15 Feb 1942, R. E. Jones Wartime diary

Submitted by Admin on Sat, 12/31/2011 - 21:42

Cold. Layed in till 9.30AM & talked of food & what we would do if we had plenty. Wrote to Tommy Edgar.

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Date(s) of events described


This is undoubtedly my father, Thomas Edgar.

On Sunday April 6, 1941 Jones records that 'Tommy Waller and Edgar arrived' and they played darts at the Prison Officers' Club. Tommy Waller was one of my father’s best friends, and another of the 'three terrors of Hong Kong' (third currently unknown, although research is ongoing!).

On Saturday 12, April, Jones wrote: 'Letter from Tom (6 Feb)'.

The entry for Feb 6 reads: '$. Rooty Hill Derby. Pd.'

I’ve found a 1930s source that establishes that the 'Rooty Hill Derby' in Sydney was a greyhound race. The ‘Tom’ might be my father, Tommy Waller, or someone else altogether, but I think that my father is the most likely. Almost exactly a year earlier the Lane Crawford Bakery department had won a big prize on a Happy Valley racing sweepstake - big enough to make the papers. My father’s share was worth over £25,000 at today’s values. Perhaps Jones was involved in an attempt to repeat such a win?

On February 15, 1942 Thomas Edgar was in the French Hospital, baking bread for the hospitals and sending some into Stanley, so Jones might have been trying to call in favours and get an extra supply. But as they don't seem to have been close that's far from certain, and there’s no further mention of this letter in his diary, so, even if Jones did write something and manage to get it delivered nothing seems to have come of it.