1941 War and internment | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

1941 War and internment

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Things became very difficult on December 8th Monday (1941) war broke out in Hong Kong. My ship s/s Taishan was sunk in Sai-wan Bay. I lost all I possessed including my Certificate. I was interned in this Camp on June 21st 1942 transported in a little steamer named the "Stanley" from our wharf (Macao) lost good full sextant, gold watch and chain, gold ring, two Binoculars, two Telescopes, all my papers including my Master's Certificate No. 033476 and my R.N.R. Commission and other valuable documents.

H.K. Captured Decr 25th 1941. Situation S.E.China Coast in Lat 22.00N,Long 114.00E. Length about 11 miles 2 to 5 miles wide area 32 sq,miles with Kowloon 391 sq,miles. Population in normal tines about one million - during Japan & China War about one & a half million due to refugees from China with about 2500 European population. My vessel s/s "Taishan" was lost on the morning of 16th (Dec) 1941 in Sai Wan Bay was attached to H.M.S. Robin (R.N.) off boom defence, depth water about 3 fathoms with all her cargo from Macao on board.

My wife Margaret Ellen Pritchard passed away on the 15th August 1943, she would be 52 or 53 years of age. I think she was born in October 1891 in Moeltryfan near Carnarvon. I received the sad news on May 10th 1944 from the C.S. whilst interned in Stanley Camp. DIFFICULT TO DO ANYTHING LAST LETTER RECEIVED FROM WIFE SO FAR MARCH 26th 1943. 5th to 6th June 1944 Anglo-American armies invaded Norther France in several places also using parashoot troops including Jersey Islands Cherbourg Le Havre and several other places.

John Pritchard;"Newbury"; 1 Acton Rd; Wrexham; Denbighshire; N.Wales.

((This is where Captain Pritchard ended his memoir.))