December 9 2013 Latest news:
Monday, October 21, 2013
The daughter of a Japanese prisoner of war, who will speak at the dedication of a memorial at a camp where he was held, has offered to say prayers on behalf of other POWs or their families during her visit.
Norwich resident Capt Bernard Wilson, of the Royal Engineers, was captured during the fall of Singapore in 1942 and was later held in three camps in Taiwan, including the Kinkaseki copper mine and the Shirakawa POW camp.
He died in 2001, and now his daughter Sally Dye, from Fir Covert Road, Taverham, is preparing to fly with her three children to the Far East for a remembrance week, which includes the dedication service of the newly-constructed Shirakawa POW Memorial.
At the service, she will read out a prayer her father wrote in the diary he kept during his ordeal.
She said: “I want to pay my respects to my father and the colleagues who did not come back. I want my children to learn from it.
“I think there are probably men out there who suffered, or their widows or children, who are maybe too frail to go.
“If there’s any message I can take, even if it’s a silent prayer, I would be happy to do so. It’s an opportunity for me to do something for the old soldiers, if they would like me to do so.”
Her father, a cabinet maker before the war who went into retail afterwards, married her mother Dorothy in Norwich while on embarkation leave in 1941.
Mrs Dye said: “He did not really talk about his captivity.
“I think he wanted to consign it to somewhere in the dark recesses of his mind.
“He did not like waste. He did not like rice. He never wanted to eat rice again.”
She said his diary was full of memories of Norwich and family anniversaries, and he was a very forgiving person with a strong faith.
Mrs Dye leaves on Wednesday and will be in Taiwan in early November.
To ask her to say a prayer on your or your family’s behalf, contact her on 07885 512193, or on email@example.com during her trip.