Thursday, 27 August 2015

27.8.45. Dull humid hot day. Porridge sugar & butter for breakfast, veg stew tiffin, & a real good meat stew for tea. Altogether about 3lb per head of fresh meat in camp today from the Japanese & the contractor – much more than we can cope with. Arrangements made to give all excesses of food to Chinese Hospital & Sisters of Poor. They will be able to get rid of it alright. Issue 2oz Australian butter today, 1lb peanut oil & 1lb of demerara sugar. Very busy day. Pete spent the day in town with his girl – he said he could hardly believe it to be true – in a house with carpets & real furniture. Planes over today but nothing dropped – a little disappointing in view of wireless news that supplies already dropped. We hear too that the Yanks are already in Shanghai. Then too we know pretty certainly that the Japs are selling & sending away stocks of all sorts of things including Red Cross supplies. There is but little policing of the town & we know that empty houses are being looted. The town generally is pretty quiet though – no rioting or anything of that sort. Hammy is very worried about the stuff still remaining in his house, & blames our people for not coming out in force & taking over. I argued with him that they have no authority – & in any case you need to be armed in case of a showdown. CSO is trying to get organised in liaison with the Japanese, but it is obviously not the simple process that the impatient critics believe. Bateman told me of his wife, who although she sent in parcels to the end, was really on the very verge of destitution, and also in an extreme state of nerves. Always the worry was that they didn’t know when the gendarmerie would rope them in on unknown charges. These women have been very brave indeed & the camp is very much in their debt. They have horrible stories to tell of the treatment of various women throughout the Japanese occupation.

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