Oxted & District History Society - Talk
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Oxted & District History Society

Clive Himsworth, whose parents were interned in the camp during the war, gave an illustrated lecture to the Oxted & District History Society on ‘Stanley Camp Hong Kong’.

Economic hardship in Japan gave rise to a military takeover of the Japanese Government.  Manchuria was occupied in 1931.  In 1937 the Japanese attacked China and French Indochina and the Dutch East Indies in 1941.  On 7 December 1941, they invaded Hong Kong, taking 17 days to capture the British Colony.

Stanley Camp Hong Kong was one of a wide network of Japanese camps in the Far East.  There were 2400 civilian internees in the camp, 2000 of the British.  Stanley Camp contained 40 doctors and 100 nurses, many teachers and administrators, including Clive Himsworth’s father.  Although the meagre rations of two bowls of rice and lettuce a day gave rise to various illnesses, such as beriberi and dysentery, hygiene standards were good.  The 200 children were educated and the camp had many organising committees.  A canteen was set up for those with money to supplement their rations.  There was a thriving black market and much mending and recycling of clothes.  At the end of the war the internees were in poor shape but only 40 had died during the war.

Wikipedia - Stanley Internment camp.