FEPOW Family Members started gathering for the wreath laying at 9.45am and were repaid by a downpour, but this didn’t dampen spirits as many had not met the faces behind the name and there was a lot to catch up on. Who said hold the Fepow Day in the summer as more would attend, hope it wasn’t me.
Win summed up the damp day by saying ‘God is crying’ and didn’t he shed some tears.
Names are not my forte, so I did find this difficult but as many of these faces were smiling it was easy going. You can pick Alistair out in his Tartan trews, Gordon Highlander. That one was easy, then there was Jim all the way from Scotland by himself, at 91, having to change trains four times, what a spirit, captured in Hong Kong.
Keith centre, Simon Moss with his son under the white umbrella, his wife in blue top, Joanne and husband under blue umbrella.
There was a clutch of Suffolks including Reg, Dicko, Cyril and Les, excuse me for forgetting some of the other names. The Norfolks were represented by Ben Howlett, Eddie Hunn (author of Guest of Nippon) and Bert Major. Jack Snow represented the RAF, captured in Java and transported to Japan.
The British Legion sent a flag bearer and the old local FEPOW Association were represented by Bert Major.
Reg (Suffolks) was given the job of presenting the program and with Win as his support all went well. A few words to thank everyone for coming and why we were there, then on to the wreath laying. Followed by a minutes silence when ‘The Last Post’ was sounded by Keith Pegg from the Salvation Army (Sheringham)
Reg laid the wreath from the FEPOW Family and Alistair laid the wreath to Private ‘Bertie’ Monks from his sister Lydia, who unfortunately was unable to make it as she was rushed into hospital last Friday.
Win then read her poem dedicated to the day:-
For all you beloved men gathered here today
Though your hearts and minds are far away
To those dreaded years of deep despair
A great support for one another, no other care
Through out the years memories linger on
Remembering those courageous men long gone
We honour you all. What more can we say
May you all find peace in your own quiet way
Reveille was sounded by Keith Pegg marking the end of the wreath laying ceremony
The remaining FEPOWs and Family members then laid crosses.
We then went to the Meeting Hall where Yarmouth’s Alan Carr laid on tea, coffee and biscuits, a warm dry room to have a get together (chin wag).
Janet and Trish
Jack Snow (RAF) captured Java transported to Japan and his wife
Peter son of Cyril left, Ben Howlet (RASC att. Norfolks) centre and Cyril Doy (Suffolks) right,
Win and Eddie Hunn (Norfolks) - author of a Guest of Nippon
Bert Major (Norfolks) left, Dicko (Suffolks) centre and Tony Trevet right
Alistair (Gordon Highlanders) and Jim (RASC), both travelled from Scotland
Les (Suffolks) - Changi and Thailand-Burma Railway
I would like to thank everyone for attending our first Fepow Day gathering at Great Yarmouth. With a very special thanks to Alan Carr the Yarmouth Tourism officer and his staff. They made the FEPOWs and family members welcome, going out of their way to help make it a successful day.
Ron - FEPOW Family
(Written 19th August 2007)
The gathering of the FEPOW was a joy to see
They were happy, and they were free!!
Years have gone by and memories fade
Never forgetting the price their mates paid
Now old and frail they have found peace at last
They have now come to terms with their past