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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
Messages 1 2 3 

Re: Concert to mark VE Day by bsh1878 on 6 April 2005 1:35am
that was in Singapore.
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Spursfan on 6 April 2005 1:25pm
My dad wasn't in a camp but he was in Burma for most of the war. He worked on radar and I can remember him telling me that he had to take messages to/from Lord Mountbatten.

My sister, who is nearly 15 years older than me, was a toddler when he went out and about 7 or 8 when he came back - when she said the immortal "Oh you're back, you twit"!!

My parents wouldn't have anything Japanese in the house as late as the seventies because of the suffering he had witnessed. We have since had two wonderful Japanese girls stay with us as part of a youth exchange scheme - they even clapped the trifle my husband made! - and I have to say that if the Japanese nation as a whole is anything like these two girls then it should be proud.

Of course that isn't to belittle people's suffering in the war, but then none of the countries involved (UK included) are entirely innocent.


Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Wild in Africa on 6 April 2005 1:45pm
VE day did not actually mark the end of the second world war. It marked the end of the war in Europe and defeat of the Nazi Government of Adolf Hitler. The end of the war came in August 1945 when Japan capitulated after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I'm sure that event will also be remembered later this year.
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by George on 6 April 2005 2:28pm
It's so fascinating to me to read what various people were doing when the Germans surrendered. Bernard Montgomery was at his command post in Italy, I believe, when some German officers came into his office. He said, "Who are these men, and what the hell do they want?"
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Dr. Piglet on 6 April 2005 10:38pm
bruce, that's interesting, i wonder where my dad was then? i was fascinated to watch the full circle episode where michael went to java, because that's where my father was captured.

my father always had the greatest of respect for the japanese people. he was fluent in the language and when he saw young japanese tourists in the street in london (this would be in the sixties & seventies) he would always make a point to stop and chat with them in their language. he harboured no resentment towards the japanese whatsoever.

Re: Concert to mark VE Day by George on 6 April 2005 10:58pm
Piglet, that's interesting. I've read lots about American POW's and usually they were treated very badly by the Japanese, especially towards the end of the war. Huge numbers of them died. Was your father an officer?
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Dr. Piglet on 7 April 2005 5:41pm
hey george. my father was british - he was an RAF officer. he would never speak about the cruelties he and his fellow officers suffered at the hands of the japanese - i'm sure they were brutal - he had many scars but he would never explain them. he had a bunch of funny stories that he would tell about his time there, and that was all.

now that 60 years have (almost) passed, i'm in the process of applying for his service record and copies of his medals.

Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Katie J on 7 April 2005 6:10pm
My grandpa now lives in England but was transported from Poland as a 14 year old. He was made to go to Siberia by train and dig for gold and platinum ... which was pretty bad considering the disgusting treatment and conditions. After a while (I presume when the Russians turned into allies) he was able to leave the camp and managed to join the Polish army (pretending he was 18). He fought at Monte Casino, through Iraq and Egypt etc.

When the war ended he was asked where he wanted to go - Poland (er...NO!), Canada or England. He decided upon England and met my Granny...sweet!

He seems to be quite upset about his lack of formal education more than anything else as he came from a relatively well off family in Poland...he has always wanted his children and grandchildren to have the things that he was denied. He is VERY charming and appears to hold no bitterness towards the countries and the peoples he fought against during the war. Although he finds it very difficult to watch the commemorations...I think it reminds him of the people he lost. He is a real example to me.
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by George on 7 April 2005 7:02pm
Katie J, Yes, it was an amazingly upside world then. I can't imagine being ripped out of my own world and put someplace else, and not being very bitter about it.

About underage soldiers; I had a good friend, who was in the US Marine Corps, tell me it was very common for boys as young as 14-15 to serve. They were just farm boys like him, big and strong. If you could show you could do the job, the Marines were quite willing to overlook your age or misplace your birth certificate.
Re: Concert to mark VE Day by Dr. Piglet on 7 April 2005 9:58pm
bruce: i've now found out that my father was in the hakodate main camp on hokkaido island, japan.

as well, there is a java memorial being unveiled in staffordshire, england on august 15 of this year. (most of the japanese camps were liberated on august 15, 1945)

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