Online Evening News
Glasgow tribute to PoW camp sufferers
THE daughter of a former Japanese prisoner of war will pay tribute at Glasgow Cenotaph to her dad and thousands of others who suffered in the notorious camps.
A Remembrance Service will take place in George Square tomorrow to mark the 63rd anniversary of VJ (Victory in Japan) Day.
Widow Avril Anderson, of East Kilbride, will be joined by the sons and daughters, nephews and nieces and other relatives of those who were imprisoned by the Japanese.
Avril Anderson will be among those paying tribute at the Cenotaph
The PoWs were often labelled the Forgotten Army' Mrs Anderson, 66, said: "Many PoWs lived with terrible memories all their lives and were unable to share them with others.
"I want a younger generation to know what happened and for everyone to remember what we owe them. It is important to keep their memory alive."
The Far East PoW group was set up many years ago, but last year's ceremony in Glasgow was the first time a service was held in Scotland.
Few of the former PoWs are still alive and most of those who are are too frail to travel.
But Mrs Anderson hopes ex-PoW Jimmy Hart, 92, of Wishaw, will be able to attend. He attended last year.
Avril's dad, Signalman William Moffat of the Royal Signals, of Partick, was 19 when he left the shipyards to enlist in the army from the TA.
He was captured in Malaya in February 1942 and spent the rest of the war in the infamous Changi and Blakang Mati camps.
William left for war a healthy man but returned with beriberi, a thiamin deficiency - also called aneurin and vitamin B1 - that can affect the cardiovascular, muscular, gastrointestinal and nervous systems.
But his daughter says he was as much a casualty of the war in the Far East as if he had died in the camp.
Mr Moffat died aged 39 in 1959 of an aneurysm.Doctors told the family it could have been due to the repeated hammering of bayonets on the back of his head while he was a PoW.
"We were aware he had suffered terribly in the PoW camp," says Avril. "But he wasn't bitter. He was a fun-loving dad. "
Avril's 88-year-old mum, Marjorie, now lives in Perth, Australia, with her youngest daughter, Judith.
When Avril started to research the story of the camps, she came across the Japanese register of prisoners in the public records.
"When the men were repatriated, they had taken these documents.
"It was hundreds of sheets of A3 paper, with holes punched and tied together with string.
"The covers were painted black. It showed the camps they had gone to and where they had been transferred to or died. That was the most horrifying thing."
Anyone interested in attending the service, which is 2.30pm for 3pm, should contact Avril on 01355 238846 or by sending an e-mail to: email@example.com.
The Far East PoW group website can also be found at: