W J Carrie's wartime diary: View pages | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

W J Carrie's wartime diary: View pages

Great excitement here the last few days - the women and children are to be repatriated and the sick and in firm.  To my surprise I find I am on ''A" list - Sick - it's this blasted anaemia.  I've to have another blood count tomorrow - it's going up slower this time and I've had a lot more injections - I only had 4 in October last year (though 2 of them were 5 times as strong as the ones I've had recently) - I've had 13 since  the last week in March.  I look a lot better now - in fact I'm nearing a crest but if these injections stopped I'd slide down into the trough again!  So I hope I do get away though I hate going with the women and children on a sick ticket!  Perhaps after all we'll have Aug 31st together.

I won't let myself get excited  over the prospect - it would be such a flop if nothing happens. But it seems certain now that the women will get away soon - that will be a blessing.

So Goodnight Darling.

Hope on!          BB.

I got a p.c. from Edith today dated 17/7/42! - the only additional news it gave me was that Alice is home too.  I have just broken the nib of my fountain pen and when you break anything here that's the end! - there is no chance of getting anything mended.           So I'll shut up for the present.       B.

Fisher has lent me his fountain pen - he has no ink.  No more news yet  - one does get weary of waiting - we spend our days always waiting for something!  But the C.S. gave me a hint of what I may expect if I do get away with this party with all the women.  I'll be O.C.Troops so to speak and have my work cut out for me. - it will be a h_l  of a job!  But I'll be on my way home at any rate and if I had a job I might get a decent cabin to myself.  So I look on the bright side. I have just been to a Concert by A.T. Lay - I promised him I'd go.         Goodnight L.O.    B.

A filthy day, driving rain the whole time but we are lucky in a middle room on the middle flat - we are dry.  It's a nuisance however going out to the kitchen or the lav.  I mentioned breaking things up above - I've been terrified always of breaking two things - my glasses and my false teeth.  I did break the latter (or rather Bill Faid did) but I was very lucky and got them mended.  Since then I've broken one tooth off but there is no plaster of paris now so they will just have to remain broken.   If I lost my eye glasses I'd be done!

I'm feeling a lot better these days - I've never got the figures of my last blood count but it was good - over 4,000,000.  I've had a horrid cold the last few days but it's going now. 

CheerOHoney      All my love always    B

Your letter of 9/8/42  No.8 has just arrived.  I've never had 1, 2 or 3 only Nos 4 and 5 and now 6 and 7 are missing too.  Still it's lovely to get a letter from you.  Of course I miss earlier bits - all you say is "Ralph went off again yesterday" - so he's been in Edinburgh too - moths to the flame!  I can't think why you are so anxious to see "Pam" if she is Miss Harrop for I hadn't seen her for months before or during the blitz and only once after it was all over.

I am so glad Joy has been able to start her medical career- I'm pleased my name helped.  It would have been a shame if she had been kept back.  I hope Ian enjoyed his Camp last September - no more camping for me I hope.  This will last the rest of my life - I want comfort from now on!!

I am sorry to hear you had aerial visitors. I hope they keep away. You’ve taken the house for another 6 months – I hope you manage to keep it - I’d like to see you all in it.

Cheerio again Darling.   B.

The high hopes we had on 23rd May have been blasted - the No 2 is back from Tokyo with no news about anything and no allowance.  If Dora hadn't helped me out - I'd have been broke weeks ago.  My cold isn't much better so I'm feeling rather miserable but Hope On.      AMLAML   B.B

Letter No 6 turned up today.  Not much new in it - but you put "Pam" H in this one so it must be Miss Harrop. You were going to make Strawberry Jam for me - I'm afraid it will have grown whiskers before I see it!  You'd had a letter from Jean - Butters I presume.  Harry hasn't had any parcels either - though he had a letter last November 2 months before I did.
I've been in bed all day - my cold has gone to my innards and I've had a rotten time  - some pain too but I think I'm on the mend.  No paper accessible so I'll stop            AML     BB.                                  

I had a horrible weekend last week and had to get the doctor on Sunday.  He put me on Dagenin which cured me in two days - I've been absolutely O.K. again since Wednesday but the cure is not approved of by my doctor at the hospital - as Dagenin is not good for blood counts!  No more letters or news - some letters as late as Oct last year came in yesterday but none for me.  Rations are very low and I am losing weight again - down to 126  1/2 now - really slim!  It's a funny sight I can assure you. I think we'll get away but when D.O.K.  Hope on hope ever      AML.  B.

Lots of letters have come in but none for me yet.  They are dated October last year and letters we were allowed to send, which went by the Asama Maru to Lourenco Marques, (taking also the Americans) had arrived home.  Dora had replies from Ethel Loudon and Ernie Spence. The latter had seen you and I gathered you were disappointed that nothing had reached you but of course, Honey, I had no idea where you were and I think I sent that letter to Dacca.  But I also sent a letter out on the q.t. - it would go to Dacca too but I asked the lady to write to Edith also. I suppose these letters will turn up someday but you would have a long wait for them.
When Glover went to Shanghai at the beginning of August last year he tried to find out where you were but failed.  So the next thing we sent - an I.R.C. message form on 20/10/42 went to Dacca also.  My letter of 30/4/43 is the first thing to go right home.  Now we've got a p.c. to send by 29/6/43 though we've to date it May!  I hope I'm home before it but hope is faint these days.     Cheero Darling.  B.

We first heard about repatriation on 24th May and here it is 27th June and we've heard no more - crowds of rumours all the time but nothing definite.  At one time tomorrow was the sure date!  But here we are no forwarder. It's terribly sticky weather and so we are all feeling rather "down" and tired.         A.M.L.      B.

Cheers I have had another letter No 20 of 25/10/42 - I have 4,5,6 and 8 and now 20!   I had just sent off my p.c. but with the aid of Bill Faid, our voluntary censor, I managed to recover it and put in a new one.  It was so nice to see the children's writing again but I am worried about you - you seem a bit depressed.  I hope my letter turned up fairly soon and also the smuggled one but I'm sure you realised I couldn't help it.  Perhaps it would have been better to have given St Ninians as the one permanent address - then of course there wouldn't have been all the delay.  I'm sorry Darling.
Very tiring weather - we are all just blobs of grease!            But Cheerio!     B.B.
Later.   Letter No 15 has just come - 2 in one day - great.  I heard about Joy's holiday at Nethybridge with the Batchelors and Ian's agricultural camp with its lavatorial drawbacks - he should be here with our N.T.W.C. - I'm expert now and think it is much the better way!      Goodnight L.L.  A.M.L.  B.

A new month and no further on!  We have had some trouble in camp - six men arrested by the Gendarmerie - D.O.K. what for - but I expect  they'll have a rough time.  It is horrid to think there must be some informer in Camp.       No news.    Good night L.O.   B

Two Red Cross Letter forms arrived from you today of 23/12 & 20/1/43.  I was so glad to get them.  I was feeling very depressed and they cheered me up.  I can't understand  why you have never received  the letter one of the American ladies took - she was to send it to Dacca but as she got home to USA  in August I can't understand why the letter hadn't gone to Dacca and back to you by January.  Perhaps all communication is difficult.
I was to have another blood count today but Greaves was busy.  He gave me one of my collars which had come in in a parcel from his Senior Lab. Attendant at the B.I.  That means my cabin trunk has been broached and I expect that everything is now lost.  I expected it latterly but hope lingers on and now is all blasted.  So I was rather down when your cheering letters came.  Material possessions just don't matter - we'll do with a lot less in future. 
So Goodnight    L.O.   AIAW.   B.

I haven't written for a week - no more news and food is rather terrible.  We are always hungry but my weight is not down any more and my blood count keeps up though it is going down slightly.  More trouble in Camp and several more arrests - 3 in all I think, totalling 9  This lot includes J.A. Fraser.  We don't know what it is all about yet but I expect we shall hear someday and there may be general repercussions.  No more money yet so I borrowed again from Dora - she gets some in from Bertie and a pal of Bertie's.         Cheerio Darling.  B.

Darling - Letters 17 & 18 turned up today;  lovely but of course you were disappointed as Dora's letter had got home and there was nothing for you.  Pennefather-Evans was taken away by the Gendarmerie this morning - D.O.K. why - I hope he gets back soon.        Tired tonight Honey so I won't write more.        AIAW.   BB

Letter No 16 turned up 2 days ago - I've been lucky, I've had 9 and lots of people have had much less and a few have still not heard at all.  I have Nos  4, 5, 6, 8, then 15, 16, 17, 18 and  No 20.  The last one was the greatest thrill  of course.  Then your Red Cross forms of 23/12 & 20/1/43!  were of course still better - we are not allowed to send replies on them as we are supposed to have a monthly letter.  I did send in replies - so I must try to get my forms back to keep.           No more news and very weary.  The landings on Sicily have, however, cheered us up - the end is just around the corner now.     AML.  B.

Letter No 18 turned up today.  I have two marked 18 but I thought something was wrong  No 17 is of 4/10/42 and the first No 18 I got was of 18/10/42 a fortnight's difference and then No 20 is of 25/10/42.  So the first No 18 is really No 19 and I got the real 18 of 11/10/42 today.  I now have a complete sequence from 15-20.

I didn't write on on Sunday. I was a bit depressed and I'm not much better today. I have read over your letters again - I don't know when you'd get the first letter from me but there is a wide gap till the second and D.O.K. when that will reach you.  I know you will be worried and depressed too but you have a lot to occupy your mind and you will have energy too if you are getting fairly normal food. It's awful to be continually hungry and then to have no energy to do anything.  Nobody is really normal in the Camp and I foresee all sorts of ructions soon if things don't improve.  Hope of release is rather slender these days but I hope on.  I think we'll get some money soon which will help - I have  one yen and 13 sen today and I've borrowed 60 from Dora. I can't ask her for any more yet.
 Goodnight   L.O.    I'm no sae bad but I micht be worse!      B.B.

Adored, I've been thinking of you all evening and I'm sure you have been thinking of me.  25 Years ago today - how I can picture the whole scene again - on the stairs and in Esther's sitting room - she was away getting the supper!  Soon it will be THE day and it is a shame we can't be together.  There is still just a slender hope as I hear we are going to Goa and not Lourenco Marques and I might be able to fly from India.  But I fear it won't come true.  But I really hope and believe that we'll be together for Christmas.
I am very tired tonight so I won't write more but just sit, play patience and think of you.  Our allowance came in yesterday and I've been busy paying out today - 14,310 Yen.      So Goodnight Loved One.    AIAW.   BB.

Elma Kelly spoke to me on Friday and she said that when she was cleaning out a handbag of hers she "found" inside a fountain pen with a gold band round it and my name on it. Do you remember it? She must have "scrounged" it when she was in 152.  I almost wish she had looted some more things!  I wakened very early this morning - my "lodger" woke me up 6am - 9p.m. with you on Saturday night. (Fisher in hospital, so de Martin from upstairs slept here).  I smoked a cigarette and lay thinking of you - I am sure you were thinking of me too.  Soon I hope we'll really think and do together. I'm becoming more and more sure that we'll be out of here in a few months.  Then I'll have to get home to recuperate and then back to H.K. to clean up the mess.  It won't take long once we get really started.         Goodnight Loved One.   Billie.            

We are all excited over the news - we get only a garbled version but we feel sure Italy has capitulated.  Mussolini is out of the way at least.  Then some bombers came over H.K. today and the A.A. guns were firing but we don't know what happened yet.  Surely it is nearly the end in Europe now and then we can get busy with the Nips.      Cheers!   B.