28 Feb 1945, Diary of George Gerrard in Stanley Internment Camp Hong Kong
Your wonderful letter of 24th March 1944 arrived on Saturday 24th February '45 for which many thanks. This is the latest one from you and I'm so glad you were well when you wrote. Also I received a postcard from Kate and Walter of 29th June '44 on the 19th February in it they said you were well which is just grand.
Things are moving now at such a rate that our time of confinement as prisoners should not be delayed very much longer. It wouldn't be so bad if we had good and plenty of food but when one considers the niggardly and poor quality muck we get it's a wonder we are as well as we are. We are absolute vegetarians now having received no fish for over four weeks and yet the sea is teeming with fish. The marvellous thing is that the people in the kitchen turn out as attractive chow as is possible under the circumstances. We however live in hope that the American parcels and relief supplies will come our way very soon.
A ship with white crosses which we take to be the relief ship Eva Mara arrived off Stanley on Thursday morning 22nd February and proceeded up the harbour to Hong Kong and again left on Friday morning 23rd February and of course rumours flow round the camp like wildfire. However I have cleared out our store in preparation and we live in hope that the supplies will come our way soon. A few tins of bully beef will be very acceptable. We conjure up pictures of the foods we will have when we get our hands on the stuff and we also say the same when we are released. Strange thing every book one reads mentions marvellous feeds, our teeth water.
The weather has been lousy and as cold as charity and with the water only on every third day and always wet on that day, washing of clothes has been very difficult in fact bathing is no pleasure and a cold shower is out of the question. The weather has affected grass cutting and as there is no grass to boil water we just have to do without, however we have been boiling up a pot of tea on our chatty and using the floor boards in the room to do so. The floor boards with care should last us a month or two. We are all fairly well in our room and each does a spot of cooking to supplement our rations making pancakes of rice flour, egg yolk, salt and water and so on.
The block election of committee took place on Monday and the result was announced on Tuesday morning. That morning I had to go and see Dr Grooga and have another injection and I'm evidently still suffering from pellagra and beri-beri. When I got back to this block I found that the voting showed I had been ousted, my popularity had evidently dropped as I lost my seat by six votes to McKie of all people. I have found out that there was a set against me by a certain section who because of my long stay in hospital wanted me out and McKie in. It is of course difficult to say all one wants to say and it is not polite to make public our antipathy to McKie. I was a wee bit disappointed as I had hoped to finish the spell in here still in office but after 3 years of service to the block I'm out, so why worry.