Barbara Anslow's diary
This is Barbara's diary of life in Hong Kong in the wartime period. She has also added later comments, ((shown in italics & double brackets, like this)).
Here is Barbara's introduction:
First, details of the Redwood family in 1941:
In November 1941, Mum was 46, my sister Olive 25, Mabel 18 and I almost 23.
Dad had died of a heart attack in Hong Kong on 23rd July 1940 - while Mum, my sisters and I were in the Philippine Islands and about to be transhipped to Australia - under the Hong Kong Govt. Evacuation Scheme. We returned to Hong Kong a few days later and were able to avoid re-evacuation, but had to leave our flat in Naval Dockyard area and moved to a flat in Gap Road, Happy Valley.
Olive and I both worked as stenographers for HK Govt., she in Food Control Dept, and I in the Air Raid Precautions Department. Mabel also a stenographer, in Army Office at Fortress HQ. Our combined wages kept all 4 of us quite adequately, including paying the rent and two amahs.
Olive was engaged to Sam ('Topper') Brown of the Royal Artillery; Mabel had a serious boyfriend in the Royal Scots Band, Harry Hale (known by his second name 'Sid'). I had an unserious boyfriend - Band Sergeant Arthur Alsey, also of Royal Scots. In Nov 1941 the Royal Scots were camping in the New Territories.
We had a chow dog 'Patsy' who had just had pups in November 1941.
Here's a photo of us taken at the Civil Service Club, Happy Valley, early in November 1941:
Back Row, left to right: My sister Olive; her fiance 'Topper' Brown, R.A.,; my Mum; Mr V Garton and Mr W Skinner (both Govt.servants)
Front Row, left to right: H. Hale ('Sid') of Royal Scots; my sister Mabel; Arthur Alsey of Royal Scots; myself.
My detailed diary comes to an end at the end of Dec. 1942 as after then I became fully occupied with the various Catholic activities (as well as working half-days in the hospital office.). We had study clubs, each one catering for a different age group and sex; choir practices and socials. My particular interest was writing little plays for the RC children to perform, conducting rehearsals. Through this I made a great many friends of various nationalities whom I would probably have never met in Hong Kong - American, Eurasians, Dutch etc. camp was certainly an education to me.
I just have a summary of 1943; a day by day but sketchy of 1944, then a very wordy 1945 until 1946.