The Diary of Mrs Grace Smith - the blind lady of Stanley Internment Camp

Submitted by jjohnantonsmith on Mon, 09/06/2021 - 02:05

This is part of the story of Mrs Grace Smith (John Anton-Smith's grandmother), a blind lady who was brought from the UK to Hong Kong to be looked after by her son, Raymond. He employed a lady known only as Chan, who became a devoted companion, to drive her around and otherwise see to her needs. John inherited this battered little diary, measuring only 6cm x 8cm, in which Grace, with the help of an unknown scribe, recounted various events during her time in Stanley Internment Camp. These range from the relatively trivial story of a tiger being on the loose in the camp, to the exorbitant price of an egg, to the truly poignant mention that Chan had volunteered to accompany Mrs Smith into the camp but had been turned away by the Japanese. We know nothing of Chan's fate after that. What is known of her life up to this point is described here. Keep in mind as you read the diary, that Grace's internment began when she was aged about 78.

Grace Smith's Diary
Grace Smith's Diary

In the following pages, we have a distant glimpse, sometimes only partly legible, into the nature of life in internment - the illness and suffering, the heartbreaking news of the removal of Grace's son from Hong Kong to a POW camp in Japan... 

Book type
Diary / Memoir
Dates of events covered by this document