11th July 1946

Dear Mom, Dad & Jean,

I hope you will excuse me writing this letter in pencil but I haven’t got any ink in my pen as it has run dry. AT the moment I am on fourteen day leave at the Navy Rest Camp in Stanley R.M. Barracks.

Although the camp is a Barracks there is no discipline for us and we wander around just as we like, dressed as we like and in fact it is almost like being on holiday at home on civvy street. The only thing we have to do with the Marines is eat with them at meal times.

There is a football pitch, tennis courts, hockey pitch so I do O.K. for outdoors sports. If we don’t get enough to eat there is a N.A.A.F.I. canteen where we can get cooked meals, cakes, fresh fruit. Also in the N.A.A.F.I. there is a games room, with ping pong and darts, reading room and recreation room where we can write or play cards etc.

The camp is situated on the other side of the island from the harbour, and faces the open sea so we get a lovely sea breeze all the time which makes the heat quite bearable. You don’t get that sticky sweat and here you feel fresh all the time. The country is just like Barmouth, we are up in the mountains and it is about a couple of miles down to the beach. This morning we climbed straight down the mountainside to the beach instead of going the road way, which took us about a quarter of the time.

When we came back though it was quite the reverse, it took us just over an hour to climb up and it nearly killed us. We all collapsed on our bunks when we got eventually got here. Still apart from that I am really enjoying myself and that is the main thing.

I have been in the water about four times since we came here on Monday and I am getting a real chocolate brown again like I was in Australia.

We shan’t get any mail while we are up here so I shall have to leave replying to your letters which come until I get back.

Just down the road from here is Stanley prison where all the atrocities took place. It has been cleaned up of course now and some of the buildings have been burnt down and built up again. You can still see the walls where any “trouble makers” were shot and the rifle ranges where prisoners were lined up for practice at bayoneting and firing.

There is a field outside the prison which is choc-a-bloc with home made graves where all the casualties were buried. Reports say that 2000 were shot altogether.

Well I think that’s all once again so until next time
All my love
Graham
xxxxxxx


Notes

Stanley Prison was the site of Stanley Internment Camp during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong between 1942 and 1945. 2800 ‘enemy nationals’ were held here, over 2000 of whom were British. The civilians were not provided with enough food or medical care, the buildings were insufficient for the number of people, and the toilet facilities were inadequate and unsanitary. In 1944 the Japanese military took control of the camp, and from then on, violence towards the prisoners increased.