Sketch by Jack Chalker

Events of the East

Staff Sergeant James O’Toole

Events of the East

It is not clear when this stand-alone record was written.  It was found among the rest of James O’Toole’s papers after his death.  It is written on the two sides of a single sheet of very thin paper that has been folded in four.  James O’Toole possibly kept it in his pay book.  The entries for 8-16 Dec 41 provide brief details of what went on before the main diary starts.  From 19Dec 41 to23Apr 42 this sheet ties in well with the main diary.  The only other information not included in the main diary is the final entry, which happens on a date when pages in the main diary are missing.


      8A.M.  Japan bombs Kai Tak Air Port.  Machinery moved from Depot to Shouson Hill.  I go out there and stay.  Take some Chinese to app road and bed machines.


      Personnel at Shouson Hill: Capt Bonney Mr Wilson (later) Mr Haynes SM Neale SM Read (Later) QMS Nichol, O’Toole Meeking Rudd Nickolson Glass Kerby Paul Cpl Jefferys Whitmore Cole Wells Mortimer Chaney Colebrook Thomas Mayo Dulson Johnson, later Lt Wallington.  Chinese  Mr Tam. Lau. Kam. and Workman pl…..  (…..)


      Air Raid shelters were constructed and the shop put in General Working order complete with Battery Charging (three circuits).  Several jobs were done in the short time the shop functioned.


      QMS Nichol leaves for H.K. Isatie Garages to make Armoured Cars.  Prince of Wales and Repulse sunk.


      Trip into Depot with 3.7 ton axle in Hillman fired on.

      Put 60 Pounders into action with SM Read under fire.  At Depot.


      Up all Thursday night standing to etc. in morn evacuate W/shops and go towards Aberdeen.  Join up with other small units under Col Fredricks and man Bennets Hill.  In early evening proceed to ridge very dark.  Supposed to route out hand full of Japs at Wong Nei Chong1.


      5AM.  Orders from Col MacPherson from HQ to return at once to start up W/shop as all now safe.  Proceed with Sfs Meeking Capt Bonney in latter’s car.  Neale with me at first but I lost him in the dark on way to car.

      Run smack into ambush at junction of Repulse Bay & Deep Water Bay Roads.  Stripped of our kit especially wrist watches.  Tied up to each other.  SM Read, Mr Wilson Capt Bonney Sfs Meeking O’Toole. Bamford. Glass.  Some Middlesexes and Res. Carted around with the Japs all day.  Capt Bonney taken away about 4pm and never seen again.  Suspect his heart & complained of illness night before.  Left in pouring rain at Wong Nei Chong four hours then marched over Mt Parker to Ritz.  Had by this time been joined with more prisoners mostly Indians. Harry carries Japanese Colonel with bad leg.


      No food, marched to Kowloon and Mary Knoll Convent Argyle Street near La Salle College.  Given packet of Army Biscuits.


      Monday  Moved to Argyle St Internment Camp about 1000 men (600 indians) live on rice and occasional pig stew.

      Go out on Fatigues several times once to Whitfield Barracks.


      Very Poor Food – (Rice)).  3.P.M. War comes to an end with an unconditional surrender to the Japanese and the Guns at Stanley 9.2 VII to be intact.


      Move from Argyle Street to Sham Shui Po old Middlesex Barracks.  Food at this time could be bought from a San Pan at pier in early morning.  Later restrictions were tightened and electrified wire put around the camp.


      Singapore falls.


      Easter Sunday.  Bread at last, half a loaf per day


      Officers taken away to Argyle Street told to pack up on the morning parade.


      Move into new Quarters.  Very nice


      Saddington taken to Stanley.



      1 - As written, but should be Wong Nai Chung according to current maps.



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[James O'Toole] [Biographical Notes] [Events of the East] [Transcript of the Diary]


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