Buckingham Palace, The Java Club, and some new Stanley Camp memorabilia
This week’s newsletter is an update from regular contributor Barbara Anslow:
Buckingham Palace Garden Party
Thanks to the Java Far Eastern Prisoners of War Club 1942, and the Not Forgotten Association, I was able to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Place on 30th May this year with my niece Janet (aka Jane) Hayes who came over from her home in USA to be my carer for the event. Jane's parents, Clifton Large and my sister Mabel met in Stanley Camp and were married after the war ended.
Jane and Barbara,
setting off for the Palace
It was a great thrill for both of us to enter the gardens through the Palace itself! We were not allowed to take photos inside, but Jane took loads once we were in the garden, where tables and chairs were set out, many beneath canopies, others on the grass; she even took a photo of the portaloos!
A band played in an area where Prince Harry greeted pre-selected war veterans. Among several thousand of guests crowding around, I was too short to see the Prince properly. Except when he finally left the grounds up the Palace steps, all I saw was the back of his ginger head. Jane being taller had a better view, and commented how interested and friendly the Prince was as he chatted with the veterans - most well into their nineties, wearing gleaming medals.
We met up with two more Java Club members and had tea with them - cakes with a royal emblem, scones topped with cream and the largest raspberries I have ever seen, then bowls of strawberries and cream.
It was a wonderful afternoon!
Annual reunion and AGM of the Java Club
Four days later, I attended the annual reunion and AGM of the Java Club at the Falcon Hotel, Stratford-upon-Avon. The weekend was such a happy and friendly occasion, so moving to meet POW veterans of the Far East, the oldest being Dr Frankland who is 105!
Dr Frankland (left)
Four members of my family came with me including my niece Jane, who was delighted to meet up with Stanley internee Bill Macauley who had been with her father at school prewar in Hong Kong - this was their first meeting, she enjoyed hearing about her Dad's schooldays.
Bill Macauley (front row, left).
Barbara is in the second row at the right.
We also met up with Jean Addis who was a baby when she was sent to Stanley.
Jean brought along some lovingly preserved little clothes which my sister Mabel had made for her out of odds and ends in camp.
Mabel’s daughter Jane adds:
“One of the highlights of this wonderful trip was meeting Jean Addis who thoughtfully brought along some clothing that my Mum had made for her while in camp, along with the Red Cross bag that was used to return the clothing to her. I was so touched that she had thought I would be interested to see the items and could barely hold back tears as I was looking at them.”
The Java FEPOW Club provided wheelchairs which could be borrowed free of charge to push slow walkers (including me) about and through the lovely town. A veteran hosted every one of the tables at the Gala Dinner on Saturday night, which the Mayor attended. We were all provided with Union Jacks which we waved enthusiastically when, after the meal, Victoria Wilson sang 1940's songs, including 'We'll Meet Again', also 'Jerusalem' and 'Land of Hope and Glory' in which we all joined, there were a few tears.
Next morning many guests attended a moving Service of Remembrance in the town, paying tribute to all servicemen and internees who had died in the Far Eastern War.
The Java FEPOW Club
Some Gwulo readers might be interested in joining the Java FEPOW Club which is open to British ex members of HM Forces and civilians who were imprisoned or interned in the Far East between 1942-45 by the Japanese. Mrs Lesley Clark is the Chairman and she will give you more information about membership charges, etc. Her contact address is:
Other relatives and people who might like to learn more about the FEPOW's history may become associate members, paying an annual subscription (at present £20). Full and associate members receive four issues a year of the Java Journal which include the war experiences of ex POWs and internees.
The objectives of the Club are to re-unite full members with old comrades; to help FEPOW families to find out more of their parents' or grandparents' wartime experiences, and to alleviate distress wherever possible with the Club's Welfare Department.
The Club's website is
Many thanks to Barbara for this latest update. Here are some related articles on Gwulo about the people and places mentioned above:
- Childhood memories of 1920s Hong Kong
- Barbara’s wartime diary
- "I got married in King George VI's bedroom"
- 2014 interview with Barbara: Part 1 & Part 2
- August 1945 / August 2015: Is it really true?
Also on Gwulo.com this week...
New posts, pictures & comments:
Answers to previous weeks' questions: