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

16 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary

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Date(s) of events described: 
Tue, 16 Dec 1941


I left my pen in office yesterday and am writing this with a new one I got.  Amah has got me up early – O.K.  I have a lot to do still - and of course the car has gone back on me – the battery is dead. Well I’ll just have to get somebody to push it.

I’ve been thinking – I don’t suppose the Jap flyer tried to hit this house or 151 – he was going for the road junction – Jardine’s Corner – the Bridge and so forth. If he had got that it would greatly dislocate traffic – though it would soon be cleared again. Water mains have been burst in several places and the great fear today is that W.C.s will have to stop. I’m having enough trouble with the dry system that is left and  the tunnels – if everybody has to use it we’ll be in a nice position.      B.

Still a nice cup of tea in the morning – electric kettle has been a boon. In the N.T.C. – there is a lovely kitchen – the Domestic Science lecture room!

Now 16/12/41 but next page gives you what I wrote last night in amazing circumstances.  I came home yesterday about 3 – I meant to go back but I kept in touch with Roe by phone and decided to stay.  I had left these pages in my desk so started a new sheet.

You have never seen such a scene of desolation as I saw in 152 yesterday.  Every window starting with Amah’s room,  [(?red)] dining room, drawing room verandahs  - verandah door  with typhoon bars up  - blown in - every pane of glass broken - right round  to our little dining room and even there with all the shutters shut or  perhaps the double window wasn’t shuttered – only one pane broken but the catches to the window wrenched right off. The communicating door was shielded by half of the ping pong table but the two bars that go up and down are bent right over. The upstairs even worse – in Ian’s room a piece of the grille on the middle window was flung against the opposite wall of the room – not just the verandah – and made a distinct impression like this. I’m keeping it to let you see it. Then something knocked a hole right through the little parapet over the semicircular part of the downstairs drawing room verandah.

The front door was even blown open – breaking off the lock but funnily enough the big hall window wasn’t affected at all – probably because it was a little open.

I am thankful all our stuff was safely away. Now of course while I have my den door and the hotroom door locked anyone could get into the house. I saw Feltham P.W.D. this morning and he has promised to board up all the downstairs windows first and perhaps later on upstairs too. I’ll try and run up tomorrow or next day.

Later  at N.T.C.

Well the car didn’t fail me after all - I got Amah and all her stuff – you what that’s like! And some of mine and off I went about 8.20. I got her safely here – wrote a short report – back to CSO and then up the Peak again. The car was packed coming back with the little market coolie’s stuff and mine. We got safely down so now I’m here for the duration. I’ve not been very busy today so I got my unpacking and tidying don – we have to have dinner at 6 in the last of the daylight so we’ll be early to bed. But it’s dark until 7.30 or so so it will be a long night. But I’m quite safe here which is the only thing that really matters. I have got my office blacked out so that I can sit alone in the evening and write to you. I sent you a cable today – I wonder when it will reach you.

So Goodnight Darling    Love from Billie