Far East, Companion Journal to The Prisoner of War, Vol. I, No. II, November 1945

i Companion Journal to‘ 7 %?PRISONER o f WAR THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE PRISONERS OF WAR DEPARTMENT OF THE RED CROSS ST.AND JOHN WAR ORGANISATION ST. JAMES'S PALACE LONDON S.W.I. Vol. I. No. II Free to Next of Kin November 1945 I V rites THIS issue ofF ak East tells of the homecoming of the men and women for whom we have waited so long. More than 21000 released prisoners of war and about 3000 civi­lian internees have reached this country from the Far East and m anymore are on their way. B u tin this hour of rejoicing we must not forget those who will never comeback. Their number may never be known. The figures given in the House of Commons on October 30th showed that about 39.000 United Kingdom prisoners of war had been liberated. A t the time of the Japanese surrender it was esti­mated that no fewer than 38000 and not more than 43.000 U n i ted Kingdom prisoners of war were %till alive in Japan­ese hands. Owing to the Japanese failure to notify casualties it was not possible to make a more accurate estimate. Once again amid our rejoicing at the rescue of so many we ffer our^ sin-cerest sympathy to the bereaved. Gainiqu Weight Repatriates on board ships and at the ports visited have been de­lighted with the welcome they have received and with the efforts to make them feel comfort­ able and enjoy to the full their newly found freedom. In spite of their eagerness to be home several men told me how much they appreciated the sea vo yag r, even if conditions were somewhat crowded. Each pound of weight gained by re­patriates has been a source of con­gratulation and there has been much healthy competition on this score. Two stone seems to have been the average increase in weight up to the time of arrival in this country. A lieutenant from Changi Camp, Singapore after a week in London, showed me proudly how tightly his battledress fitted him .Three stone in 1500 cheering repatriates line the decks of the Corfu— first of the homecoming p.o.w. ships to reach England. eight weeks is his grand weight record.“ I was 7 st. 6 lb. just before libera­tion 9 st. 7 lb. before we docked and 10 st. 6 lb. after one week of feeding up in this c o u n try ."He finds in each meal the simple pleasure of a child eating a chocolate cake. Meeting the Red Cross Many letters have reached me from grateful repatriates who said that they met the Red Cross "at every stage of the journey ."Members of the Red Cross 011 the other hand have been touched b they friendliness they have met everywhere. "Even the children know the "Red Cross said Redone Cross officer who wrote out telegrams for 400 civilian internees arriving at Southampton recently. The children on the whole looked fit but some were small for their age. The mother of one boy of seven saii.1 that he was now the same weight as when he was first interned. It is hoped that with plenty of good food and normal surroundings these children will soon makeup for lost time. English Countryside I f repatri­ates have enjoyed meeting the Red Cross the ex­perience Itas been no less a pleasure to representatives of Red Cross St.and John who have met home-coming
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