|Fourth Marines Band: "Last China Band"|
|GUEST OF HIROHITO|
Appendices: Excerpts from
Barbarous acts are rarely
committed out of the blue....
—Daniel Bell, The Radical Right
I, Ramon Muniz Lavalle, 33 years old,
Argentine by birth, now temporarily residing at the Hotel Londra, Istanbul,
make oath and say as follows:
1. I was the Consular Representative of the Argentine Republic at Hong Kong from the 1st May, 1939, up to the 19th March, 1942.
2. Following on the outbreak of hostilities between Great Britain and Japan, I moved my consular office, which was on Hong Kong Island, over to the house where I lived at Kowloon on the 9th December, 1941, and remained continuously in Kowloon without going across to Hong Kong until 29th December, as from which date I went across daily to Hong Kong.
3. My first contact with the Japanese soldiers in Kowloon took place on the 12th December, 1941, when looking for Japanese soldiers in order to obtain assistance against the looters who for three days had been threatening my house, Kadoorie Avenue, 38, I found the first soldiers under the bridge in Prince Edward Road. Through my knowledge of their language, I managed to make myself understood, and one of them agreed to accompany me to his commanding officer. When we were approaching Nathan Road I heard the roar of motorized vehicles and the sound of mechanical weapons. I was pushed down by the soldier, and he jumped forward, waving his hands. I then saw a motorized column advancing from Boundary Street in the direction of the Star Ferry. First came a motorcycle and then several trucks fully loaded with soldiers. From behind the driver’s seat, soldiers manning machine-guns were opening fire on the groups of Chinese civilians who were on either side of Nathan Road watching the advancing troops. I saw three men, one elderly woman, and one young child hit and fall to the ground.
4. Later in the day while I was driving in a car with one Japanese non-commissioned officer, in search of the Japanese commanding officer, I saw a group of about 20 Chinese civilians, including several women, being tied up and shot by Japanese soldiers in an open space behind the old building of the China Light Company in Boundary Street and Waterloo Road.
5. On the way back to my house I again came across a coldblooded shooting episode, when a Japanese sentry posted in the entrance of the Kowloon Hospital opened fire on a group of Chinese women and children who were coming down the hills above and around the British School in Argylle Street.
6. On December 13th, 1941, at a meeting with Colonel (or he may have been Major) NISHIYAMA at his headquarters in the former building of the China Light Company, Boundary Street and Waterloo Road, I informed him, firstly, that the head and medical staff of the Kowloon Hospital were very much concerned regarding the safety of the nurses, since the previous day loose Japanese soldiers had been wandering around the premises, trying to break into them and demanding to have women. Two nurses had been chased and one Chinese servant carried away. I also requested him secondly, as Commander of the first units in occupation of Kowloon Tong and surrounding districts—in the name of DR. FEHILLY, head of the Kowloon Hospital, to supply some fuel and food to the Hospital, as they were without any and had many patients in it.
To the first request he replied that they could not spare soldiers to protect the enemy, and that, moreover, it was but logical to appreciate the needs of the soldiers, and that “soldiers were soldiers and not angels”.
To the second request, he answered that it was up to the hospital authorities to find their way out of difficulties in supplies moreover, he said that any blame should be put on the British, as they did not leave behind adequate amounts of fuel or food.
When I mentioned to him the medical officers’ opinion that, with the corpses by hundreds still in the streets, there was a danger of epidemic, and that they were willing to help to organize “Public Health Squads”, he replied that these were not problems to be discussed with enemy doctors, it being up to the “Japanese Army as conquerors” to decide what to do in all matters. At this interview were also present J. KINOSITA, interpreter N.C.O., and WATANABE and FUYIWARA, officers.
7. On the 14th December, 1941, with the approval of the Portuguese Consul whose premises had several hundred Portuguese refugees, I went to see Colonel NISHIYAMA again proposing a “neutral zone”, taking into consideration the heavy shell fire from both sides, and the continual bombing which endangered the civil population. I suggested a triangle formed by Nathan Road, Waterloo Road, Argylle Street and Prince Edward Road, where (I stressed the point) were located three hospitals one church and the Portuguese and Argentine Consulates. Moreover, foreigners were living thereabouts and it was possible to concentrate them within the safety zone in a very short time. He promised to reply in an hour’s time. The answer, however, came much later. Meanwhile, two hours after our meeting, from 20 to 25 pieces of artillery were placed within the proposed “neutral zone”: eight guns around the Argentine Consulate, the closest about 30 metres away in an open space behind the house, and the others spread over the tennis courts and different levels of the compound of the Construction and Engineering Company. Four pieces were placed around the Kowloon Hospital and several others in front of the British school, which had been converted into a hospital. Three others were around the St. Theresa Church, and two just behind the Portuguese Consulate. They opened a terrific barrage, and half-an-hour after the starting of the shelling, an officer came to reply in the name of Colonel NISHIYAMA that, since military operations were in full progress and they could not rely on the assurances that the British army was going to respect any neutral zone, they could not accept the proposal. At this interview was present Lieutenant TOICHI WAKABAYASHI, commander of the WAKABAYASKI company of troops.
8. On December 16th, 1941, I went with one of my “boys”, taking advantage of a pass which had been given to me by Colonel NISHIYAMA, to obtain some food. We walked through the railway line. Armed posts of Japanese soldiers were here and there not allowing any one to pass, and having got into difficulties notwithstanding my pass, we resolved to go ahead along the track. When we were passing near the Kowloon School, in Boundary Street, we saw the actual shooting of a Chinese hawker woman whose corpse was afterwards kicked by the soldiers who laughed while doing so.
Farther ahead, on the small vegetable-growing patches situated around the field of the Police Club, we saw about 14 Chinese, including one woman and two boys of about 13 years old, tied up against a fence and still bleeding; two of them seemed to be already dead.
Not very far from the end of the Polo Club ground, we came again face to face with another group of Chinese tied up and in a terrible condition, one of them with the body apparently bayoneted and with his head nearly cut in two. The fresh blood on his body and on the others who were in the same spot showed that they had been massacred very recently.
9. On the 17th December, 1941, about 6p.m., the boy of the Peruvian Consul General who was living near me in Prince Edward Road, KOWLOON, came to tell me that some Japanese officers were inside the house and looking everything over. I went with him and met two Japanese lieutenants. I explained to them that the house belonged to a neutral Consul and that it was against all rules to violate it. In a bad mood they told me that they were in Hong Kong as a victorious army and that they did not admit any foreigner’s rights of property of any kind. I insisted that they leave the place, explaining once more the special situation of official representatives, who, moreover, were neutrals. As I spoke to them in Japanese they were a little impressed, and after some arguing, they consented not to touch anything, although they were going to stay overnight. Next morning, they went away, and took with them a valuable collection of stamps, several sheets of Consular stamps, a camera and some ivories, after breaking open two trunks with their swords.
10. The looting continued for days and reached its climax on January 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 1942, when Japanese soldiers were given freedom of action, and half drunk, went all over Kowloon, entering wherever they wanted and taking as many things as they wished.
11. A section of Japanese soldiers, with a Captain as officer in command, who were staying opposite to our Consulate, in “Roseland”, the private property of Dr. DA ROZA, a Portuguese gentleman, went away on January 4th, 1942, and before leaving loaded two heavy trucks with all the furniture of the house. I saw this myself. The commanding officer knew that the property was Portuguese, as I told him so a few days before.
12. The disregard for property was complete. Houses and shops were ransacked. Everyone whom I happened to see in the street came with the same story of looting, contents of houses removed in entirety in lorries, including even heavy ice-chests and pianos.
They usually started first asking for mattresses and pillows and ended by looting all kinds of household effects. This looting, on the Kowloon side, was witnessed by myself all over the city.
13. When requested by cable from the Argentine Embassy in Tokyo to look after the interests of the WHITEAWAY LAIDLAW COMPANY, I went to their premises on Des Voeux Road and saw gendarmes taking away all the articles of this department store. This was on the 3rd February, 1942. I went to the Japanese Consulate General to try and see the Consul in charge (MR. KIMURA). In his absence I left an official letter stating the facts and asking his help. No reply was ever given.
14. On the night of December 22nd, 1941, I heard a female voice outside the servant’s door of my house calling me and knocking nervously on it. I looked through the window, and saw a Chinese lady from Shanghai, whom we knew from the Kowloon Tong Club, and who happened to be living since the beginning of the war close to our house in Kadoorie Avenue. The lady, about 55 years old, had all her hair in disorder and her mouth bleeding; spots of blood were on her dress which was also torn. With failing voice and greatly upset, she said that one of her daughters had been raped, and when she tried to save her, she had been beaten and thrown down the stairs. She asked me to go with her and try to save her girl. We went down the steps from my house to the China Light Company building in Argylle Street and where a Japanese officer acquaintance of mine was staying, and I explained to him the case. He came with us up to the house, and, when we reached it, the girl and two young servants had disappeared. The house was all upside down, and spots of fresh blood could be seen on the wall and floor, indicating violence and struggle. The officer promised to do everything to trace them, and went back to order his soldiers to look around for them, but we never heard anything more about their fate.
15. On January 13th, 1942, at 11 a.m., there was a meeting at the French Mission, 1 Battery Pass, in order to organize an International Committee for taking care of the urgent problems of feeding the population and establishing some kind of medical control, as public health was rapidly deteriorating and the situation looked gloomy.
There were present the Peruvian Consul General, French Consul General, Honourary Consul for Switzerland, Honourary Vice Consul for Brazil, Honourary Consul for Costa Rica and myself, as members of the Consular Corps, there were also members of the Catholic Church and some civilians connected with charitable organizations. After two hours talk it was decided to approach the Japanese, proposing to them the names of the French Consul General, the Swiss Consul and the Catholic Archbishop as members of the International Committee which would carry out the measures of relief, together with two Japanese members, medical officers if possible, whose appointment would be requested of the Japanese Military authorities. The proposal was forwarded through the Japanese Consulate General to the Military and Naval forces of occupation, and these let several days pass without replying. As by then the situation in Kowloon and Hong Kong was extremely serious, I went to see Lieutenant Colonial TADA, a high official of the General Staff of the South China Command and in charge of the Hong Kong Press Bureau, asking him to intercede with the Commander-in-Chief and explaining the good international impression which would be created by the work of such a Committee. I was received by another officer sent by him. He took my views to Lieutenant Colonel TADA and came back half an hour later with the answer that, “The Japanese Army do not require any help from Consuls or anyone else. They know how to handle the situation and it was most impertinent of the Consuls and religious members of Hong Kong to try to interfere in their administration. Moreover, he expected every one of us to drop immediately such activities”.
16. About the end of January 1942 I got a letter from Mr. Allis P. GALE, stating that he was Director of the American National Red Cross in charge of relief for South China, and that as such, under the terms of the Treaty of Geneva and all the rules of warfare, he was entitled to privileges of a diplomatic rank, and requesting me to see him in the Kowloon Hotel where he was confined. The letter was brought to me by a Mr. LEVI, who got it from a Mr. M. CARlO through the good offices of a Japanese interpreter, Mr. OKAMOTO.
Mr. LEVI had up to recently been in the same hotel, confined in a single room together with 8 other persons, without being provided with food unless they paid for it, and with fantastic prices for the most simple things, like bread. He told me that Mr. GALE was in an even worse condition and was sick. I went immediately to see Mr. MIAKI, chief of the Foreign Section of the Military Administration, at the Peninsula Hotel, apparently a Colonel although always in civilian clothing, and requested his help in order to see Mr. GALE. He complained that the matter was too difficult especially as it was highly doubtful whether the Gendarmerie would allow me to see an American. I insisted on the basis of the special position of the person concerned, but he refused to help in any way. I then went straight to the Hotel, where I was not allowed to enter. I appealed to the Gendarmes and they refused as well to give me authorization to see him. I went back to see Mr. MIAKI and tried in vain to obtain his approval. Finally, Mr. MIAKI advised me “for my own security” not to try to see any British or American, whatever their status —diplomatic or other—as he considered it dangerous for myself to come into trouble with the Gendarmerie or the Military Administration.
When I mentioned to him that, according to information which had reached me, Mr. GALE was extremely poorly fed and not allowed any exercise or properly cared for, kept all day in a small room and ill-treated in various ways, Mr. MIAKI replied that he did not care whether all their enemies died of hunger, cold or sickness. He went so far as to say that he would be happy if the British and Americans who were concentrated in the Hotels and camp would die, so that would simplify his task in the Foreign Section.
17. On the first week of February 1942, having heard from a Japanese national, an old resident in Hong Kong, that the American Consuls were all interned in one house on the Peak, and that apparently they were not well treated, I went to see Major YUTARO SAIDA, of the Press Bureau. Unable to see him, I wrote to him a letter requesting him to allow me a pass, or in case he could not do it himself, to get it from the proper authorities.
The letter was returned to me with the word “impossible” written in red pencil at the top. I went then to the Gendarmerie, who were in reality the authorities in charge of lives and property. Notwithstanding my pass and my making my identity clear, I was not allowed to see any one. Two days after, I contacted with Lieutenant Colonel NOMA, Chief of the Gendarmerie, and requested him to allow me to see the American colleagues, since it was an international custom to permit neutral Consuls to look after the others who, on account of war, were interned, and, moreover, since I was told that they were rather uncomfortable, staying all together in one house, I would like to see whether I could do something for them.
In an extremely bad mood, nearly infuriated, he answered that a Notice had been issued on the 27th January not allowing anyone to interview or communicate with enemies. I replied through the interpreter that my case was different, since I was a neutral Consul, and moreover, I only wanted to request permission to see them, which was allowed in the Notice mentioned by him. He called two sentries who were nearby and ordered my expulsion from the premises (Hong Kong Hotel) and I was pushed out of the building in a brutal way.
18. On one of my visits to the Volunteers camp at SHAMSHUIPO, about the end of January, in order to take some food to friends of mine who were interned there, I saw Madam H. V. SKVORZOV, wife of a Volunteer (white Russian) who had been living at No. 35 Kadoorie Avenue, very close to our house, being maltreated by a sentry. The soldier was holding her by the hair and shaking her mercilessly. When afterwards I asked her, at her house, the reason why she had been treated in that way, she told me that it was because she had brought some bread to her husband. Bread, which was allowed up to then, had been prohibited to be carried since the day before, but, as she failed to be there when the order was given to the Volunteers’ relatives, she was unaware of it. She told me that the soldier hit her several times, and she showed me her upper lip, which was swollen and two bruises on her arm, where it was still possible to see the marks left when she had been violently shaken.
19. A few days afterwards, in the same camp, I and many more persons who were present, wives, sisters, and friends, of the Volunteers, witnessed another case, although far more serious. Two Chinese girls, who came frequently to leave food for the prisoners, waved their hands to the soldiers, who were behind the fence, on the playground. They had hardly finished greeting them in a friendly and entirely harmless way when they were grasped by two Japanese soldiers who started to beat them furiously. They were forced to kneel and bow to the soldiers, who continued kicking them and hitting them with truncheons. They were tied up, with their hands behind, and left there in the middle of the road as an example for everyone. We did not see them again.
20. On one occasion, about the end of January, coming from Hong Kong with Mr. MARC PETIT, sub-manager of the Messageries Maritimes, and who was staying at my house with his family, we passed through the barbed wire entanglements of the Star Ferry, where the Japanese sentries were posted. When we were passing a group which had just arrived in the ferry, I heard the sentry shouting, and, turning my head, I saw the soldier catch Mr. PETIT by the neck and punching him on the nape, force him to bow several times.
21. On the 25th February, 1942, about 12 o’clock noon, I was coming from Ice-House Street in the direction of the Star Ferry, when suddenly every one received orders to lie down flat on the pavement. It was a curfew. I estimate that we were probably about 50 persons including many women and children. Japanese soldiers with bayonets were posted all around, and there was a great deal of running, and motor-cars and lorries passing through in front of the ferry, fully loaded with soldiers. It was 1: 20 p.m. when, probably on account of discomfort, a European lady of about 40 years old got up. Immediately a Japanese soldier came running from behind her, with a wild expression on his face, and shouting loudly, hit her with the butt of his firearm on her back. The lady was thrown violently to the ground, flat against the pavement. When there, the soldier kicked her and continued shouting. He went back to his post in the corner of Queen’s Building but, before doing so, he went amongst the persons who were there, kicking them, and to one Chinese man who was with his hat on, he took it off, hitting him as well with the butt of his rifle. About 2 o’clock we saw several lorries with soldiers passing again, and, behind these, a large parade of motor-cars. It happened to be the arrival of the newly appointed Governor, General RENSUKE ISOGAI. We were not allowed to get up until 2:
30 p.m. When I did, the lady was still there, bleeding at the face and apparently unconscious. I looked back when entering the ferry, and I saw her for the last time, alone, flat on the ground, and without any soldier coming to take care of her, notwithstanding the fact that the headquarters of the Gendarmerie were less than 50 yards from the spot.
22. About the beginning of February 1942, when visiting the St. Teresa Hospital, I came across Frederick HERITY, member of the Canadian troops, who gave me his address as No. 593 Young Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, requesting me to tell his family that he was safe, although he had lost a leg.
HERITY was found by the Japanese on the hills of Kowloon and picked up by mistake when they were looking for Japanese wounded soldiers. He was taken to a house in Kowloon Tong, where they discovered he was a British soldier, and left him behind for a full day and night without food or clothing, on the floor and bleeding from one leg. He was unable to get up or move and was in great pain. He was taken next day to the La Salle College in Boundary Street and left in the same condition in a room with a concrete floor, without a mattress or blankets. He was trembling with cold and extremely weak for lack of food and loss of blood. He was left there for 6 days. He was only given a little boiled rice with water once a day. No one came to look after him or cure his leg, which was getting worse every day and causing him severe pain. He was discovered by chance by an Eurasian nurse, LUISA, who reported the matter to the St. TERESA’S Hospital, 327, Prince Edward Road. The doctor in charge, an Irish priest, Rev. G.L. KENNEDY, S.J., came to see him and obtained from the sentries authority to take him to the hospital. When they reached there, he was found to have gangrene and it was necessary to amputate his leg immediately, as his general condition was getting hourly worse. I saw him in the hospital a few days afterwards. He recovered slowly and when the time came for him to walk a little, the Japanese refused to give him crutches. I was able to buy some made of bamboo for him. This case was told to me by him, by the Doctor who operated on him, and by the Nurse Luisa, who later came to my house on service.
23. About the beginning of March 1942, I received the visit of a Jesuit priest (I think his name was P. JOAD and that he was Irish) working at the Wah Yan College in Hong Kong. I met him during the proposed International Committee meeting on the 13th January, mentioned elsewhere in this statement, when he was appointed to draft the communication to the Japanese authorities.
This priest came to ask me whether I was able to help Mr. and Mrs. MARTIN, the British Consul General at Chungking and his wife, who were caught by the war in Hong Kong. They were staying at the St. Stephen’s College or hospital, in Lyttleton Road, Hong Kong, living in the servants’ backyard, in a room with concrete or brick floor, without proper clothing, money, food and necessary medicines. Mr. Martin was seriously ill with cancer and requiring daily injections of liver, which were not supplied at all by the Japanese authorities, notwithstanding that they were asked for of the Japanese Consulate General, with stress laid on the diplomatic status of Mr. Martin. The Japanese Military Authorities, apparently the Gendarmerie, refused to recognize them as “officials” or “diplomatic”, and replied that they were ordinary prisoners of war. However, they were granted the “privilege” of remaining at the Girls school, instead of being taken to Stanley with the other British. They had no money left, and were not provided with food; their case was a most serious one, especially considering the grave condition of Mr. Martin.
I went to speak on their behalf to the Japanese Consulate General, talking to the Vice Consul MATSUMOTO who informed that he knew about their case, but that the authorities did not want to make any special concession for them. When I stressed the humanitarian need for a new appeal, as Mr. Martin was in a most pitiful state, Mr. MATSUMOTO kindly accepted to see the authorities. I saw, too, Mr. ODA a former Japanese Consul in Hong Kong and now newly appointed in charge of Foreign Affairs, at the Peninsula Hotel. He was also kind in listening to their case, and considered it most necessary to help them. He spoke by telephone with some military authorities and went personally to see them. Next day he told me that the military authorities considered them as “prisoners” and nothing could be done to ameliorate their situation, although he personally expressed his deep sorrow at such a reply. Vice Consul MATSUMOTO gave in the afternoon a similar answer. However, he told me privately that Consul KIMURA had sent them some money out of his own pocket, but that there was nothing to be obtained from the military authorities. I asked him who were responsible for such an inhuman act, and he replied that “the administration was still very much disorganized and it was really impossible to get the right person to whom to appeal”. I managed to smuggle a letter to Mr. and Mrs. Martin with some money, and told the priest who came to see me that I could do nothing for them, but that as I was going in a few days time to Tokyo, I would take their case up without fail there.
On the 18th March the day before I left Hong Kong I was informed that they were in the same place and critical situation.
24. Together with the Martins’ case, I took up the one of Mrs. REEVES, wife of H. M. Vice Consul at MACAO.
She was staying with them at the same place, also caught by the war in Hong Kong. She was not allowed to proceed to Macao, and her official position was not recognised. She was in an extremely bad state of nerves and general health, suffering from neurosis on account of a fracture of the base of her skull some time before. Her case was also serious and pitiful and I made all these particulars known to the Japanese authorities.
As in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Martin, the reply was negative, and I could not obtain from the Japanese any alleviation of her situation.
Sworn at the British Consulate General, Istanbul, this eleventh day of March, 1943, before me,
His Britannic Majesty’s Consul General At Istanbul.
KILLING OF CIVILIANS
1. The killing of civilians by Japanese soldiers at Hong Kong seems to have been general on the first day (12th December 1941). Much reliable information from entirely honest sources came to confirm afterwards what I had myself seen the same day, all the cases being on the same lines and against peaceful and unarmed groups of Chinese of the coolie class.
2. My boy, ALBERTO CHONG CHAVEZ, who was Peruvian, (Chinese father and Peruvian mother), and very reliable and honest, managed to cross the Japanese posts in the afternoon of the 16th December 1941 and returned late in the evening with incredible stories of the killing of Chinese by Japanese soldiers around Jordan Road. He himself was witness to the chasing of two Chinese girls along Shanghai Street; as the soldiers were far behind and unable to get hold of the girls who were running desperately for safety, one of the Japanese took out his revolver and opened fire wildly, killing two bystanders.
3. RAPE. On the 7th of January 1942 a Chinese broker came to my Consulate in Hong Kong telling me that Mr. LANDAU, owner of the Parisian Grill, a well-known restaurant, wished to see me urgently. I went to see him in his premises in Queen’s Road. Mr. LANDAU was all nervous and upset; his face showed signs of pain, he asked me whether it would be possible to get away in an evacuation ship that people were then talking about, and which apparently was going to call at Buenos Aires. He then confessed me what had happened. His wife and sister-in-law had been most brutally assaulted in their house outside the city. They were caught by the advancing troops and unable to run into Victoria City. The soldiers went inside the house and did to them all sorts of bestialities, abusing both. His mother-in-law, who tried to save them was beaten, and a servant, who also tried to do the same and run for help, was first raped several times, and then, after she had lost consciousness, thrown down the rocks.
4. One morning, just before Hong Kong was finally taken, Dr. IP, who has been my wife’s doctor at our arrival in Kowloon, came all pale to ask me to give refuge to his daughters in our house, as an hour before they had been forced to escape through the window, when some Japanese soldiers who had been there the day before trying to get hold of them managed to break into the house. One servant, who was caught helping them to escape, was brutally beaten in spite of her old age.
5. LOOTING. Looting by Japanese soldiers started immediately after they entered the city. They went pretty well house by house taking whatever they wanted. They were looking especially for watches and photographic cameras. They did not differentiate between women or men, and whoever with something of value fell in with them was immediately robbed.
6. On the 17th December 1941, in the morning, my wife, together with many other ladies, children and old men, was staying at the shelter built in our compound, since the shelling from Hong Kong was very dangerous and several houses nearby had already been destroyed by the explosions. Especially after the Japanese had moved their pieces of artillery around our houses it was impossible to remain inside, as the return fire from the island was increasing in intensity. Suddenly a group of Japanese soldiers entered the shelter starting to search and loot all the persons. Mrs. WONG, wife of Dr. WONG, who was living not very far from our house in Kadoorie Avenue, a lady of about 65 years old, tried to retain an old jewel which was of great sentimental value to her, and was beaten by the soldiers, falling on the ground unconscious. Mrs. MARC PETIT, wife of the sub-manager of the Messageries Maritimes in Hong Kong, and who was one of the ladies taking refuge in our Consulate, also attempted to save her watch, and one of the soldiers took out his bayonet and tried to cut her wrist. She ran shouting, and managed to escape with the other ladies and my wife towards the Consulate, which was about 200 metres from the shelter. The soldiers chased them and came straight up to the Consulate. As the ladies were by then already inside, the soldiers started to beat on the main door, notwithstanding an official poster in Japanese characters which was on it, explaining that the house was a Consulate and that no one was allowed to enter it. As they could not break through, one of them took out his gun and shot twice at the window.
7. An Argentine lady, Mrs. LYDIA WONG CHEN, telephoned to me one morning at the Consulate to inform me that her mother, an old ex-resident in Buenos Aires, had been robbed the previous night. Two Japanese soldiers and one Chinese man broke into her apartment and forced the lady, who is nearly 70 years old, to open her strong box, from where they took all her cash and several jewels.
Japanese soldiers were posted on both sides of the Star Ferry where they searched every one coming through. Their behaviour was most brutal. Since I got a special pass which allowed me to use the launches of the Japanese Civil Administration, on the small pier behind the Kowloon Railway Station, I only actually came across a case of ill treatment, when one foreign lady, a white Russian, was hit because she failed to take off her hat and bow to the sentries. However, I was told by many persons, especially ladies, that the behaviour of the soldiers with the women was extremely bad. It seems that they were taken many times inside the lavatories of the Star Ferry where they ordered the women to strip off their clothing, after which they were abused. Chinese women were particularly liable to this. It happened that a Chinese lady, wife of one of the WANG CHING WEI partisans in Hong Kong, and then working with the Japanese, was treated in that way. Her husband made a personal protest to the Governor ISOGAI, and afterwards women guardians were posted to search the ladies.
9. PUBLIC HEALTH The way in which the health situation in Hong Kong and Kowloon was tackled by the Japanese authorities must be made public. Already at the very beginning of the occupation of Kowloon, I had called the attention of the Japanese Army to the danger of epidemics. Moreover, I told Colonel or Major NISHIYAMA the professional impression of Dr. FEHILLY, himself a Public Health Officer, and of doctors on his staff, regarding the possibility of epidemics if measures were not taken immediately. This was between the 13th and 14th December 1941. In a place like Hong Kong, where cholera and dysentery spread so easily on account of overcrowding and lack of precautions by the natives, it was most urgent to try to keep the Streets clean. Besides the weather was warm and the temperature never below 50 degrees, in spite of its being mid winter. December passed, and January, and still in the middle of February there were quarters of Kowloon and districts of Hong Kong which had not been cleaned at all. Epidemics, dysentery and cholera were in full swing from the last week of December onwards. Even the doctors of the Kowloon hospital were ill. A Chinese hospital behind the Chinese Y.M.C.A. in Nathan Road and Waterloo Road was crowded with persons stricken by these diseases. All over the city there were corpses in decomposition, together with accumulations of “nightsoil” rubbish, etc. There were places, like Shanghai Street and several lanes conducting to Jordan Road, in which the accumulated amount of these things, dead bodies, etc. formed piles of over a metre and half high. The air was thick as a result and millions of flies invaded the city, partly on account of the Army’s horses which were kept everywhere and partly because of such conditions. The city was without water for a long time, and, when the water came, the rates were so prohibitive and the deposit to be paid so high that it was impossible for anyone to meet the extortion. There were no squads to clean the city, nor any medical corps, or any official disposition to tackle this growing danger. In the prisoners’ camps, the epidemics were also formidable, without any alleviation from the authorities in charge. I saw once in the St. Teresa Hospital an Army Officer, whose name I believe was Captain REEVES, and whom I knew quite well, since I have played rugger against him many times, bringing along some British soldiers in terrible condition. In a free moment, when the Japanese guard was inside the Hospital, I enquired of him regarding conditions, and he told me that malaria, dysentery and avitaminosis were most serious. I heard about the same time from a Japanese officer, Lieutenant KOZUKURI, of the Nami 9703 Corps, that cholera had developed amongst the Japanese troops and that he was more than glad to leave Hong Kong that evening by plane for MANILA, as he was most seriously concerned about the danger of epidemics, which seemed to him increasing hourly. I must say as well that not only was no effort made by the authorities to clean the cities or initiate any public hygiene, but that the population could not themselves fight the conditions or cure the sick, since all chemists shops and all hospitals were closed and some chemists shops were already being requisitioned by the Japanese authorities, who were taking the medicines away in order to send them to Japan, as was told to me by PATRICK WONG, a Chinese friend of mine through our mutual contact in playing badminton, and who was then working with the Japanese in an office opened in the National City Bank of N. Y. building for “sanitary prevention”.
Another Japanese officer Captain TERADA, a surgeon posted somewhere in South China, and his adjutant, a noncommissioned officer named HIROSE, who came several times to my house during the end of February and beginning of March, informed me of the serious condition in respect of epidemics everywhere. Vice-Consul MATSUMOTO, with whom I had been in touch for a long time and who was in charge of our trip to Japan (he actually came with us), was also terribly concerned about the epidemics, and anxious to leave the place. He was daily trying to obtain transportation for himself, his staff, and ourselves, on account of the sanitary conditions. As late as February 6th, some 43 days after the Japanese had totally occupied Hong Kong, “The Hong Kong News”, an English paper published as a propaganda organ by the Japanese, published an editorial about “Public Health” in which it said inter alia: “That the war has brought about a very material interruption of routine public health and sanitary services in Hong Kong is not denied. Heaps of rubbish remained fox weeks undisposed of in the urban areas, and this, coupled with the dirt and litter accompanying mass-hawking in the streets, attracted swarms of flies”.
Coming from a source of Japanese propaganda, the confession contained in that editorial is most suggestive. In the first week of January I saw Mr. KWOK-CHUNG SHING, who was in charge of the Health Section in Hong Kong, and he expressed to me and to a friend who took me to see him that he was nearly mad because of the rubbish which was everywhere: the dropping of corpses of persons who had died of epidemics in the streets, the lack of medicines and facilities, and the fact that he had only 60 men to look after the central part of the city and 30 other scavengers to look after 11 districts. These scavengers were paid a catty of rice a day to do their job, and, since some of them were unable to get the promised rice, such left their jobs altogether.
In January 9th, the LUEN YIP GUILD issued a notice to their former employees stating that they had received permission to collect “night soil” and on January 15th the Civil Administration notified the monthly rates to be paid per household for the collection of nightsoil. However, this collection only began, inadequately and through extortions in money and kind, about the first week of February.
10. One of the first acts of the Japanese when they occupied Kowloon and Hong Kong was to empty the hospitals, as for instance in the case of the Queen Mary Hospital, which was crowded with wounded and sick, and where they granted only two hours for the removal of the entire personnel and patients. The Chinese staff having already left the hospital, it was left to a reduced number of British nurses and officials to carry out the difficult job, as many cases were dangerously ill and many a gravely wounded soldier or civilian was unable to move. The order was enforced, and I have been told by auxiliary nurses (Mrs. MARIXA JOHNSON mentioned elsewhere) that some patients died on account of the removal.
11. Rev. G.L. KENNEDY, the doctor in charge of St. TERESA Hospital, a most serious person, with whom I have a chance of talking daily, gave most sad accounts of the health situation. He came in contact with some British officers in a bad state of avitaminosis (malnutrition). I saw several British soldiers being brought into the Hospital in a really pitiful state; their faces without any signs of life, without clothing, practically naked, so much so we were collecting clothes to be given to them.
12. Notwithstanding that the cities, Kowloon and Hong Kong, were with thousands of critical cases, the hospitals remained closed, I have the personal experience of my daughter WENDY. She developed symptoms of bacillary dysentery on the 20th of January 1942. On the 22nd January, my wife, accompanied by Mrs. MARG PETIT, submanager of the Messageries Maritimes, went to see the military authorities at the Peninsula, requesting them to allow us to take our girl into a hospital. Mr. MIAKI received them and replied that all the hospitals were under military orders and it was impossible for any civilian to get in. Then my wife and friend went to see Colonel IKUDA, a most kind person who was of great help to us on many occasions. This Colonel arranged for us to take our little girl to a Chinese hospital in Nathan Road. We went there and were notified by its director, a very kind Chinese, Doctor MAH that the situation of the hospital was extremely bad and it was better for us to keep her at home. He took us around the hospital where the patients were lying even on the floor. It was terribly overcrowded. He told us that they were without medicines, food, and light, unable to get fuel and could not go ahead, with so many cases and such a lack of essentials. Next day, we were informed that the St. TERESA Hospital in Prince Edward Road was empty. We applied to the authorities for authorization to use a room since the hospital was completely unoccupied. They refused on account of its being the hospital earmarked for the troops. We begged again in the afternoon, explaining that for the moment the hospital was without any soldiers and that the situation of our little girl was most serious and required immediate medical attention that we were unable to give at home. They refused again, as they said they were expecting the soldiers to be brought in at any moment.
Through the kindness of the sisters, we managed to get Dr. WONG, recently arrived at the Hospital from Canton, and he came to our house. He insisted that it was most necessary to take the girl to the hospital. Next day we was again Mr. MIAKI, and the Sanitary Department, on the first floor of the Peninsula Hotel. They alleged many difficulties, and insisted that we could only use the Chinese hospital mentioned above. We told them the real situation of that hospital, and they dared to deny what we had actually seen ourselves. I went then to the Japanese Consulate Genera!, and saw Vice Consul YATSUMOTO to whom I explained that we have for several days been trying to obtain authorization to take our girl into a hospital without any success. Moreover, I told him that the staff of the St. TERESA Hospital were willing to help us, but could not allow her to come in without due permission as they have been severely warned in that sense by the Army. He then phoned up to several Departments and was unable to obtain a satisfactory reply. Only the next day, in the afternoon, and only through strong representations by the Japanese Consulate General was our daughter permitted to enter the hospital, already too late.
This hospital, like the others, was without light, current not being allowed to them unless they paid a deposit which amounted to several hundred military yens. They were not supplied with food, and some of their medicines had already been taken away by the Japanese.
People were dying daily, and I came to know tens of cases of friends and acquaintances, who were ill with epidemic diseases or had died already. From the balcony of the St. TERESA Hospital which overlooks one of the prisoners’ camps, I saw on the morning of February 3rd, an Indian soldier walking out very slowly and with difficulty from the barracks, and after a few steps in the open air falling to the ground from where he was taken by several soldiers. I questioned one of the sisters and she told me that the cases of epidemics were increasing in the camps.
On Friday 12th our daughter died. I requested the authorities, Mr. MIAKI especially, since he was in charge of Foreign Affairs, for a truck to take her to the cemetery in the hills of Shamshuipo, several miles away from the hospital. The lorry was refused, on the ground that it might be very contagious for the public health to transport a person who had died of an epidemic disease. Next day, we walked under the rain, taking her on our shoulders. The road up to Shamshuipo was a most pathetic one, corpses of children and grown-up persons lying here and there, some in terrible conditions of decomposition. In some corners “nightsoil” and rubbish impeded free passage. When we were arriving near the cemetery Vice Consul MATSUMOTO came in a private motor car and offered his deep regret for the way we had been treated, and informed me that even he himself had been refused a car to come, but had stopped one with help of a soldier and forced it to bring him there. He also was shocked at the conditions of the place.
(signed) R.M. LAVELLE
I, Leonard Fleury Flurst, His Majesty’s Consul General at Istanbul, hereby certify that the above signature, “R. M. Lavelle”, was made before me this eleventh day of March, 1943, at the British Consulate General at Istanbul by Ramon Muniz Lavelle, temporarily residing in Istanbul, who is personally known to me, and that the said signature is in the proper handwriting of the said Ramon Muniz Lavalle.
(Sgd.) L. F. Flurst.
Summary of examination of Capt. Osler Thomas,
British Army, General List, duly sworn states:
I am 25 years of age, of British Nationality, and born at Hong Kong. My permanent address is do Dr. G.H. Thomas Medical Department Hong Kong. I am at present living at the Gloucester Hotel, Hong Kong.
On 8th December 1941 hostilities broke out in Hong Kong and a few days later, as Cadet Medical Officer in the Field Ambulance, Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps, I was posted as Medical Officer to the 3rd Battery, H.K.V.D.C. at Pak Sha Wan, Lyemun. Due to very heavy Japanese shell fire, I was later sent back to our Advance Dressing Station situated at the Salosian Mission Shaukiwan. The A.D.S. was commanded by Captain Stanley M. Banfill, Royal Rifles of Canada, and the personnel comprised a number of medical orderlies from the same regiment. The building also housed R.A.M.C. supplies and stores in charge of Q.M.S. BUCHAN and a number of R.A.M.C. other Ranks, together with a civilian Red Cross Aid Post under Dr. ORLOFF. His staff consisted of another Chinese doctor, Dr. TSANG FOOK CHOR, St. John’s Ambulance stretcher-bearers and some A.N.S. nurses.
At about 0600 hours on 19th December 1941, being unaware of the fact that the enemy had actually landed and were in the vicinity, I left the A.D.S. with an ambulance carrying 2 wounded Rajput Officers (British Captains) and an injured civilian. We had only gone a few yards up the road when the ambulance was raked by intense machinegun fire. The driver and an orderly (both Canadians) leapt from the ambulance and one was hit in the leg. I backed the vehicle down the road to the Mission and managed to get into the building to warn the rest of the personnel. They went up to the top floor of the building and from there they
could see large numbers of Japanese on the hill-side above. In a few minutes the building was surrounded and the glass doors of the basement were broken in. Owing to the presence of women and civilians and the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, the post surrendered. All the personnel, including Chinese cooks and servants were led out on to the level ground in front of the building, and all the males searched and stripped except for their trousers. After about an hour, we were all led on to the main road and the women taken up towards Lyemun Barracks while the men were led up the hill behind the Mission. On the main road we saw the 2 Rajput Captains lying by the roadside after having been thrown out of the Ambulance. The men were then lined up on the edge of the nullah which runs behind the Mission, with a large number of Japanese troops on the hillside watching on. Suddenly three Japanese soldiers started to bayonet our unsuspecting men from the road amidst cheers from the enemy onlookers. Some of our men had to be bayoneted three times before they would fall and then their bodies were kicked into the nullah. I think at this moment panic must have broken loose as a number of those on the lower end of the line broke out, ran and these were shot. These included Dr. ORLOFF. During this pandemonium of shooting I fell into the nullah as though shot, the bodies of two victims later falling on me and protecting me from the orgy of shooting and bayoneting that followed.
I lay in that bloody nullah all day, hearing the groan of the dying and seeing the flow of blood under me, but not daring to move. One R.A.M.C. cook, badly wounded in the neck crawled over me down the nullah and I advised him to lie still, but this advice he ignored. That night, I escaped down the nullah but was unable to get through the Japanese lines and so, after obtaining Chinese clothes, lived in an A.R.P. Shelter and later in a hill-squatters hut until about the 23rd December, when Dysentery and general weak knees forced me to make my way to Causeway Bay where I sheltered with a friend who put me up and took care of me until after January 1942 when I returned to my home. I left Hong Kong for Free China in July, 1942.
Sgd.) 0. Thomas... Capt.
Sworn before me.... R. C. COOPER.... Major This Ninth..., day of ... March, 1946.
(Sgd.) ... R.C.Cooper... Major.
WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION TEAM
SUBJECT: REPORT ON THE ARMY MEDICAL STORE
At about 7: 00 a.m. on the morning of the 19th December, 1941, just as the detachment were about to sit down for breakfast, Private R. Reid, R.A.M.C. who was on sentry duty from 6: 00 a.m. to 8: 00 p.m. came down to the Dining Hall and reported to Q.M.S. Buchan, N.M., R.A.M.C., that the building was surrounded by Japanese troops. Captain Banfill, R.C.A.M.C., Q.M.S. Buchan, Sgt. Watt and myself proceeded to the first floor of the building. Here we saw that Private Reid’s statement had been perfectly correct and that Japanese troops were all around us, although at this stage none of them were making for the building. We
were all sent back to the dining hall and Captain Banfill and Q.M.S. Buchan had a discussion on the subject and they then informed all the troops and the A.N.S. and St. John’s Ambulance personnel that if the building were attacked, or looked as though it were likely to be attacked, the policy would be to surrender. Whilst these instructions were being given several of the personnel were keeping a look-out from the windows and one of them reported that a large number of Japanese were approaching the building with machine guns. A few moments later a banging was heard on the door and a lot of shouting in Japanese. Q.M.S. Buchan ordered Pte. Mohan to open the door. This order was carried out. We piled all our arms in the centre of the Dining Hall and went out of the building with our hands above our heads. We were greeted by about 100 Japanese troops, who shouted and prodded us into line. They then sent in a search party to see if any more people were left in the building. In the meantime, one of the Japanese soldiers lay down in front of us with an automatic rifle on a tripod and “ran it” around us. When the search party came back we were separated. The soldiers being pushed onto one side and the A.W.S. and St. John’s Ambulance personnel onto the other. They then searched us and took all our belongings except watches, jewellery, etc.. We were then instructed to take off our boots or shoes and tunics or shorts. We, the servicemen present, were then left with just a vest, trousers and socks. After doing a “War Dance” the Japanese instructed us, by a wave of the hand, to march off onto the main road, this we did. Capt. Banfill remained behind. After proceeding up Island Road for about 200 yards we were halted, the ladies and nurses of the S.J.A.E. continued up the road, whilst the men were taken up a little path, which led into the hills. We carried on for about ten minutes and looking back we could see that they were taking all the females up to Lyemun Barracks. We were halted in a little valley about half a mile or so up the hill side. It was very well sheltered and could not be seen from the road. There were, I should estimate, about 1, 000 Japanese troops present at this position. We were told to sit down and some Chinese civilians, who were with the troops, came down and removed our jewellery, i.e. finger rings, watches etc. After remaining seated for a matter of several minutes we were ordered to get up and proceed down the hill. We eventually reached a small clearing on a level piece of ground which ran in a slight slope down to a nullah. We were halted and prodded into line facing the direction of the main road. This brought us facing away from the Japanese. We heard laughter from behind and then suddenly I heard a commotion and a loud moan from further down the line and looking along I saw that Sergeant E. Watt, R.A.M.C. had been bayoneted. He fell to the ground and was stabbed several times whilst lying there. I then felt a terrific hit on the back of the neck. The blow shot me into the air and spun me completely round and I fell to the ground face downwards I lay in this position with blood pouring into my eyes, ears and mouth, and then as my brain cleared I could hear firing close at hand, and also a great deal of moaning going on around me. I could also hear the Japanese talking and laughing quite close at hand. They came over towards where I lay and I heard them loading, presumably, a revolver. There was a single shot fired and then a moan, which had been very close to me, ceased. The Japanese then moved away and I heard several shots fired at varying intervals and after each shot the moaning lessened. I lay still for some time and later when I ventured to lift up my head to look around I saw that all the troops had moved off but that four Japanese sentries remained behind to guard the spot. I noticed that Private Reid was lying across the bottom of my legs, and from his wounds it was obvious that he was dead. Private McFarquhar lay to the left of me and it was also obvious that he too was dead. I pushed myself clear from the obstruction around me and then rolled down the slope into the nullah. I lay here for several minutes quite exhausted. I also saw that Q.M.S. Buchan and Private Williams were lying in the nullah and from their wounds it was only too obvious that they too were dead. I then commenced to crawl down the nullah in the direction of the Medical Store. Water was running down the nullah and I was getting very wet and was also shivering a great deal. On the way down I passed a body lying in the nullah floor and after I had got a few feet past I heard a low whistle. I looked around and saw that it was Lieut. Thomas, H.K.V.D.C., (field ambulance), who had been attached to the Collecting Post in the same building as the Army Medical Store. He stated that he intended to stay where he was until nightfall and then try to get away. I told him that I did not intend to do the same but was all for getting down to the bottom of the hill as soon as possible and looking around whilst it was still light. I then carried on down the hill and after about half an hour I reached the part of the nullah which over looked the store. I could see from here that the Japanese were in occupation of the building and so I moved further down and hid in an improvised shelter which had been built by the Salesian Fathers in residence as an air raid shelter. I remained here all night and on the following morning I crept out to have a look around. There were no Japanese in the actual vicinity of the store although a large number of cavalry were housed on the other side of Island Road. I made my way down to the football pitch which was situated behind the building and from here I proceeded to carefully approach the store. As I got closer I noticed that there were several Japanese in the kitchen. I decided that it was unsafe to remain near the store so I returned to the hills. As I passed to the front of the store I noticed that several cars and lorries were parked in the compound. I decided it was quite useless to attempt to gain an admittance to the building so commenced to move off up the hill with the object of eventually reaching Taikoo. I was now in a state of complete exhaustion; and was obliged to rest frequently. I carried on at a snail’s pace for several hours and then had to lie down for about half an hour or so. It was impossible to me to carry on any further. However, I eventually dragged myself to my feet and carried on. At about four o’clock in the evening I had reached the block of houses which overlook Taikoo Docks and Sugar Factory. I realised that it was physically impossible for me to carry on any further this day so I entered one of the houses and sat down on the floor for a while. These houses had all been smashed and looted, presumably by the Chinese; furniture was broken and burnt and strewn all over the place. I found that the settee of a suite of furniture had been left intact so I dragged this into an alcove of the room in which it stood. I sat down and found out that I had a fairly good view of the two paths which led up to the house. I fell fast asleep soon after I sat down. It was early next morning when I awoke and taking advantage of the dim light outside I went scouting for food and water, all the taps in the house had been smashed to pieces and the water turned off. I searched the houses in the vicinity but could find no food or water. There were a large number of dead bodies of troops, mainly Indian, and empty cartridge cases and field telephones. I then returned to the house and sat down again. After a short while I heard footsteps and voices below and looking down I saw that three Japanese were entering the house via the kitchen, which was directly below where I was situated. As soon as I heard them coming up the stairs I quietly opened, the window and climbed through and dropped the ten or so feet to the ground beneath. I crept round the side of the house and lay low in some bushes. I saw the Japanese emerge from the house and go off down the hill side again. I went back into the house to think things over. Less than half an hour later I again heard footsteps and voices and looking down I saw yet another four Japanese approaching the house. I repeated my performance of the time before and when they departed I returned to the house. I had by this time decided that it was stupid for me to remain in the main part of the house any longer. I went down past the kitchen and into the basement. I stayed here for the rest of the day. By this time my wound was extremely painful and I was beginning to feel the pangs of hunger and thirst. I eventually fell asleep and slept right through until the next morning. I again went up into the first floor and straight away bumped into three Chinese civilians. They spoke to me and appeared to be quite sympathetic until one of them asked me if I had any money. I replied that I had not but they did not appear to believe me. One of them then commenced to try to search me. I naturally resented this and pushed him away. He and one of his comrades then went outside the door and came back with a gardening fork each and commenced to rush at me. I staved them off with a piece of broken chair, but was eventually hit in the side by one of the forks. It did not penetrate into my flesh very deeply but it was sufficient to draw blood. This apparently satisfied them for they went off and appeared to be quite pleased with themselves. I went back into the basement again and remained there for the rest of the day. I found that in the front of the house there was a fountain and that the tap running into this contained water, although it was somewhat dirty. I drank about a pint and a few hours later I had terrible pains in the stomach. However, these pains went and I was more or less airight again. I remained in the house until the 26th of December, although I of course did not know that this was the date then. During this period I had nothing to drink only the pint of water which I have mentioned above and nothing whatever to eat. It was only on very rare occasions that I came up into the house for a look around. I might have mentioned earlier that when I first arrived at Taikoo the Japanese forces were landing at the Taikoo Sugar Factory Pier in large numbers and were proceeding along Kings Road and up Mount Parker Road and this of course meant that I was trapped in behind the Japanese Lines with little or no chance of getting out. Thus my enforced stay in the vicinity. However, on the evening of the 26th I decided that I could not go on any longer without some form of dressing for my wound or without water or food so I ventured out into the grounds once again. I had not gone more than a few yards then I met four Japanese walking towards me. They looked me over and grunted and pointed for me to go down the pathway onto Kings Road. This I did, any moment expecting to get a shot from behind. I went on for about 25 yards and then looked around and was astonished and pleasantly surprised to find that the Japanese had disappeared from my view. I continued on down to the main road and then walked in the direction of Causeway Bay. I met several Japanese sentries and they just looked me over and pushed or prodded me on my way, mostly with the end of a rifle. After about half an hour I arrived at the North Point internment Camp. Here a Japanese with a Red Cross Pennant in his hand led me into the Camp. He sat me down on a chair and went away in search of someone. Meanwhile several European people, both male and female came up to me and led me into one of the huts. Two A.N.S. nurses commenced to attend to my wounds when a Mr. Stewart arrived on the scene and after informing me that he was ex R.A.M.C. continued with the cleaning up and dressing of my wound. I was very well treated by these people and they lay me down on a camp bed after the dressing was finished and gave me a mugful of baked beans. Several members of the R.A.O.C., were already interned and they were most anxious to hear what had happened to me. A Japanese officer then came along and gave me a clean shirt and a pair of flannels and informed me that if I changed into these clean clothes he would attempt to get me admitted to either the Queen Mary Hospital or the French Convent Hospital. He said that he did not know if these hospitals were accepting military casualties and it would be better if I went in civilian clothing. He gave me a chit of paper with Japanese written all over it and told me to show it to anyone who stopped me. I was then picked up and carried outside the gate and placed in a waiting car, which turned out to be the property of Dr. Selwyn Clarke. This gentleman himself came out and got in and we commenced our journey. We arrived at the French Hospital but it was full up so we proceeded from there to the Queen Mary Hospital and I was admitted into this hospital. I remained there until the 5th of January when Corporal Thompson, R.A.M.C. came from Bowen Road and brought me to the Military Hospital, Bowen Road. I was operated upon on the morning of the 6th January, 1942, and was discharged from Hospital on 26th March, 1942.
I am, Sir, Your obedient servant, (Signed) N.J. Leath.
STATEMENT OF SISTER MISS A.F. GORDON, TERRITORIAL ARMY NURSING SERVICE, OF EVENTS THAT OCCURRED AT ST. STEPHENS COLLEGE HOSPITAL DURING THE PERIOD 23RD TO 26TH DECEMBER 1941
“On the evening of the 23rd December Mrs. FIDOE and I and all the V.A.D.s returned to the Sisters Quarters (Dr. Pope’s house) to find that it had been taken over as the Headquarters of the Canadian troops. Lt. Col. Home, Royal Rifles of Canada, was surprised to see us and advised us to return to the hospital. However, we stayed there for the night and returned at crack of dawn. On the road down to the hospital I noticed that the whole route was trenched and occupied by troops with machine guns.
December 24th was a dreadful day—we were shelled, machine gunned and dive bombed throughout. However, we were so busy that I had no time to notice what actually was going on outside. Dr. Hackett arrived from the Prison Hospital with a view to taking our worst cases, eventually taking twelve. He also took with him Captains Lynch and Spence, Lt. Ashton-Rose, Dr. Balean and several orderlies.
All staff remained in the hospital the night of December 24/25th. I, Mrs. FIDOE and five V.A.D.s lay down in the Pack Store of the hospital (main building adjacent to the office). The noise was so terrific and the bombing so disturbing that we all returned to the main hall. Here there was complete chaos—everyone all bunched together in the darkness with Lt. Col. Black and Captain Witney. There was no further attempt at sleeping that night.
Just before dawn there was a terrific howl and shortly afterwards Japanese arrived in large numbers at the front entrance where I was standing with the V.A.D.s; the latter ran into the main building whilst I remained with the others in the main hail. Captain Scotcher was pulled out and shortly afterwards he instructed me to come out and put my hands above my head. They took off my steel helmet and cracked me over the head with it, searched my pockets, took off my red cross band and removed any valuables (watch) that I had. They shouted for everyone to come out and everyone did except Sgt. PARKIN, R.A.M.C., who attempted to run past but was shot dead instantly. They gave me the impression that they did not think this was a hospital—that it was more in the nature of a fortress. We were all marched in single file into one of the adjacent class rooms, the patients also being brought in. Here we remained for an hour or two, crowded and huddled together with no room to lie or sit down. One of our patients Rfm. SWEET, suffering from a wound in the back received another wound in the left elbow and bled profusely. Several of our patients (between 50 and 60 I should imagine) were killed during the day. After two hours (about 9 a.m.) we were marched in single file upstairs—dead bodies and blood covered the stairs—and at the top landing several Japs hit us as we passed. We were then put into different class rooms, I going into a small room with four V.A.D.s (Mrs. Smith, Begg, Buston and Simmons) where there were five Chinese women (wives of British soldiers). We remained here all day the Japanese fixing up a machine gun outside our door, during the day soldiers came in and threatened to shoot us. We were given a tin of bully beef and a tin of milk between US; the Chinese women, who had more freedom, managing to get some water. A particularly bad lot of Japanese soldiers (five in all) came in at 4:30 p.m. and removed Mrs. Smith, Begg, and Buxton—these three we never saw again. One of the Chinese girls told Mrs. Simmons that they had taken out the three V.A.D.s to kill them and that they would return for us shortly; moreover they informed us that the Japanese intended killing all British (men and women) if Hong Kong did not surrender that evening. Half an hour later several Japanese ordered us out and we joined up with Mrs. Andrew-Loving and Mrs. Fidoe and were taken to a room at the end of the corridor, one of the Japanese informing us that Hong Kong “now belong Japanese”.
“It was a clean room and there was a mattress and blanket on the floor for us and a similar one for the Chinese girls. Five minutes later we were ordered by a Japanese soldier, speaking English, to come and bandage wounded Japanese soldiers. They took us to a room in another part of the building overlooking the tennis court, where there were 5 dead bodies of Red Cross personnel. We were made to sit down on these bodies (it was beginning to get dark about now). A little later two soldiers removed Mrs. Fidoe and two removed me. I was taken to another room, where there were two dead bodies, and made to take off all my clothes whilst they removed theirs. Before touching me they apparently became afraid someone was coming and made me put on my clothes again and I was returned to the room where Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Andrews-Loving still were. Mrs. Fidoe rejoined us almost immediately in a weeping state and told us she had been raped. We were all hurried back into the original room with the mattresses but the Chinese girls who had been there had now gone. We were left in peace for a short time only—three soldiers came in and took me to a small adjacent bathroom, knocked me down and all raped me, one after the other, and then let me return. Mrs. Fidoe was then taken and underwent a similar experience. Both Mrs. Fidoe and I then were taken out a second time and raped as before. Mrs. Simmons and Mrs. Andrew-Loving remained untouched. We were all now very desperate and discovering there was a Yale lock on the door we pulled it, locking ourselves in. They returned several times during the night but did not force an entrance.
At 8 a.m. on the 26th two officers and some troops ordered us downstairs where everyone was assembled. Here we were given a tin of bully beef each and some milk and were counted and checked. We four women were then detailed to sweep up all the feathers.
Five Japanese officers later allocated rooms for patients and allowed orderlies to get everything fixed up for the dressing of wounded. We were busy all morning doing dressings the Japanese providing food. One of the Japanese asked Sgt. Major Begg to come and identify the bodies of three women to see if one were his wife. The Canadian Padre, with Sgt. Peasegood R.A.M.C., went out and identified them as the bodies of Mrs. Smith, Begg and Buxton.
Early in the afternoon, a volunteer British Officer (Captain Stoker) arrived from Stanley Fort with a patient and I asked him if he could possibly have us four women removed from St. Stephens. In the evening, about 6 p.m. the same officer arrived and said he would smuggle us out at once if we were quick. We returned to Stanley Fort in the ambulance he had arrived in.”
(Signed) A.F. GORDON
The following are extracts from the reports
of the two undermentioned Senior N.C.O.’s, R.A.M.C., who were on the Staff
of St. Stephens College Hospital, Stanley, prior to and at the time of its
No. 7262360 Sgt. J. H. Anderson, states-
...the first sign of capture was the arrival of four Japanese soldiers at the entrance to the hospital.
“Lt. Col. Black and myself went out to meet them followed by Capt. Witney. Cpl. Noble and Pte. Mooney, R.A.M.C. were already outside under guard. The two officers, after their equipment had been removed, were taken round the corner of the building but the rest of us were lined up against the wall and had our arm bands inspected. One of the Japanese was sent back, apparently to report to some others who soon arrived, entered the main hail, and shepherded all the nurses and some of the patients out. As this was going on Sgt. Parkin, R.A.M.C., who had been asleep in one of the rooms, made a dash for a window and was shot through the head. There were sounds of shouting and shooting as the Japanese ran down the main hail amongst the patients and any patients who were too slow in getting up out of bed, or who could not move owing to wounds were bayoneted or shot. Some of the H.K.V.D.C. tried to escape and others put up a bit of a struggle but they were mostly all bayoneted or shot. The St. John Ambulance Brigade men were all put in one room and systematically butchered, one only remained alive to tell us what happened. All staff and patients were first of all herded into one of the store rooms and later, as all survivors were collected by the Japanese and daylight came, they were taken upstairs and put into the small students dormitories. The women were in one room with some Chinese girls.”
“86 patients and staff, including myself, were in a room 9’ by 12’ 3”. After threatening us with hand grenades and warning us not to escape the Japanese set up a machine gun in the passage outside. After numerous appeals one of the Japanese fetched us a large jug of water and some dry oatmeal. That was all the food or drink offered to us until 10 p.m. During the day, at intervals, parties of Japanese came along and peered in at us, on most of the occasions seizing one of the men and dragging him out to the corridor. The bodies of 4 of these men were afterwards found bayoneted and tortured, and sounds of this going on could be heard in the corridor. Up to about 7 p.m. we could still hear the women talking.”
“About 10 p.m. a junior officer arrived and allowed us to move out some of the walking wounded to other rooms, still leaving about 40 people to spend the night on December 25/26th in the original small room, in which there was insufficient space to lie down properly. At our request the officer allowed us to bring up buckets of fire hydrant water but there was no sign of food and at no time from then onwards did the Japanese offer us any. S.M. Begg (a patient) whose wife was a V.A.D. asked me to try and find out something about the ladies.”
“As soon as it was light on the morning of 26th December the Japanese collected all persons capable of walking and set them to cleaning up. They allowed myself and a patient to go down and get more water. During the cleaning up we found the bodies of the S.J.A.B. and H.K.V.D.C. The bodies of Lt. Col. Black and Capt. Witney, R.A.M.C., were found in the staff lavatory and sitting room respectively, both had been searched and bayoneted or cut with swords. The bodies of three missing women were found in the grounds covered by a blanket. They had been cut to pieces—Mrs. Begg’s head was almost severed from her body. It was not possible to make an examination of the bodies. Altogether about 60 to 70 bodies of patients and 25 bodies of staff were collected. Under orders from the Japanese a huge bonfire was built for the burning of the bodies.”
“In the afternoon of Boxing Day the Japanese told us we could have the whole of the top floor of the hospital east wing. This was occupied and as much medical material as possible was collected. There was no medical officer left. Late that evening Captain Stoker arrived from Stanley with some of the H.K.V.D.C. and just before dark they returned with a small van and succeeded in smuggling the remaining ladies out to the fort. Also they promised to send water and food the following day.”
“By Saturday 2 7th, the water situation was desperate. The Japs had left the building altogether and by disconnecting the hot-water cisterns it was impossible to get enough water to last two-days.”
“For some reason the promised supplies from Stanley had not arrived, probably going astray on route, but enough food had been salvaged from the wrecked stores to give everyone something to eat.”
“On the evening of the 29th a Japanese officer offered us a lorry to take us to Stanley Fort with the remainder of the wounded patients. This was accepted and as much as could be carried was taken through to the Fort.”
“Most of the St. Stephens Hospital R.A.M.C. personnel were left at Stanley Fort and the remainder (12 O.R.’sJ marched back to North Point Camp via Lyemun Cap. eventually arriving at Bowen Road.”
(signed) J.H. Anderson.
Summary of examination of YIM HUNG having
made a solemn declaration states:
I am 28 years of age, of CHINESE Nationality, and born at WO PING VILLAGE, KWNAG TURO PROVINCE, CHINA. My permanent address is TAI TAW WAN, HONG KONG. I am at present living at MARYKNOLL MISSION, STANLEY, HONG KONG.
On the 25/12/41, at about noon AH LEUNG (boy) and myself were taken away by some Japanese soldiers down the slope of the Mission Building to a spot near the Carmelite Convent. There I witnessed the execution of 12 British soldiers. I believe one was a captain, four or five Lieuts., three sergeants, two corporals and one O.E. They were being bayonetted to death by about 30 Japanese soldiers. This execution was witnessed by about 30 Chinese, who were compelled by the Japanese to work as coolies. I was one of these. After the execution the Chinese were asked to carry firewood for the Japanese. The next day, 26/12/41, at about 1500 hours the Japanese gathered about
60 Chinese and forced them to dig two graves to bury these dead bodies of the of the 12 men. I can show the spot of these two graves.
I certify that I duly translated the above summary to the witness in his own language prior to his signature which appears above.
(Sgd) T.E. Yech Capt
Summary of examination of Brother MICHAEL
HOGAN, duly sworn states:
I am 50 years of age, of AMERICAN Nationality, and born at PHILADELPHIA PA, U.S.A. My permanent address is CATHOLIC FOREIGN SOCIETY OF AMERICA, MARYKNOLL, N.Y. I am at present living at MARYKNOLL MISSION, STANLEY.
On December 25th, 1941 at 7 a.m. the Japanese came. All of us (about 34 in number) were ordered downstairs. In about an hour’s time 6 British Officers were brought in. They were captured nearby. I know some of them, they
used to eat here. The Officers were tied with hands at back. Lt. LAWRENCE was tied most cruelly with a rope around his neck. I was afraid he would be strangulated to death at any moment. A Japanese M.P. came and loosened the rope. We were kept sitting out till the afternoon about 3 p.m. The British officers were marched down the road. We were forced to take off our long coats and our hands were tied behind our backs. They marched us down to the main road and lined us up against the hillside. The six British officers were lined up in front of us about 3 feet away. The Japanese Officer phoned up to somebody unknown and after a short conversation, he gave the command for the British Officers to be marched off to the gully which was only a few yards away around the corner. Shortly after, I heard terrible screams of pain, and I saw a British Officer running from the direction from where the screams came, to about 5 yards in front of me. Here was a Japanese soldier guarding us and this Jap. soldier pierced this officer with his bayonet slightly wounding the Britisher who was thus forced to return to where he came from. After a time all the screams and cries ceased and I presumed that all the men had died. After this the Jap. Officer in-charge of us again phoned up somebody and a fairly long argument followed. After this we were all marched off to a building and tied up for three days and three nights.
(Sgd) Brother MICHAEL HOGAN,
Sworn before me T.E. Yech.... (Capt)
WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION TEAM. HONG KONG.
Summary of examination of MAI TSO HENG,
having been duly affirmed states. I am 52 years of age, of Chinese
Nationality and born at NANHOI, KWANGTUNG. My permanent address is c/o
CENTRAL TRUST OF CHINA, SHANGHAI. I am at present living in SHAMEEN, CANTON.
On 22nd December, 1941, at about 1800 hours, when we had had supper, we heard a few shots and one of us—I was in my house at No. 42B Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley, with my family and some of my friends, altogether about 20 people—went to the window at the back of the house and said that the Japs were all around the houses and so everybody get ready to meet the Japs. About 5 minutes later a knock was heard at the back door. A maid was sent to open the door and 3 Jap soldiers came into the house. We were then ordered to go into the vestibule of the flat next to the Kitchen. We all gathered together at this place. I saw the Japs enter the next door apartment, No. 44B. A Chinese employee of Jardine’s was there and he was called to join us in our apartment. The Japs then began to search our apartment. All this took, I think about half an hour. Then we were ordered to go out by the back door. Quite a number went out before me. I was about third or fourth from the last to leave, when I left the apartment right by the door I turned back and I saw a friend of mine, whom I could not clearly recognize as it was rather dark. He was being beaten as I believe he had refused to leave with the Group. When I had descended the staircase I was searched. I got to the ground level and saw a lot of women and children sitting at the right hand side of the lane. I was ordered to walk to the left hand side of the yard at the back of the building. About ten steps or less, I heard a cry and I saw a knife flash, I fought with my hands and fell at the same time. After I fell
I remember receiving a deep wound on my leg. I saw after I fell about 3-4 bodies away that one of them moved slightly. The Japs stabbed him again. I decided to remain still. Later on as my head had been laying in an uncomfortable position, I had to move my head. I made a slight movement and made a noise. Japs came over and turned flashlights on me, kicked me—I think they were trying to make sure I was dead. I continued pretending that I was dead. Whilst lying there I heard the Japs issuing orders and cooking a meal.
I lay there all night and the next morning I heard women crying and guessed that the Japs had gone and I began to move. I saw over thirty bodies of Chinese who had been murdered lying in the yard. Some women were trying to move the bodies of their relatives. I tried to recognise my son but I could not walk. Somebody was saying that the Japs were approaching so I crawled my way down hill towards the main road. There I met a friend of mine with a car, who was coming up with two wives of those who had been murdered. One was Mrs. CHAU, wife of CHAO YUT of the Ministry of Communications, and Mrs. SIT, wife of Mr. SIT of the same Ministry, and I managed to get a lift in this car to Dr. T.H. WAN, at YEUNG WAH YUEN near the Race Course. I then found that I had received nine wounds altogether.
As far as I can remember of the nine men who had been in my apartment I was the only survivor.
I have no idea what troops were involved but as far as I know they were Japanese and I seem to remember they went towards Wong Kel Chong Gap, and that they were the first wave of the attack on that position.
Sworn before me.... R.C. Cooper.... Major.
WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION TEAM. HONG KONG
To: Officer Commanding
The staff attached to the Advanced Dressing Station, Wongneichong on the 18 December 1941, were in addition to myself.
Captain B. D. Barclay, R.A.M.C.
Private Evans, R.A.M.C.
Private Jones, R.A.M.C.
Driver Mapp, R.A.S.C.
Ten St. Johns Ambulance Brigade personnel. These latter were accommodated in the two adjoining Medical Shelters.
L/Corporal Linton, L/Middlessex Regt. Brigade Clerk, slept in the A.D.S., at night.
An Indian Constable, attached to the Wongneichang Police Station, sustained facial and shrapnel wounds late in the evening. Captain Barclay arranged for him to sleep in one of the Medical Shelters as the Police Station was under fire.
In the afternoon Lieutenant Woodside, Royal Rifles of Canada Brigade Intelligence Officer, told Captain Barclay that all the Brigade vehicles were immobilised by shell fire and suggested that Captain Barclay, knowing the local topography very well, stand by at the A.D.S. with his car as Brigadier Lawson would like to go around the posts.
At about 9: 00 p.m. Lieutenant Woodside told us that the Japanese had landed on the Island. Captain Barclay telephoned Field Ambulance Headquarters and I think they suggested him to await local developments. A few hours later we were told that the Japanese had reached the Stubbs-Taihang Road Junction. From what I remember Captain Barclay phoned to Field Ambulance Headquarters and St. Albert’s Hospital asking if we should remain at the A.D.S. I don’t know what the gist of the messages were but I believe, on Lieutenant Woodside’s request, we remained at the A.D.S. as we were in telephonic communication with Brigade Headquarters. We awaited there for a few hours until we found it impossible to escape. The Japanese had apparently suddenly surrounded our locality. It was now about 4 a.m. on 19th December. At daybreak we heard a party on the roof trying to force the ventilators open but they were unsuccessful. Later, after a series of explosions, we were able to see the St. Johns bearers with the Indian constable, all in some degree injured, come out of their shelters and surrender. Although the bearers were fully dressed, complete with Red Cross brassards, the Japanese killed everyone.
We waited inside the building during the 19th and the morning of the 20th hoping for a possible counter-attack by our forces, but from what we could hear the Japanese forces appeared to be everywhere. Several times they tried to enter, but beyond spraying the doors and windows with bullets, no determined effort was made. Captain Barclay during this time was rather worried about our position. Escape proved impossible. He did not like surrendering, our rations were low, we had no apparent hope of relief. By the sounds we heard there seemed to be some wounded lying unattended. He said it was our duty to attend to them no matter what nationality they were. Eventually he improvised a Red Cross Flag and pinned to it a note saying who we were and the fact that we were unarmed. On pushing this through a window he barely escaped being shot as the Japanese opened fire at the first signs of life. Later we heard a large body assemble round the A.D.S. and some trying to force the doors. So we all came out and surrendered. We were then beaten, securely tied and our Red Cross brassards torn off. We were then brought before a few officers who did not seem to know much English.
After interrogation we were again beaten, Captain Barclay bearing the brunt of it as he did his best to explain our position as Red Cross workers. Another prisoner, a Rajputana Sepay, joined our party and we were driven up the stream along the valley facing the A.D.S. This place seemed alive with Japanese. I would estimate there was about one battalion of troops here and the majority of these we met, although our hands were fastened, seemed to think that we were playing at running the gauntlet. We then came to an encampment on the slopes of the valley over looking the A.D.S. and fastened to the trees. The Japanese seemed to have a system of trench latrines for the purpose of accommodation two men to a trench. These trenches were all around us. Soon we were blindfolded and except for a periodic beating left alone. At about 5 p.m. Private Jones and Driver Mapp were taken away, and later, I estimate at about 10 or 11 p.m., L/Cpl. Linton cut me free from the tree. Apparently the Indian Sepay had a knife in his trousers pocket with which he freed himself. Then although he was in the centre of an armed camp he crawled around to our trees and freed Captain Barclay, Private Evans and myself. Captain Barclay deciding, I think, to head for Stanley left us and we crawled through the camp heading for the hills and Shaukiwan. We had decided by now that everywhere except Stanley had capitulated, and we hoped to get to the mainland where we thought we would have a better chance to escape. Only for the help I received from Linton and Evans I would never have managed to get away as I was very exhausted. In fact they also did not feel very fit but they would not leave me.
After about an hour’s travel, we landed on Sir. Cecil’s Ride but we were met by rifle fire from about 10 yards distance. We scattered in the dark. I headed up the hills again. I waited to see if I could contact the others but I could hear nothing but the Japanese, so I decided to keep moving, hoping that Linton and Evans were doing the same. The time was about midnight 20/21 December. The next morning I contacted Indian Troops who directed me to Ventris Terrace where a Company Headquarters was—The time was now 7: 30 a.m. December 21, 1941.
I am, sir,
Your obedient Servant,
(Signed) T.R. Cunningham
Sgt. R.A.M.C. No. 7262319
SUMMARY OF THE EVIDENCE AGAINST LIEUT.
The accused, in a statement offered into evidence by the prosecution, stated:
“I was the Commanding Officer of Prisoner of War Camp No.5B, NiiGata, Japan from about September, 1944 to 21 August, 1945. Herewith is the account of the execution of Frank Spears, an American Prisoner of War, sometime in July, 1945, at a place not far distant from the camp itself. Spears had escaped before and I had warned him on his being recaptured that the regulations of The Japanese Army would permit me to have him executed. I asked him to promise me not to escape again, but he stated that he would do so at the first opportunity.
After he had escaped from the guardhouse where he had been confined after his previous attempt to escape, I ordered a party of soldiers to look for him and hold him for my arrival in a place in the woods some distance from the camp.
I was eventually notified that Spears had been caught, whereupon I and some Japanese soldiers and civilian employees went to the place of capture, carrying a coffin which I had directed to be built by the prisoner of war carpenter.
When I arrived at the place where he was being held, I told Spears that since he had violated Japanese regulations about escaping, I must carry out his execution. I then gave him a piece of paper, and told him to write anything he wanted to, but he indicated he had nothing to say.
I then had one soldier hold one arm of Spears and another soldier hold the other arm. I then thrust the bayonet twice into his heart and he slumped forward. I then said to the Japanese who were present that they might also bayonet Spears for military practice. Some of them did this.
After the bayoneting was finished, Spears was placed in the coffin we had brought and then carried to a crematorium where the body was burned. I told him (Spears) that this execution was in accordance with Japanese law which I read him.”
SIGNED ... TETSUTARO KATO
It should be noted here that Major Fellows, the senior P.O.W. officer was directed by the accused to carry Spears on his reports as absent and confined in a military penetentiary.
|Full Text of GUEST OF HIROHITO||Please Click Below for:|
|CHAPTER ONE - Before the Battle||Page 1|
|CHAPTER TWO - My War||Page 18|
|CHAPTER THREE - Prisoner in Hong Kong||Page 32|
|CHAPTER FOUR - No Geishas or Cherry Blossoms||Page 54|
|CHAPTER FIVE - Fears, Hopes and Freedom||Page 73|
|CHAPTER SIX - Another World||Page 101|
|CHAPTER SEVEN - Epilogue||Page 118|
|Appendices: Excerpts from War-Crime Trials||Page 136|
|Return to GUEST OF HIROHITO Introduction Page|
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