Douglas FORD [1918-1943]
Captain, 2nd Royal Scots. BAAG Roll of Honour
Extract from a statement by Lt Col J H Price, Royal Rifles of Canada, 'Events leading up to the removal from Shamshuipo POW Camp “S”, Hongkong, of Capt Ford 2/Royal Scots' : .."On 28th February 1943 I was transferred from Argyle Street Officers POW Camp to Shamshuipo to rejoin other Canadian POW. A week opr two prior to my transfer I had been asked by Col Newnham, MC, GSO1, China Command HQ, if I could undertake , should I be transferred, to deliver a packet to Capt Ford, 2nd Royal Scots at Shamshuipo. ...I delivered the packet to Capt Ford . ...Shortly after rejoining my Regiment and having been settled in my quarters my Adjutant, Capt W P C Le Boutellier RRC, told me that Capt Ford would like to talk to me confidentially. On my enquiring the probable subject of the conversation he said it related to the packet I had delivered and the nature of the message contained in it. He then told me that for some time communication had been established with British Intelligence Officers in Waichow through Chinese Agents in the Colony. Some time during the Autumn of 1942 when working parties were going daily to Kai Tak Airport, Chinese overseers had passed messages to our people from contacts in Hongkong saying they had messages purporting to come from British Intelligence in Waichow. Naturally a trap was suspected and many test were applied before authenticity was established to everyone’s satisfaction. This channel of communication was then opened and was finally extended to Argyle Street Camp when Lt Cmdr Boldero RN was transferred from Shamshuipo to Argyle Street in December. Capt Ford took charge of the necessary organisation and was assisted by Flt Lt Gray, Capt Valentine and Lt Prophet HKVDC, as well as certain other ranks whose name I was not given at the time. ... I then interviewed Capt Ford who told me that he would like to put me in touch with what he and his group were doing as they had felt the need of advice and assistance from some senior officer to obviate the necessity of communicating with Argyle Street and the subsequent delay in decisions. I realised the dangerous nature of these unertakings ... (he) told me the story of the development of the chain of communication, the instructions he had received from Major Clague RA (an escapee from Hongkong), who was acting as Intelligence Officer at Waichow, and showed me a large range of maps and other documents he had received. I was also informed that he and Major Bishop had buried two prismatic compasses and four other maps. The numbers of the Agents, as far as I remember, were 68 and 71.He showed me how arrangements had been made for medicines, some of which had come in through the above channel and some in containers in personal parcels. A constant stream of information was kept up as to Camp requirements and, in return, periodic news of outside events was sent in, as well as the abovementioned medical supplies. This ran smoothly for some time, and much useful work was done in the interests of health.
...Some time in May , Capt Ford came to see me and told me that the Japanese appeared to be getting suspicious. They had decreed that no Chinese speaking POW be allowed out on the ration party and otherwise behaved as though they suspected something. .. On 10th July Capt Ford was taken out. ... the gallantry of the brave men in refusing to give away their fellow workers in spite of brutal torture"