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Belford VJ Remembrance



Leslie Tait, son of FEPoW Leslie Tair, reads out the names of the local men who were captured as Sandy Lowrie, son of FEPoW Mark Lowrie, lowers the Northumberland Fusiliers standard. Picture by Eric Gassner


Belford was blessed with fine weather when hundreds were welcomed into St. Mary’s parish church for a service to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Japan.  The joint service with the Erskine United Reform Church brought together the families of the men from Belford in a moving hour dedicated to those that were Far Eastern Prisoners of War and who suffered so horribly at the hands of their Japanese captors.

A brief history of the Northumberland Fusiliers role in WWII in the Far East culminating with the capitulation in Singapore was given by Kerry Noble whose father was a Captain on both of Wingate’s Chindit expeditions fighting to regain Burma. 

Jane Flower the daughter of the Lt. Col. Flower, who was given command of the Battalion upon surrender gave an overview of the work done by the Fusiliers whilst in captivity.  Liz Loutfi, whose father, Jack Atkinson was a FEPoW, spoke about the spirit of the men and some of the humour that helped to keep them going.  Memories of her father by Wilf Johnson’s daughter Marion made us feel that we all knew Wilf and felt some of his suffering and his appreciation of the simple things in life once back home. 

 Named for his Fusilier father, Leslie Tait, read a list of 27 local lads who were captured and reminded the congregation that these men were our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, uncles, brothers and friends and that they fought, suffered and some died so that we could all live our lives in freedom.

At the end of the service The Northumberland Fusilier Standard was lowered and the two youngest great grandchildren of FEPoW Wilf Johnson, Logan Thompson, age 3 and Caleb Johnson age 3 months, with their fathers, laid a poppy cross upon a wall of bamboo. 

Tea was served on the lawn in front of the museum which was a lovely occasion and gave the congregation a chance to meet up with old friends, make new ones and swop stories.




[Fepow Day] [Arboretum 2017] [Canada] [Great Yarmouth 2007] [Great Yarmouth 2008] [Harlow] [Kings Lynn] [Liverpool] [London 2017] [National Arboretum] [Ronnies Gathering] [Scotland-2007] [Scotland 2008] [Scotland 2009] [Scotland 2017] [Sandakan] [Taiwan] [Taiwan 2009] [Taiwan 2010] [Thailand] [USA] [Western Super Mare] [2015] [Great Yarmouth 2015] [Haverhill 2015] [Brighton and Hove 2015] [St Martin in the Field] [Horse Guards Parade] [Belford] [Bideford VJ Celebrations] [Earlham Park Norwich] [Fazeley War Memorial] [Preston Cemetery] [City Hall, Hong Kong] [Centotaph Parade] [Bernard Stogden Interview] [Canongate Kirk - Edinburgh] [2018]



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