On the 8th May 1945, Victory in Europe was declared (VE Day). To most the war was over and cause for celebration. Little thought was given to the war that was still going on in the Far East. They were known as the “Forgotten Army”.

In early 1942 130,000 British troops and their allies from campaigns in Burma, Malaya and Singapore, had been captured and made Prisoners of War. They remained as prisoners until the Japanese surrendered in 1945. 

They were kept in the most appalling conditions and were subject to brutality and degradation, injustice and maltreatment of every sort. Those who survived emerged from the camps often broken in health, some permanently, with memories that included comrades that sadly didn’t make it. 

Those who did survive were brought back during September and October of 1945. All were desperately malnourished and in poor health but the prospect of freedom and seeing loved ones gave them renewed energy and lust for life.

30,000 of the POWs came back to Southampton and 20,000 disembarked in Liverpool where they are greeted by family and friends. Their ordeal was over but would never be forgotten.

See the POW accounts below and “Search” WW2 for more wartime accounts 

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Liverpool Repatriation

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A Plaque honouring prisoners of war who survived captivity in the Far East during World War II was unveiled at a sombre service at Pier Head, Liverpool, in October 2011.…

COFEPOW – It all began with a diary

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Out of the death camps, my fathers book of love. Starved and racked with disease, soldier Bill Smith recorded his ordeal at the hands of the Japanese in a secret…

The Railwayman – Winner of the 1996 NCR book award

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VJ Heroes   We have been remembering some of the horrific stories of those brave soldiers who were fortunate enough to survive the horrors of the war at the hands…

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Colonel Massey Talk – 20th Nov. 2020

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20th NOVEMBER 2020 Proposed talk on Col Massey by Richard Graham. This will hopefully be held at Highnam Court commencing 7.00pm with a glass of wine. Free entry to members.…

Lassington Walk – Sun. 27th September 2020

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27th SEPTEMBER 2020 - Walk around Lassington. Following the interesting talk by Dr Simon Draper last year we will walk along Lassington Lane looking at the buildings and farmland, as…

Alney Island Walk – 10th September 2020

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10th September 2020 - Alney Island Walk with Tony Conder. We have had to change the date due to bad weather. We look forward to seeing you on the 10th…

Donation & Membership

Highnam Heritage would be interested in hearing from anyone who has archive material relating to the Parish.  You can have it scanned and made available for the web-site, or it could be stored for you as we have safe and secure facilities.  If you have memories that you are happy to have recorded then let us know.

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