Stanley Camp Sketch | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Stanley Camp Sketch

Stanley Camp Sketch

Brian noticed this item sold on eBay. The seller's notes include:

Genuine WWII Japanese Prisoner of War Crayon Sketch - Boiler Room, Stanley P.O.W. Camp

Authentic World War II crayon sketch of the water boiler room at the Stanley Internment Camp, Hong Kong.

The sketch is a crayon sketch on brown (parcel wrapping?) paper, and depicts a scene of the water boiler room, within which is seated a male internee who is busily occupied stoking the boiler. Standing at ease watching over the prisoner is a bare chested Japanese camp guard. Title to the bottom left corner of the drawing reads: 'Water Boiler I.Q. Stanley.', beneath this the initials of the (unidentified) artist J.A.S.(?)

My research has failed to identify the identity of the artist, however I have been able to establish the following provenance for the drawing.

The sketch was a gift from an unidentified internee of Stanley Internment Camp, Hong Kong , to fellow internee (and serving Hong Kong Police Officer), Sidney Harold Dowman during World War II .

Sidney Harold Dowman (b. 1913 - d. 2005)

Born in Canning Town, West Ham, London on 17th August 1913, Sidney was the second son born to William (a Labourer) and Mary Jane Dowman. (Christopher being born 9 years earlier in 1904. Christopher was later to be sworn into the Royal Hong Kong Police as an Inspector, and stationed at Kowloon Police Station).

Records show Sidney being sworn into the Auxillary Troops of the Hong Kong Police Roll at the Central Police Station (LHT) , Hollywood Road, in 1941.

Hong Kong fell to the invading Japanese forces in 1942.

Following the war, Sidney returned to England where he served as a Police Officer stationed in Liverpool, and residing at Edge Lane.

In 1947 Sidney married Sylvia Nangle in Liverpool.

Curiously P&O Cruise records for the vessel 'Canton' show both Sidney and his wife embarking on a visit to Hong Kong on 16th January 1948, only three years following on from his liberation.

Sidney passed away in 2005 aged 92 years.

Measures approximately 7 1/4" (18.5 cm) high by 8" (20.5 cm) wide. Fold creases and the very old residue of tape adhesive to the corners, but otherwise in very good condition for its age.

The "I.Q." in the caption means "Indian Quarters", one of the accommodation areas in Stanley Camp.

There's more discussion about this sketch in the thread starting at:

Here's a close-up of the bottom-left corner, also from the eBay page:

Title / signature



Presumably the artist was Savitsky ( A.J or J.A )

The seller's notes misinterpret the Passenger List notes..SHD enlisted as A 111 in the HKP,was interned in Stanley and repat to UK per Highland Monarch arriving UK 9.11.1945,also recorded as arriving UK 12.5.1947 per Strathmore and leaving UK in Jan 1948 with wife.Back to UK 17.3.1952 per Carthage with wife and 2 children and out again on 17.10.1952 per Corfu.In these cases he/they are noted as having Hong Kong as their permanent place of residence.They were not ' on a cruise ' as is now popularly understood.

Thanks for the extra information about Mr Dowman.

A J Savinsky's family think he probably wasn't the artist, see:

Regards, David