Barbara Laidlaw: WW2 Civilian POW Hong Kong

Posted on: Mon 13 Apr 2020

We may think ourselves hard done by with the need for social isolation during the current Covid-19 pandemic. How did WW1 and WW2 Allied civilians who were imprisoned not for months, but for years cope? How did they cope with the loss of almost everything? Barbara Laidlaw was born in one such prison on the south side of Hong Kong.

From January 1942 to August 1945, around 3,000 civilian Internees suffered overcrowding, deprivation and more under the strict discipline of the Japanese at Stanley Civilian Internment Camp in Hong Kong. Seven internees were among the over thirty civilians executed after the Japanese discovered several hidden radios in the camp.

Image:  AT STANLEY INTERNMENT CAMP, HONG KONG. AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1945. (A 30550) Little Children internees at Stanley Internment Camp joyfully greet the first contingents of the Royal Navy. Although undernourished and showing signs of the ordeal of existence under the Japanese, these children were remarkably fit. Everyone in the camp had contributed to keep the children healthy. Baby Gerald Ward, 13 months old and born in the camp, is in the front of the group. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source:

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