I was not alone in spending time in hospital; as I remember Ian Styles went in while we were at Quarry Camp with ear trouble and later Jim Dallaway with piles. When we visited Ian he was enjoying chicken and ice cream; Jim came out with a rubber ring. There may have been others too.
Stanley – Climate and a Typhoon
The climate, of course, at Stanley remained sub-tropical even though it was on a peninsula out into the sea. Unlike the New Territories it was free from mosquitoes and many other peculiar and nasty insects. But in this position whenever there was a sea-mist or drizzle off the sea, the clouds descended and we were enveloped in them. Everything was saturated. The barrack room provided no respite, it was cold and damp and molds grew just as fast as they did out in the New Territories.
Here we experienced a typhoon. Advance warning was given along with estimates of the likely wind velocity so we secured all loose equipment and our vehicles. Then as it approached during the day darkness descended, the winds blew fiercely, the whole building vibrated and the rain poured. The typhoon was on us. The doors and windows were barred and we were confined to the barrack room. Everything stopped in Hong Kong and the New Territories. After about 24 hours it blew itself out and life returned to normal. I enjoyed the experience. Those out in the New Territories and still under canvas will have had a rough time.
Stanley – Fatigues
One of the worst features at Stanley was the constant fatigues. All were menial, two were especially strenuous, a third totally mindless and a fourth that at least got you out of camp. We had other fatigues, too, but some I especially recall.
Cookhouse fatigues meant an early start well before reveille and a late finish, for it involved working as a slave for the Sergeant Cook. Numbering four, I think, we brushed and washed a vast concrete floor, scrubbed large numbers of wooden tables and forms, and cleaned cooking pots and pans three times a day. Sometimes with our jack knives we also peeled potatoes, at least at this chore one was sitting down. Our task of cleaning the floor and tables after each meal could have been alleviated if only a portion of the large mess hall had been used. Like the rest of the barracks it could accommodate many more than squaddies than those currently at Stanley. But that thought never occurred to our masters.
Coal fatigues was really hard and dirty work, fetching and loading a 3 ton lorry with coal several times and then distributing the coal to the married quarters. All were far above ground level. We carried coal from the lorry in a road some distance away in 70lb containers to the quarters, then up the stairs to the quarters on the upper floors. Upon delivery, the wives customarily met us with complaints of short measure. We worked all day, and had then the problem of getting clean, which was difficult if water was unavailable that day.