01 Feb 1944, INTERNED - DECEMBER 1941 | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

01 Feb 1944, INTERNED - DECEMBER 1941

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Date(s) of events described: 
Tue, 1 Feb 1944

((Following text is not dated:))

We made our own entertainment during the years of captivity using makeshift props.  Mosquito netting was soaked with a variety of medicines from bright mercurochrome to methylene blue, and made into frilly skirts.  Jam tins were saved for helmets and crowns, with silver cigarette paper stuck on cardboard to resemble armour and shining swords.  Japanese guards watched these performances, and didn't entirely approve of the mosquito netting.  Rehearsals could not go on for too long, as it was so weakening.

Betty Brown, ((sic., actually Betty Drown)) Radio Hong Kong's pianist, provided music on the camp piano, composing and improvising for all the ballet shows, pantomimes, and vaudevilles which we put on at intervals.   Carol Bateman, from Shanghai, put on the ballets; we were fortunate to have her...she gave Margot Fonteyn her first ballet lessons!  The Japanese would not allow us to sing the National Anthem, but we were permitted to sing Rule Britannia!  (We sang it with gusto accenting the never, never.)  Perhaps we were allowed to sing it because the Japanese greatly admired the British Navy, and modelled their own on it.