Charles Gesner van der Voort had started his career in Rotterdam, at Holland-China Trading Company (HCHC). In 1938, he went to Shanghai for the firm. The Japanese interned him, and most other Dutch nationals, from 1943-45. In camp, he met his wife Nancy and they married after the war. After a leave in The Netherlands, they returned to the Orient, where Charles continued to work for HCHC in Hong Kong.
Charles Gesner van der Voort's friend Phil Beekmeijer lived in Hong Kong with his wife Ans Beekmeijer-Kroeze when this photo was taken. In this year, 1951, he had been awarded with the Dutch Bronze Cross, for his "very courageous and prudent acting" during the Battle of Arnhem, "in which he did not sleep for three days", his daughter Liesbeth adds. Proud of the honour of receiving the award, he wore the decoration, for the occasion of waving off friends for a 'big leave', which Holland-China Trading Company (HCHC) staff were entitled to after working abroad for four years. <Read more ...>
Date picture taken (to nearest decade for older photos):
I'm so pleased to have found this group! I come from Vancouver (which is practically a colony of Hong Kong), and I'm so excited to be planning my first visit to the island in November of this year. My grandfather was a pre-war mountaineer who joined the RAF in late 1941. He spent the next few years flying over Burma, plus 2 seasons running fitness and survival training to RAF pilots in Kashmir. Following the war, he delayed his return home to England in order to see a bit of the world, and volunteered for a 6-month posting to Hong Kong. <Read more ...>
One of my mother's cousins (then aged between 13 and 17, and now deceased) was interned in Hong Kong during the war, but she (and her own mother, who was also interned with her) are not mentioned in the lists of internees on this web site, nor in a couple of other lists that I've managed to find in archives in the U.K.
She was repatriated at the end of 1945, but in later life told her own children little about her experiences. They have no recollection of her mentioning the name or location of the camp, only that it was #13. <Read more ...>
They did a nice cover story titled 'the 18 days of Black Christmas' in this week's edition of the post magazine. It featured a choronological account of the invasion plus some extracts from the soldier's diaries from multiple sources. Wonder if everything is already in the Gwulo collections? <Read more ...>