN [1931- ]