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

17 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary

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Date(s) of events described: 
Wed, 17 Dec 1941

Dearest – another day with a nasty blitz in the morning and then another peace offer. The HK Bank was hit twice – one shell going into the office next to the one used by Septic but he wasn’t there. They have moved Medical H.Q. again. Another hit a room in Gloucester next to one used by the Rings but they weren’t there either – they hit the clock too. But the damage is infinitesimal. They have undoubtedly got up some bigger guns however and we expect some heavy shelling tonight or early tomorrow morning. I run along to the C.S.O. - in a tunnel every morning, hand in my report, and I’ve usually some other things to do and then back here. That is the only time I’m out - though today with the armistice on again I went in at teatime or so and also (I nearly forgot) ran up to the house just before tiffin. It is just the same and Feltham says he can do nothing just now. But as there is a curfew order on and the A.R.P. wardens and Police regularly patrol the Peak there is little chance of anything being stolen. At any rate we just have to risk it – the place might be bombed to bits some day, or go on fire. I can’t get our stuff down now.

When I was in the C.S.O. tunnel - the blitz started – dive bombing and so forth - and twice the tunnel seemed to shudder and once a hot blast swept in. I stayed there for nearly an hour until the bombing stopped and the gunfire shifted.

Beddow of the Education Dept. was killed yesterday - at Leighton Hill. They had all been warned not to go out on the lawn in front which was in constant observation from Kowloon - he was killed about 3 and there was a bit of a schemozzle because I didn’t get the report till 6.40 and I refused to send out my men to collect his body until dawn today. The military backed me up.

Well I’ve had nice chow today – perhaps we’ll get down that “[?bow] window” before it’s all over. There is a paragraph in the papers tonight which we feel rather applies to us. viz: ((There follows a small, pasted in, newspaper cutting)) 

“It is preferable to lose outlying possessions, however rich, than the heart of the entire East Asia military system, and the Allies should be willing to gamble heavily for the defence of Singapore.”

Unless the Chinese can relieve us and I doubt very much if they can – we need not expect relief from Singapore for many a long day. But we’ll stick it out. So Cheerio Darling. All my love. B.