Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mount Davis - A walk among the ruins

Mount Davis is a prominent hill feature situated at the western end of Hong Kong Island. It commands the western approaches to the harbour and not surprisingly it was occupied by the military who first established a coastal defense battery (Fort Davis) in 1912 consisting of five 9.2-inch coastal defense guns.  

Wartime map showing Mount Davis
The close-up below shows the winding military road running up to the fort from Victoria Road. During WW2 there were three 9.2-inch guns at Fort Davis and two 3-inch AA guns. Two of the original five 9.2-inch guns were relocated to Stanley Fort. In December 1941, the 9.2-inch battery at Fort Davis was under the command of Major Eric Anderson 24th Coast Battery, 12th Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery,  and formed part of Western Fire Command.  Western Fire Command had its HQ at Fort Davis. The AA guns were commanded by Lt G. Wedderburn, 17th Heavy AA Battery, Royal Artillery. After the surrender he escaped from POW Camp in February 1942 and made his way to Free China.

Just below Mount Davis on the shoreline was Jubilee Battery armed with three 6-inch guns but far too low and blocked by terrain to be able to fire inland. 

Close up showing the restricted military area in red
One fine September day, I decided to take a stroll up to the fort, having not been up there for some time, and I wanted to take some photographs of the wartime structures and gun emplacements. At the bottom of Mount Davis Road, at the foot of Mount Davis, is a charming long colonial building called Felix Villas. There were originally two blocks on either side of Mount Davis Road. They were built in 1922 and residents enjoyed the leafy surrounds with wonderful sea views and sun sets. They were originally described as flats, but they seem to be what we would call today terraced town houses. They are occupied by tenants who no doubt appreciate the high ceilings, the fire places, the balustrades,  the colonial charm and the long sea views. 

Felix Mansions
Colonial elegance
The blocks were called Felix Villas after the British  property developer  Felix Alexander Joseph who was born in Hong Kong in 1890, son of Saul Albert Joseph also a long term resident of Hong Kong. Felix died in 1950 in France. He was not in Hong Kong during WW2. I noticed there were two or three elderly internees during WW2 with the surname Joseph but I'm not sure if they are related. Felix married Gladys Enid Abelson (1904-1976). The Army commandeered Felix Villas once war started.  It was used as accommodation for the gunners. Mount Davis was one of the most heavily bombed and shelled locations in Hong Kong during the fighting in December 1941.

After walking up the military road I noticed a ruined military structure on the hillside. It could be the guardhouse - although it seemed a bit too low down the hill to be the location of the guardroom and gate to the fort.

Military structure - could this be the guardhouse ?
Further up the road, but before reaching the No. 1 Gun emplacement. There was another set of military structures on the hillside above the road. This fitted more with descriptions I have seen of where the guardroom and gate was located. The photo below shows signs of the original camouflage paint on this structure. This same colour camouflage pattern can be seen on other WW2 structures in Hong Kong.

Wartime camouflage paint pattern still evident
I then came to the ruined and war damaged No.1 Gun emplacement. The view from the gun site  is obscured by the trees. There were no trees on this hillside in 1941 and the gun emplacements and their Battery Observation Posts (BOPs) had an unobstructed view. Just behind the battery hidden on the hillside is what appears to be a BOP with what looks like an a concrete structure for the range finder. 

No 1 Gun Emplacement
No. 1 Gun Emplacement 
The 9.2-inch guns were designed for coastal defense and not for land firing. They were powerful guns that could fire a 350-pound shell more than 20 kilometers. They ensured that the Japanese Navy stayed well out of range. However their normal ammunition consisted of armour-piercing shells for targeting enemy warships. There was a shortage of High Explosive (HE) and shrapnel shells (anti-personnel) that were needed for firing at land targets and Japanese infantry positions. The guns could traverse and fire landwards, and they were used very effectively in this role, although it was not what they were designed for.

Entry to the lower floor of Port War Signal Station
A little way past No. 1 Gun a path leads up to to a two-storey structure which was the Port War Signal Station - operated by the Royal Navy half way up the hillside of Mount Davis. The path leads to the entry portal to the lower storey by way of  a high sided concrete passageway shown above.

Top floor of RN Signal Station
Continuing up the military road I came to the No. 2 Gun emplacement with its high concrete screen.  There is a splinter proof war shelter behind it at road level. 

No. 2 Gun concrete screen

No. 2 Gun Emplacement

No 3 Gun (the "pet" of the battery) 
Battery Observation Post with war damaged collapsed roof.

Battery buildings

Ruins of battery buildings

Fragmentation damage

Wartime fragmentation damage

Battery buildings
The No. 3 gun was the "pet" of the battery because it was the highest gun and was most effective at landward firing. On the 24th of December a force of fifty gunners was assembled from Jubilee and Fort Davis to fight as infantry in Wan Chai as Fortress HQ desperately looked for additional troops for the front line. After the surrender on 25th December the battery personnel remained at Mount Davis continuing to use  Felix Villas for accommodation. The Japanese arrived and took over the fort on 27th December. On 28th December the battery personnel were marched to Victoria Barracks and ferried, then marched, to Sham Shui Po Camp on 30th December. 


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Major-General Christopher Michael Maltby, CB, MC, DL

Christopher Michael Maltby, known as 'Michael', was born 13th January 1891 in Kensington, London. He was educated at Bedford School, and at the age of nineteen he entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as an Officer Cadet. In 1910, as a subaltern, he was posted to the 1st Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment in India. He sailed on the trooper HMT Dongola. In December 1911 he joined the 95th Russell's Infantry a regiment of the British Indian Army. He served with the Indian Army until July 1941 when he arrived in Hong Kong to take up the unenviable job (in hindsight) of being General Officer Commanding (GOC) British Troops in China. He was the military commander of an isolated outpost, which the British were willing to sacrifice, albeit not without a cost, because as Churchill famously acknowledged there was "not the slightest chance" of being able to defend it.

"If Japan goes to war there is not the slightest chance of holding Hong Kong or relieving it.  It is most unwise to increase the loss we shall suffer there.  Instead of increasing the garrison it ought to be reduced.  Japan will think twice before declaring war on the British Empire, and whether there are two or six battalions at Hong Kong will make no difference.  I wish we had fewer troops there, but to move any would be noticeable and dangerous.”  (Winston Churchill in January 1941 to General Hastings Ismay).

Major-General Maltby as Military Commander and Sir Mark Young as Governor and Commander-in-Chief had the difficult task of formally surrendering the Crown Colony of Hong Kong to the Japanese on 25th December 1941. The battle had been short but brutal lasting eighteen days. The photograph below of the surrender formality at the Peninsula Hotel by candlelight shows General Maltby seated to the right. To the left is Lt-Col 'Monkey' Stewart  commanding officer of 1st Bn Middlesex Regiment and seated behind him with the extravagant moustache is Wing Commander Hubert Thomas 'Alf' Bennet. He was a Japanese linguist working with Major Boxer in the Intelligence unit known as Far East Combined Bureau. It was Alf Bennet and Monkey Stewart  who had first walked out, with the flag of truce, to conduct the surrender, but the Japanese had insisted that Major-General Maltby and Sir Mark Young attend in person. Sir Mark is out of the photograph to the left, and may have been speaking, as people are looking in his direction. Sir Mark asked that the photographer be removed, and the Japanese obliged, but already some photographs including this one had been  taken. 

Major-General Maltby at the Surrender 25th December 1941
Major-General Maltby conversing with Brigadier John Lawson in Hong Kong before the war 
In WW1 Lt Maltby continued to serve with the 95th Russell's Infantry Regiment. He was wounded on three occasions, Mentioned in Dispatches thrice, and in 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross (MC) for gallantry in the field.  He served initially in the Persian Gulf and later in Mesopotamia and from 1918 to 1919 he served in Salonika, capital of Greek Macedonia. He had attained the rank of Acting Major by the time the war ended. After the war Maltby attended the Indian Army Staff Course at Quetta in 1923 and the RAF Staff Course at Andover in 1927.

He married Helene Margaret Napier-Clavering in June 1927 at St Mary's Church in Taunton, Somerset. He was aged 36 and she was aged 26 at the time of their wedding. Both families had connections with India and she had been born in India. Maltby continued his service in the Indian Army,  serving twice on the dangerous North West Frontier. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1934 and to full Colonel in 1938. In 1939 he was promoted to Brigadier and commanded the 3rd Jhelum Brigade, then the Calcutta Brigade and finally the 19th Indian Infantry Brigade in Deccan before being sent to Hong Kong as GOC in the acting rank of Major-General.

After the surrender Maltby was incarcerated as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong for three and a half years until liberation in August 1945 firstly in Sham Shui Po POW Camp and secondly in Argyle Street Officers Camp. Later  he was moved to Formosa and finally to Manchuria with other senior officers. The photograph below shows Major-General Maltby looking thin and strained but happy following his release from POW Camp.  

Maltby (carrying a Japanese sword) with American soldiers following his release from POW Camp 
Luba Estes sent me a photo of a sketch of Major-General Maltby that her father Lt Alec Skvorzov, HKVDC drew whilst they were incarcerated in Sham Shui Po Camp. 

Drawing by Lt Alexander Skvorzov (Courtesy of Luba Estes) 
Twenty years after the war, in 1965,  Michael Maltby attended an Argyle Street Camp reunion as did Alec Skvorzov and Maltby signed the original sketch.  Many of Alec Skvorzov's sketches of Sham Shui Po Camp can be seen in a compilation of sketches published in 1948 under the title Chinese Ink and Brush Sketches of Prisoner of War Camp Life in Hong Kong.

After being repatriated to UK, Maltby retired from the British Indian Army in June 1946.  He was affirmed in the honorary rank of Major-General, which had been a temporary rank during the war. His Report on Operations in Hong Kong (which went through several drafts) was published in January 1948. He was made Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County of Somerset and a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). He spent his retirement near Taunton, Somerset. He and Helene lived in a modest country cottage called Greenacre, in the village of Shoreditch on the outskirts of Taunton. A search on the internet shows the property. An old cottage with low ceilings, built close to what then was a minor  road, with a large garden at the side and rear.  Michael Maltby returned from a distinguished military career spent in far-off India, having fought in two world wars and numerous skirmishes. Like many British Indian Army officers he  retired to the English countryside and lived quietly. He did not write his memoirs and unlike public figures today he did not charge large sums of money to appear on the lecture circuit.  Helene died in 1974 aged seventy-four. At the time of her death they had been married for forty-seven years. Mike Maltby died aged eighty-nine at Taunton in September 1980.  Michael and Helen Maltby had two daughters Ann Margaret (1928) an Barbara Helen Jessie (1931).

Michael Maltby must have sometimes wondered, did he hold out long enough in Hong Kong, should he have done things differently, did he have the right strategy, but at the end of the day, as he himself said, he and his force had been a "hostage to fortune."

Photo of Major-General Maltby  from "Passport to Eternity" (1956)  by Ralph Goodwin 



James Barnes for additional information sources
Luba Estes for sketch of Michael Maltby drawn by her father Lt A.V. Skvorzov, HKVDC

Further Reading:

Article on Major--General Maltby by Tony Banham in Dictionary of Hong Kong Biography (2012) edited by May Holdsworth and Christopher Munn

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Walter Fryatt, Winnipeg Grenadiers

Walter Butcher Fryatt was born in York, England on 22nd November 1900. He was the youngest of eight siblings. He was killed in action on 21st December 1941 while serving as Company Sergeant Major (CSM) of 'B' Coy Winnipeg Grenadiers in the Battle for Hong Kong. This is an attempt to put together some details of his life, and through feedback from readers I hope that I can add more to this story. This is also a tribute to a Canadian soldier who died in Hong Kong in the service of his country. 

He married Florence May Firth in 1925 in Barnsley, Yorkshire. They had four children Walter Dennis (1926-1996), Jean Margaret (1927-1933), Robert (1934-2011) and Joan who was born in 1938. Florence May Fryatt died in Manitoba, Canada in 2004 having reached the age of 100 years. She lived on for  nearly sixty-three years after she lost her husband in December 1941. As far as I can see she never remarried. She lost her second born child,  Jean Margaret aged six, in 1933. 

Walter Fryatt joined the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI) in World War 1. He served with this unit from June 1917 until October 1919. In 1922 he joined the York & Lancashire Regiment until 1925. In 1927 he served with the Green Howards  referred to as the Yorkshire Regiment. He was a Yorkshireman and a soldier.

He emigrated to Canada in 1928. I don't think he had a very happy childhood and he did not keep contact with his remaining family in Yorkshire after he left England.  I found a record of him traveling on the White Star liner  RMS Cedric in August 1928 as part of the Harvesters Scheme for Manitoba in which immigrants were recruited to work as farm laborers in the Canadian farm belt. He sailed from Liverpool to Halifax, Nova Scotia to make a new start for his young family. 

RMS Cedric
I found a record of Florence May traveling in 1930 from Liverpool to Quebec on the White Star Liner Albertic. A beautiful ship but Florence like Walter travelled Third Class. She was traveling with her two oldest children Walter Dennis and Jean Margaret. She had two more children after reaching Canada.

The family settled in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba. Walter was later employed as an Operator for the Winnipeg Electric Company. After arriving in Canada Walter joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers which at that time was a militia  unit. His military records show that he completed annual training from 1931 to 1937. On the outbreak of war in September 1939 he re-joined the Winnipeg Grenadiers on a full time or mobilized basis and was quickly promoted  to CSM given his previous military experience. In June 1940 he sailed for Jamaica with the Grenadiers where the regiment undertook garrison duties. He returned to Canada in 1941 just before the Grenadiers were sent to Hong Kong in November 1941.

In Hong Kong he served as CSM of 'B' Coy which was under the command of Major Henry Hook. Three weeks after arriving in Hong Kong war started with Japan. Initially the Canadian troops were based at Sham Shui Po Barracks in Kowloon. When war started the Grenadiers were deployed to their war stations on Hong Kong Island. 'B' Coy were deployed at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir on the south western side of Hong Kong Island.

Many of the splinter proof war shelters that housed the Coy's three platoons and the Coy HQ still remain, with one string of shelters located north of the reservoir, and another string in a ravine to the west of the reservoir.

Pok Fu Lam Reservoir

War shelter across a ravine occupied by 'B' Coy WG in December 1941

'B' Coy WG  shelters as they appear today 

A steel door survives the test of time
The Japanese landed three infantry regiments on the north shore of Hong Kong Island on Thursday 18th December 1941. By Friday 19th December they had captured Mt Parker, Mt Butler, Jardines Lookout, Stanley Gap Road and the police station at Wong Nai Chung (WNC) Gap. Counterattacks were made throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st to try and regain WNC  Gap  but all efforts failed as the Japanese were there in overwhelming strength.

On Saturday 20th December 'B' Coy were ordered to report to Battalion HQ at Wan Chai Gap and thereafter to counterattack WNC Gap by way of Blacks Link, a road track linking WNC Gap and Wan Chai Gap. The attack commenced in the afternoon and the Coy proceeded down Black's Link led by Major Henry Hook, CSM Walter Fryatt and Sgt Ken Porter. Having passed Middle Gap, about one third of the way along Black's Link, they came under attack from a Japanese patrol and incurred a number of casualties.  The Coy withdrew to Middle Gap, and the attack was to resume at dawn the next day. The Coy spent an uncomfortable night in the open with low temperatures and rain.

The Japanese by this time had a large number of troops on Mount Nicholson which overlooked Black's Link and they were able to fire down on Black's Link. Lt Hugh Young and CSM Walter Fryatt were both killed by machine gun fire on Blacks Link whilst trying to press forward to reach WNC Gap during the morning on Sunday 21st December. Florence May Fryatt was not officially notified of Walter's death until 1943. He has no known grave although his name is remembered on a panel at Sai Wan Military Cemetery.

Florence May was survived by two of her children (Robert and Joan). At the time of her death she had eight grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.


Sunday, 17 January 2016

A Fresh Start, Interrupted by War

The photograph below is of the wedding of George Woods Giffen and Erma Evelyn Hadley at St. Andrew's Church, Kowloon on 27th June 1938.

 Courtesy: Giffen family
George Giffen arrived in Hong Kong, from Britain, in 1933, to work as a reporter for the Hong Kong Telegraph (HKT). The HKT was owned by the company that produced the South China Morning Post (SCMP). At that time, there were four English language daily newspapers, the other two being the China Mail and the Hong Kong Daily Press. The SCMP and HKT were sister newspapers, run from the same office but managed as independent newspapers under the stewardship of General Manager  Ben Wylie. It was Wylie who had interviewed George Giffen in London and offered him the job as a reporter in Hong Kong.

Erma Hadley, a pretty twenty-five-year-old Canadian girl from British Columbia, had saved up, together with her friend Betty Elder, for the trip of a life time to Hong Kong where they hoped to find work.  They arrived in 1934 and Erma got a job as a secretary. She and George met at a beach party held in a mat-shed bathing hut at one of popular beaches along Castle Peak Road. They married four years later. The wedding marked a high point of one of the happiest periods of their young lives. They had arrived separately in Hong Kong to make a fresh start after, what had been for both of them, difficult periods in their early lives.

The wedding took place against the backdrop of war in China and impending conflict in Europe and Asia. It took place just a year after the so-called Marco Polo Bridge incident (1937) which was widely seen as a pretext, engineered by Japanese militarists in Manchuria, to wage war on the rest of China. The wedding took place six months after the 'Rape of Nanking' and in the same year that Japanese troops captured Canton and arrived menacingly on the border of Hong Kong. It would be another year before Britain and France declared war on Germany in September 1939 and, two years later in December 1941, Japan attacked Hong Kong, Malaya, Philippines and the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour, widening hostilities on a global scale.

George was in Hong Kong when war began. At the time, he was the Editor of the Hong Kong Telegraph. Erma had returned to Canada in November 1939. George took long leave in February 1940 to join Erma in Canada. George had joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp (HKVDC) in 1934 and was under military obligation to return to Hong Kong as well as having responsibilities towards his employer. He returned to Hong Kong in June 1940 on the Empress of Asia after his long leave but without seeing his daughter Dianne, who was born in Canada in October 1940.

In July 1940, at a time of increased tension when war with Japan was considered imminent, the Hong Kong Government issued a Compulsory Evacuation Order, under which British women and children were required to evacuate Hong Kong. Only those women in essential services were allowed to remain.   Some 3,500 women and children were hurriedly evacuated to Manila with most going on to Australia. After the state of tension reduced and nothing happened, there was considerable protest from the wives who wanted to return and from the so-called bachelor husbands who held vociferous meetings demanding that their wives be allowed to come back. The new military commander, Major-General Christopher Maltby, and the new Governor, Sir Mark Young, both arrived in 1941 to take up their duties, and, in order to set an example, they came without their wives and children. When war broke out in Hong Kong, George was relieved  that Erma and Dianne were safe in Canada.

Historian Brian Edgar, whose own parents were caught up in the war in Hong Kong and incarcerated at Stanley Internment Camp, found a reference to the wedding of George and Erma in the Hong Kong Daily Press for 28th June 1938 which I have summarized below. 

"A pretty wedding took place at St Andrew's Church yesterday afternoon when Miss Erma Evelyn Hadley, formerly of British Columbia, became the bride of Mr George Woods Giffen, a member of the editorial staff of the South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Telegraph. The ceremony was conducted by the Very Rev. John Leonard Wilson, Dean of St John's Cathedral. The organ was played by Mr Rupert Baldwin. The King of Love was sung by soloist Mr A. J. Gwyther

The bride entered the church on the arm of Mr T. Parkinson, by whom she was 'given away.' The bridesmaid was Miss Winifred Lawson and little Ann Wilson acted as flower girl. Miss M. Clarke acted as Matron of Honour and wore a dress of white lace. Mr L. S. Le Gay Brereton was best man. Following the church ceremony, a reception was held at Kingsville (Hotel) in Carnavon Road, Kowloon."

The Hong Kong Telegraph for 2nd July 1938 shows the same photograph but with a wider angle and names all the people in the wedding group.

Courtesy: Giffen family
Reading left to right are Miss M. Clark, the Matron of Honour;  Mr T. M. Parkinson, who gave away the bride; Mrs Mackechnie;  George, the groom; Erma, the bride; Mr Mackechnie;  Miss Anne Wilson, the flower girl; Miss Winifred Lawson, the bridesmaid; and Mr L. S. Le Gay Brereton, the best man. 

In the photograph below, we can see bride and groom emerging from the church, followed by the best man and the bridesmaid and, in the background, we can just about make out Miss Clark and Mr Parkinson.  

Courtesy: Giffen family
Let's turn our attention to the people who make up the wedding group, both those in the main photograph and those referred to in the newspaper article. The main photograph is so clear, we could almost be there like spectators, hidden only by the ether of time. I want to invite you to join me, as we journey through time to discover something more about the people at this wedding, their lives and times.

The Groom -  George Giffen (4/3/1911 - 23/12/2006)

George Woods Giffen was born on 4th March 1911 in the market town of Dorking in the county of Surrey. He was born to Constance ('Connie') Nellie Giffen, who was in domestic service. His father was Charles Woods, a footman in the household where Constance had worked. Constance had to labour long hours and had limited means and, as a result, George had a difficult childhood during which he spent much of his early years being fostered out.  He was bright, however, and won a scholarship to the Ernest Bailey Grammar School in Matlock, Derbyshire. After leaving school, he became a journalist, starting with the Matlocks Weekly and moving up later to the Derbyshire Times. He then moved to East London where he worked for the East Ham Mail and the Barking Gazette.

He had responded to an advert to work as a reporter in Hong Kong and, shortly after joining the Barking Gazette, he was interviewed at the Strand Palace Hotel by Ben Wylie, the General Manager of the SCMP/HKT Group. The opportunity to travel to the Far East was irresistible and at the age of twenty-two, George sailed for Hong Kong  from the Port of London on 21st April 1933 on the Japanese liner the Suwa Maru. The ship was sunk some ten years later by an American submarine at Wake Island during the Pacific War.

SS Suwa Maru (Courtesy:
I can see George's name on the handwritten passenger manifest. His address is given as 79 Cecil Avenue, Barking. He met his mother briefly before embarking on his adventure of traveling to the other side of the world. Neither knew that they would never meet again as he never returned to England and Constance died in 1941.

When George arrived in Hong Kong, he found reasonably-priced accommodation at the YMCA and, like many other young men at that time, he joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps (HKVDC). He served in the ANZAC Coy which was made up principally from Australians and New Zealanders based in Hong Kong. Although British, George joined the ANZAC Coy to be with friends and colleagues, many of whom were Australian. The Editor of SCMP, Henry Ching was an Australian Chinese. George's best man at the wedding, Lionel Le Gay Brereton, was Australian, as were several other colleagues from SCMP and HKT, including Norman Stockton, Richard Cloake, Stewart Gray and Arthur Scholes. The photographs below show George training with the Vickers Medium Machine Gun and wearing an Australian style slouch hat that would have been worn by members of the ANZAC Coy.

George in the foreground acting as No. 2 on the Vickers Gun (Courtesy: Giffen family)

After the ANZAC Coy was disbanded in 1935, George transferred to a Machine Gun Coy, most likely No. 1 Coy.

George Giffen at work (Courtesy:  Giffen family)
George and Erma married at St Andrew's Church in Kowloon. The reception was held at the Kingsville Hotel in Carnarvon Road. They initially lived in an apartment near the Lower Terminus of the Peak Tram. George continued his military training in the HKVDC. However he was transferred from the 'combatant group' to the 'key post group'  late in 1941. He was an editor  on the Hong Kong Telegraph and replaced Stewart Gray as the Editor when Gray departed on leave for Australia on one of the last ships to leave Hong Kong on 7th December 1941. As a member of the 'key-post' group, George was required to stay at his civil post as such roles were considered essential for the functioning of the commercial life of the Colony.

The Japanese invaded Hong Kong on 8th December 1941. After a week of fighting on the Mainland, the British withdrew to the Island fortress and by Saturday 13th December the last British troops had been evacuated from the Mainland in an operation that was tantamount to a mini-Dunkirk. Thereafter, the Island was heavily bombed and shelled as a prelude to the Japanese landings on the north shore of the Island between North Point and Shau Kei Wan on the night of 18th/19th December. During the period of hostilities, one bomb struck the Wyndham Street offices of the SCMP/HK Telegraph and another landed in On Lan Street almost opposite. The editorial staff and management continued to produce a daily newspaper throughout the fighting up until the Christmas Day surrender of British forces. The battle for Hong Kong had been short, bloody and brutal.

George and other members of the editorial staff of the SCMP and HK Telegraph had been 'camping out' at the Wyndham Street office for much of the period of fighting. After the British surrender, the Japanese took over the Wyndham Street offices and printed the Japanese-owned Hong Kong News. A few days, later British, American and Dutch civilians were rounded up for internment. George Baxter from United Press recalls in his memoirs that on 4th January they were notified to report to Murray Parade Ground for internment.
"The Editor of the Hong Kong Telegraph George Giffen had been at my apartment (in Duddell Street) most of the afternoon, and had been gone only a few minutes when he returned with a proof copy of an order which was to appear in the next morning's Hong Kong News, the Japanese sheet which supplanted all the English language newspapers I returned to the office with him and secured some snatch copies as well as verified the fact with the Japanese Editor."  
George and the other editorial staff turned up at Murray Parade Ground and were marched to the western area of town where they were locked up in cheap boarding houses, many of which had been brothels or short-time hotels. George was incarcerated with his colleagues in the Tong Fong Boarding House. On George's floor they had 142 people including men, women and children with only two squat-type toilets. The cubicles were crowded with four or five internees in a cubicle suited at best for two. The cubicles were dirty and vermin-infested. The internees were given very little food. After a few weeks, they were moved by ferry to Stanley Internment Camp where George remained until liberation.

In August 1945, George Giffen and Ben Wylie were among the first to leave Stanley Camp to try and take the newspaper back from the Japanese and re-start production of their newspaper. This was an uncertain and dangerous period between the Japanese surrender and the arrival of British forces. They proceeded to their old offices in Wyndham Street where they were joined by Henry Ching, physically weakened from the hardship he had endured. As a Eurasian with a Chinese father and Australian mother, he had not been interned but had struggled to survive in Japanese-occupied Hong Kong by selling personal items and household items to buy food. The three of them set about relaunching their newspaper. The first edition on 30th August 1945 was a one-page news-sheet with the headline "Fleet Entering."

In Stanley Camp, George was billeted in Block 8 which was the main building of St Stephen's College.    He became good friends with Louise Mary Gill, known as 'Billie,' whom he had met before the war through the writer Emily Hahn.

Billie, born in 1916, was ethnically Chinese and had been raised in Shanghai in a Eurasian family with an English father, a Postal Commissioner, and a Chinese mother. After being educated in English schools in Shanghai, Billie worked for Reuters and a literary magazine called T'ien Hsia and was seconded to the Mayor  of Shanghai after the Japanese attacked Shanghai in 1937. When Shanghai fell, Billie fled to Hong Kong with her colleagues and they worked for the Chinese Government Information Office in Hong Kong.

Billie Gill (Courtesy: Ian Gill)
In January 1940, she married Arthur Robert Hurst Gill (known as 'Paddy'), an Irish Warrant Officer in the Royal Army Ordnance Corp and they had a son, Brian, born later that year. In early March/April  1940,  Paddy Gill was posted to Britain while Billie remained with her son in Hong Kong.

In Stanley Internment Camp, Billie and Brian, now eighteen-months-old, were billeted in Bungalow B, a former teacher's bungalow close to the main school building. In May 1944, friends of Billie took Brian to Tweed Bay, where, in a tragic mishap, he drowned in a fresh water pool behind the beach. He was just short of his fourth birthday.

During the grief-stricken months that followed for Billie, George proved a stalwart friend, supporting her when she fainted and writing a poem in memory of Brian.

George's poem offered solace to Billie. (Courtesy: Ian Gill)

Their relationship deepened and, when Billie found out in mid-1945 that she was pregnant, it was a happy event. George wrote a poem to the "unborn baby of my unwed wife" for Billie's 29th birthday on June 14th. He also scrounged around for wood to make a cradle.

The war's end in August 1945, however, saw George moving to town while Billie waited in Camp. He wrote to say he was sorry he couldn't get away. On September 17th, Billie boarded the SS Empress of Australia for UK. However, the doctor told her she would need a Caesarian and, in Manila harbour, she was transferred by a small craft to the SS Mount Maunganui, a converted New Zealand hospital ship. Her son Ian was born in Lower Hutt hospital, near Wellington, New Zealand, on 25th October, 1945. George sent a telegram of congratulations.

After six months helping to get the newspaper up and running, George returned to Canada in 1946. He met his daughter Dianne, now nearly six-years-old, for the first time. In December 1947, Erma gave birth to their second daughter, Linda.

The Bride  -  Erma Evelyn Hadley (11/9/1909 - 15/4/1998)

Erma was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia on 11th September 1909. She lived with her family at Lasqueti Island on the east coast of Vancouver Island until she was eleven-years-old when she and her mother Emma moved to Victoria. Erma took a course to acquire secretarial skills and continued to live and work in Victoria. She and her friend Betty Elder saved money to buy a passage to Hong Kong. They sailed from Vancouver to San Francisco and then across the Pacific  to Hong Kong via Shanghai. The two adventurous young Canadian women arrived in Hong Kong in 1934, one year after George.

Erma was initially employed as a stenographer/secretary by Mr Henry Buxton, a merchant. Henry Buxton served in the HKVDC and was killed when Japanese troops over-ran his battery. In a double tragedy, his wife Alberta was raped and killed by Japanese soldiers when they broke into the hospital at St Stephen's College, Stanley where she worked as a nurse. After Henry Buxton's business experienced a slowdown, Erma left and was employed by the Hong Kong Government, working for Commander G.F. Hole, RN (Rtd) who at the time was Harbour Master. He was also a Member of LEGCO. Erma's friend Betty was employed as a secretary by Thorneycroft Co. Ltd.

After the War

George, Erma and their two daughters settled down in Vancouver where George worked as a journalist on various newspapers. In 1958, George and Erma moved to the Canadian capital, Ottawa in Ontario, for George to take up a job with the Department of Agriculture in the Information division (what would today be called Public Relations). He retired in 1971 at the age of sixty and they moved back to British Columbia. George built a house on Denman Island where, in unspoiled countryside, he and Erma lived during their retirement.

Billie Gill joined the United Nations in Shanghai, starting a long career that ended with her being Assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General at the long-running disarmament conference in Geneva, Switzerland. After her retirement in 1976, Billie was awarded the M.B.E. for services to the United Nations.

In 1985, Ian, who was working in Singapore as a journalist, took his first trip to Canada and made friends with a man in Montreal who helped him find his father on Denman Island.

After a warm phone call to his father, Ian returned to Canada soon afterwards to meet George and Erma on Denman and Dianne and Linda at Victoria. Ian describes how he felt on finding the other side of his family.
"I discovered the missing pieces of my genetic puzzle and acquired another family, including two sisters. Dianne told me I was the son George had always wanted while she and Linda gained a brother." 
Remarkably, it was found that George and Ian had not only pursued the same career path but had worked in newspapers close to each other in England and had both wound up on newspapers in Hong Kong.

George Giffen & Erma with their daughters,  Dianne and Linda and Ian on Denman Island in 1997
 (Source: Giffen family)
George and Erma continued their long marriage until Erma died aged eighty-eight in 1998. George passed away aged ninety-five on 23rd December, 2006. Ian helped produce the obituary that appeared in the South China Morning Post following George's  death.
"I attended the memorial service for George in Vancouver on 6th January, 2007, where I had been invited to give a eulogy. I handed out copies of the SCMP obituary and  George’s family, who knew little of his pre-Canadian life, was amazed and proud to learn of his exciting life on the other side of the world over 60 years earlier."

The Wedding Group

The Best Man  -  Lionel Schnachner Le Gay Brereton (9/9/1914 - 25/4/1979)
He was best man at the wedding. In the photographs, he looks slim, earnest and even a little glum.  He was the son of John Le Gay Brereton (1871-1933) a well-known and distinguished Australian professor of English Literature at the University of Sydney as well as being a writer and poet of some acclaim. Lionel became a well known reporter in later life and I imagine he was on the staff of SCMP or one of the other newspapers in Hong Kong when he attended George's wedding. As an Australian, he might also have served with George in the ANZAC Coy, HKVDC.  He was married at the time of the wedding to Elaine Moffitt and they had a son, Christopher, born in November 1938. He appears to have left Hong Kong before war broke out. 

The Bridesmaid  -  Winifred ('Winnie') Lawson
She was a close friend of Erma in Hong Kong but other than that we know little about her. Her family were long term residents of Hong Kong. Her father William Lawson was a Master Mariner. The family appears to have left Hong Kong before war started. There is a record of her sailing from London to Shanghai in January 1940. She gives her address as 14, Clarence Road, Dundee and her occupation as stenographer. She was born in 1909 and was twenty-nine-years old at the time of the wedding. George's daughter Dianne recalls visiting Winnie with her mother during a trip to Scotland in the 1960s. Apparently, she had been jilted at the altar and never recovered. She never married and when Erma and Dianne visited her in Dundee, she was living alone in an old stone cottage.

The Flower Girl  -  Anne Wilson
She was the flower girl. Nothing else is known about her. She does not appear to have been in Hong Kong at the outbreak of war in December 1941. She might have been evacuated in July 1940.

Giving away the Bride  -  Mr Tom Parkinson 
The bride was given away by Mr Tom M. Parkinson. There was a Thomas Parkinson born in 1889 who was interned in Stanley Camp 1942-1945 and this could well be the same person. He would have been aged around fifty at the time of the wedding. The person depicted in the wedding photo looks to be in the fifty-years-old range. The Thomas Parkinson in Stanley Camp was a retired Accountant. George recalls that Tom Parkinson was a Regimental Sergeant Major in the HKVDC.

Tom Parkinson (centre) with Erma Hadley (Courtesy: Giffen family)
Matron of Honour  -  Miss M Clark
The wedding report describes her as 'Miss'. I note there was a Margaret Clark in Stanley Camp though    she was denoted as 'Mrs' on the Stanley Camp Log. This could be an error and since the age fits, it could be the same person. 

The Organist  -  Rupert Baldwin
In 1927, he is described as the  Organist and Choir Master for St Andrew's Church.  The choir achieved a good reputation under his guidance. He wrote the school song in 1938 for the London Missionary Society-founded Ying Wa School. I assume he might have been music teacher at the school. He does not appear to have been in Hong Kong in WW2 and his name does not appear on the Stanley Camp list.

The Soloist  -  Mr A. J. Gwyther
He was the soloist who sung The King of Heaven at the wedding. As far as I can tell, he was not in Hong Kong when war started in December 1941 and I have not been able to find any information about him.

The Officiating Priest  -  Rev. John Leonard Wilson
He was known by his middle name of Leonard. Leonard Wilson and his wife Mary and infant daughter Susan arrived in Hong Kong in late 1934. He became  Dean of St John's Cathedral. In 1940 he travelled with the evacuated women and children from Hong Kong via Manila to Australia. In 1941, he was appointed Bishop of Singapore and was there when the Japanese captured Malaya and the once-thought impregnable fortress of Singapore. His wife and three children managed to get away to Australia in an overcrowded ship.  Initially, he was allowed to continue his ministry but after a while was interned at Changi Camp. In 1943 he was arrested by the Kempei-tai. He was accused of being a spy, interrogated and tortured. After the war he became Dean of Manchester and later Bishop of Birmingham. He passed away aged seventy-two in August 1970.

Mr & Mrs MacKechnie
We know very little about about Mr and Mrs Mackechnie. Neither was wearing carnations, and so they were not officiating guests. Perhaps they had a role as witnesses. We don't know, but presumably they were important guests since they were included in the wedding group photograph. Dianne, George's eldest daughter says Erma met them on the ship to Hong Kong and they might have been American  as they boarded at San Francisco. They travelled on the  MV Jutlandia, a Danish vessel, built in 1912 for the East Asiatic Company, which sailed from San Francisco on 7th February 1934.

MV Jutlandia (Source:
Dianne also believes they may have been Erma's friends from church. Erma was a devout Christian Scientist.  Perhaps the Mackechnies were returning Hong Kong residents. There were a number of people with the Mackechnie name in pre-war Hong Kong. There was a John Campbell Mackechnie (1/8/1871 - 30/11/1940). He would have been sixty-seven at the time of the wedding - but there is nothing definite to link  him to the Mr and Mrs  Mackechnie in the wedding photograph.

The Gill and Giffen families today

George and Erma's daughters Dianne and Linda both became teachers and have several children and grandchildren. After some twenty years as a journalist, Ian had a twenty-year career with the Asian Development Bank in Manila. He and his wife Jean have two children, whose middle names include Giffen. Ian has visited his Canadian family several times, the latest occasion in April 2014.

Ian Gill's family with his younger sister Linda Sverdrup (centre)  - 17th April 2014

The families of Ian Gill and his sister Dianne Fowler in Vancouver - 10th April 2014


My thanks to George's children Ian Gill, Dianne Fowler and Linda Sverdrup for the photographs and family information and to Ian for helping me put this story together. Thanks are also due to Brian Edgar for locating the press article describing the wedding and for helping me with information and queries over the years. 

Friday, 23 October 2015

Stanley Military Cemetery - Hong Kong

Stanley Military Cemetery

  A guide to the graves of civilian internees 
 who died at Stanley Internment Camp
  (1942 - 1945)

Stanley Military Cemetery (Writer's Collection)
Stanley Military Cemetery was established at the time of the First Opium War and dates back to the very beginnings of Hong Kong as a British Colony. The oldest grave is dated 1843. It was used as a military cemetery until 1866 after which it fell into disuse. There are still a number of Victorian graves belonging to soldiers from the garrison and their families and in many cases to young children who died from illnesses.

The Cemetery was used again in WW2 for burials of civilian internees from Stanley Camp who died during incarceration and later for military burials of British and Commonwealth war dead whose bodies were re-buried here after the war had ended. Initially the graves were marked by wooden crosses and later by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) memorial Portland stone slabs we see today. The military graves are smartly aligned. The civilian internee graves are less symmetrically aligned, less ordered and are mostly marked by the rough hewn granite blocks that were placed there during WW2.

All the graves are well cared for and the cemetery well maintained. In 2006  a series of commemorative wall blocks were added on which are inscribed the names of more than 2,400 Chinese who went missing or died in both World Wars and who have no known grave many of whom died at sea whilst serving on Allied merchant ships and Royal Navy warships. Some 940 were men of the Chinese Labour Corps who died in WW1. How fitting that these Chinese who died in WW1 and WW2 should be remembered in this place. They also served.

The Hong Kong Memorial to Chinese dead of WW1 and WW2 who died serving with no known grave
(Writer's Collection)
There are 121 graves of civilian internees who were incarcerated in Stanley Camp. Many of the deaths in Camp were of older people suffering from illnesses related to malnutrition. The granite memorial stones that mark the graves of civilian war dead from Stanley Camp were fashioned by a Russian Police Officer, George Robinson who had changed his name by deed poll before the war. "He was a quiet, rather pensive melancholy sort of person who spent his time in the little graveyard carving headstones,observed Mutal Fielder in ‘Barbed Wire Between Us’ by Derek Round. These stones still survive the test of time.

The rough-hewn granite slabs erected during WW2 that mark the graves of civilian internees (Writer's Collection)
The cemetery was included within the grounds of the civilian internment camp. It was a place that internees came to find solace, to look out to sea and to think of loved ones and happier days and perhaps to dream of freedom from a wretched incarceration. It was a place where some came for romantic assignations and it was a place where many ended up never to return. It was always a peaceful place and Stanley Military Cemetery remains a beautiful and serene spot set on a hill overlooking Stanley Bay but it also reminds us of those dark days of war, incarceration, brutality and suffering and of those who never came back. 

Stanley Cemetery in the 1950s the military graves are marked by crosses (Courtesy: Margaret Moore)
A photo taken from the same spot today (Writer's Collection)

Guide to Graves of Civilian Internees

Anderson, (Captain) Joseph Stewart (20/9/1894 - 30/12/1944)
He was Master of SS Patricia Moller. He died aged fifty of pneumonia and an ulcer in the duodenum. His declared personal friend in Camp was Sydney G. C. Wenman with whom he shared a billet in Block 9 Room 51. He was husband of Isabelle Clow Anderson of Glasgow.

Balean, (Dr) Hermann (13/3/1875 – 30/1/1945)
He was a Medical Doctor. He was in Camp with his wife Isabel and they were billeted in Block 18 Room 10. He worked in St Stephen’s Temporary Hospital during the fighting but was moved to Stanley Prison Hospital with Dr Ashton-Rose and eleven of the more serious cases on 22nd December at the instigation of Dr Hackett thus avoiding the Christmas Day massacre.

(Writer's Collection)
Barber, Norman Charles (10/3/1899 - 3/5/1945)
He was a Christian Scientist. His occupation is stated as ‘office staff.’ He died aged forty-six. Apparently he refused to have an operation for cancer of the tongue, presumably as a matter of principle. He was billeted in Block 2 Room 12 with his wife Mary Cecily Barber who was a teacher at Diocesan Girls School (DGS).

Barrow, Oriana Elizabeth (22/3/1942 – 9/7/1942)
She was the infant daughter of Nursing Sister Katherine Eleanor Barrow who was the wife of Lt John Barrow, Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corp (HKVDC). "Mrs Barrow's baby Oriana died this morning, of water on the brain. Mrs Barrow took it very quietly, she had been expecting the death." (Source: Barbara Redwood's Diary for July 1942.) There is a letter (Source: National Archives – CO 980/53) from Mrs Elsa Stanton (American repatriate) to General Barrow saying that both his daughter-in-law and baby granddaughter were well and enclosing a snapshot of each. This is an interesting comment, as cameras were not allowed in Stanley Camp and such snapshots were very rare. The baby died aged only four months. John Barrow, a Cadet Officer in HK Government stayed on in Hong Kong after the war ended (and is included on a list of civil servants remaining in Hong Kong as at 26 January 1946).

Batty-Smith, (Captain) Sydney Harry (26/10/1890 – 12/2/1945)
He was Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to His Excellency the Governor Sir Mark Young and also to his predecessor, Sir Geoffrey Northcote. John Stericker (‘Captive Colony’) writes "as a prisoner of war in the First World War, his name will be found amongst those who took part in various exciting attempts to escape from certain prison camps in Germany about which several books have been written." In WW1 he served with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He had trained as a pilot obtaining the Royal Aero Club Aviators Certificate in November 1913. Between the wars he served as a School Master. There are records of travel with his mother but he does not appear to have ever married.

(Writer's Collection)
Blair, Mabel Evelyn  (14/2/1886 – 13/10/1942)
She died aged fifty-six. She was married to Kenneth George Blair with whom she shared a billet in Block 2 Room 16. They were long-term residents of Hong Kong. Kenneth Blair is described as the proprietor of a business, Blair & Co. A 1953 advertisement for Blair & Co. Ltd depicted on the Industrial History of Hong Kong web site describes it as Import-Export Merchants and Insurance Agents with offices in Hong Kong and London.

Blyth, John (30/5/1900 – 4/5/1942)
He was an Engineer in the Merchant Navy. He died aged forty-two of heart failure. There was an Albert Blyth in Camp with a date of birth of 1904 and I assume he was a younger brother.

Bond, Charles (1873-29/1/1942)
He worked for Dodwell & Co Wines & Spirits. He died of heart failure aged sixty-nine. His was the first death in Stanley Internment Camp barely a week after the camp opened. He was interned with his wife Alice Amelia Bond. "He could be Charles Emerald Dana described on Page 105 of ‘Hong Kong Aftermath’ by Wenzell Brown. If he is Wenzell Brown's 'Charles Emerald Dana', then he was a retired businessman who was badly treated when the Japanese entered his home." (Source: Brian Edgar).

Broom, John McCullum (18/9/1882 – 17/9/1944)
He was Second Officer serving on SS Mausang. He was billeted in Block 16 Room 3. He died aged sixty-one of beri-beri and malnutrition. His close personal friend on the medical report is given as Mrs Maud Lucas of Block 3 Room 2 who had been Manageress of the Hong Kong YMCA. His next of kin was his sister, Miss M. Broom living in Scotland. His possessions were handed to Mrs Lucas except for a set of dentures, which were handed over for future use by the Dental Clinic and a desk for use by the sanatorium. The medical notes indicate he was admitted to hospital suffering from dementia in June, discharged in July, readmitted in August with manic depression including persecution mania and then developed beri-beri.

Buchanan, George (20/3/1875 – 25/10/1942)
He was a Marine Surveyor. He died aged sixty-seven of thrombosis. Buchanan shared a room with Father Tohill. "We shared (a room) with two Scotsmen, one of whom was called Buchanan, his grave is in Stanley Cemetery." (Source: Father Tohill’s Diary). "He had been a Consulting Engineer and Marine Surveyor before the war. His daughter, Ina, returned to Hong Kong after the war and became Private Secretary to Governor Sir Alexander Grantham". (Source: Brian Edgar). His son Robert was killed when the launch Jeanette carrying explosives from Green Island was accidentally blown up having been fired on by British troops from a harbour-side pillbox.

Bush, Albert Edward (13/10/1894 – 23/9/1942)
He was licensee of the Hong Kong Bowling Alleys Lockhart Road and Jaffe Road. He was admitted to Stanley Camp Hospital on 14th August 1942. He died several weeks later aged forty-eight. Final diagnosis was toxaemia, diarrhoea and hepatic insufficiency.

Byrne, (Professor) George Thomas (2/6/1885 – 1/6/1944)
He was a Professor of Chemistry at Hong Kong University. He and his wife Ethel were billeted in Block 18 Room 15. He was aged fifty-nine at time of death. He suffered a coronary occlusion. "Rice grinding was tedious and for the elderly, an exhausting chore. In June 1944, Professor Byrne had the ultimate misfortune of dropping dead from a heart attack while grinding rice to make a cake for his 60th birthday." (Source: George Wright-Nooth. The Death Certificate mentions that he was grinding rice on the veranda outside the room. After a few minutes his friends heard him call out for help and they saw him collapse. He was placed on a bed and given First Aid. Doctor Milne soon arrived and ordered a stimulant be given. A short while later Doctor Montgomery arrived and announced life extinct. 

Cameron, Christina  (10/1/1898 – 12/3/1943)
She was Scottish. She died of heart failure following an operation aged forty-five. She left a husband John James Cameron and one child Moira aged ten. They shared a billet in Block 5 Room 5 with Christina’s sister Miss Isabella Cruickshank. They shared this room with another couple John and Elsie Gelling. Elsie Gelling wrote in a letter to her daughter in England dated 30/4/43, "Mrs Cameron passed away in March, after an operation. It was a terrific shock. Moira is well looked after by her Auntie  (Isabella Cruickshank) and her Daddy."

Carey, Albert Edward (28/1/1901 – 13/12/1944)
He was a police officer. He was billeted in Block 17 Room 14.  He died aged forty-three. "Mr A.E. Carey died; he had hung on for a long time - got over the typhus, but developed gangrene of arm". (Source: Barbara Redwood's Diary December 1944.)  There is a note in the Medical Records to Corporal Saito for attention of Mr Hasagawa saying, "I beg to inform you that Mr A.E. Carey who is dangerously ill from typhus has expressed a desire to drink a glass of beer. I would be grateful if Lt Hara could arrange to supply two or three bottles of Japanese beer for this purpose. It may be instrumental in saving his life." (Signed by Camp Medical Officer). His next of kin was Mrs A. Carey, Melbourne, Australia. His declared personal friend in Camp was Inspector W. N. Darkin (Block 17 Room 13).

Chalmers, Isaac (24/7/1874 – 15/7/1944)
He was a Master Mariner, Merchant Navy. He had served as Master of SS Whithorn. In Camp he was billeted in Block A2 Room 24. He died of sudden heart failure, malnutrition and an inguinal hernia, which had been operated on five days before he died. He was aged sixty-nine. He was born in Scotland. His declared personal friend in Camp was Mr W. J. Keates (Block A1 Room 18). Medical records show his condition after the operation was satisfactory but that he died suddenly of heart failure.

Clark, John Car (1878 – 8/6/1943)
He was a proprietor of Clark & Liu Architects. He died aged sixty-five. His wife Marion Clark was not on the Camp list and I believe she was moved to the French Hospital.

Clarke, Anthony (Dec 42 – 14/12/42)
He died aged 12 days following a premature birth. He was the son of Goscomb Goddard Clarke and Mildred Liu. Goscomb Clarke is described as an ‘ex-police officer’. He reportedly divorced his wife Mildred Liu in Stanley Camp (Source: Greg Leck's List). A note in the Police War Diary states that he was dismissed from Hong Kong Police Service. A second child was born in camp to Goscomb and Mildred in January 1944.

Copland, James (7/11/1898 – 8/10/1943)
He was a Marine Engineer with Jardine Matheson. He died aged sixty-two from tropical macrocytic anaemia. His next of kin was his niece, Miss Eva Copland in Tocoma, Washington, USA and a cousin Christina Wishart in Aberdeen, Scotland.  He was a Scottish Presbyterian. His identified friend in Stanley Camp was Professor Walter Brown, a Maths Professor who was billeted in Block 8 Room 2.

Cressall, Paul Ewart Francis (2/5/1893 – 8/4/1943)
He was a Supreme Court Judge. He was billeted in Block A3 Room 44. He lived before the war at 153, The Peak. He died aged forty-nine of paralysis. The paralysis started in his legs and then moved to the rest of his body including his lungs. The disease was diagnosed as spreading paralysis of the spinal cord. His wife was Olga Bertha Victoria Cressall who was not in Camp. "Cressall caused trouble in the kitchen and staff walked out." (Source: RE Jones Diary for 11th March). Several months before the war he had been appointed as Chairman of the Public Enquiry relating to corruption in the Public Works Department and the Air Raid Precautions (ARP) Department. This was seen as a major scandal at the time and was one of several reported cases of corruption within Government Departments. According to George Wright-Nooth he was in some public disfavour due to his perceived forceful handling of the affair and there had been criticism in the Press at the time over this. The findings had not been published by the time war began and the draft findings were taken into Camp by Paul Cressall but after his death were never seen again and after the war the enquiry was dropped. During his internment Paul Cressall wrote a collection of verse, which is now held in the Hong Kong Public Records Office (HK PRO). He had been a keen cricketer and had played for British Guiana. His declared friends in Camp were Mr S.T. Williamson (a ship-owner of Block A3 Room 44) and Mr J.A. L. Concannon (an Architect with PWD of Block 8 Room 2).  I would have thought these two gentlemen would have inherited all his possessions in Camp including the draft findings. His next of kin outside Camp was his wife Olga Cressall of Georgetown, British Guiana although by 1943 she was living in London where she passed away in 1955. Stericker writes in ‘Captive Colony’ that Cressall was "a recently appointed Puisne Judge. He had come to Hong Kong after colonial service in Palestine (and British Guiana) and had been appointed Chairman of the much-publicized ARP Commission of Enquiry."
(Writer's Collection)
Cunningham, Agnes Mary (11/3/1877 – 25/7/1944)

She was Scottish, born in Edinburgh to Peter and Jane Kelly. She married Charles Stuart on 31st October 1903. She married Robert Cunningham a police officer in Hong Kong some time before the war. She died aged sixty-seven. Her next of kin was her husband forty-four year old Robert Cunningham who was also in Camp. Agnes was twenty-three years his senior. She also had a daughter in Camp, Miss Marjory Jeannette Stuart (Block 5 Room 20). Agnes died from nutritional enteritis and anaemia. There was also a suggestion of senility. On the medical records there is a letter from Robert Cunningham (Police Inspector). "Age is not in accordance with the facts supplied by me and I query the primary cause of death (senility) as my wife's mind was perfectly clear and normal until the course of her illness affected it. Miss Marjory Stuart associates herself with me in this protest". Robert Cunningham had originally had a romantic relationship with Marjory Stuart but to people’s surprise he later married her mother.

(Writer's Collection)

Dabelstein, Winifred Evelyn (30/10/04 – 21/9/1944)
She died of tuberculosis (TB) aged thirty-nine and was also suffering from malnutrition, beri-beri and anaemia. Her medical records show she had been ill with TB since before 1934. In 1935, she had received treatment in Vienna and in 1936 she had received treatment in Japan but to no avail. She had been under the care of Dr Helen Canaval at Fanling. She was admitted to Tweed Bay in July 1942 and worsened over time although in April 1943 her condition improved enough for her to go on short walks. Her medical report is a litany of suffering and illness. Her close personal friend in Camp was Mrs Edna Grant billeted in Block 5 Room 25. Her husband Lionel Dabelstein was in Sham Shui Po (SSP) military POW camp.

Dann, Achilles George (11/11/1888 – 7/12/1944)
He is described as a commercial traveller. He died aged fifty-six of arteriosclerosis and cardiac failure. He was British/Maltese. His declared friend in Camp was Mr F. C. Atkinson (Block A2 Room 22). He had quite a lot of possessions by camp standards, which went to the declared friend. 

Deacon, Stuart (15/4/1885 – 24/4/1942)

He was a retired Engineer with Hong Kong Electric. He died aged fifty-seven of heart failure at Tweed Bay Hospital. He was father to Irene Braude (Commander of the HKVDC Nursing Detachment). He was married to Florence Maud Deacon who was also in Camp.

(Writer's Collection)
Denton, Camille Tweed (2/4/1942 – 7/6/1942)
She died aged two months. She was the daughter of Ivy Denton née Thirlwell whose family were also in Camp. Ivy was first married to John Wright-Brown, a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.  She later had a relationship with Bombardier Joseph Denton, Royal Artillery who was in POW camp.  He had served with the battery on Mount Davis. Ivy changed her name to Denton.

Dockrill, Walter Roy (1877 – 11/8/1942)
He was a retired Colonel in the Royal Engineers and a Merchant (in the lumber business). He and his wife Margaret were Canadian Nationals. She was in Camp but after his death she was repatriated to Canada in 1943. He died aged sixty-five from cancer.

Donaldson, Thomas (10/9/1871 – 22/10/1943)
He was a Master Mariner employed by Tai Sang Steamship Company. He died aged seventy-two and was survived by his wife, Mrs Elizabeth Florence Donaldson and daughter Miss E. F. Donaldson with the same first names. They were both in Camp.  He also had a son Mr L.A.C. Donaldson who was in Vancouver, Canada. Thomas Donaldson died from cirrhosis of the liver and cardiac failure. He also had beri-beri.

Duncan, Maria Anne (23/9/1872 – 13/10/1944)
She was married to Robert Duncan who was in Camp. She died of heart disease and hypertension aged seventy-two. Next of kin out of camp was her son, L. A. R. Duncan working for Asiatic Petroleum Co, in Cebu, Philippines and a daughter-in-law living in Canada.

Edmondston, David Charles  (1890 – 29/8/1944)
He was Deputy Manager of HSBC. He was accused along with his boss Sir Vandeleur Grayburn of smuggling funds into Stanley Camp and they were both incarcerated in Stanley Main Prison. He died of malnutrition and mistreatment aged fifty-four. He was husband to Kathleen Helen Edmondston of Westminster, London. Emily Hahn somewhat irreverently describes him during her efforts to get into the Hong Kong Bank Building. "I was stopped by a fierce looking gent in a tin helmet. What do you want - he demanded. Somewhat surprised I stared at him. I couldn't have known this was Edmondston, Vice President of that august bank. All I saw was a funny man with a moustache, a bit of a pot, and a scared frown" (Source: Emily Hahn in ‘China to Me’). At the time of writing Emily Hahn was not to know the fate of Edmondston otherwise she might have been less acerbic in print. She describes trying to get money from HSBC and talking to Sir Vandeleur Grayburn and Edmondston but Edmondston was violently opposed to letting her have the money "because said Edmondston passionately - Boxer treated his wife disgracefully, and I for one do not intend to overlook it." (Source: Emily Hahn in ‘China To Me’). Emily Hahn had a public affair that resulted in a child with Major Charles Boxer the head of Army Intelligence.  Medical records state - the body was released from Stanley Prison on Wednesday 30th Aug 1944 having died in prison on 29th August. The cause of death was described as beri-beri and nutritional anaemia. He had been sentenced to fifteen years hard labour later reduced to ten years.

(Writer's Collection)
Ellis, Leontine  (1893 – 17/8/1942)
She was a Jewish lady who was in camp with her father Frederick and sisters Grace and Sophie. All three sisters were members of the Nursing Detachment (ND) of HKVDC. She died of cancer aged forty-nine. "I left the Fort (Mount Davis) during an air raid to go to the Cathay Hotel to pick up some kit.  Miss Ellis, the proprietor (of the Cathay Hotel), just out of hospital, very defeatist and thinks more of her money than the outcome of the war". (RSM Enos Charles Ford war diary) .

Engdahl, Felix Russell  (Russ)  (28/7/1907 - 14/5/1942)

He was a member of the US Consular staff based in Shanghai. He died as a result of a fractured skull following a fall in his quarters. He was billeted with other consular staff in St Stephen’s Prep School situated just above St Stephen’s Beach. “Engdahl was returning to Shanghai after a consular business visit to Hong Kong when war was declared. His ship was captured and he was returned to Hong Kong. His family was in the States. On May 14th he fell down a flight of stairs at the Consulate internment quarters and died of a fractured skull. The Japanese allowed a casket to be sent in from town. This was the only decent burial at Stanley" (Source: George Baxter – ‘Personal Experiences During the Siege of Hong Kong’). "Mrs Engdahl belonged to the same sorority as I in college, and I had seen Russ many times in Shanghai" (Gwen Dew). He joined the Foreign Service in December 1930 and was assigned to Shanghai in October 1935 and was later promoted to Consul.

(Writer's Collection)
Evans,  Violet May  (27/7/1902-6/4/1943)
She worked as a Records Clerk for Jardine Matheson. She was wife of Harold Alfred Evans who worked for the Royal Naval Dockyard. He died in POW camp. "A sad loss was that of Vi Evans, one of our most cheerful entertainers on the Stanley stage" (Source: Mabel Redwood ‘It was like this’). She died following an operation aged forty. "Last week, a coroners inquest was held into the death of a Mrs Evans who died on the operating table due to the lack of oxygen, which the Authorities will not supply to the hospital." (George Gerard’s Diary May 1943)  Her declared friend in Camp was Mrs D. Wilson of Block 4 Room 24.

Faid, (Professor) William (Bill)  (30/9/1893 - 23/7/1944)
He was a Professor of Physics at Hong Kong University. He was billeted in Block 18 Room 14 with his wife Jeanne Emilie, a Maths Lecturer. He died as a result of a fall. His death certificate from Tweed Bay Hospital reveals that Professor William Faid died from extensive fractures of the base and vault of the skull with severe brain injuries, compatible with a fall from a height. He died aged fifty-one. An Enquiry was held in Camp. “Mr Hugh Pegg who resided in the next room to Mr and Mrs Faid had discussed setting up a garden on the roof. They had driven angle irons into the wall leading up to the roof from the back veranda. The angle irons were driven in and cemented. They were perfectly safe and strong. He was quite used to going up and down this stairway. The roof was also used for drying clothes." (Source: HKRS 163-1-303). Mrs Faid stated, "During the heavy rains the roof had leaked. Professor Faid decided to repair it using pitch. I saw him fall. He was wearing rubber-soled shoes, which were two sizes too big for him. They were also wet.” (Source: HRS 163-1-303). He died within a few minutes of his arrival at Tweed Bay Hospital.  

Fancey, John (Jack) (18/7/1917 – 20/4/1942)
He was a clerk at Whiteway Laidlaw. He died of TB aged twenty-four. His mother Beatrice Victoria was in Camp, her husband James Stewart Fancey was a POW. "Jack Fancey died early this morning. He had spent his last days, cheerfully, on a bed near the veranda on first floor ward of the hospital, overlooking the sea." (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary and subsequent notes)

Fisher, Frederick Alfred William (25/4/1868 – 31/5/1942)
A retiree, he died aged seventy-four. He served with ARP and I believe he was a Civil Service Pensioner. Very little information is known about him.

Flaherty, Michael (Mick) (15/8/1898 – 22/6/1944)
He was a Police Sergeant. He developed Hodgkin’s disease and died aged forty-six. His wife, a Chinese lady, was involved in the black market trading within camp. She paid for a coffin, which he had asked for and he was one of only two in Stanley to be buried in a coffin (the other was Engdahl). "Mr M. Flaherty died of Hodgkin's disease much fuss over his coffin, apparently made from a questionable source (all furniture now being strictly communal) - there was a Tribunal case over it, against Mr L. Nielson)." (Source: Barbara Redwood Diary).  "Flaherty buried, and in a coffin too. Many moons since coffins were seen, rice bags are the usual thing. The wood was more or less stolen for this coffin anyway."  (Source: RE Jones Diary).

(Writer's Collection)
Forbes, Duncan Douglas (22/8/1886 – 27/6/1943)
He was Scottish and worked with Andersen Meyer & Co. He died aged fifty-six suddenly of acute encephalitis. Dr Balean had been attending Duncan Forbes in his quarters, but as his temperature rose, he sent him to hospital where he was under the care of Dr Barwell who called in Dr Dean Smith and Dr Greaves. Doctors Pringle, Loan, Uttley were also consulted. "He used to be on the stout side but recently became thin having lost forty-two pounds, and in spite of many extras in the food line that he had been sent from outside Camp far above what his room mates have received, he steadily lost weight." (Medical Records Tweed Bay Hospital).

Foster, George Bertram (22/11/1895 – 8/7/1944)
He was a prison officer. He died from typhus aged forty-eight. He had fought in Stanley Village with the Stanley Platoon. His declared personal friend was Mr L.G. Batten (Block 9 Room 41). His next of kin was Mrs G. B. Foster of Harrowgate, England.

Frain, Albert Victor (15/5/1897 – 23/7/1945)
He was 2nd Officer on SS St Vincente de Paul. He was mentally ill. "Albert Victor Frain died this afternoon.  Poor man, he'd gone ga-ga and had to be accommodated in a tiny room on the ground floor of the hospital, with a minder." (Source: Barbara Redwood's Diary with later annotations).

Gibson, James Smith (6/8/1872 – 6/3/1945)
He was an architect. He was in Camp with his wife Alice Maud Gibson and they were billeted in Block A2 Room 27. He died aged seventy-two.

Gill, Brian Patrick Hirst   (31/7/1940 – 9/5/1944)
Brian was the nearly four-year-old son of Louise Mary (‘Billie’) Gill and Arthur (‘Paddy’) Gill, a warrant officer with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps that had been transferred from Hong Kong to the British Expeditionary Force in Europe in early 1940. Brian drowned in the freshwater pool just above Tweed Bay Beach. His mother was at one of the bungalows while a friend from the Catholic Action Group took Brian for an afternoon at the beach to give her a break. "I saw his little body brought to the hospital on a stretcher. Father Meyer made him a coffin out of the drawer from a chest-of-drawers, lining it with bunched-up white satin." (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary) “The camp was filled with tremendous grief and shock, and the children were affected terribly. The pool was a fresh-water man-made pool on the hillside a little above the beach, generally used for swimming and wading by the younger children. Soon after, the beach at Tweed Bay was declared off-limits." (Source: Allana Corbin, Prisoners of the East).

Billie Gill at Brian's grave at a Remembrance Service in1995 (Courtesy: Ian Gill)
Goodwin, Charles Henry  (18/2/1899 – 26/6/1944)
He was a Sub Inspector in the Hong Kong Police. He died aged forty-four. His declared personal friends in Camp were (1) Thomas Cashman of Block 17 Room 12 and (2) Douglas Fitches Block 11 Room C. His next of kin out of camp was Mr R. Goodwin of Sheffield, England. He had been admitted to hospital for abdominal pains on two occasions. He became extremely emaciated and was admitted to Tweed Bay Hospital on 23rd June.  He died following an operation. His death was due to leaking gastric ulcers. His belongings were passed to Mr Thomas Cashman. Just before his imprisonment he married a lady from Kowloon called Kwong Yuet. A number of policemen married their Chinese mistresses before the war began so that they would be afforded some protection. She was an inmate at Rosary Hill Red Cross Home.

Grayburn,  (Sir) Vandeleur Molyneux (1881 – 21/8/1943)

He died aged sixty-two. He was husband of Lady Grayburn (née Mellor). He was Chief Manager of HSBC. According to Elma Kelly (RTHK Interview) he wanted to send money to the War Memorial Hospital (WMH) nurses (his wife had been a matron there for many years) in Stanley Camp. He entrusted the money to Edward Streatfield (Sub Accountant) who gave it to a Doctor who was out of Camp for medical treatment (I assume this was Dr Talbot who was arrested at same time). Elma Kelly describes how the money should have been secreted in a specially made waistcoat. He did not follow the instructions and he used some of the money to buy food, which he brought into Camp. He was searched when he entered Camp and the money was discovered. Streatfield and Grayburn were arrested and sentenced to three months hard labour in Stanley Prison where Grayburn died. Grayburn was first held by the Kempetei and then on 13th April 1943 was taken by car to Stanley Prison. Sir Vandeleur died of beri-beri less than a week before the completion of his sentence.  Dr K.M. Uttley and Dr Dean Smith prepared the post mortem report. "The body was seen outside the mortuary beside the Prison. It was in a fairly advanced state of decomposition. Sir Vandeleur had been dead since 7:30 pm on 21st Aug 1943. There were no recent marks of violence. The body was very wasted. The appearance of the body was consistent with death from beri-beri."  (Medical Records of Tweed Bay Hospital)

(Writer's Collection)
Greenberg, Elsie Jean (1897 – 12/3/1942)
Mrs Greenberg died of cancer at the age of forty-six. She was a hotelier who sold her 44-room hotel, the Chardhaven Hotel previously known as the Airlie Hotel and later known as Barons Court Hotel in 1941 just before the war began. She sold the hotel because of ill health. "I was awakened (on December 8, 1941), in the saggy spring bed of my rather tatty lodging-house in Kowloon, pretentiously named ‘Baron's Court,’ by the thud of bombs" (Source: ‘My China Eye’ by Israel Epstein).

Groves, Doris  (17/11/1916 – 3/2/1944)
She died in childbirth aged twenty-eight. The child also died. She was married to Police Sgt Arthur Groves.  She had previously lost a child (Arthur) at birth. Her husband and three-year old child Joyce survived her. Norman Gunning refers to her as staying with Norman's wife ‘Nan’ at Betty Parks home on Barker Road, which came under intense shelling. When Norman Gunning went up there to check on them they were not there - "Nan and Doris Groves had scrambled up the hillside in the direction of Mt Gough and eventually found refuge with an elderly couple".

Groves, Arthur  (3/5/1942 – 4/5/1942)
Died less than one day old.  A second Arthur Groves died in childbirth alongside his mother in 1944.

Harmon, Thomas Victor (5/6/1897 – 21/11/1943)
He was a civil servant (Inspector of Furniture - Government Stores Dept.) He died aged forty-five of dysentery and pernicious anaemia. He had suffered from anaemia for the previous ten years. He was survived by his wife, Mary who was a pharmacist and also in Camp. "Captain Batty-Smith the Governor's ADC called in Thomas Harmon, the PWD's Inspector of Furniture and a Hungarian picture restorer by the name of Von Kobza Nagy to discuss concealment of the more valuable pictures from the Chater Collection." (Source: ‘The Story of Government House’ - Katherine Mattock and Jill Cheshire).

Hassard, Muriel (19/10/1885 – 26/8/1945)
She was Matron at Diocesan Boys School (DBS). She was a widow. She brought her pet dog (‘Missie’) into Camp. In ‘Stolen Childhoods’ (by Nicola Tyrer) it states that within six months the Camp Committee decreed that all domestic animals were to be put down. She had a sister in Camp Miss Winifred Margaret Sutton. Muriel Hassard died aged fifty-nine of cardiac failure.

Hazeland, Ernest Manning (21/4/1870 – 28/11/44)
He was married to Helen Clare Hazeland and they were billeted in Block 4 Room 3. He died aged seventy-four of senile cardiac failure. “He had been born in Hong Kong and lived there for almost the whole of his seventy odd years. Besides being an architect he was a keen Committee Member of the Fanling Hunt and Race Club". (Source: John Stericker, ‘Captive Colony’)

Hensen, Edith May  (28/2/1879 – 16/4/1944)
She was wife of Joseph (Joe) Henson who was one of the oldest POWs at SSP Camp. They are referred to in Charles Barman's Diary ‘Resist to the End’ as follows:   "Just as I was about to leave the Gun Club Hill Barracks, Mr and Mrs (Joe) Henson approached me and requested me to allow his wife and himself to escape to the Island of Hong Kong on one of the lorries. They were a fairly aged couple, each about sixty-five years of age. Joe Henson was an employee with the Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) Barrack Department at Shau Tau Kok." Her declared personal friend in Camp was Mrs D. Pengelly (Block 3). She died from nutritional anaemia and heart failure.

(Writer's Collection)
Humphreys, Elizabeth Agnes  (22/4/1890 – 8/5/1943)
She died aged fifty-three of dysentery, intestinal obstruction and respiratory failure. She was married to Alfred Humphreys they were billeted in Block 5 Room 4. They lived at 1A Chatham Path.

Humphreys, Bruna Rose (30/May/1889 – 15/10/1944)
She was wife of Ernest Humphries and sister to Alfred David Humphreys both in Camp. She died aged fifty-five from internal haemorrhage. She had had high blood pressure and irregular pulse for many years. She was admitted to Tweed Bay Hospital on 14th Oct and died the following day.  On the 14th she felt a twinge of pain in abdomen whilst working on her chatty. When she went to wash her hands she suddenly collapsed. Dr Hackett was summoned and found her unconscious in a cold sweat. On admission she complained of severe abdominal pain. A post mortem revealed extensive haemorrhage of the abdominal aorta.

Hyde,  Florence Eileen (8/7/1904 – 7/9/1944)
Died of cancer of the bowel (colon) at age forty. She left a son Michael aged six. Her husband (Charles Frederick “Ginger” Hyde), an employee of HSBC was executed in October 1943 having been accused of espionage. Lady Grayburn by then widowed looked after Michael Hyde. Close personal friend in Camp was declared to be Lady Muriel Grayburn (also Bungalow D).

Jackson, Herbert Winkfield  (27/10/1912 – 23/9/1945)

He was a Police Sgt who tragically died just after the war ended whilst still in Stanley Camp. He was swimming at Tweed Bay Beach when a shark attacked him. He died from shock and loss of blood after he was dragged ashore. "Some forty years ago when I was interviewing former Stanley internees, Mrs Irene Braude told me she was on the beach the day Sgt Jackson was attacked by the shark and helped to pull him out of the water.  The shark had bitten Jackson's leg and he bled to death." (Source: Geoffrey Emerson).  John Stanton, a teenage boy was also on the beach that day with his friends. "We heard a cry for help. We all jumped in and swam to the rock and splashed to frighten the shark off. We brought him back to the beach covered in blood, his left buttock missing." (Source: J.K. Stanton's Memoires IWM). An Australian newspaper reports that Captain A.M. Braude of HK Telephone Co rescued him. The news report goes on to say that large sharks have not been seen in Hong Kong bathing waters and it is believed this one followed a ship.

(Writer's Collection)
Jeffery,  Olive Susanna  (1910 – 4/1/1945)
She was a Nursing Sister. She died aged thirty-five from TB, which she had contracted before war began. She was born and brought up in Tottenham, London.

Johnson, (Major) Maurice Alfred  (26/4/1884 – 12/10/1944)
He was Manager of Otis Elevators (HK) and an officer in the Police Reserve. He was billeted in Bungalow C.  He died of TB aged sixty. He was known as ‘Monty.’ He was husband to Isabella Johnson who died on 16/1/1945 in the accidental bombing of Bungalow C. "Monty Johnson DSM, a Supt in the Police Reserve died from TB. Monty was one of my roommates in Bungalow C. There he used to spend most of the day playing piquet with Oscar Eager while ‘Belle’ his wife was the terror of the ladies room" (Source: George Wright-Nooth). The Medical Report shows he had suffered from malaria and towards the end of his life he had suffered constipation and anorexia in addition to TB in the lungs and kidneys.

Kershaw, William (16/6/1897 – 20/10/1942)
He was an employee of Government Stores. He died aged forty-five. "Poor Mr Kershaw died today, such a shame, as he almost got better and actually went out of hospital for a time." (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary)

Kirby, (Capt.) William Edward (11/5/1890 – 12/6/1944)
He was a Master Mariner and Secretary of China Coast Officers Guild. He was billeted in Block 10 Room 7. He died of malaria aged fifty-four. He was found in a state of collapse in his room in Block 10. He failed to respond to quinine treatment and died the same day. His next of kin out of Camp were his wife, Mrs Christina Kirby and daughter, Miss Phyllis Kirby; they were evacuated to Australia in 1940. His name appears on a list of Voluntary Workers in Eric MacNider's diary as being available to repair camp beds.

Knox, Thomas (14/8/1884 – 13/12/1944)
He was employed by Hong Kong & Kowloon Wharf and Godown Company as a Watchman. He and his wife Jessie were billeted in Block 18 Room 2.  He died aged sixty at Tweed Bay Hospital. "Thomas Knox died suddenly, leaving his little wife and sons in other camps". (Source: Barbara Redwood's Diary). He died of bronchial pneumonia. His next of kin outside Camp is Mr H. Knox of Swindon, Wiltshire and two sons William Thomas Knox (No 3 Coy HKVDC) and Douglas Haig Knox who were both in military POW Camp.

Lenfestey, Frederick Percival  (27/8/1886 – 27/8/1943)
The Harbour Office employed him. He died aged fifty-seven on his birthday from TB.  Declared personal friend in Camp was Mrs N. Elson. Next of kin out of Camp were a Mr F. A. Coleman of St Leonards on Sea, Sussex and Mrs N. Jones of Barry, Glamorgan. He had previously been a patient suffering from beri-beri, enteritis and tuberculosis. Mr Lenfestey had a Channel Islands background.

Lillicrap, Samuel (10/10/1889 – 22/12/1942)
He died from cancer aged fifty-three. He formerly worked for the Hong Kong Bowling Alley.

Livesey, Charles Frederick (7/11/1885 – 19/1/1945)
Died aged sixty. He was billeted in Block A2 Room 25. There is little information available about him.

Macnamara, Henry Charles (12/10/1888 – 16/7/1944)
He was a Barrister-at-law and billeted in Block 8 Room 27. He died aged fifty-five of typhus. “I always go to the lecture on Commercial Law given by H.C. Macnamara on Wednesday afternoons" (George Gerrard’s Diary). China Mail 17 Feb 1941 refers to the appointment of H. C. Macnamara to the Bench assigned to the Kowloon Magistracy to fill vacancies left by the transfer of Mr E. Himsworth and Mr K.M.A. Barnett to War Taxation Office. Macnamara, universally known as Mac, was a lawyer. An admissions note from Dr Rhys Jones Medical Officer of Block 8 asks for his patient (Macnamara) to be admitted and to be seen by Dr Loan. This was dated 15th July1943. It cites Macnamara's temperature as being 104 degrees Fahrenheit and pulse 100. He died the following day. His declared friend in Camp was Mrs Winifred MacLeod  (Block A Room K2).

Manners, Charles Manners (6/1882 – 21/11/1944)
He was a retired Army Major and Secretary and General Manager of HK & Kowloon Wharf & Godown Co. He was also member of Kowloon Residents Association. He was billeted in Block 2 Room 23. He was at the siege of Repulse Bay Hotel (with his wife) and was captured and marched across the Island from Repulse Bay to North Point. Later that day he and Andrew Shields agreed to go through the lines at the bequest of the Japanese and to call upon the General Officer in Command (GOC) and the Governor to surrender the Colony. This mission took place on the following day (Christmas Day). He was aged sixty-two at time of his death. He had been a Major in the Chinese Labour Corp in WW1 and a close friend of Noel Croucher. He was taken prisoner at Repulse Bay and then marched to Duro Paint Factory and then incarcerated at the Kowloon Hotel before moving to Stanley Camp. He reportedly had been married twice but little is known about his first marriage. His second marriage was to Agnes Margaret in Shanghai who was said to be a Chinese-looking Eurasian girl. His next of kin is given as Mrs W. C. Gomersall (sister-in-law) of 88, Museum Road, Shanghai and Mrs A. M. Manners (wife) c/o Swiss Consul General, Shanghai. His declared personal friend in Camp was Mrs Winifred (‘Bonnie’) Penny (Block 4 Room 13). She had married Richard Penny shortly before the war. He was a Private in the Middlesex Regiment and died as a POW on the Lisbon Maru.  She was in Camp with her parents, James Porter and Florence Robinson. Bonnie Penny was a private secretary working for HK & Kowloon Wharf and presumably Charles Manners’ private secretary. The cause of death for Major Manners was given as arteriosclerosis. Winnifred Penny as the declared friend in Camp inherited Major Manners’ possessions which I note included a fly swat, mirror, roll of toilet paper, enamel mug, tea pot, book of common prayer, hair brush, candle, soap box, pack of playing cards, slippers, dentures, bottle of sugar, two jars of Vaseline, tin of tea, shaving brush, razor, tooth brushes, tooth paste, two pillows, two blankets, four sheets, nine handkerchiefs and a pocket book containing Military Yen 49 (inter alia). The Medical Report states that he had led an active and busy life and that he was a man of abstemious habits although he had suffered from high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. In Camp he led a quiet existence. His wife Agnes had been transferred to Shanghai in December 1942.

Marriott, Henry (1880 – 13/2/1942)
He was a Sergeant in RN Dockyard Police and later of Kowloon Docks Police Force.  He died of heart failure aged sixty-two. Henry Marriott had been a well-known boxer in Hong Kong in the early 1900s known as ‘Kid Marriott.’ He was born in Nottingham, England around 1880. He served in the Boer War, as Private in the Sherwood Foresters. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).  He came to HK in the 1900s. He was married to Ida Taylor and had two daughters, Amy Mabel and Ida Rose Betty. His wife and daughters were evacuated to Australia.

Martin, Kathleen Louisa (29/4/1885 – 19/1/1945)
Born in Foochow, China. She was the daughter of Church Missionary Society (CMS) Missionaries in China. Her parents were killed together with one sister and one brother in 1895 when they were attacked in Kucheng, Fukien Province. During the attack Kathleen, only eleven-years old, rescued her sister, Mildred and her brother Evan Stewart.  In 1941 he was Headmaster of St Pauls School and Commanding Officer of No. 3 Coy HKVDC. Kathleen was married to Rev. E.W.L. Martin who was Warden and Chaplain of St Stephen’s College. During the fighting at Stanley “Rev. and Mrs Martin with Mr C.H. Tam and Mr D. Chan were in the hostel with the boys. Mr Tam had been a schoolmaster at St Stephen’s College for eighteen years and being an Old Boy was President of the Old Boys Association in 1941. He was killed on Christmas morning in the hostel. Four young servants who had been faithful helpers at the school and at Tweed Bay Hospital were also killed. Mr and Mrs Martin were arrested at daybreak on Christmas morning. They were tied up in a small room, and molested throughout the day. They were violently struck with the butt end of rifles on head, face and leg, and rendered almost unconscious. Mrs Martin received most severe blows and bruises, including a badly contused eye. At nightfall they were thrust into another small room with four European soldiers and eight Indians. The following day, after being tightly tied up and kept without food or drink for 36 hours, they were permitted to go to Tweed Bay Hospital where Mrs Martin was a Supervisor. The St Stephen’s boys lost their possessions but were allowed to make their way to their guardians in Hong Kong" (Source: John Stericker – ‘Captive Colony’).

(Writer's Collection)
Mason, Joseph (12/8/1900 – 5/8/1942)
He was a Marine Engineer. He died aged forty-two from a haemorrhage. "James (sic) Mason died in Indian Quarters this afternoon; according to rumour, he has Chinese family outside and had been trying to get them in here." (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary).

Mathews, (Lt-Col) Ernest Dudley (8/5/1875 – 6/1/1944)
He was a retired British Army Officer and Secretary of the Royal Hong Kong Golf Club. He and his wife Clara Elizabeth were billeted in Block 14 Room 3A. He died of hypertension, aged sixty-nine. His medical card at Tweed Bay Hospital shows he was admitted in 1942 for dysentery and hypertension. He was admitted in October 1943 and discharged four days later. He was readmitted on 31st Dec 1943 and died a week later of pneumonia, cardiac failure and hypertension. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School, served in WW1 and after retiring from the Army became Secretary of HK Golf Club in 1924.

McGowan, Lillian May (10/5/1896 - 5/12/1943)
She was Linen Store Manager at Queen Mary Hospital. She was in Camp with her husband John Ferguson and two children (Eurasian) from a previous marriage who were repatriated with the American Nationals. She and her husband were billeted in Block 5 Room 29. She died of breast cancer aged forty-seven. "Her daughter Betty (by her first husband) who was repatriated with the Americans together with her brother Jack, became very famous later on the London stage. She used Chin Yu as her stage name." (Source: Barbara Anslow).

Mitchell,  Ethel (27/6/1881 – 16/5/1942)
She was the widowed wife of Robert Frederick Bryan Mitchell. They had two sons and a daughter. One son, John Vanham Green Mitchell known as ‘Jack’ was a POW having served in the HKVDC (Signals Coy); the other son Alexander McGreggor Mitchell was a prison officer and had served in the Stanley Platoon of HKVDC but was incarcerated in Stanley Camp. He had married in Camp to Amy Matilda Mary Elizabeth Halliday in January 1942. They had two children Rosemary (1942) and Robert (1944). Ethel’s daughter was Constance Una Brown known as ‘Una’. She was in Camp with her baby daughter, Constance Annette who was born in October 1940. Her husband Harold Wilson Brown had served with No 4 Battery HKVDC and was killed in action on 17th December 1941. Una lived with her child and with her mother Ethel in Block 4 Room 5A, which was originally a servant’s room and though small at least provided privacy.

Morrison, Kenneth Sinclair (3/10/1886 – 15/2/1943)

He was a Director of HSBC. He was billeted in Block 15 Room 11. He died aged fifty-six of coronary thrombosis. "On Monday morning K.S. Morrison died suddenly when on his way to play the chanter at the Leprosarium.” (Source: George Gerard’s Diary). He was a former employee of Reiss, Bradley & Co as well as being a Director of HSBC. He was married to Phyllis Muriel Morrison and had two daughters (Alisa and Phyllis) and a son (Kenneth). Dr Watt, who he was teaching to play, found him dead near his bagpipes on the hillside near the Leprosarium and Tweed Bay Hospital. He was the Chieftain of the St Andrew’s Society.

(Writer's Collection)

Moss, John (20/8/1885 – 1/8/1944)
He was an ex-police officer working as a caretaker at Admiralty House. He was in Camp with his wife, Lily Beatrice. He died of TB and beri-beri aged fifty-eight.

Munze, Anton (1884 - 16/7/1942)
He was a Ships Officer in the Merchant Navy. He died of a haemorrhage. "An old man of the sea died today. He was tattooed almost from head to foot." (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary). He had a wife and family in Hong Kong (assumed to be Chinese).

(Writer's Collection)
Nelson, Reginald Trounce (7/10/1879 – 12/6/1943)
He was a retired official of China Maritime Customs. He was Scottish. He died aged sixty-three of malnutrition and macrocytic hypochromic anaemia. He had an adopted daughter in town Miss Ngai Mou Mun (also recorded as Miss Pansy Elsa Nelson of Top Floor Flat, 333 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai) and his declared friend in Camp was Miss Griffin (Block A2 Room 19).

Nicholas, Thomas Abedneger (15/5/1894 – 31/10/1942)
Died of TB aged forty-eight. He was with the Merchant Navy and was Chief Officer on MV Fook On.

Oates, Ewart Connors (‘Titus’) (31/7/1914 – 5/6/1944)
He was a Ships Officer Merchant Navy. He died of typhus aged thirty. His declared friend was Mrs Nobbins (Block 11).

Ogilvie, Alexander (13/8/1876 – 19/4/1942)
He owned a small business Ogilvie Musical Instruments Tuning and Repair. He died aged sixty-six of heart failure.

Osborn, John Joseph (17/2/1888 – 5/7/1945)
He was a Government Pensioner. He died aged fifty-eight. He was one of three sons of John Osborn who died in 1932. His brother, Alfred Richard was in camp with his wife and children. Another brother was ‘out of Camp’.

Overy, Hubert (1/9/1884 – 26/8/1945)
He was an employee of William Powell Outfitters. He was in Camp with his wife Blanche Josephine Overy and was billeted in Block 10 Room 16.

Owen-Hughes, John (15/3/1870 – 4/2/1945)

He died aged seventy-five. He was husband to Susan Ellen and they were billeted in Block A2 Room SQ4 (a servant’s quarter). He was a prominent businessman and LEGCO Member and long term resident of Hong Kong. "One day I visited Owen-Hughes’ house which was a bit down the hill from ours. It was a delightful home with a magnificent view over Hong Kong and across the mainland. Mr Owen-Hughes senior was about eighty and he and Mrs Owen-Hughes had come out from retirement in Britain to allow their son (who was now running the business) to go on leave to Australia. It was hard luck, they being caught like this especially at their age. Their son was away when Hong Kong was attacked.  Mr Owen-Hughes was ill in bed with bronchial trouble but we had an aperitif in the delightful sitting room where we chatted to Mrs Owen-Hughes and Mr Shepherd who was staying with them. Shepherd was an Englishman in the wool trade and now settled in Sydney, Australia where his wife and family were. He had spent several years in Shanghai in the wool trade and was a high-ranking mason. There was some big masonic meeting in Shanghai I believe, and Shepherd had come all the way from Australia to attend. His ship got caught in Hong Kong after hostilities started and he was a guest of Owen-Hughes, who was also a prominent mason. Owen-Hughes had some very good whiskey and he gave us several bottles during our stay on the Peak" (Source: Recollections of HW Johnston)

(Writer's Collection)

Owens, James (23/7/1900 – 17/4/1945)
He was British (Irish) aged forty-four at time of death. His next of kin was his wife, Mrs H. Owens living in Drogheda, Ireland. His simple list of possessions included three pairs of glasses, one set of false teeth, one enamel plate, one tooth brush, one comb, one enamel mug, two spoons, one tin of ‘wong tong’ (rock sugar), one tin of salt, one bottle of oil, 8/10 cigarettes, one box of matches, one razor, one leather letter case, one album, one prayer book, one rosary, one basket and his bedding and clothing.

Page, Harry William (22/11/1873 – 12/1/1945)
His wife Lillian Page had predeceased him. "He had retired from Dairy Farm (Shipping Department) before the war and stayed on in Hong Kong. After the war was over his few belongings and private papers were delivered in two brown parcels to a solicitor (Geoffrey Edmonds who was in the Trustee Department of HSBC). Among those scanty belongings were several promissory notes signed by various internees in Stanley Camp. On his next visit to England, Edmonds took these with him and managed to find all the signatories and to recover the money owed to the late Harry Page. Among his personal effects was a suede bound volume of a small 'history' which was written for the Company and published in Reading in 1919 together with several photographs - two portraits of Page which seemed to have been taken after his retirement and several group photographs."  (Source: ‘The Milky Way - The History of the Dairy Farm’ by Nigel Cameron)

Pedersen, Olaf Daniel (12/11/1891 – 15/8/1945)
He was Chief Engineer of SS Halldor and a Norwegian national. He was born in Arendal, Southern Norway. He married in 1919 in his hometown the marriage produced one child but the marriage was later dissolved.
        Olaf Pedersen (Courtesy Audun Urke taken  from
        a book commemorating Norwegian sailors who
lost their lives during WWII.

Olaf Pedersen's tombstone with surname slightly misspelt (Writer's Collection)

Pike, Alfred Charles Septimus (12/6/1881 – 22/10/1942)
He was a Marine Engineer. He was in Camp with his wife, Sarah Ann billeted in Block 5 Room 4. He died of aortic incompetence, heart failure, pleurisy and pneumonia aged fifty-nine.

Potter,  Marion (May 1862 – 17/8/1943)
Her occupation is stated as spinster of independent means. She had formerly been a schoolteacher. She lived on Cheung Chau Island. She died aged eighty-one and was one of the oldest internees in Stanley camp if not the oldest.  The cause of death was lymph adenoma and myocardial degeneration. Her declared friend in Camp was Mrs A.C. Franklin Block 4 Room 1. Her next of kin out of Camp was Mrs G. H. Potter of Blundell Sands, Liverpool. "Regarding Cheung Chau Island Evacuees: Some Caucasians from outlying islands were evacuated soon after the war started, by the police. Two former neighbours of mine remained on Cheung Chau, I suppose, because they had refused to leave. Miss Marion Potter, who was British, lived across the dusty road from us off on a small headland. She was a sweet old lady, always courteous but lived a lonely life. It was due to the seventeen cats that she kept  - they made such a powerful odour of scat, that it stung the eyes in the face of the sea breeze, and may as well have been a moat full of crocodiles. Miss Potter had an almost regal courtesy extended to even little children such as myself in those days."  (Source: Posting by Don Ady on Stanley Yahoo Group). Her billet was Block 11 Room B, which she shared with the former show business twins, Alice and Doris Wood.

(Writer's Collection)
Pritchard, (Capt.) Thomas (29/9/1877 – 10/8/1944)
He was a Master Mariner. His declared friend in Camp was Capt. A. L Jones (Block 16 Room 21). His wife, Mrs M.E. Pritchard was in Wales and was believed to have pre-deceased him. His next of kin thereafter would be Mr E. Pritchard who was his son living in UK. Captain Pritchard died aged sixty-six from beri-beri and intestinal obstruction.  He came from North Wales. He had a long career with the Merchant Navy and was most recently employed by the Hong Kong and Macao Shipping Line.

Pryde, Walter (10/5/1897 – 12/9/1944)
His wife, Catherine Isa was in Camp with him in Block 5 Room 1. She was a teacher at Central British School (CBS). He died of hypertension, heart failure and beri-beri aged fifty-seven. Next of kin were two sons with Edinburgh addresses. John Stericker in ‘Captive Colony’ writes, "that he had been Chairman of the Hong Kong Football Club". "We all felt very sorry for his wife, who no doubt fed him on her own meagre rations, we were desperate for Red Cross parcels. He was very ill in hospital when we heard that the parcels had arrived in Camp, but when they were distributed he had died. We considered his wife should have been given his parcel as well as hers." (Source: Barbara Anslow).

Reading, Edward (31/8/1883 – 6/2/1944)
He was a Civilian Foreman with the Royal Army Ordnance Corp (RAOC). He was husband to Mrs B.M. Reading who was in Sydney, Australia. He suffered from heart disease and high blood pressure. He died aged sixty-one from angina pectoris. His close personal friend was given as Mr Guy Stephens of Public Works Department (PWD).

Rodger, George Sinclair (5/9/1899 – 28/11/1943)
He was Chief Assistant Engineer, Hong Kong Tramways. He was billeted in Block 9 Room 10. He died of nephritis. "Bad news today George Rodger died this morning between 5 and 6 am.  He had been in hospital for 10 days but we never worried about him as his condition was not serious. What happened was that one day about two weeks ago he woke up and found his face swollen and puffed up. Then the tummy started to swell as well as his legs especially his thighs. He consulted the doctor who diagnosed his trouble as due to kidneys, actually he developed acute nephritis and cardiac beri-beri and must have had a very hard fight on Saturday night and early this morning. Convulsions developed as well. It was a terrific shock to us all when H. Smith first brought us the news. The funeral took place at 6 pm tonight, I with five other members of the Football Club as pall bearers". (Source: George Gerrard’s Diary). He was only forty-four at time of death. Personal friend identified in Camp was Mr Thomas Waller who was a roommate. There is a circular (referred to in Eric MacNider's Diary) concerning his death  "in view of certain irresponsible talk in the Camp with regard to the death of Mr Rodger on 28 Nov 1943 an inquiry was held and the following verdict is circulated: death being due to acute nephritis with beri-beri and myocarditis as secondary cause. We wish to record that all skill, care and attention was given to Mr Rodger by the doctors and nurses that attended him (implying internees thought otherwise) and we have heard nothing to suggest that the system in force at Tweed Bay Hospital failed in any respect." (Signed by Edmund Raymond, John Flemming and James Danby dated 26 Dec 1943 - circulated by JA Stericker).

Rose, Rachel Grace (26/7/1910 – 2/5/1944)
She died of pneumonia aged thirty-four. Her full name was Rachel Grace Law Yun Yin. She was born in Sandakan and had been adopted by a missionary family living in Sarawak, who sent her to Hong Kong to complete her schooling. She married Henley H. Rose in 1930, he had served in WW1 and joined the HKVDC and in 1941 was a POW. "Mrs R.G. Rose (Chinese) died, leaving a British husband in SSP Camp, and Dawn (12) and Gerald (8) in Stanley Camp. Both children were cared for by Mrs Henrietta Aitken" (Source: Barbara Redwood’s Diary). "One day when I was hurrying to one of my lectures a Chinese woman in her late 20s came up to me and said she was interested in learning Malay. ...She suggested we might go for walks together so we could speak Malay. Her name was Rachel Rose and she was married to an Englishman and had two young children. She was a most calm and serene person and I loved our walks together. Then Rachel became ill. I went to see her in hospital and chatted quite cheerfully. Someone came to my door shortly after that and said she had died." (Source: Mutal Fielder in Derek Round's ‘Barbed Wire Between us’). Her declared personal friend in Camp was Miss Gladys MacNider (Block 3 Room 17). Her husband was Battery Sergeant Major (BSM) Henley Rose of HKVDC and held as a POW in SSP Camp. She was admitted to hospital with fever and then developed pneumonia.

Ross, Christine Miriam (1894 – 30/7/1942)
"Mrs Ross of Room 18 Block 3 was buried, she was a middle-aged lady, on her own in camp; she gave up trying to live." (Source: Barbara Redwood's diary). Christine Ross died aged forty-eight of anaemia.  A statement from HSBC shows she had a fixed deposit of HKD13,851-67 at an interest rate of 2% in Feb 1941 due to mature in Feb 1942. (Source: HK PRO). She was the widow of Stewart Buckle Carne Ross OBE (born 1876) a former Postmaster General of Hong Kong, who died in London in 1923.

Ross, John (24/4/1873 – 3/1/1943)
He was a retired Marine Engineer with China Merchants Steam Navigation Co. He was born in Dundee. He was not related to Christine Ross (above). His tombstone in Stanley Military Cemetery is quite intricate - possibly built after the war. He died of cancer aged seventy (carcinoma of the tongue and secondary anaemia). He had been held in Kowloon Hotel prior to internment. He was a resident patient at Tweed Bay Hospital. His next of kin was Andrew Miller Ross of Dundee. His personal effects were handed over to Mr Peter Morgan of Block 8 Room 27 on the instructions of his executors, Major C. M. Manners and Mr M. J. Armstrong. He had been admitted to Kowloon Hospital in Dec 1940 where diagnosis of cancer of the tongue had been made. He was then transferred to Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) where he received a full course of deep X-Ray therapy under the care of Dr F. J. Farr. After that he was free from symptoms until March 1942. Application was received for X-Ray treatment in Town but the Japanese refused this.

(Writer's Collection)
Ryan, Lionel Ernest Norwood (16/7/1888 – 27/2/1945)
He was employed by Canadian Pacific Steamship Co and was a Canadian National. I am not sure why he was not repatriated in 1943.  He died aged fifty-six as a result of a brain tumour.  "In the evening, Drummond and Ryan, two Canadians whose names had been excluded from the list (repatriation) came to see me and took the matter very calmly. All they asked was that they might be included on the list if vacancies occurred." (Franklin Gimson's Diary Aug 1943)

Sheppard, John Oram (1879 – 10/2/1942)
He was a Freight Agent with Canadian Pacific and a Warrant Officer in the Hong Kong Royal Naval Reserve (HKRNVR). He died of dysentery shortly after arriving in Camp. This was the second death in Camp. He died aged sixty-three. He was a Warrant Officer in HKRNVR. "He had been mobilised on 8th December 1941. During hostilities he was stationed at Mine Control Station Tai Tam where he was wounded by shelling. His shoulder and wrist were injured and his body covered with shrapnel wounds and he sustained injuries to his head. Colonel Rudolph of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) who discharged him on or about 23rd January 1942 treated him at Rosary Hill Temporary Hospital. The reason for his discharge was that Mr Sheppard was worrying about his wife and was anxious to return to the Peak to find her. On 23rd January, the Japanese ordered all Europeans on the Peak to walk down to a rendezvous for despatch to Stanley. Mr Sheppard undertook this walk with great difficulty and arrived at Stanley a very sick man and dysentery developed which proved fatal on 19th February 1942."  (Source: Letter from Messrs’ Wilkinson & Grist to Commander Vernall regarding pension rights for Mrs Sheppard who moved to America after the war). His wife May was billeted in Block 14 Room 6C.

Shields, Andrew Lusk  (28/4/1882 – 24/7/1944)
He was a Member of LEGCO and a Director of HSBC and a Director of Shewan Thomas & Co. He crossed the lines in Wan Chai on Christmas Morning with Charles Manners to pass on a Japanese demand for surrender to the Governor. He, Major Charles Manners and Jan Marsman were on the committee in charge of the Repulse Bay Hotel civilians. "He was one of the most dignified and charming British gentlemen I have ever met, and his calmness and his attempts to do something about the drastic situation in which the hotel found itself, brought encouragement to all."(Source: Gwen Dew) He died of liver failure (cirrhosis of the liver) aged sixty-two. His wife had been repatriated with the Canadians in 1943. His declared personal friend in Camp was Mr S.T. Williamson  (Block A3 Room 36). He was in Tweed Bay Hospital quite regularly during internment. His liver condition had been deteriorating whilst in Camp. Oddly his gravestone states his age was forty-five but in fact he was sixty-two.   

Shilton, Cyril Conway (3/10/1885 – 11/5/1944)
His occupation is listed as Commercial Traveller. He was billeted in Block 9 Room 39. He died aged fifty-eight of TB. Next of kin is given as Mrs M. Lucas (Block 3 Room2). He had a sister, Miss H.M. Shilton living in Worthing, Sussex. 

Simmons, Albert William James (1881 – 22/4/42)
He was a retired PWD employee. He died of a heart attack aged sixty-one. "One death in particular made me feel very sad, that of Mr Simmons, who had been on the long trek from Repulse Bay, and at the Kowloon Hotel, and then in Camp. He would sit on a hillside in Camp looking across the bay at his fine home on the opposite hill, which he had built to enjoy in his old age. One morning he got up, looked out of the window, sat back on his cot and died"  (Gwen Dew). He was the owner with his wife Delores of Erinville a beautiful villa at Turtle Cove. He was stepfather of Bennie Proulx HKRNVR who escaped from Hong Kong and wrote ‘Underground from Hong Kong.’ Delores Ryder's first husband had died in 1902 and Albert Simmons was her second husband. He had been an Engineer with the Water Works Department. He, Delores and their daughter Florence Proulx and her two sons got away from Erinville not long before the Japanese arrived at Tai Tam. They took refuge at Repulse Bay Hotel and went through the subsequent siege.  

(Writer's Collection)
Smith, Grace Rosa (13/7/1868 – 14/1/1944)
She was in Camp with her married daughter, Rita Smith and Rita’s infant son. She died of cancer aged seventy-five. She was blind. She was admitted to Tweed Bay Hospital with dysentery and pellagra as a result of malnutrition. Her declared personal friend was Mr Cecil Clifford Crofton  (Block 14 Room 3C), father to Clifford Crofton. "In the evening I attended the funeral of Mrs Smith, the blind lady who had died in Camp." (Franklin Gimson's Diary 15 Jan 1944)

(Writer's Collection)
Spark, William (9/4/1882 – 14/4/1945)
He had been Ships Purser on SS Fausang before the war started. He died aged sixty-two of pneumonia. He was husband of Jean Spark of Aberdeen.

Stainfield, Henry (26/12/1875 – 9/2/1945)
He was a Marine Engineer. He died aged seventy.

Starling, Edwin Leonard (4/4/1898 – 11/2/1944)
He was a Master Mariner with Butterfield & Swire. He was in Camp with his wife Margaret Starling in Block 5 Room 30. He died of dysentery at Tweed Bay Hospital aged forty-five.

Stevenson, James (27/8/1884 – 10/4/1944)
He was Second Engineer on SS Ben Lede. He was billeted in Block 9 Room 12. He died aged fifty-nine. He was Scottish Presbyterian. His declared personal friend in Camp was Mr T. Mason (Block 11) who inherited a relatively large amount of personal possessions from him.  His wife, Mrs J. Stevenson was in Scotland.

Sutton, Francis (Frank) Arthur (14/2/1884 – 22/10/1944)
He was an adventurist known as General One Arm Sutton. He was billeted in Block 4 Room 18. "He died of beri-beri, a lacerated stomach, general malnutrition and seemed to give up all desire to live a strange thing in a man who has led so successful and adventurous a life."(Source: George Wright-Nooth). "He was an Englishman and had served in the British Army. He was tall, of a most retiring nature and every inch a gentleman." (Source: Jim Shepherd). He had lost his arm at Gallipoli. "He came from a family that boasted Lord Chancellors, ambassadors, secretaries of state and distinguished soldiers. Sutton was educated at Eton. Prior to WW1, he had worked in South America where he got married. He hurried home to enlist and lost his arm throwing a grenade back." (Source: George Wright-Nooth). His Medical Report in HK PRO states cause of death as dysentery and beri-beri. His next of kin outside Camp is Mrs F.A. Sutton (wife) thought to be living in London. His declared personal friend in Camp was Mr H.W. Mills (Block 5 Room 35). Earlier in August 1943 Professor Digby had conducted an operation on his thyroid. He was discharged in September. In April 1944 he was being treated for oedema of the legs and swelling of the face and attended nutritional clinic where he was treated for beri-beri. The beri-beri continued and he developed dysentery, which persisted until his death in October 1944.

(Writer's Collection)
Walsh, John (Jack) Joseph (4/3/1942)
He was a Sub-Inspector in the HK Police. He died of a heart attack. "A pall has fallen all over the police force today as Jack Walsh has suddenly died. Cardiac failure I believe. I was only talking to him a short while before he went, it was so sudden." (Source: Diary of F.H.J. Kelly). He was married to Jeanette Walsh who was evacuated to Australia in 1940 with her son, Frank. 

Warden, Ernest Thomas (24/9/1900 – 22/11/1944)
He was a Revenue Officer. He died from coronary thrombosis aged forty-four. He was married to Jessie Warden who was living in Sydney. On 21st November he complained of pain in his left chest and down his left arm. Dr Uttley advised him to take seven days rest in his quarters. On 22nd November, in the evening he complained to his roommates of pain in his chest and arm and he had difficulty breathing. Dr Sterling Tomlinson was called (Acting Block Medical Officer), on examination, he was pulseless and respiration had ceased. His possessions went to the Welfare Committee.

Willey, Brian Anthony (7/5/1940 – 24/1/1943)
Infant son of Mr & Mrs Willey who were in Camp in Block 15 Room 7. He died of bronchopneumonia aged two years and nine months. "F and J Willey lost their young son, Brian 2 1/2 years old on Monday. The wee chap has had a lot of trouble with his tummy, it being swollen considerably and was unable to eat rice. It is all so difficult to get proper treatment though our medical staff do the best that lies in their power, but with a shortage of preparations and drugs it is not easy and the Japs are not very helpful." (Source: George Gerrard’s Diary)

Williamson, Mary (20/2/1868 – 2/8/1942)
She was the widow of James Williamson. She died of pneumonia aged seventy-four. "Her grandson Douglas Collins-Taylor was killed in Stanley Village on 25th Dec 1941, and both her death and his are commemorated on the post-war stone in Stanley cemetery." (Source: Geoffrey Emerson - Stanley Yahoo Group). Her daughter Therese Mary Kathleen Collins-Taylor and son-in-law Arthur John Collins-Taylor were also in Stanley Camp.

Wilmer, Ethel Kate (1881 – 22/5/1944)
She was in Camp with her husband Harry Bradlaugh Wilmer, an Accountant with Jardine Matheson. They were billeted in Block 2 Room 8. She died of heart failure and pneumonia aged sixty-three. She was resident at Repulse Bay Hotel and was there during the siege in December 1941. "Husbands of many of the women were fighting with the Volunteers somewhere on the island, including Mr H.B Wilmer, whose wife I had talked to many times before the war. He had fought at Gallipoli, but the fact he had lived through that terrific battle did not seem to comfort the elderly Mrs Wilmer." (Source: Gwen Dew). Her next of kin in Camp was her husband. Her next of kin out of Camp was a son Douglas Norman Wilmer and her mother Mrs K. Lumsden of Swiss Cottage, London.

(Writer's Collection)
Younger, Cecil Walter (17/8/1899 – 7/12/1943)
He was a schoolteacher. He died aged forty-four from TB. He had suffered from this since January 1912. He was also diabetic. His disclosed friend in Camp was Mrs P. H. Mace of Block 10 Room 1. Next of kin was Mrs C. Younger (mother) of Brighton, Sussex.

Deaths as a result of accidental bombing of Bungalow C

On 16th January 1945 during a major US air raid, Bungalow C was accidently bombed by a US aircraft. It was most likely a carrier based Avenger Grumman. The American pilot was thought to be either targeting a Japanese vessel in Stanley Bay or a nearby anti-aircraft gun. Fourteen internees were killed.

(Writer's Collection)
Balfour, Stephen Francis (4/11/1905 – 16/1/1945)
He was a Cadet Officer in the Hong Kong Government (Bureau of Chinese Affairs). He was husband of Anne Balfour. He died aged thirty-nine. "One of our Russian teachers was Stephen Balfour, an Englishman who was bilingual, I think his mother was Russian.  We had been discussing Pushkin as we walked along the path to our quarters after the lecture. The path forked and Stephen turned right, walking towards Bungalow C and I went to the left towards the Indian Quarters. Suddenly, there was the roar of an aircraft and the sound of explosions as bombs were dropped. Sadly, Stephen Balfour was killed. Its a dreadful thing to have to record but Bungalow C was looted almost immediately, a wedding ring was stolen from a dead woman's hand and internees took anything of value they could find while rescuers were still searching for survivors. One unpopular internee (Leon Blumenthal) was frantically rummaging in the wreckage for his money." (Source: Mutal Fielder in Derek Round's ‘Barbed Wire Between us.’) He also lectured in Stanley on Chinese Civilisation. "My father, George Giffen, a journalist with the South China Morning Post who lived with his colleagues in nearby St. Stephen’s College, was one of those who helped carry Stephen Balfour out of the wreckage. Vivienne Blackburn, who was also at the scene, said: ‘There were four people playing bridge and they were still sitting there, cards in their hands, dead from the blast.’”  (Source: Ian Gill Stanley Yahoo Group)

Davies,  Margaret Louisa (‘Peggy’)  (2/10/1909 – 16/1/1945)
She was a teacher.  Wright-Nooth recounts "she was in the garage when the bomb struck and died when the roof collapsed. Witnesses who arrived on the scene to try to rescue the victims said her left arm was sticking out from the rubble with her gold wedding ring clearly visible. Within a few minutes the ring had gone". She was aged thirty-seven and wife to Gary Davies who was a Sgt in HKVDC No. 3 Battery and who was in POW Camp.

Dennis, Albert James (13/3/1888 – 16/1/1945)
He was an Engineer for Dodwell & Co. He died aged 56. He was father-in-law of tr Leon Blumenthal (a black market trader). He was husband to Ethel Mary Dennis who was not in Camp. The China Mail for 1st Sept 1941 reports A.J. Dennis getting a hole in one on the short second at the Kowloon Golf Club.

Eager, Oscar (4/12/1887 - 16/1/1945)
He was a former commander of Police Reserve and was Company Secretary of Hong Kong Land. He died aged fifty-seven. His son had been killed in the Motor Torpedo Boat (MTB) attack in the Harbour on 19th December 1941.  His daughter-in-law and four children were in Stanley Camp.

Sydney, Frank Bishop (31/3/1893 – 16/1/1945)
He was Works Superintendent of Green Island Cement Co. He died aged fifty-one.

Guerin, Aileen (‘Penny’) Elizabeth Sheila (26/3/1907 – 16/1/1945)
She was Shipping Passenger Agent for Butterfield & Swire and a Red Cross Nurse and ARP member. "Another victim we all missed was Penny Guerin who had been a great friend of our mess" (Source: Wright-Nooth). She was aged thirty-seven. 

Holland, Adam Morrison (1892 – 16/1/1945)
He was Inspector of Public Works and the husband of Jessie Holland who was shot on the last ferry to leave Kowloon. He came from Clydebank in Scotland. John Stericker in ‘Captive Colony’ writes that Holland had been Lawn Bowles Champion in Hong Kong in 1941.

Hyde-Lay, Elizabeth (‘Betty’) Fleming (18/1/1903 – 16/1/1945)
She was killed together with her husband in the air raid. A daughter, Kathleen attended Ashford School and then migrated to Canada after her parents’ death in Hong Kong.

Hyde-Lay, Alexander (‘Alec’) (21/10/1893 – 16/1/1945)
He was a Mercantile Assistant at Dodwell & Co. He died aged fifty-one in Bungalow C with his wife. The Jurors List for 1940 gives an address of 514, The Peak. He was a capable pianist.

Johnson, Isabella (Bella) (7/10/1890 – 16/1/1945)
She died aged fifty-five in the air raid. Her husband had died in October 1944 as a result of TB.

Searle, Edward Valentine  (14/2/1901 – (16/1/1945)
He was an electrical engineer. He died with his wife in Bungalow C. He was said to be an American national married to a British wife.

Searle, Mabel (7/8/1904 – 16/1/1945)
She died aged 41 together with her husband at Bungalow C.

Stopani-Thomson, George Gordon (29/10/1903 – 16/1/1945)
He was a chartered electrical engineer and a Lieutenant in HKRNVR. He was married to Elsie Mary Stopani-Thomson and had two children Shirley (1934) and Malcolm (1937). They were evacuated to Australia in June/July 1940. He had joined HKRNVR and was mobilised in October 1939. However, the work he did at Hong Kong Electric (HKE) was considered important for the war effort and so he was given indefinite leave without pay to allow him to continue his essential job at HKE. In March 1941 he went on leave to Sydney, Australia. He asked his Employer (HK Electric) and the Navy for extension of leave but the Navy asked him to return. He took passage from Sydney to HK arriving 29th November 1941, a week before war broke out. He did report for Active Service on 9/12/41 but the HKRNVR had received instructions that he was to return immediately to his civilian duties. 

Willoughby, George (19/10/1908 – 16/1/1945)
He was a chemist at Watsons. He died aged thirty-seven.  


St Stephens College Masacre

On the morning of 25th December Japanese soldiers burst into St Stephen's College Relief Hospital killing two doctors, Colonel Black and Captain Whitney and then in an orgy of horrific violence started bayoneting and shooting patients in their beds. European and Chinese nurses were raped and three European nurses were raped, mutilated and killed. The bodies of the doctors, nurses, patients and medical orderlies were given a battlefield cremation and this grave includes some of the ashes and remains that were left in that spot.

The grave of the  remains of those killed in the massacre at St Stephen's
College Relief Hospital on 25th December 1941



I am grateful to the following for helping in producing this guide, this includes review, permission to quote, editing and proof reading.

Don Ady
Barbara Anslow
Christopher Cracknell
Brian Edgar
Geoff Emerson
Ian Gill
Marianne Lim
Audun Urke