Walter Thompson was a Superintedent in the Hong Kong police when the Japanese attacked in December 1941.
He was wounded by shell fragments during the hostilities and interned in Stanley after the surrender. On the night of March 18, 1942 he began an escape with Gwen Priestwood. On their way to Chungking, they were helped by Chinese guerrillas, and Thompson decided to operate with them behind Japanese lines. He ended the war as a Lieutenant-Colonel.
Gwen Priestwood was supposed to be a nurse during the Japanese attack, but volunteered to drive a food supply lorry instead.
Soon after the surrender, she tried to escape with others but the plan came to nothing. She was interned in Stanley Camp with the rest of the Allied civilians, but on March 18, 1942 she began an escape with policeman W. P. Thompson. She carried with her to Chungking a complete list of British internees.
In 1944 she published an account of her experiences: Through Japanese Barbed-wire.