They stood among the graves of their fallen comrades to remember them and give thanks that they were alive to return at all. Many of the 59 servicemen at the British War Cemetery at Sai Wan yesterday suffered horribly in Japanese camps around Hong Kong after it fell on Christmas Day, 1941. And for most, yesterday's visit to Hong Kong, part of the British government's Heroes Return tours to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the second world war, was their first and likely to be their last. Wreaths were laid by Captain Willie K. S. Mok OBE, from the Hong Kong Ex-Serviceman's Association, Brigadier Christopher Hammerbeck from the Royal British Legion, British Consul-General Stephen Bradley and the Deputy Secretary for Home Affairs, Stephen Fisher. Each of the veterans had his own story - of survival, of hardship and even about Hong Kong before the Japanese, an unspoiled land of 'sports, dances and girlfriends'. James Dijnan, 87, and Maynard Skinner, 85, have a friendship bonded in war that is still strong. They were in Hong Kong as members of the Royal Corps of Signals and were held prisoner in appalling conditions until being loaded onto the Lisbon Maru and transported to Japan, where they were torpedoed by a US submarine. They survived and were taken to Osaka, where they served out the rest of the war working on the docks. While conditions in the camps in Hong Kong were atrocious, the Japanese on the docks in Osaka were friendly, Mr Dijnan recalls. After the war, Mr Skinner found it hard to settle in England and looked back fondly on his time in Hong Kong. Arthur White, born and raised in Hong Kong, said he was glad to be back 'although it is a different place to the one I remember'. At 16, he joined the Hong Kong Volunteer Corps while his family fled the advancing Japanese. Mr White, 82, said he had trouble reading the names of many comrades buried at Sai Wan. 'We weren't a bit worried when we surrendered, because we thought this mighty army in Malaya was going to crush them,' he said.