WW2 civilian prisoners Hong Kong

Posted on: Mon 24 Jan 2022

Barbara Laidlaw says “please remember the mothers”.

We may think ourselves hard done by with the need for social isolation during the current 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.

Interviewer Helen Meyer


Emaciated internee Miss Wendy Rossini in Stanley Civil Internment Camp Hong Kong 1945 showing the small quantity of rice and stew which served as rations for 5 people.  Wikimedia commons

Liberation and Repatriation August – September 1945: The Union Jack is raised at Stanley Civil Internment Camp, Hong Kong, watched by the internees.  Wikimedia commons

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