08 - 17 Dec 1941, Events at the Repulse Bay Hotel | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

08 - 17 Dec 1941, Events at the Repulse Bay Hotel

Date(s) of events described: 
Mon, 8 Dec 1941 to Wed, 17 Dec 1941

[...] other members of the foreign staff were called up for A.R.P. duties on December 8th, and Mr. Leung Fat, the Chinese Number One, was mobilised as a Police Reservist.  This left me very much understaffed, but I fortunately received the assistance and co-operation of the guests living in the Hotel, who were all most anxious to help in any way possible.  I would particularly mention in that connection the invaluable assistance of Mr. J.H. Marsman, Mr. G.C. Dankworth and Mr. R. Wilson, who amongst other activities arranged the very satisfactory air raid shelter in the deep storm water nullah, thus alleviating the anxiety of mothers with young children when the bombing commenced.

         The two Bamboo Lounges were turned into a sick bay with Sister Mosey in charge, ably assisted by Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Raymond, and Mrs. R.L. Longworth - one can say that they worked a 24 hour day under most difficult conditions.

         The Hotel was completely full - in some cases guests were "doubling up" in rooms.  We held large provision stocks in cold storage to chamber capacity, and also increased stocks over normal of dry goods.  Extra supplies of rice were also stocked to meet the feeding requirements for our Chinese Staff.

         During the first few days of the hostilities the ration truck from town maintained its usual schedule, but soon disruption took place due to the state of the roads and military requirements;  further it became difficult to obtain transportation from the Government Food Control Department which had requisitioned all the Company's ration trucks.

 Laundry work after the commencement of hostilities was carried out on the premises by the Hotel amahs, as deliveries from the Steam Laundry Company ceased after the second day of the war.  I am indebted to Mrs. Logan, the Housekeeper, for her excellent organisation and co-operation in carrying out many extra duties which made possible the smooth working attained.

         In addition to the guests of the Hotel, we housed, on requisition, in the Bar and Drawing Room, about 120 A.T.S. Drivers (Chinese) and accommodated three of its foreign officers and a Chinese clerk in the New Wing.

         During the period I also supplied food to large numbers of British Troops who were operating in the neighbourhood - as often their own rations failed to reach them.

         Five members of the Army Signals Corps took up quarters in the building as soon as hostilities reached the neighbourhood of the Hotel.  They ran a line to room 109 which remained as their headquarters until the Hotel was vacated by the British military personnel.