06 Jan 1942, P. O. W. and ESCAPE DIARY. | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

06 Jan 1942, P. O. W. and ESCAPE DIARY.

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Date(s) of events described: 
Tue, 6 Jan 1942
Rained in the early hours of this a.m.  Jap band turned up about 1000.  Inspected Hospitals, 18 in isolation, 7 in our hosp, 12 in Indian.  Section 8 of RAMC training manual p175 para 489.  Geneva Convention 1929.  The chief points to be noted in the C.[onvention] are that the sick and wounded must be taken care of irrespective of nationality, that med personnel must, as far as military exigencies permit, be left in charge of sick and wounded, and that when they are captured by the enemy they must continue their duty under his directions.  They will be sent back to their own side only when the enemy can arrange to do this conveniently to himself and by the route which he shall determine.  Art 9.  The personnel engaged exclusively in the collection, transport and treatment of the wounded and sick and in the administration of medical formation and establishments, and chaplains to attacked armies, will be respected and protected in all circumstances.  If they fall into enemy hands they will not be treated as prisoners of war.  The commander who remains in possession of the field must cause a search to be made for wounded, and as far as possible prevent any acts of pillage to dead or wounded.  490.  The protection afforded to the personnel of medical units is not forfeited by the fact that they carry weapons for self-defence, or hold the arms and ammunition of the wounded who are under their care. 
 
Cooked the remainder of breakfast (rice) with a tin of sardines, fried in our new pan; unanimous vote was that it was excellent.  Went round hospitals with General and Brigadier.  About 1500 hrs lorries began to arrive with Indian Dysentery cases from Argyle St;  in all about 120 cases came in plus 12 British including Hance [?] who is pretty bad.  Had to open other isolation hospital;  sanitary arrangements in awful mess, Indians passing motions everywhere, no buckets for them no implements to dig latrines and only one medical officer who can speak their language.  Implored Lt Sawamoto to get us more beds, medical supplies and more Indian medical help, and he said he would do what he could.  I also suggested that Argyle St should be made into a concentration camp for the sick - the dysenteries etc – and all the fit prisoners brought over here but apparently this cannot be done, most probably because Sawamoto does not want dysenteries anywhere near his hospital at C.B.S.  He took me off to get some more med supplies;  at the CBS he gave me a beer to drink and a pear, an apple and some British army biscuits; then we went off to his flat down the stone steps at the back of the school and there Kerr (the interpreter who by the way is a lad who was at St. Giles, Tsingtao) and I watched him eat a huge basin of rice and a lovely steak.  I was given a cigarette and another drink and then subjected to some mild questioning.  This afternoon we all had to satisfy Sawamoto’s curiosity about ages and again at CBS all the ORs wanted to know all about our age, size of boots etc.  One Pte who was the humorist of the party spent a long time telling us how much better small people were at various things than large people.  In the flat there were 3 other medical officers and they ran through the same group of inquisitive questions.  The conversation was in English German and Jap (through Kerr).  Got back eventually by car about 2200 in a slight drizzle.  Streets deserted, lanterns near every corner with Wang Ching Wei sentries.  Had a bun and jam on return and so to bed