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From Matthew J. Weaver,

Matthew J. Weaver is Wendy Robinson Weaver’s son and Dr. Robbie Robinson’s grandson.

a short biography by Matthew Weaver:

My grandparents John Bainbridge Robinson and Marie Etheldreda Marlow met at a dance when both were students at the University of London. John "Robbie" Robinson qualified as a doctor at Guy's Hospital and after they were married, joined a practice in Hastings on the south coast of England. Life was hard work and poorly paid for junior partners in those days and after several years he applied to be medical officer with the Kailan Mining Administration in Tongshan. His father had been a professional musician and had undertaken several successful tours to China.

My mother, Mary Catherine Robinson, known as Wendy was a small child when they set sail and my uncle John Anthony Robinson was born in China. They were very happy in China and enjoyed work and an active social life. They made many great friends notably Sid and Ida Talbot. They remained friends for the rest of their lives and their children still in touch today.

After liberation from camp they returned briefly to their pre war work and houses but with the impending Civil War in North Eastern China, they were evacuated and repatriated to the UK. They lived in London and North Wales before eventually settling in Hartlepool where he worked as a hospital physician. My grandfather died in 1971 and my grandmother in 2005.

In the 1960s my parents were in a pub in Newcastle when they met a sailor who told them "I have just come from a place you will never have heard of; Ching wang tao." He was astounded to be told that mother knew it well.

© Greg Leck

Greetings on the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of Weihsien.

We give thanks for all who made it home through the trials and chances of war to live their lives and tell their stories.

We remember the soldiers of many nations who fought against the forces of Japan all over the far east; American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealanders, Nepalese and the colonial troops of what would become India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Gambia who fought with courage and distinction but were not always remembered or honoured as they should have been. We remember the civilians of China, Korea, Burma, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Hong Kong and Singapore who suffered invasion and oppression and we remember the Japanese particularly the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

To those of us who did not live through these times, the history can seem like black and white photographs of a long ago and different world but it is only by keeping the memories alive that we can avoid such things in the future. Inconceivable as it may seem at times, anything that happened in the second world war could, in the wrong circumstances, happen again and wars motivated by the same political ambitions and with devastating atrocities have happened in the last 25 years and are still happening in Central and East Africa but with little coverage in the western world.

Matthew J. Weaver.

Memories from the Robinson family ...