Grindley, Marjorie Betsy (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 4653
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 140, Number Of Items 5
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British nurse with Auxiliary Nursing Service in Hong Kong, 1941; internee in Stanley Internment Camp in Hong Kong, 1941-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in GB and Hong Kong, 1917-1935: family; education. Aspects of period as civilian in Hong Kong, 1936-1941: reaction to going to Hong Kong with family, 1/1936; living conditions; social life; multi-racial nature of area; reaction to outbreak of Second World War, 9/1939. Recollections of period as nurse with Auxiliary Nursing Service in Hong Kong, 12/1941: preparations for war in Hong Kong; joining Auxiliary Nursing Service; training at Queen Mary Hospital; husband’s involvement in defence of Hong Kong; lack of panic amongst populace on Japanese invasion of Hong Kong; sight of shipping leaving Hong Kong; Japanese air attacks on Stanley area; degree of knowledge of fighting around port area in Stanley; first encounter with Japanese troops; description of Tweed Bay Hospital in Stanley. REEL 2 Continues: lack of equipment and supplies; arrival of casualties at hospital; problems of disposing of dead bodies; move to Stanley Jail Hospital. Recollections of period as internee in Stanley Internment Camp in Hong Kong, 1941-1945: internees medical problems; treatment for dysentery and beri-beri; symptoms of beri-beri; move into camp; accommodation in cells; possessions taken into camp; move to former Indian married quarters; living conditions; lack of food; move into former Prison Officers’ Club; repatriation of American internees; description of camp. REEL 3 Continues: organisation of camp; selling possessions to departing American internees; description of quarters in former Prison Officers’ Club; role of block representative; relations between internees; selling valuables to obtain currency; daily routine; lack of clothing; making clothing out of sacking; cooking facilities and rations; methods of supplementing rations; organisation of cooking. REEL 4 Continues: water supply; amount of currency taken into camp; obtaining Japanese currency from outside camp; attitude towards business dealings of Leon Blumenthal; system of barter; lack of war news; contrast in attitudes of men and women towards internment; camp morale; nature of camp entertainments; activities to pass time; education of children; security surrounding camp; question of discipline; attitude of Japanese guards towards internees. REEL 5 Continues: question of relations between Japanese guards and Hong Kong police; minor squabbles amongst internees; obtaining extra rations; internee activities and passing time; sources of war news; discovery of camp radio and punishment of those responsible; lack of communication with family; hearing news of dropping of atomic bombs on Japan, 8/1945; Japanese abandoning of camp and arrival of Allied forces; sight of Boeing B29 Superfortress overhead; evacuation from Hong Kong; attitude towards period of internment.

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