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Hongkong Daily Press.

Hongkong, Monday, August 23, 1937.
英壹仟玖佰卅柒年捌月廿叁日 禮拜壹

No. 24649.

Page 13


Eye Witness Tells Story

   Enquiries from refugees aboard the Empress of Asia which arrived here yesterday at 2.30 p.m. elicited the information that - with thousands of Chinese in a mad scramble for life, eager to break through and get on one of the destroyers which they (Chinese) understood would take them to a place of safety - their embarkation was one of the most tragic aspects.
   Getting their names registered at Hamilton House at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday was a terrifying experience, as, besides bearing in mind the continuous threat of air raid bombs which might drop on them at any moment, they had to push through panic stricken masses of Chinese who flocked to the Settlement in thousands in the hope that they might be able to get on a British vessel for Hong Kong.
   From Hamilton House they had to go by buses to ferry boats from which they were transferred to one of His Majesty's warships, Duncan, Danae or Delight, before actually embarking on the Empress of Asia, which was lying about 6 1/2 miles from Shanghai or about 1 1/2 miles off Woosung, as it was too dangerous for her to venture nearer than that point, as she would otherwise be in the war zone.


   The Empress of Asia left Shanghai at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday and arrived here at 2.30 p.m. yesterday, with a huge crowd of friends wait just outside the gates of the Kowloon Godown and some (who had passes) on the wharf, all eager to meet the refugees, despite the constant drizzle and occasional downpour of rain.
   The Fourth Kowloon Garrison Scout Troop under the supervision of Mr. A.Grad, scoutmaster, was present, helping to remove baggage and assist old ladies.
   The Seaforth Highlanders and R.A.S.C. coolies were there, offering their services to assist refugees of Army wives and children and to the removal of baggages.
   The Inspector General of Police, Hon. Mr. T.H.King, was also there.
   Capt. Rickcord, A.D.C. to His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government, welcomed a number of passengers who are to be guests at Government House for the time being.
   Aboard the vessel were several expectant mothers, but actually only one birth occurred during the voyage, a son to Mrs. H.V.Rowland. Both mother and son are doing well.


   In an interview with a passenger aboard the President McKinley, which arrived yesterday at 7 a.m., who was an eyewitness of the air raid at the International Settlement, it was revealed that a bomb which landed in the midst of a panic stricken mass of Chinese in Nanking Road, killed about 600 people, tearing the victims to pieces, with limbs flying all the over the place, and drenching that locality in blood.
   The President McKinley, which was lying off Woosung, carried about 300 refugees from Shanghai, about 150 of which landed at Hong Kong whilst the rest are going to Manila. The refugees had to go by tenders, protected by American gunboats, before embarking on the ship.

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