23 Dec 1941, W J Carrie's wartime diary
8.30am Darling - I wouldn't have forgotten this year but Happy Valley is cut off and I can't go there. I may be able to go later. It's the 21st Anniversary. News not so good this morning - the Japs are pushing us back I'm afraid but worst position for us just now is that no water is coming through. They may have seized Taitam. We lost lot through broken mains. The problem of flush w.c.s now arises - I am trying to arrange something for here - we have bad luck always - a tank lorry which we used for flushing streets is of course in Kowloon! But will surmount the difficulty. But nobody knows anything about anything now - all my old Inspectors - Frith and Brewer are retired, Reid is on leave - are gone and I have to tell them where there are wells and [?nullah] supplies. Well I must see about things. Latest report is that our tanks are filling up so we are all right for today. I'll write on later. B
5.pm. Quite busy but still thwarted at every turn. It's terribly difficult - we just can't collect bodies when shelling is going on. and they say the road past the Jockey Club Stands is thick with bodies - we can't get near it. We have I think solved our water problem here - we can get water (and it is good water) from the spring at H.K.D.S and we shall use it for washing purposes. We wash our hands when necessary, and we are always getting grubby, in the w.c. cistern and then flush it at the end of the day!
I'm depressed tonight Darling - we are not doing well and unless relief comes by the end of the year we are done - if we are not overwhelmed before that. We have only water now for 12 days. But we'll have to stick it out as long as we can and hope for the best. Forgive me if I don't write more tonight - I am rather in the slough of despond. But will get out of it sometime soon I hope. All my love always Little One Billie