13 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

13 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary

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Sat, 13 Dec 1941

7.45 am   A perfectly quiet night – and so a lovely sleep. A bit stiff this morning but otherwise fine – now to my new office to organise it.

Another very busy day but quiet – the blitz however is coming. We have really been experiencing an armistice today. I was told by W.J. that 3 Japanese Officers accompanied by 2 European women, one the wife of Rene’ Lees who is acting P.S. at Govt House and a Mrs Macdonald.  The papers say she is pregnant.  The launch bearing the party had a large banner on it with the word “Peace”.  Well I suppose they had a conference some place and I think they were just told “nothing doing”.  Sometime later the general message came through that an intensified bombardment was considered imminent. Well 6.45pm – it hasn’t come yet.  We are blessed – the first time I think I’ve ever blessed a Peak fog! – with really thick weather -  it’s clammy again - so perhaps it won’t come off.   But I saw my first casualties today.  I came up in the Peak Tram as I didn’t want to take my driver all the way up to the Peak if I could avoid it. I don’t know what caused them – shrapnel probably – in Kennedy Road just near the bridge there were two poor coolies.  We have been thrown terribly out of gear because no ordinary burials are taking place so besides “catering” for war casualties I have to bury everybody who is so inconsiderate as to die just now.  Bad taste in humour I know, L.O., but only stern realities these days – and so we have no sentiment.

I wonder what’s coming tonight – fog stops bombing but they have accurate plans and shelling can take place in any weather.  Like Win I do not like the whine of shells.  You’ll probably never hear the one that hits you and I’m told that when you hear the whine the shell has long passed you.  As sound travels slowly. Still it isn’t nice to listen to!  I haven’t the wind up, Loved One, but I don’t want to take any risks.  If I can be completely safe - though I’d have no comfort - in the basement or first floor of Northcote Training College - why stay here just to look after the house? – and our goods.  I have offered Win to come here and have the whole place, and she has refused – ok by me!   News now on and I can’t think what the reaction will be on the English speaking population of H.K. We know where the Japanese are – right in Kowloon –everywhere - and yet London scoffs the Tokyo report that they are where they are!

Well Honey I’ve had chow now – compradore will no longer supply anything and I am trying to see where I can get stuff now.  We should be able to draw rations but the Food Controller - though he is not just a mere civil servant - but a banker with a staff of “business men” has failed to do his stuff.  I don’t blame him in the slightest – he had an impossible task when the Military pinched every lorry he had expected to have to sort out his stores.

Wireless out here is of course quite impossible now - the Japanese are in control in Shanghai and they are blanketing everything.

Well  Adored    I think I must tuck down now – I’m not making up my mind tonight. I don’t want to leave 152 if it is safe and if I can have a car up and down, but I really can’t go on with this feeble sort of transport.  Goodnight Adored      Billie