VJ – 78th Anniversary of the Liberation of Far Eastern Prisoners of War
On 28th August 1945 British Liberator bombers flew low over the Changi Gaol Prisoner of War Camp in Japanese occupied Singapore. As the thousands of emaciated prisoners looked up leaflets dropped from the aircraft fluttered down bringing official confirmation that Japan had surrendered, the war was over and help was on its way.
After three and a half years of captivity it was with great excitement and relief thousands of prisoners stood within the PoW camps and with tears running down their faces sang God Save the King and Land of Hope and Glory. Their legend of endurance was over – they were going home.
On August Bank Holiday Monday 28th August Rocks by Rail – the Living Ironstone Museum is holding a Steam Open Day to mark the 78th Anniversary of the Liberation of Far Eastern Prisoners of War and commemorate the one in four who did not return largely due to the ill treatment, hard labour, inadequate food and total contempt shown by their captors.
On special commemorative static display will be the museum’s war memorial steam locomotive “SINGAPORE”, itself a prisoner when captured along with 80,000 allied servicemen at the Fall of Singapore in February 1942. This will be supplemented by a display providing an insight for museum visitors of life as an allied prisoner of the Japanese. Visitors will have the opportunity of placing a white orchid (Far east conflict flower of Remembrance) on the locomotive beneath the memorial plates – in memoriam.