10 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary
A rotten night - the guns were going all the time and poor Betsy was very perturbed. I remember she went through the Shanghai bombing and is nervous of sharp noises. But she’ll have to stick it out.
I didn’t have continuous sleep but I had quite a good rest and I’m gradually hardening up. No sore back tonight but we only had one real alert today. Feeding is the real snag - my 50 bags of rice last night saved me a lot of trouble. I have now engaged Glover Man. Director of Kelly & Walsh to be my assistant – I just can’t do it all.
News on now – news is not coming through so I write on.
I got your lovely cable today - I thought of wiring at once but thought of waiting till I could report about my billettees. But I must do it tomorrow. No casualties here yesterday that I had to deal with - 70 on Monday - but we’re settling down.
I rang up Ben Evans at once - he was very glad to get the message - I can’t contact Farmer but I have sent a chit up to H.K.V.D.C. H.Q.. Ben told me of a horrid business - I hope it is not a tragedy. I think it was foolish of him but I don’t criticise - he sent Heywood and Starbuck, his two assistants, out to Au Tau on Monday morning to bring in very valuable - but what is the value of anything these days -instruments from the magnetic observatory out there which is really my child. They have never returned. I don’t know Heywood but Starbuck is an awfully wee cheery soul who broadcasts a “[P??] Corner” and things like that. Poor lads - I hope they are only captives but even at that they will have a miserable time,
I was going to write on and then the second news came on - and I’m just flattened - the Prince of Wales and the Repulse - how could it happen? We were so happy thinking they were there – what hope is there for us now? - how can we ever be relieved? Well we must stick it out some way. I know how depressed you must be - but Hope On always. Goodnight Adored. B.