This blog focuses on the experiences of my parents Thomas and Evelina Edgar in Hong Kong 1941-1945. It’s full title is:
In The Dark World’s Fire: Thomas and Evelina Edgar in Occupied Hong Kong.
When the blog is completed it will provide a full picture of their life at the time in the context of what is known about the general history of war-time Hong Kong. Then I’ll go on to decribe my post-war experience of my parents’ experience. There’s no generally accepted methodology for approaching this subject, but interested readers might begin with Anne Karpf’s distinguished memoir, The War After.
Thomas Edgar’s fate was unusual in that he was not sent into Stanley Internment Camp in January 1942 like most of the British community, but kept in Hong Kong city in order to bake bread, primarily for the hospitals. He was interned first in his company Headquarters, Exchange House, and then in St. Paul’s Hospital (usually known as The French Hospital), until he was sent into Stanley in May 1943.
This blog will therefore also feature articles on other Allied nationals subjected to ‘in town’ interment. I shall also write articles on aspects of the general history of Stanley Camp that interest me, in particular the inhabitants of Bungalow D, where Thomas and Evelina lived for their two years or so in Camp.
A lot of the best sources for Stanley are archival or in hard-to-get-hold-of personal accounts written by former internees. The best and most accessible include:
Tony Banham, We Shall Suffer There – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shall-Suffer-There-Defenders-Imprisoned/dp/9622099602
Geoffrey Emerson, Hong Kong Internment – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hong-Kong-Internment-1942-1945-Japanese/dp/9622098800/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322142692&sr=1-1
George Wright-Nooth Prisoner of the Turnip Heads – http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prisoner-Turnip-Heads-Horror-1941-45/dp/0850524156/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1322142755&sr=1-2 (Amazon has second hand copies only available at the moment)
An essential online resource for Stanley Camp is Geoffrey Emerson’s original 1973 thesis. Emerson is responsible for much of our knowledge of the Camp:
Emerson, Banham and some former internees often post at the Yahoo Stanley Camp Discussion Group:
Members have access to some additional material.
Tony Banham’s Hong Kong War Diary is essential reading for those interested in the broader subject of Hong Kong 1941-45 and often carries information about Stanley in its updates:
There is an excellent website devoted to Hong Kong history which sometimes carries discussions of Stanley Camp:
Finally, an account by a repatriated American internee is available online free :
The phrase ‘the dark world’s fire’ is taken from the German ‘mystic’ Jakob Boehme, although I’m using the idea in my own sense that has nothing to do with religious ideology.
A little about me: my academic background is in English Literature and Psychology, and I taught English for five years in the People’s Republic of China. I’ve also worked as a teacher of the Alexander Technique and as a craniosacral therapist. My hobbies are yoga, tai chi and walking.
I would be very glad to hear from anyone who has any information about my parents or the other people I write about. Please email me at: