FORGIVEN BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Memoirs of a Teenage Girl Prisoner of the
Japanese in China
Joyce Bradbury (nee Cooke) was born 1928 in China with British citizenship.
Following the declaration of war by the Allies on Japan after the Japanese
bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, she was interned by the Japanese Army
at Wei-Hsien (now called Weifang) northern China with 2000 other Allied
nationals for almost four years.
In this book she tells the amazing story of her family's long involvement
in China, her life growing up in China, the disturbing experiences of
the Japanese internment camp, liberation from the camp by the US military,
post-war China, migration to Australia, and then employment with the
She describes her later life in Australia, her return to China to visit
the former Japanese camp and reflects on the approach of the Japanese
to the barbarities its wartime regime visited on the many peoples it
As her story ends, she pays a moving tribute to an extraordinary Australian
who was the hero of her Japanese prison camp.
Cover design: Gianni Frinzi ISBN 0-646-39039-2
This book has been a labour of love for the author who first came to
Australia in 1947 shortly after being released from internment in a
Chinese prison camp by the Japanese during World War II. She was interned
because she was a British citizen. At the time of her internment she
For almost 20 years, she and her husband, Bob, have spent time researching
material for this book for her family, friends and people interested
in her life and the intriguing lives of her antecedents. Joyce Bradbury
(nee Cooke) also tells how she progressed from her wartime childhood
adversity to a full life after World War II. Despite internment by the
Japanese she is not embittered. Today, she plays an active role in her
adopted Australia where she is well-respected for her community service
work, has successfully raised three sons, is a grand-mother, and keeps
in touch with survivors of the Japanese camp who are now scattered around
From a reader's perspective, this is the story of an interesting woman,
a fascinating family and a diverse group of persons who have peopled
the author's life. The author also acknowledges many amazing people
who kept up her and her fellow prisoners' morale by many individual
acts of bravery and decency.
Adrian Lynch Sydney
Writing a book for the first time is a tough but satisfying experience.
It could not have been done without the help of other people and memories
of the extraordinary people who have sustained me at different times
in my life.
I have written this book because there have been events in my life that
should be documented. These are sometimes sad, sometimes funny and often
I wish to dedicate this book to my children, George, Tom and Bill, who
have constantly given me joy. I especially would like to thank my husband
Bob for his research work over many years.
Separately, I thank Barry Tucker who was the book's copy editor, Gianni
Frinzi the book's graphic designer and picture editor, Georgie Perry
for her cartography and photographs, Sister Marie Mansbridge for her
photograph of her uncle, Michelle Bradbury for her recent family photograph,
and my proofreaders, George Bradbury, Rosemary Lynch, Diane Burns and
the late Brother Gregory Robinson FMS.
In compiling the book I was also helped by the Reverend Abbot David
Tomlins of the Cistercian (Trappist) Tarrawarra Abbey at Yarra Glen,
Victoria, members of Father Patrick Scanlan's Australian family in Warrnambool,
Victoria, and Sydney, New South Wales, and the Diocese of San Bernardino,
I thank survivors of the Japanese camp for their comradeship, their
help, comments and recollections.
I hope readers will enjoy the book.
Finally, a note for readers.
Names of Chinese places in this book's text follow the names which were
in common use by English speakers at the time of the events recorded.
Where they first appear in the book they are followed by their present
name, e.g. Peking (now known as Beijing). On the map of China the contemporary
place name is given followed by the former name in brackets to assist
users readers referring to mod-ern atlases. The source for the Chinese
place names used in the map and the text is Philip's World Atlas ninth
edition, published Great Britain 1999. Names of other places, e.g. Pearl
Harbor, also follow their official local spelling of the time.
Spellings in quoted documents follow that of the documents. Other spellings
follow that of The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors, published
by Oxford University Press in the United States in 1989 in the first
instance and then The Macquarie Dictionary, published by Macquarie Library
Pty. Ltd. in Australia in 1981.