It is strange how in Life, one thing leads to another.
A few months ago I had thought about posting this.
Recently while looking through the births death and marriages in the local paper, I noticed these in the deaths. What caught my eye was F.E.P.O.W. after the name.
Reeder John Stanley Age 93 June 27th 2012 Harleston Norfolk.
Leggett Stanley Douglas age 87 7th August 2009 Atlanta USA.
Bailey Philip John (Ben) age 91 29th Oct 2010.
This has raised a few questions in my mind.
1. Are the letters F.E.P.O.W. put on the headstone?
2. Most of those who died in the Far East either have a headstone in a war graveyard or their names are on memorials.
Those that came home, their graves may be scattered all over the world.
How can those, that came home, be remembered?
3. Is there a data base of these chaps?
But never got round to it.
Recently my father passed away, aged 87 and I was delegated to write his eulogy which of course mentioned his work and service in WWII, building airfields, then serving in the R.E. Dec 44 to Feb 48.
A couple of weeks after the funeral, I was talking to the undertaker about the headstone, and mentioned that most headstone do not give you a lot of information about people’s lives or what they did during the war. And as my father was just going to have a simple wooden cross as his headstone, I thought it would be a good idea to attach a brass plaque stating his service no, and time served. The undertaker agreed that it was a good idea as headstones do not give much info of a persons life or history.
Anyway during the conversation she mentioned that her son had done a school project on ww2 in 2008 when he was 10 and had received a merit award for it. So I asked her if I could have a look at it.
(Now I have had time to look at it, It is a great piece of work will post more on it later)
When she gave it to me I had a quick flick through and it fell open at this picture.
(I’m sure I have seen it elsewhere.)
Uncanny or what, when I asked about the chap in the pic it appears that he lived local and had just passed away, and is being buried this Friday the 14th June.
HOLDEN RICHARD JOHN (Dick) Passed away suddenly on Thursday, May 23rd aged 91 years Dearly-loved husband of Margaret, loving father of David, Jenny and Jonathan. A dear grandad and father-in-law FEPOW and well known character of Fakenham, he will be sorely missed The funeral service will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Hempton on Friday, June 14th at 2.30 p.m.
A candle can be lit here.
Private 5775238 5th Btn Royal Norfolks he suffered tremendously as a POW can’t seem to upload claim form which shows what he endured, includes toe rot, Palgara,Malarie,Ringworm,Beri – Beri, Diarrhoea,Tineous scrolumm, uicers and fevers. Also spent time in the sweat box,tied to a tree and beaten, force marched and transport in crowded rail trucks.
Rest in Peace, you have earn’t it, we will never Forget.