Monday, 12 September 2011

Amanuensis Monday - letter from Bill Hudson to Peggy August 30, 1945

Peg and my father Peter had been evacuated to Australia in July 1940. Peg kept the last couple of letters Bill wrote from Hong Kong prior to the Japanese invasion, along with the letters he wrote immediately after liberation.

Most of the letters are long, so I'm going to serialise them over the next few weeks.

This is the letter written by Bill on the day Stanley Internment Camp was liberated by the British Navy.

Page 1 is here.

Admiral Harcourt landed today yet we are still here not even a flag flying in Camp, the Japs would not allow it, while over at Shamshui Po they Troops have all the Allied Flags flying, told the Japs to go to Hell.  Yesterday they dropped food and medical supplies by parachutes, it was very exciting, and scores of our Planes are over daily.  We saw the fleet sailing by Weglan this a.m., too far away to cheer - or even see the sailors.  Planes are sweeping the house tops now - what a skill Peg.  I have kept a diary which will be good reading (if you have the time) for you and Peter.  We don't know what is going to happen to us, if we have to stay or go - one thing Dear.  I don't want to return, but I would like to get made Asst Chief - it means another £1.00 a week for pension.  All our possessions have gone, my two big silver cigarette cases were stolen from the Club, the things I took in the gaol they would not return, I believe the Indians - who have been working all the time for the Japs - got them.  My watch and rings I sold for food and smokes.  Dick sent me 20 yen a month, but when I tell you sugar was 1,200 Yen lb, eggs 45 yen each, oil 2,000 yen a caddy, cigs 45 yen a pkt, salt 200 yen lb, egg yolk 2000 Yen lb, you can see how far 20 yen would go.  All those are black market prices, stuff brought in by the guards - we had a canteen but they could not get supplies - even there we have paid 50 yen for 2 ½ ozs of sugar - not white - but the Chinese kind in sticks, how the Chinks lived in Town nobody knows.  Girls I hear had to turn prostitutes to live - including our Darling Flo Ashby who has been outside all the time.  I hear Fordham and Hill had a Battle over Mrs Fordham, Hill has been running her about for years, so with Peace Henry declared War, both have been suspended until we can make our enquiries.

The next page is here.

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