Everything tagged "Diary / Memoir" | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Everything tagged "Diary / Memoir"


Dates of events covered by this document: 
Sat, 1941-12-06 to Thu, 1945-02-01

Deacription of the internment at Stanley Camp during the Second World War.

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In Time of War

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Mon, 1940-01-01 to Mon, 1945-12-31

These extracts are from Henry (Harry) Collingwood Selby's diary as partly published in "In Time of War" (a collection of materials, including essays, POW camp regulations, etc.) edited by his son, Richard Collingwood-Selby and Gillian Bickley (Proverse Hong Kong, 2013).

The book is available from HK bookshops and can be ordered by them from the distributor, the Chinese University Press. It is also available from https://www.createspace.com/6412761.

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The Sloan family's memories of WW2 in Hong Kong

The Battle of Hong Kong began on 8th December, 1941. My father was one of the brave soldiers that fought the Japanese invaders. In his honour and that of the others who fought, died and survived the most terrible hardships, I am reposting this article:

Dad, the invasion of Hong Kong and prison camp

The Japanese invasion of Hong Kong started on the 8th December 1941 and lasted for 17 bloody days until the British forces, surrendered on the 25th, in the person of His Excellency the Governor, Sir Mark Aitchison Young.

Dad, as did all men over the age of 18 in Hong Kong, joined the Hong Kong Regiment and had to report to camp once a month and once a year for a two-week camp. These camps were not particularly onerous as they were piled into a truck and driven out to some location in the New Territories where a contingent of coolies would carry their kit bags up to the camp site. Their equipment also consisted of a wind-up gramophone and a box of 78s, several crates of beer and other necessities of life.

They would set up their billets and report for machine gun practice with the water-cooled Vickers Machine gun, about which, more later. Practice consisted of spotting the enemy, which was usually a collection of bone pots and blasting them to pieces. Eventually the indigenous villagers complained of this to the government and they had to find other enemies to practice on.

As the war came closer the volunteers were given training in anti aircraft guns and as it was believed that the attack when it came, would be a night time attack, they were called out at all hours of the day and night to man the guns.

1938 Sai Wan Hill Battery
1938 Anti-aircraft Gun practice at Sai Wan Hill Battery, by Moddsey


As a child, growing up in Hong Kong I remember hearing the air raid sirens which were still in place at late as the early sixties. The government continued to test them on a regular basis and I still remember the feeling of unease whenever I heard one go off.

Finally it was December 1941 and despite the impending war it was still the Christmas season. On the evening of the 7th

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Moving to Macau during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Sat, 1944-01-01 to Mon, 1945-12-31

During the last year and a half of the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War Two, my father, George Smirnoff, with some other Russian refugees, decided to move his family to the only safe place we could get to, the small neighbouring Portuguese colony of Macao.

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Escape from the Japanese

Published by Frontline Books, here's their introduction to the book:

Trapped in the depths of Japanese-held territory, it was rare for Allied prisoners of war to attempt escape. There was little chance of making contact with anti-guerrilla or underground organisations and no possibility of Europeans blending in with the local Asian populations. Failure, and recapture, meant execution. 

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John Bechtel's memories of Hong Kong

I was born in Matilda Hosp in 1939 and left HK on the last US ship before the Japanese invaded. My father spent the war in Stanley Camp.

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Annie Oakes Huntington

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Sat, 1885-07-11

Writing from Brockhurst on the Peak where her family is spending the summer.

From: Annie Oakes Huntington - age 10

(an American expat child whose father worked for Russell & Co.)

To Marion Richardson (in Boston)

Hong Kong July 11th 1885.

My dear Man:

I suppose you are down at Beverly and asleep while I am writing this letter. The Bay of Hong Kong is very pretty with mountains all around the Bay. We live about half up the peak so we get a lovely view. We live on Robinson Road,

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Personal Experiences of the War and Internment in Hong Kong

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Wed, 1941-01-01 to Mon, 1945-12-31

This document is courtesy of Carol Wheat, M F Key's Grand-neice. She writes:

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Father Biotteau's wartime diary

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Mon, 1941-12-08 to Thu, 1941-12-25

Here are some extracts of Father Biotteau’s diary. He was the procurator of the Society of Foreign Missions of Paris based in Pokfulam, with a unique view on Mount Davis during the battle. His testimony is in French but still quite relevant for those who can read it and want more details about what happened.

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Edith May (May) Guest's Account of Japanese invasion

Dates of events covered by this document: 
Mon, 1941-12-01 to Mon, 1945-12-31

Personal Account of the Japanese Invasion of Hong Kong by E.M. Guest.

Our home was on the Mainland, Kowloon, about 20 minutes by bus and 10/15 minutes by ferry from the Island of Hong Kong.

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