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Reference GC/131
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Level Collection
Extent 1 box
Title Page, Surgeon-Captain John
Date 1942-1953
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Name Page; John Allison, Surgeon Captain, 1908-1989
Description Records, reports and correspondence relating to Page's work in Prisoner of War camp hospitals and Japan during the Second World War.
Arrangement By subject and date as follows: GC/131/1-8 Records relating to Hong Kong GC/131/9-17 Records relating to Japan GC/131/18-27 Reports GC/131/25 Brief account of the medical organisation in Prisoner of War camps in Japan, August 1945 GC/131/26-27 Enclosures to account GC/131/28-33 Post-war correspondence
Person Key Page; John Allison (1908-1989); Surgeon Captain
Historical Background Page graduated in medicine from Trinity College, Dublin, and joined the Royal Navy as a probationary surgeon-lieutenant in 1930. He was appointed to the Royal Naval Hospital in Hong Kong in 1939. After the capitulation of Hong Kong to the invading Japanese in December 1941, selected medical staff, including Page, served from February to August in St Teresa's Hospital at Kowloon, which served the Prisoner of War camps at Shamshuipo and Argyll Street, where death rates from diphtheria were appalling. In September, Page contracted the disease himself, and fortunately could not accompany a draft of prisoners of war to Japan on the 'Lisbon Maru' - the ship was torpedoed with the loss of half the draft. Page was sent with the next draft in January 1943 to Amagasaki camp near Osaka. The prisoners were forced to work at a heavy foundry, which added to problems of exhaustion and diet deficiency, and also led to industrial accidents. In June 1944, Page was put in charge of a new 'International Prisoner of War Hospital' at Kobe, a propaganda exercise for Red Cross visits. Drugs and vitamins from the USA were plentiful, but the diet was even more deficient than in the labour camps. Direct hits on the hospital at Kobe during an American raid on 5 June 1945 resulted in the deaths of 3 patients outright and a further 6 from injuries, and the destruction of admission, diet and case records. Death and operation record were saved. The survivors moved to an evacuated camp at Maruyama, where on the 21st August Colonel Murata, o/c Osaka command, brought official news of the Japanese surrender. Page's account of the interview is in the back of the Kobe operations book (Ref C4). From 7th September, Page's patients were transferred to Yokohama or Manila for further treatment.
Acquisition Details Given to the Contemporary Medical Archives Centre (now the Wellcome Library Archives and Manuscripts Department) by Page's son, Christopher Page, and daughter, Alison Arnold-Brown, in 1992.
Accession Number 413
Access Status Open
Access Conditions The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material.
Reproduction Conditions Images are supplied for private research only at the Archivist's discretion. Please note that material may be unsuitable for copying on conservation grounds. Researchers who wish to publish material must seek copyright permission from the copyright owner.
Language English
Physical Description Paper
Subject Medical Records
Subject Surgery
Subject Tropical Medicine
Subject World War II


Subject Hospitals
Subject Foot
MaterialType Archives - Non-digital
System No. 41752d27-72df-4bf9-aa14-c21cf91f5dca

Associated entries (click number link for details):


Page; John Allison (1908-1989); Surgeon-Captain