Fepow Family pin (1)atn

Keep the Candle Burning


The Far East was captured in a dramatic attempt by Japan to seize its wealth of natural resources, the captured men, woman and children had to endure nearly four years of Japanese oppression.

The prisoners lived their captivity as an endless nightmare and with no hope many died of despair.

The fortunate to awaken from their ordeal were never the same again. The nightmares returned to haunt their sleep and the faces of those left behind have never left them.

Researching their ordeal to find answers has led many of us to experience their torment, we will never feel the pain they endured and fortunately we can awaken from the despair that became their living hell as Japanese Pow’s.


VJ Day (FEPOW Day) Commemorations


Haverhill, Suffolk VJ Commemoration - Poster below:-



Belford, Northumberland VJ Day Commemoration Service - Sunday the 16th August.

We are also having a two day exhibition in Belford Museum  about all our local lads that were FEPOWS. 

Fiona Renner-Thompson


Southampton VJ Day Commemorations - Saturday 15 August.

The Mayor will be laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in West Park at 11am to commemorate VJ Day on Saturday 15 August.

Daniel Tong 
Senior Communications Officer 
Southampton City Council 
t: 023 8083 2756 | e: daniel.tong@southampton.gov.uk



Her Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside (Dame Lorna Muirhead DBE) will lead on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, a Merseyside Service of Commemoration and Celebration to mark the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day.

This takes place on Sat 15 Aug at 1100hrs, in Liverpool Parish Church (Our Lady and St Nicholas), Chapel St, Liverpool L2 8TZ.  

Details are as follows:-

1045hrs.     Guests seated

1100hrs.     Service Commences

1145hrs.     Service ends


Serving Personnel:  Service Dress, Medals and Leathers (No Swords)

Retired Personnel:  Lounge Suit, Medals

This is potentially the last occasion in which the population in Merseyside will gather en-masse, to mark this important milestone.

Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant would like to hear from anyone connected to this history who would like to attend the Service in Liverpool to join with her in giving thanks to those who survived the ordeals of that War in the Far East, and to remember those, who fell on a foreign field and upon the high seas so far away, fighting for our liberty and democracy.

Please contact:  JJV McEvoy, Lieutenant Colonel, Clerk to the Lieutenancy of Merseyside, PO Box 144 RSA, The Capital Building, Old Hall Street, Liverpool, L69 3EN

Office: 0151 224 4000

e-mail: llm@uk.rsagroup.com

Meg Parkes


Cumbria VJ Day Commemoration on Saturday 15th August  in Kirkby Stephen.

Based on a 1940's Theme, the Event is organised by Lynette McKone, of Kirkby Stephen, who is a Veterans' Association UK Volunteer.

The Day will commence at 11.00am with events in the Market Square and the Function Rooms of the King's Arms Hotel and will extend throughout the day.

Mike Nellis


Lanarkshire Yoemanry 70th Anniversary VJ Day

To mark the 70th Anniversary of VJ day and the end of the Second World War, we are holding an event at the St Brigid’s Centre, Newmains, Lanarkshire, ML2 9DA, on Sunday 16th August.

The event will begin at 2pm with a Memorial Service conducted by Sister Maria Goretti of St Brigid’s Church, the Rev. Paul Grant of Stonehouse St Ninian’s Church of Scotland and the Rev Georgie Baxendale, a retired minister of the Church of Scotland. Following the Memorial Service, there will be a number of presentations made beginning with Ian Forsyth, MBE, President of the Hamilton Branch, Royal British Legion Scotland, who served in Normandy during WW2. He will be followed by Jenny Martin who was actually born in Changi Jail, Singapore, where her mother was interned following the fall of Singapore. Jenny will tell something of what life was like for those held in that grim place. Following Jenny will be Kathleen Kane who made the trip to Taiwan in February 2014 to visit the sites of the hell camps at Kinkaseki and Kukutsu where her late father, Johnny ‘Dempsey’ Kane and others were held. Similarly, Gill Friel, whose late father, William ‘Red’ Burns toiled on the Death Railway before being transported to Japan, made a trip to Thailand in February of this year to follow the footsteps of her father along the length of the railway line.

When the Presentations are over everyone is invited to a buffet in the 'Wee Hall'. Then those who wish will have the opportunity to visit the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Memorials at Carluke and Wishaw and leave personal tributes if desired.



Margaret is unable to travel to London or the NMA for the commemorations so has joined forces with her local priest, Mayor, Council, MP and RBL to organise an event at the War Memorial, Easthill Park, Portslade (near Brighton) on the afternoon of Sunday 16th August 2015.

There may even be tea and biscuits afterwards, but again more details to follow in future Java Journals. Please let Margaret know if you would like to join this local celebration, whether you are a veteran, wife, widow, children, Associate Member, or anybody who would like to honour our FEPOWs.



There are plans are for a service at Lichfield Cathedral on the Saturday afternoon, 15th August, at 2pm with a gala dinner at the NMA, Staffordshire that evening. This will be followed by the COFEPOW AGM, service and FEPOW building rededication and lunch on the Sunday 16th August. Please contact Alan or Chris Wills, at 74 The Greenway, Sutton Coldfield B73 6SG, on 0121 244 7263 or email them at alanwills@blueyonder.co.uk to find out more.



The Birmingham Association of FEPOWs will be holding a commemoration at the Burma Campaign Memorial in Bromsgrove on 2nd September 2015 followed by a lunch at the Holiday Inn in Birmingham. For more information please contact Pam Stubbs at 143 New Road, Bromsgrove, Worc B60 2LJ or telephone 01527 873452.

We understand there are also plans for commemorations to be held in Plymouth, Portsmouth, Cambridge and many other places around the country. I hope to have a fuller list of things for you in the July newsletter, but in the meantime your local press or RBL may be able to give you more information.


The Malayan Volunteers Group will hold their VJ Day 70th Anniversary Service in the National Memorial Chapel at 12.00 on August 15th. The service will be conducted by Canon Christopher Samuels. As always, non-members are welcome to attend but because of significant numbers of members attending this year please let myself or our Secretary, Rosemary Fell know if you intend coming and we will do our best to ensure you a place.

Jonathan Moffatt - jonathanmoffatt51@yahoo.com



This year will be the eighth time that FEPOW Day is celebrated here in Taiwan. Once again we will meet at the Spot Theatre - # 18, Chungshan North Road Sec. 2 in downtown Taipei on Saturday evening August 15th . There will be a display of WWII POW and military artifacts; we will have a short memorial service to honour the FEPOWs and then the movie ‘Unbroken’ will be shown. This much-acclaimed film directed by Angelina Jolie tells the story of former POW Louis Zamperini and his experiences and triumphs as a prisoner of the Japanese in WWII.  Following the feature movie a short documentary on the life of Louis Zamperini will also be shown. Everyone is invited to our event, but space is limited to a maximum of 70 persons, so please kindly let us know by email if you’re planning to attend so we can reserve a seat for you. We hope and expect to have a large turnout and so reservations are a must. The deadline for reservations is set at 5 pm Wednesday August 12th . Doors open at 5:30 pm and the program will begin promptly at 6:00. There is no charge for this event, and coffee and fruit drinks will be available.

NOTE: This film is not suitable for young children and there are no Chinese sub-titles on the film.



Details can be found on the NFFWRA website   www.nationalfepowfellowship.org.uk

Enquiries to enquiries@nationalfepowfellowship.org.uk



In Remembrance for FEPOW Day - August 15th

Ron Taylor’s Bolo

PB230164The bolo (Boot Lace Tie) was made in remembrance of my father. The farthings as background represent:-

1942 - Captured Singapore

1943 -Working on the Thailand-Burma Railway

1944 - Transported back to Singapore

1945 Half Crown - Transported to French Indo China (Vietnam), liberated 15th August.


Mira Harpham’s Wall Hangings

My wife, Mari, has produced 2 textile wall-hangings in memory of my Father and all FEPOW's that endured captivity and under the Japanese and for those who worked on the Burma/Siam railway.

Mari Harpham-1-tnMari Harpham-2-tn

By Andrew Harpham

Thank you Mira, they are sad but also very beautiful - Ron

Walking In Their Steps

These articles contain many photos of places our loved ones walked whilst PoWs.

Hellfire Memorial - Erected in 2005

Ian’s Visit To Thialand by Ian Whyte

Songkurai by Patricia de Tisi

Thailand Trip by Keith Andrews and Mike Nellis

Please click on the titles above to view



Looking Back

The Fall of Singapore 70 Years On

From the Lanarkshire Yeomanry Group Newsletter on the recent Service of Remembrance at Newmains.

It includes the moving address given by the Rev. Paul Grant of St. Ninian's Parish Church, Stonehouse.

Please click on the links below

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Address by Rev. Paul Grant

Submitted by Agnes Dougan

(The files above are in pdf format and will take a while to download)




Need help in researching, you will find helpful hints within these pages, A Start to Researching . As the years pass by many a descendant of these brave souls has researched those prisoner of war years.  There are tools to help with the Fepow Story, Books, internet and the Fepows themselves. The Fepow Community has now added new tools for research purposes, the main research section being The Rising Sun . Translation of the Japanese words used by the prisoners is covered by the Word Translator , this started as a pamphlet given to the prisoners by the Japanese and has been enlarged upon. The Fepow Verse has been gathered together by the late Maurice Rooney. One of the ways to survive the prisoners ordeal was to turn to Religion, all prisoners beliefs are respected. The latest addition is the Abbreviations section, I was asked what ALSEA was, I thought life would be easier for us all with the forces abbreviations on.



Web Site Updates

After an email I believe it is advisable to advise browsers:-

  • This is not an organisation
  • The old FEPOW organisation is no more
  • The FEPOW sites are written in my own time
  • The Roll of Honour has taken priority since the 65th anniversary of liberty
  • Being a one man band, I try my best, but it is impossible to cover all aspects of POW life
  • Please use the Research section if extended research is required
  • If you have written pages which will help others please email the link
  • Otherwise please do not criticise, it doesn’t help
  • It has taken about 22 years to put together information to help others, in my spare time
  • Thanks to all those who have emailed with appreciation, it does means a lot
  • All the sites I have written are in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the Far East
  • Everything is free except the pins , any profit from these pays for wreaths
  • It has cost a lot of time and money but is worth it for the FEPOW’s and my own fathers remembrance

Having gone through my childhood as a child of a FEPOW, I believe there is depth in my writings. I can not try to capture the horror of those years in the camps, but in the 1960’s my father gave me his diary to read, home life then began to make sense, screams in the night followed by shadowy footsteps, everything had to be eaten on ones plate, cloths were worn till they could not be any more, life was strange but my dad was there and will always be my hero.

Keep the candle burning, they deserve it !



Background Music

The Naked Isle is written and sung by Jim Rowlands in remembrance of his grandfather Albert Owen Rowlands from the 600 gunners party. The Japanese reported that the ship carrying the prisoners was lost at sea after leaving Singapore, which is known as the Naked Isle.

It wasn’t till after the war the truth was found when a large mass grave was found on Ballali Island, the Japanese had used 517 of the fittest to construct a runway on Ballali Island leaving the sick at Rabaul, then when finished those of the 517 remaining alive were massacred by the Japanese.

436 bodies were exhumed on Ballali Island, those remaining of the 517 are believed to have died before the massacre and buried on the island.

The date of death given by the Commonwealth War Graves is the 5th March 1943 for those who died on Ballali Island, the correct date is not known.



Fepow Day Pin:-

To promote August 15th as Fepow Remembrance Day a pin is also being produced.


The pin will be 1 inch high in Fine Enamel with a butterfly clutch.

The estimated cost will be 1.00 + postage.

Please order via the printable form:- Order Form

If you require help please email Ron at:- Ron.Taylor@fepow-community.org.uk

I would like to thank Michael Hurst MBE for all the help he has given with this project.



New Books:-

Can now be found under Books




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