18 Oct 1945, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

18 Oct 1945, Chronology of Events Related to Stanley Civilian Internment Camp

Date(s) of events described: 
Thu, 18 Oct 1945

The End of Stanley

I haven't so far been able to establish the exact date on which the last batch of former internees left Stanley, but, if the estimate reported in the China Mail of October 2, that the Camp would be closed in 'the next weeks', is anything like correct it must have been round about today. The fact that Tweed Bay Hospital was closed on October 9, with 150 people still in residence, suggests that plans to move them out were well advanced.

We do know, however, what happened in the last moments of the Camp that had been home to most of the 'European' civilian population since  January 21, 1942.

The leader of those left behind was Methodist missionary the Reverend J. E. Sandbach, assisted by retired sea captain 'Skip' Taylor. After everyone else had gone, the pair searched the camp carefully, looking for people or objects left behind. Sandbach experienced a 'creepy feeling' walking round the once crowded precincts that now seemed more like a morgue. When they'd completed their search, they placed everything they'd found in a single room in  the Prison, and went to the camp gate, which Sandbach locked behind them. He said a short prayer -  'Please, God, may this never happen again' - then turned to his companion: 'Come on, Skip, let's go'. They got in a jeep and drove away.


Imperial War Museum Interview with J. E. Sandbach, Reel 8 - http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80004743

Update: I have now established that Rev. Sandbach supervised the transfer of the last batch of internees to a locatkion in Kowloon on October 19th. He and a small team stayed on to clear up and the ceremony descibed above took place at about 10 a.m. on October 29th.