De: "Joyce Cook" <bobjoyce@tpg.com.au>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: Wei'Hsien concentration camp

Date: jeudi 10 janvier 2008 1:47

 

Regarding Terri K's email about WeiHsien camp. I sure did know Alice Moore. She was the Principal of the Peking

American High School at the time of her internment and she opened and conducted the school in the camp. She had short grey hair, horn rimmed spectacles and was quite slim. In her early sixties. She was one of my school teachers in the camp. She also as Principal signed my Diploma issued by the Peking American School. I still have it. She was very friendly and affable but although the school was conducted under trees and in the church hall she maintained school. I have not seen or heard of her since Camp and now I know something of her later moves. My family and I came from Tsingtao and returned there after liberation. We came to Australia in early 1947, Thanks. Joyce Bradbury.   

 

  ----- Original Message -----

  From: Donald Menzi

  To: Terri Stewart

  Cc: weihsien

  Sent: Tuesday, January 08, 2008 2:33 AM

  Subject: Re: Wei'Hsien concentration camp

 

 

  Welcome aboard, Terri,

 

  One of the names of your grandmother's friends, "Helen Burton" rang a bell for me.  She was apparently a very interesting woman, so being her friend reflects well on your great aunt.  Before being interned she had owned a shop in Peking called "The Camel's Bell."

 

  If you go to my "family" website you can find a picture of Helen Burton reading a letter informing her that her brother had died.  You can find it by going to http://d.menzi.org   (no www), then clicking on "Gripsholm" and then on "Life Magazine."  She's on the 9th page.  You'll also find a painting of the "White Elephant's Bell," a barter/exchange shop that she ran in the camp, by clicking on the "Weihsien" slide show, which is a "walking tour" of the camp, based on paintings and sketches done by inmates.  Be sure to have your sound turned on to get the musical background.

 

  Best wishes for a satisfying 2008.

 

  Donald Menzi 

 

    -----Original Message-----

    From: Terri Stewart

    Sent: Jan 6, 2008 11:52 PM

    To: dmenzi@earthlink.net

    Subject: Wei'Hsien concentration camp

 

    Hi!

 

    I've only recently (two weeks ago) came into possession of my Great Aunt's letters and diary accounts from 1948-52. Much of it was about post-Weishsien and her life in Peiping, but several letters and entries came from various friends that also were in the camp and continued to live in China until the Communist take over in 1949-50 made it necessary to leave. I have been investigating what I can of the camp and other places she and her friends lived & visited. I would like to get onto the topica list if it is still active to see if any descendants knew of my Aunt and a couple of her friends? I also have a few pages that I can send as .jpg's of their time in the camp, although I cannot vouch on who wrote the "Repatriation" page in this group of notes.

 

    My Aunt's name:  Ruth H. Kunkel, an American teacher & nurse from Penn.

                               Date of birth: Feb 27 (not sure what year)

    Her constant friends: Alice Moore, also a teacher & nurse from Maine, & Helen Burton, San Francisco? Alice's birthday was April 14 (don't know the year). Have no idea as to when Helen's birthday is. 

 

    Both Ruth & Alice taught at the Peiping American School, and later Ruth taught at the Fu Jen Catholic Univ. in Peiping, and later for Alice Moore who started her own school when the others were shut down.

 

    I would appreciate any info that you or others can pass on. Half of her original diary has gone missing (in China - leading up to the time of her internment) so I only have letters and the other half (most of it) from May 1948 to Aug 1952 when she relocated with Alice to Istanbul, Turkey.  Ruth's only sibling (my grandmother, Kathryn (Kay) Kunkel Reagle) did not keep any of the other correspondence from those days. The letters/diary I have came from Ruth's own possessions that were eventually sent to my family after her death?

    I'm not sure about that and there is no one left (old enough) to ask. Somewhere in all of this stuff - my mother and I are still going through a lot of mixed up family notes (!) - are pictures of Ruth during some of these years. Many were eaten up by bugs so I'm not sure what has survived at this point.

 

    I hope to hear from you?

 

    Sincerely,

 

    Terri K. (Reagle) Stewart

    tksweaver@verizon.net

 

    PS: Aunt Ruth and I share the same date of birth - Feb 27th.

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Cc: "Anne de Saint Hubert" <annando@beeb.net>

Objet: Re: Helen Burton letter

Date: jeudi 10 janvier 2008 8:32

 

Hello,

Yes!

I'd gladly add all interesting data about our days in Weihsien Concentration Camp. It is interesting to confront personal impressions about the camp in those days. There are quite a few interesting diary extracts in Norman Cliff's chapter --- Peter Bazire recently sent to me the adventures of a 13 year old boy upon liberation --- and many others in the website. Even books --- some recopied in whole and readable (printable) as e-books. I hope that my sister will write someday about the experiences of a seven year old girl in camp and we are scheduled to have some extracts of Christian de Saint Hubert's diary this year ---

Best regards,

Leopold

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org 

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: missing messages

Date: jeudi 10 janvier 2008 19:55

 

I am now new to this list, but noticed that the last 3 messages to this list open to blank pages...no message to go with the heading.

Am I doing something wrong, or did they not post??

 

Terri

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: missing messages

Date: vendredi 11 janvier 2008 10:12

 

Quite right !! There seems to be a problem on the "Topica" side. Best thing

is to wait --- for them to fix it :-))

--- all the best,

Leopold

 

 

De: "Joyce Cook" <bobjoyce@tpg.com.au>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Fw: Wei'Hsien concentration camp

Date: dimanche 13 janvier 2008 22:56

 

Regarding Terri K's email about WeiHsien camp. I sure did know Alice Moore. She was the Principal of the Peking

American High School at the time of her internment and she opened and conducted the school in the camp. She had short grey hair, horn rimmed spectacles and was quite slim. In her early sixties. She was one of my school teachers in the camp. She also as Principal signed my Diploma issued by the Peking American School. I still have it. She was very friendly and affable but although the school was conducted under trees and in the church hall she maintained school. I have not seen or heard of her since Camp and now I know something of her later moves. My family and I came from Tsingtao and returned there after liberation. We came to Australia in early 1947, Thanks. Joyce Bradbury.   

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: Fw: Wei'Hsien concentration camp

Date: mardi 15 janvier 2008 1:22

 

Hi Joyce,

Glad to have been of some help and I thank you for your description of Alice! I hope to be able to find pictures of her and Ruth when my mother and I can get to that part of the family stuff. Alice taught school at Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey. She and Ruth went there after leaving China and she started teaching at R.C. in January 1950.

I'm not sure how long she was there, but I understand she eventually left Istanbul and went to England. I'll re-read the last few letters and try to clarify this. I think it is wonderful that you still have your diploma! So cool! Ruth (my g.Aunt) also taught at PAS and Fu Jen but I think she taught science. She was a nurse, so was Alice. I don't know for sure, but I think Ruth may have been assigned to the hospital at the camp by the way she wrote of things in her letters.

It would make sense. I love this list!

 

Terri

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: 2 new letters about Weihsien ---

Date: mardi 15 janvier 2008 11:05

 

Hello all :-))

Thanks to Terri Stewart, we have two new letters about Weihsien to read ---

goto:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/TerriStewart/indexFrame.htm  

--- click once on the scanned letter --- it is easier to read that way --- and I added a few links too !!

Best regards,

Leopold

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Alice Moore

Date: jeudi 17 janvier 2008 19:02

 

Hi All,

 

I've re-read the letters of my g.Aunt, and it does mention Alice Moore going to England..but that was for a summer vacation. Alice did remain in Turkey - at least up to late 1952. Anything after that is unknown to me since this is where my g.Aunt's letters end.

As for Pu Mei Li (Mary Burton), no other mention of her is made in the rest of the letters after Dec. 1948. Helen Burton had moved to Honolulu, but spent many months or a year at a time in Mexico (no city given), but kept her home base in Honolulu. I am sorry to not have more information than this.

 

Terri

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Peter Bazire's "First Class Journey" in Weihsien

Date: dimanche 20 janvier 2008 17:39

 

Hello,

There is a new text Peter asked me to recopy for him and include in the Weihsien-Paintings' website with more pictures and links --- go to:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/PeterBazire/ScoutBadge/txt_BoyScoutBadge.htm

I tried to locate every person mentioned in Peter's text by giving you the link to Ron Bridge's listings. Peter helped me.

Mr. Zimmerman is not in Ron's listings but mentioned in Greg's book --- ??

I didn't find Mr. Beasley nor Miss Melo. These names could be "phonetically" written --- or nicknames maybe??? Does somebody have a better idea? As for the other names, --- if I got some locations wrong --- please let me know --- :-))

 

Best regards,

Leopold

 

 

" Recently I rang the Scout Information Centre to ask about the "1st Class Journey" that I undertook in Weihsien with my class-mate Jamie Taylor. I was told that it was part of the "1st Class Badge" which no longer exists as such.

 

My “1st Class Journey” account was in June, but 1944 or 1945 - I don’t know. In the hymn “New every morning is the love…” there is a line: “The trivial round, the common task.” These pages are a bit like this last line: nothing dramatic; just 48 hours of observations of Camp life.

 

1st Class Journey.

June 8th 6 o’clock pm to June 9th 9pm

 

In the afternoon at 2.30-3.30 we chopped wood. We had a good deal of surplus wood which was very dry. We borrowed Birch’s axe , but during the journey we didn’t use it. Having packed the big haversack (J. Clark’s) with 2 blankets and the axe handle which was loose, and the small one (Ru Hoyte’s) with billy-cans, towel etc. and matches, salt, tooth brushes, a miniture (sic) book of psalms, peanut oil, raw food, spoon etc. mugs, we left the building at about 6.00. We emptied the kit out of the haversacks on to the mattresses which we had brought at about 3.30. We had forgotten the watch so J. Taylor went & fetched J. Graham’s while I lit the fire 6.05. I put a billy can of water on which, when almost boiling, I put in another billy can. J. Taylor returned with the watch at 6.10 and we fried leeks in a billy can. J.T’s food was cooked already so we ate that with some fried bread which was fried after the leeks. The weather was uncertain – a haze all over. There was a pleasant breeze blowing which came from W.S.W. We did not have to carry our kit with us in the evening 5 rounds. At about 7.00 we were ready to leave Mr. Warren’s block & he informed us that he had decided with Mr. Houghton that at 9.00, if the weather was threatening we would move over to the Hospital under the outside steps.

 

The round was from 23 to church – down Italian lane – to power house – to S. Field – to L. Showers & back to 23.

5 rounds between 7.00 & 9.00 p.m.

 

1st round.

 

The sun was a white haze. C. Trickey was at Mr. Hubbard’s who was banging some tins together. Trickey had probably seen something interesting. The Kitchen I boiler room stokers were at the showers & the kitchen workers were packing up. Mr. Dallimore was stoking at boiler I. D. Clark was pumping. The guage was 2’6”. The Houghtons’ aluminium drinking water jug was at the pump. Swifts and Azure winged Magpies were about the only birds around. Occaisionly (sic) a shrike would call harshly. The church door was locked.

 

The sky S.W. was comparatively heavy. In the N.E. it was slightly blue. There was a game of soft-ball on – Sadler v Sonny. Sadler was leading by 6-0. Mr Avery was pumping. There were little children playing on Italian lane. An azure was trying to peck at another while flying. Charlie Hope-Gill was watering Mr. Marshall’s garden. Stedeford was pumping 7 – 7.30 at the Hospital pump. The gauge was 4’11”. Miss Craggs was teaching Mr. Beasly the violin in the barber’s room. There were a few little black insects plaguing my leg. The S. Field was empty. There was the usual evening gossiping in block 50 yard. At the ladies showers, Mr. Girling was stoking and Mr. David pumping very slowly. There was a small queue for distilled water which was flowing very slowly. I noticed the walls were still very warm from the day’s heat.

At 7.30 when we were leaving, Mr. Girling told Mr. David that he was going to fill the boiler. The gauge was 6” from overflow. Mr. Churchill was smoking a long Chinese pipe. We noticed an azure’s nest in a silver poplar N.E. of 24. We also heard & saw an oriole. There were lots of sparrows by the sisters’ room.

P.S. There was a man sketching in pencil the K2 Boiler room & that arch way.

 

2nd Round

 

D. Clark was still pumping. The softball game was still going on. Mr Lawless was going to the church being a ticket seller at the back. Chalkey pumping at the Hospital tower weather-vein (sic) said S.E. wind. Hoyte 4 & Welch were fitting a tennis ball back & forth on the S. Field. Miss Talatti was walking around the S. Field.

6.45 Mr. David was still pumping at the Ladies showers. The sketches had finished just as we came around 35.

K.2 stokers had just finished. There was second oriole with the first.

 

3rd round

 

D. Clark still pumping.

7.46. A man came for distilled water at Boiler I. The next day’s bakers were coming to set yeast. The softball game finished 16-0 Sadler-Sonny. Jessu playing chess in Italian room. The wind as we came down Italian lane was due E., but it was always changing. On a whole it kept to S.E.

7.55. There was a service in the Iso. Ward. I was informed by George Andrews that there were two tennis leagues for over 18 & under. Miss Craggs had just finished from the violin lesson. J. Hoyte was climbing over the Jap-S.E. wall having hit a tennis ball over but he hadn’t found it.

Mr David was still pumping 8.00. The board with ‘no hot water’ was still up. The guage (sic) was 4” from overflow, but by the time we finished at that place, there were only 2” to go. There was very little water in the well. Mr. Girling had just finished drawing the fire. One person came for drinking water. Mr. David told her by mistake that it was not drinkable, but that it was the steam from the boiler condensing : so she asked Mr. Girling who said it was perfectly drinkable. The baby rooks came out of their nests & cawed slightly more shrilly than their parents. We saw the rovers going to their meeting in uniform. People were playing tennîcoît (sic) behind 23. A pied woodpecker flew from W-E behind 23.

At 8.10 an oriole was answering another in a tree 20 or 30 yds off. The sky was very yellow around the setting region. There were doves cooing but very few birds out.

 

4th Round

 

The sun set at about 8.12. The K.I. workers had finished and were coming back from their showers.

At 8.15 there were people gambling in K.I. Bazire I pumping 8 – 8.30. The guage (sic) was 2’ 8”. Dr. Hoch’s shift were well into their work.

8.20. The lights came on at 8.22. The Jap guard in the corner of the softball field was sitting on a stump leaning on his rifle. ‘Death takes a holiday’ began at 8.25. Ru Hoyte was running to pump at the Bakery. D. Parry was talking to the Italians. There were a few slightly reddish clouds low down N.E. Cool breeze blowing. R. Candlin was running up to fetch Mr. Makiloff. When we were at the bottom of the road Candlin was running back and told us that he was too buisy (sic) to come since he was in the show.

P.S. (I forgot to mention that the lights were off at the school).

Mr. Stoker & Mr. Faers were talking to Mr. & Mrs. Allan. Amos was pumping 8.30 – 9.00 at the Hospital. The guage (sic) was 5’ 0”.

At 8.35 the wind was S.S.E. Mr. Girling who had been stoking at Boiler II had had a shower because he was clean & was going to Mr. Houghton. The Jap guard was sitting on the turret wall. The 57 residents were gossiping S. of 57. There were no people on the S. Field.

8.38. A cat was running around the Zimmermans back yard. The rovers were in S.E. room of 35.

At 8.42 the Boiler II was closed up & the guage (sic) was 3” from overflow. The bats were beginning to fly around. I hoped that they would kill off some of the insects that were plaguing my leg. Miss. Ragiere was sketching Miss Melo & Mrs. Cox who were sitting on the 8 steps of 23. There were gamblers in K2. The kitchen was empty. The better ‘Death - Holiday’ was on K.2 notice board. People were watering their gardens.

 

5th Round

 

8.50, people were still gambling in K1. Father Ghyselinck was reading in K1.

8.52 the bakers were still mixing dough—some had finished & were having showers. Mr Huebener was fetching hot water for the bakery. Stoker banking fire at Boiler 1.

9.00, Mr Harle emptying yeast dregs (sic). Wind died down.

9.58 Amos finished pumping. Guides singing songs in 61. Jap guard still sitting in old position on turret. The Rovers were singing as if they were board(sic). Insects-moths were flying around the lights.

9.05 finished.

 

We then went back to Mr Warren & since it looked like rain, we moved our mattresses under the hospital SW steps & our kit. We were careful with the peanut oil. The lights went out at 10.15. These are the constellations and stars that were up at 10.15 from camp-site. There was only the SW section of the sky visible.: Straight above, Bootes, a star Arcturus. Hydra in the south, a star Alphard. Leo in the SW fairly high up a star Regulus. Castor & Pollux just setting in W. Virgo in the S, a star Spica. Since we were where the two wings of the hospital met, there was very little sky visible.

 

We woke up in the night & it was absolutly (sic) clear but by the morning it had clouded over again. We woke up at 5.00 but went to sleep & woke up at 5.30. Mr Warren came to see how we were getting on. We then set out for 23.

5 rounds between 5.30 & 7.30.

 

1st Round.

 

5.55 shreddy clouds. E. one haze. Heard orioles & doves. Irwin & Marques on KI. 5.59. Irwin stiring (sic) sweetened porridge.

2 or 3 people in hot water queue. Clearing up on the N sky - clouds yellow - sun somewhere near.

Dallimore stoking still at Boiler I. Lester pumping Bakery.

6.00. Mr. Calvert sieving (sic) cinders. Guage (sic) 1’5”. Weighing out dough into pans for baking – Hoch’s shift. Field empty. No guard to be seen. Pat Beatty practicing in the church.

6.08. Oriole heard in church yard. Gentle breeze E.S.E. Red legged falcon whistling in big Italian poplar. Bird pumping at the Hos. Pump.

6.10. Lots of sparrows in hedges by sewing room. Bell 3 asking John Man about his exercises which are very funny to watch.

6.12. I. Chan & Father Hanquet playing tennis. Oriole made a noise like a person whistling high to low ‘tu. Baby rook flew over Garland Smith lighting brick stove fire. People going for tea.

6.15. Orioles in 23 trees. Red-foot gliding over. Girling stoking & Boiler 2. Sun rising.

P.S. Bongo Jones & Rich sleeping out. Rich’s bed collapsed.

 

2nd Round

 

Dick Burge’s rooks on perch in KI.

6.20. 2 men sweeping KI with tea leaves. Some vegetable workers at work. Heard the Shrikes.

6.25., Steele doing exercises on the field. Jimmy doing exercises in the Hos. Pump area

6.27. Jap guard walking around. Wind changed to S.S.E. getting stronger.

6.29. 2 orioles on top of poplar ½ way up cow lane. We rested on the W.35 steps.

6.35. Torjesen I & Candlin going to pump. Torjesen getting hot & drinking water. Manning Railton doing exercises on mat.

 

3rd Round

 

6.39. Bakers eating perks. L. Attree’s team having practice

6.40. J. Pyke hitting out to them. Heard female cuckoo. Overhead no clouds

6.46. Quiet morning. Hos. Tank, 5’ 1”. No pumper. R. Masters & G. Bell carring (sic) out mattresses (sic)

6.48. thourough clean out of their room. Sun just appeard over Hos. onto S. Field. - We rest at 35. Drongo on cowlane wall. S. David carring (sic) water to K2. Ladies doing vegetables at 6.52.

Boiler 2 queue just started 6.54.

3 or 4 swifts flying around. Baby sparrows in 35 eaves. Wheat ripening. Clouds standing out against blue sky very clearly.

7.00. A Burmese red turtle dove flew over from West fields with a twig in mouth.

 

4th Round

 

K.I. vegetable workers picking wor…. out of baskets. There was a small queue for hot water. The magpie in K.I. yard was cocking its head as if looking at some object up in the air. The softball practice finished at 7.05. D. Carter pumping at Bakery. There was a long queue 20 odd. S.E. wind 7.10. At the Hospital pump Mr. David pumping extremely slowly. The guards at the tennis court changed at 7.17. We rested at 35 as usual. We changed the watch. Mr. Foxlee practicing at 35. S. David still getting water. Usual happenings at K.2. Mr. Lane & Jonsey chopping wood.

 

5th Round

 

Bakers cleaning bin at 7.26 - making buns. Guage (sic) 2’ 2”. There were groups of flies here & there. A red-foot was whistling in a tree by guard house. Hos. Weather vein (sic) swinging from S.E. to S.S.E & back. Mr. David loafing. Guage (sic) 4’ 10 ½ “. Jap sitting on turret. Mr. Foxlee finished & Mr. Gleed practicing (sic). Stedeford pumping at Boiler 2 from 7.30. – 8.00. Huebener finished his early morning bakery work.

7.39. finish

(The watch stopped & was moved forwards so we ended a bit late.)

 

From there we went & got our jug & cooked our breakfast by the bushes N.E. of the hospital. Taylor lit the fire while I got my breakfast. Then he got his. We boiled the potatoes (four) for 15 mins. We then fried them + some bread. We had a little fried bread + potatoes but kept most of it for afterwards. We fried some crusts broken up. Mr. Warren visited us twice. We had another billy can on the fire for hot water. When we had finished frying we had nearly a full milk tin of fried stuff. We washed up our plates etc. & the billy cans with ash & water. The roll call bell went so we took our kit upstairs & after roll call divided out the fried potatoes & bread. We brought up the two mattresses which we had borrowed from Sadler II. Then we got down to this account.

 

Finished Sunday 6 o’clock p.m.

 

De: "Ron Bridge" <rwbridge@freeuk.com>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: Peter Bazire's "First Class Journey" in Weihsien

Date: lundi 21 janvier 2008 12:37

 

Dear All

 

Oliver J BEESLEY British b 08.08.1907 Shanghai Yee Tsoong Tobacco Co Block 57 Room L did live in Quingdao pre Weihsien.

Could Miss Melo be Miss L Meebold lived in Block 23 with Mrs Florence Cox.

Zimmerman Family probably missed from the original listing as the end of the lists were torn. I can remember the name and what have have established over the last few years are below can anyone add to this. Leopold can you add to the list

Zimmerman Alfred Lionel b 1902 Director Far East Fur

Zimmerman Catherine  Child

Zimmerman Dinah H Mrs b 1912

Zimmerman Donald Irving b 1939

Zimmerman Hazel Dretta b 1900

Rgds

Ron Bridge

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: Peter Bazire's "First Class Journey" in Weihsien

Date: lundi 21 janvier 2008 18:05

 

Dear Ron,

Thanks very much --- the lists are modified now ---

I still have a hesitation for one name: Mr. Huebener who worked at the bakery. Your listings mention Evelyn Huebener who wrote a diary (see Norman Cliff's chapter: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/Diary/EvelynDavey/p-01.htm  ). The problem is that we are looking for a Mr. ---- not a Miss. ????

Can you help?

best regards,

Leopold

 

De: "David Birch" <gdavidbirch@yahoo.com>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: Peter Bazire's "First Class Journey" in Weihsien

Date: lundi 21 janvier 2008 21:51

 

Dear Leopold (and Ron),

 

I personally knew both Mr and Mrs Huebener.  Mrs Huebener was Miss Evelyn G Davey was one of the prep school teachers at Chefoo and Weihsien. So she was one of my teachers for possibly my full four years in the prep school. She was a great friend of Miss Monica Priestman.

 

I believe that Mr Huebener, then a very eligible bachelor, began courting Miss Davey, a wonderfully cheerful and talented woman who was the main cub scout leader in the Chefoo School. At Chefoo I was a most enthusiastic 9-yr-old member of her pack!  I won't reminisce more, right here and now, about our activities, because I want to keep to the point you have in mind. But I have happy memories, nearly seventy years later, of the fun we had as cubs with Miss Davey.

 

EDGEWATER HOTEL, Qingdao, Autumn 1945.

 

In the first stage of our repatriation from Weihsien to our home country, my little brother John and I actually shared a room with Mr Huebener and Jim Murray in the Edgewater Hotel. I recall Mr Huebener's keen sense of humor. John and I had been caught by one of the male teachers, up on the roof of the hotel where he was satisfied that we were "up to no good!" We were sent to our room with no supper and given the gloomy notice that on the following morning, we would be paraded before Captain Crockett of the Royal Marines who presumably would put the fear of death into us.  Mr Huebener thought this was a great joke, and suggested, with tongue in cheek, that we stuff a notebook into the seat of our pants , presumably for protection  from the impending doom.

 

MOST RECENT ENCOUNTER WITH THE HUEBENERS

 

In 1988 I attended a Chefoo/Weihsien reunion in New Westminster.  I knew a few of the other attendees. Neil Yorkston, at that time a psychiatrist with UBC, was there with his family.  And, specifically I recall, Mrs Huebener (nee Davey) was present with her married daughter, whose name, unfortunately I don't recall.  Mr. H had passed away by then.

 

The Huebeners made their home in coastal Washington state. Mrs H will have passed away some years ago I think. If she were living today she would have passed the century mark.

 

I will contact David Allen, a contemporary of John's and mine, who lives in Mt Vernon, WA. I think it very possibly that he may be able to get us in touch with the Huebeners' daughter. Or the Overseas Missionary Fellowship may have a way of contacting her.

 

Sincerely hope this may shed some light on the situation for you.  Mr Huebener, I clearly recall, was a most colorful and fun-loving man, as well as being highly educated.

 

Respectfully

 

David

 

PS  You will find Miss Davey mentioned in Appendix 1 to David Michel's "A Boy's War."

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: weihsien camp book

Date: mercredi 30 janvier 2008 1:35

 

I am thanking you, Ron, for the latest collection of information you have sent me. I have enjoyed reading it and will pursue getting a copy of Hilda Hale's book. My email is down, so please forgive me for writing this on the topica list as I have no other way of thanking you beyond snail mail for the time being. It still amazes me to think what all the Weihsien internees went through!

 

Leopold, my mother has discovered quite a number of letters from my Aunt that are mostly pre-Weihsien, but a few are post-Weihsien. She is in the process of sorting out pictures trying to get them in some type of order (by whatever country my Aunt & Alice moved/visited/etc) as they are quite jumbled up. I will pass on whatever I find useful to the topica list when she is ready for me to have them. My mother was quite surprised to find these letters as we thought they had all been destroyed. So glad to find more treasure and I can't wait to read them!

 

Please be patient - it may take a few days yet until me email is working again. I hope to have the letters and pictures in another week or so.

 

Terri Stewart

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: weihsien camp book

Date: mercredi 30 janvier 2008 8:22

 

Dear Terri,

Thanks very much in advance for all you will send my way and also thanks for all you have already sent. Of course, for the website I will only use the "Weihsien"  material. Pre-Weihsien could also be interesting. The "home arrest" period from - Pearl Harbor to our internment in March 1943 - could explain many things. I would also like to understand how we lived in China in the pre-Pacific-War period --- from the invasion of Poland by Hitler to the Pearl Harbor attack by the Japs --- My father mentions sending "liebesgaben" parcels to his family (and others) in Belgium via the trans Siberian railway ---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: weihsien camp book

Date: mercredi 30 janvier 2008 23:47

 

HI Leopold,

My email is up and running again (!) today - turns out Verizon had turned off my in-box in error and it has taken 5 days for them to figure out how to turn it on again. Technology is such fun! I will be glad to send on whatever pre-Weihsien life was from Ruth's letters, as I am also interested in finding out why she was there in the first place! My mother stated that she moved there circa 1932-33 but isn't sure if she was stationed there as a nurse first and became a teacher later or just what the reason was. There are still a few letters to go for her to read before I get them. Will keep you posted!

 

Terri

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Fw: le départ de notre cher Emmanuel

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 8:17

 

Dear Weihsien friends,

Father Hanquet left us ---- Wednesday 13th ---

best regards,

Leopold

 

 

----- Original Message -----

From: Lagasse Paul-Emile

To: Pander Leopold

Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 7:21 PM

Subject: le départ de notre cher Emmanuel

 

 

Chers Monsieur et Madame Pander,

 

Comme vous le saviez, Emmanuel Hanquet ne se remettait pas bien de sa décompensation cardiaque qui l'avait conduit en clinique. Depuis son retour sa santé nous inquiétait fort et il avait conscient de son départ prochain.

 

Après une nuit un peu difficile  - Sa sœur  Monique avait logé près de lui - il s'est éteint doucement ce mercredi 13 un peu avant 8 heures  du matin.

 

Comme je sais combien vous étiez proche de lui, je  me fais un devoir de vous l'annoncer par email.

 

Vendredi soir à 19h30, nous aurons une veillée de prières dans la salle de la Fraternité auprès de son cercueil et l'Eucharistie des funérailles aura lieu ce samedi à 11heures à l'église St François de Louvain-la-Neuve précédée de condoléance à la famille Hanquet.

 

Paul-Emile Lagasse

 

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 8:30

 

I got a message this morning from Father Hanquet's downstairs neighbour --- he died Wednesday morning. He had been 1 week to hospital in the previous days, and after a check-up was allowed out. I went to see him after that. He seemed OK but very tired. Happy to see me. He told me stories about China, Weihsien, Father Vincent Lebbe and about the hospital where he had been. We even laughed together. After an hour I told him that he had to rest and take it easy --- He smiled --- That's the last time I saw him --- ±10 days ago ---

all the best,

Leopold

 

De: "Christine Talbot Sancton" <sancton@nbnet.nb.ca>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 14:17

 

Dear Leopold:

 

Please accept our condolences on the death of Père Hanquet. We know how close you were to him.

 

We feel so lucky to have been able to meet him when we were in Belgium three years ago at the reunion you, Nicky and Janette so kindly organised for us.

Having that connection to my parents, Ida and Sid Talbot, was very moving for me.

 

Will there be a memorial to him of some kind? We would like to contribute to it. Please let us know. Also please can you tell me the name of his sister, Monique so that I can write to her personally.

 

Thank you for everything you have done, and are continuing to do, for us Weihsieners.

 

Sincerely,

 

Christine Talbot Sancton

 

De: <MTPrevite@aol.com>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 17:30

 

I send deepest sympathy on the passing of Fr. Hanquet.

 

I've enjoyed every one of the memories he's added to our Weihsien  story. 

Thank you, Leopold, for making this connection possible.

 

Mary Previte

 

 

De: "Albert de Zutter" <albertarthur@sbcglobal.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 20:17

 

Dear Leopold,

  

  Thank you for all you are doing and have done to keep us Weihsien survivors, progeny and friends in communication with one another, and thank you especially for providing our link to Father Emmanuel Hanquet. While I know that we all deeply regret his passing, we have all benefitted from his contributions to our memories here through your mediation. Our thanks also to M. LaGasse in Louvain-la-Neuve.

  

  It was a great blessing to me to discover that Father Hanquet was still among us when you brought him to us through this site some years ago (six or seven?).

  

  I am very grateful to you and Nicki and Janette and Pierre for arranging our visit at Janette's house in 2004. It was wonderful to talk over old times and to discover that Father Hanquet still remembered a verse of "Tout Va Tres Bien, Madame La Marquise." That song was performed as a comedy skit in the concentration camp by two Belgian priests. Father "Gus," short and plump (this was early in the game, before malnutrition had taken its toll), played the Marquise calling home, singing in a falsetto voice, and a great big bearded priest played the butler whose role was to tell the Marquise that everything was fine ... except for a growing list of disasters revealed verse by verse. They had us in stitches. I know it must have made a big impression on me as an 11-year-old because although the whole thing was in French, I understood the gist of it and remembered the chorus. When we parted that evening after you brought me to my hotel, Father Hanquet said, "See you in heaven."

 Fortunately for me, that was not to be the last time I saw him.

  

  Laughing at ourselves, our guards and our circumstances was a key survival technique in the camp. There was a song about the monotony of bean sprouts on our menu day after day for a time; there was a song about Father Scanlan getting caught dealing for eggs with the Chinese farmers through a hole in the wall ("Oh they trapped me a Trappist last Wednesday, Now few are the eggs to be fried..." I wish I could remember more of it).

  

  The 300 priests we had there for the first six months or so did so much for the overall spirit and morale in the camp, and while Father Hanquet was no comedian, he made a substantial contribution to our welfare with his activism, his optimism and positive, can-do attitude. In truth, I do not remember a time when I saw him other than positive and very much in tune with his mission in life -- not in his twenties in the concentration camp, not in his forties when he visited our family in Brussels when we lived there from 1949 to 1950, and not in late eighties and early nineties during the two times we visited in Belgium in 2004 and again in the spring of 2007.

  

  He was to me the epitome of what a priest should be -- dedicated to doing good and happy in his work. I have known many good priests during my lifetime (and some who were less than impressive), but Father Hanquet remains as the standard-bearer in my mind.

  

  While Father Hanquet was well-known throughout the camp for his activism and concern, he was a special friend to our family, consisting of my father, Jean de Zutter, my mother Olga, my older brother John and myself. He and Father Palmers, Father Van Pelt and others visited our second-story room many times. He was also a French language tutor to my brother and me. As we had no textbooks, he wrote out dozens of verb declensions in his neat and economical handwriting. He and Father Palmers were assistant Scoutmasters with the elegant, quiet-spoken Mr. Cogburn (pronounced Coburn) as Scoutmaster.

  

  Our family came to America in 1950. Father Hanquet and I exchanged letters in the 1960s. I remember his expressing amazement at the fact that I had four children by then, in contrast to Belgian couples who had one or two at the most. After that I lost track of him until this site was created by Natasha and you, Leopold, began your generous archiving work and became our link to Father Hanquet.

  

  I am so glad that I decided to make another trip to Europe last spring with the primary purpose of spending some time with Father Hanquet, and so grateful for your help in making the arrangements. While staying literally next door to him at Le Relais, I was privileged to spend mornings and afternoons talking with Father Hanquet for three days, learning about the backgroud of this remarkable man -- about his youth in Liege, his inspiration to become a missionary to China and his relief work in China after the war where he was subjected to an open-air "trial" by the Communists in a Chinese village -- a remarkable story which I hope to recount at a later time. (It can probably be found in Leopold's archives.)

  

  I am so grateful to have had that opportunity to learn more about a man who was so influential in my life. I am equally grateful for the friendship extended to me by Leopold, Nicki and Janette, and though I did not have the opportunity to get to know him, I am sure I saw acceptance in Pierre's attitude as well.

  

  Thank you all, and I thank the Lord for Father Hanquet.

  

  Your friend,

  

  Albert de Zutter

  Kansas City, Missouri

  USA

  

De: "Gay Talbot Stratford" <stillbrk@eagle.ca>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 20:31

 

Dear Leopold,

Our sypathies to you all . No doubt Father Hanquet is being welcomed as the good and faithful servant. But he leaves a gap in the lives of those left behind.

Our prayers are with you all.

Gay Stratford

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 9:06 PM

Subject: RE: father hanquet

 

Leopold,

You really HAVE to collect all the information and stories you can about Fr. Hanquet into a single biographical document for us all to share.  We will all be grateful for it. 

Donald

De: "David Birch" <gdavidbirch@yahoo.com>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 21:08

 

Dear Leopold,

 

My sincere condolences to you on the passing of your dear friend, Father Hanquet. Although he was very elderly indeed, and could not have been expected to live very much longer, he had been a 'larger-than-life' figure in your own life since you were just a little child! Your personal loss must be very great.

 

May God bless and comfort you at this time.

 

David

 

De: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: vendredi 15 février 2008 23:46

 

My condolences to you, Leopold, for the loss of a very dear long-time friend and also to the rest of the Weihsien survivors who knew him. Like the others on this list, I hope that you will be able to pull together some of his stories for all to read, share, and remember.

  

  Terri

 

De: "Dwight W. Whipple" <thewhipples@comcast.net>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>; <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: samedi 16 février 2008 0:33

 

Seems like the end of an "era" for us Weihsien internees.  We are all getting older and passing into history.  Thanks to people like Fr. Hanquet and Leopold and Don, and those who have written of our experience, there will be a legacy left for others to peruse.  Condolences to all~

~Dwight W. Whipple

 

4728A Lakeshore Lane SE

Olympia, WA 98513

360.456.4300

thewhipples@comcast.net

 

De: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: Re: father hanquet

Date: samedi 16 février 2008 14:13

 

Dear Christine,

You can certainly send a personal letter to:

Famille Hanquet,

c/o Fraternité des Buissons

rue des Buissons 1

1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

Belgium

---

We are just back from the ceremony that took place in the big church of the University Campus of Louvain-la-Neuve. The church was full and I counted not less than 18 priests --- a very moving 2 hours ---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

De: "lucy lu" <lucy9859@hotmail.com>

À: <weihsien@topica.com>

Objet: RE: father hanquet

Date: dimanche 17 février 2008 10:07

 

Dear Leopold,

 

It's so regret to know the passing of respected Fr. Hanquet.

 

I can clearly remember the  meeting with you and Fr. Hanquet in Belgium last September, especially when we interviewed  Fr. Hanquet on 30th September, we took so many pictures together. All of the memories will be cherished by us all.

 

My sincere condolences to you all.

 

Best regards.

 

lucy (Lu Jie)

 

 

 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, February 24, 2008 10:44 PM

Subject: Weihsien liberator, James Jess Hannon

 

I am so very sorry to report the death of James Jess Hannon, one of the six Americans who liberated the Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center in 1945.   According to his daughter, Jim  Hannon died, January 11.  He had suffered  failing health for several years.

 

Jim's  wife died a few months ago, so,  in January, his family moved him to  be closer to his daughter in Washington State.  He died less than 10 days after that move.

 

Many of you will remember that after the rest of the American liberation team left Weihsien to establish an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) base in Tsingtao in 1945, Jim Hannon stayed in Weihsien to coordinate the evacuation of prisoners. That evacuation was complicated by warring Chinese factions blowing up the railroad between Weihsien and Tsingtao.

 

In the 1990's. Jim became the center of controversy  when he published a report that   American aviatrix Amelia Earhart had been  interned in Weihsien. His report stirred huge interest from members of the Amelia Earhart Association.  The Amelia Earhart devotees may have even contacted some of you in their effort to verify this report.

 

Jim wrote several books.  When I visited him and his wife in Palm Springs, California, in 2000, Jim showed me a manuscript of a book he was writing about his finding Amelia Earhart. 

 

However, because of the controversy,  Jim published the story as  nonfiction in 2004.  Available on Amazon.com, the paperback is called  SECRET OF WEIFANG, A novel by James Jess Hannon. 

 

If you go to Leopold Pander's wonderful Weihsien web site, http://www.weihsien-paintings.org,   you can hear Jim Hannon's voice as well as those of Major Stanley Staiger and Jim Moore recorded by National Public Radio in 2000 as they talked about the liberation of Weihsien.   NPR was there when I visited Jim Hannon in California.   I's a very moving 7 or 8 minute segment.  Leopold has this interview listed under my name, Mary Previte. Go there, then click on NPR.

 

 

If you'd like to send a note to Jim's daughter, you may write to

                    Lisa Schreiber,  P. O. Box 2782,   Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA

 

Mary Previte

 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 2:59 AM

Subject: Chinese documentary about Eric Liddell

 

Hello, Everybody:

 

In preparation for the summer Olympics, a Chinese Christian producer, Mark Chang,  is now creating a documentary about Eric Liddell.  The Olympics connection is that Eric Liddell  was really China's very first Olympic gold medal winner.  Eric was the son of missionaries to China.

 

Can anyone help with answers to the following inquiries from Mr. Chang?   Ron, I'm definitely hoping you  will come through for us on this one.

 

Mr. Chang writes:

        1. Where can we get a contact person for the  Eric Liddell’s foundation?  As we know, the foundation is no longer active in Hong Kong but would like to know whether anyone  has contact number and email of Charles Walker or Peggy Judge. We want to use dedication of the Memorial Stone of Eric Liddell as one of the storylines.

 

       2   In a letter Liddell addressed to a woman named Elsa, he writes that he saved a Chinese soldier's life by running and pushing him on bike to Tongren General Hospital which was 10 miles away. The soldier's name is Li Hsin Sheng. Turns out he was a very gifted painter and painted many works for Liddell, one of which Eric sent a picture to Elsa. Does anyone have any information of this Chinese painter?   We have already found the flower painting in Eric Liddell’s Center and story, but still have no clue whether we can find the Chinese painter.

 

        3. Liddell's death certificate was handed over by a Japanese professor whose English name is Dr. Ikuhjko Hata. Does anyone have his or his family's contact information? Any related information would be appreciated.  We also will ask Ken Michell, the son of David Michell,  the same question and  hope he will find some information from his father's files.

 

        4. Do you have any photos that were  taken in Concentration camp of you and your friends in the camp?

 

Contact Mark Chang:   mark_chang@vip.163.com

 

Thank you.

 

Mary T. Previte

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 6:02 AM

Subject: Re: Chinese documentary about Eric Liddell

 

We all knew Eric Liddell he was a good Christian man, I'm sorry I have no pictures taken in camp. The little space we were allowed (one suitcase/trunk) a camera was not a necessity. Too bad the Chinese did not mention Eric being a Christian on the plaque at Weihsien.  Thanks for your continued info.  Phyllis Evans Davies

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com ;

Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2008 11:02 AM

Subject: RE: Chinese documentary about Eric Liddell

 

The Eric Liddell Centre is now located in Edinburgh Scotland if you open up Google the details are the rist of 56,000 entires.

INfo The BBC have done a TV programme already.

Rgds
Ron Bridge

 

>> From: <epg@efn.org>
>> To: <
info@weihsien-paintings.org>
>> Sent: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 7:26 AM
>> Subject:
Photos of Weihsein
>>
>> Dear Sirs--
>>
>> I was surprised and delighted to find your web site, particularly with recent photos of what was once the Shantung Christian University, where my grandfather taught starting in 1908 and where (on campus) my mother was born in 1915.   I will be showing her the photos in a few days.   I  am amazed that any of the original buildings, and especially the students dormitories, still stand.
>>
>> Attached are three photos of the University compound when it was new, ca. 1908.   One shows the student dorms with the chapel in the background; one shows the main square, and the third is the compound from outside the walls.  The student quarters still look pretty much the same.
>>
>> Eric Gustafson
>>

From: <epg@efn.org>

To: "Pander" <pander.nl@skynet.be>

Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2008 8:25 AM

Subject: Re: Photos of Weihsein

 

Dear Mr. Pander--
You are very welcome to use these photos.  I will send you some more soon which you can add to the site.   Thanks for the opportunity to share.

I have been researching my grandfather's papers and photos.   He was Horace Chandler; his wife--my grandmother--was Chloe.   If anybody there knew them or anything about them, I would like to hear.

-Eric Gustafson-

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, March 15, 2008 10:18 AM

Subject: Fw: Photos of Weihsein

 

Hello everybody,

I received 3 new pictures of Weihsien for the website :-)) --- (See new chapter in the left-frame of the Home-Page.)

The first two photographs were easy to locate but I seem to have difficulties in finding as to where the photographer was standing to take the picture of the exterior wall of the Weihsien compound. Anybody has a suggestion?

Can somebody help Eric Gustafson? (see message below)

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Alexander Strangman

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 2:26 AM

Subject: Re: Photos of Weihsein

 

Re:  As to where the photographer was standing?

 

Given the buildings don't correspond with the map it could be anywhere! Therefore, your guess is as good as mine.

But IF it was in fact our Weihsien camp, what appears to me as ground preparation, suggests it might have been for the building of the cottages in the 'out of bounds' area ( as we knew it) being constructed at a later stage, perhaps.   And my guess is the photo was 'snapped' from a spot just south of Block 42 and outside a corner of A wall. Our map does show a wall, an interior wall, enclosing a group of smaller buildings (the largest could be Blk 35).  You may recall a wall did separate our interment area from 'out of bounds',

 

Finally, too bad that row of nice young trees standing along each side of Rocky Road had gone by the time we arrived!

Regards,   Zandy

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Eric Gustafson

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 10:08 AM

Subject: Re: Photos of Weihsein

 

Hello,

Looking at this picture, I guessed that it was the river Wei that, in those days wasn't as important as nowadays! The door looks very much like the door in Norman's chapter - the main-gate - http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/paintings/p_TheTest.htm . If this is correct: the building behind the tree should be the hospital -- it doesn't look like the hospital as we know it !! and furthermore, the roof of the church/assembly hall should be visible at the right of the picture --- which is not the case. I flipped the image horizontally and had a good look: it's completely different --- It looks like the Church/Assembly Hall behind the trees at the right. I can imagine our baseball field at the front corner and the Italian Quarters beyond the Main Entrance. Then, it should be the Hospital building at the far end. Could that be possible???  I'm perplex !!

I will add the flipped image to the website --- let us know which one is the good one? Any other suggestions????

All the best,

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Eric Gustafson ; Janette & Pierre @ home

Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 12:55 PM

Subject: Re: Photos of Weihsein

 

Tilt !

I just phoned Janette ----

--- of course --- it's pure logic!

The hospital as we know it was built in 1924 (Shady Side Hospital) http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/RayM/pages/page15.htm and Eric Gustafson's photo was taken in 1908! It was the first hospital built in WeiHsien and there is a picture of it in Norman's chapter at: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/history/Hospital/p-Hospital1900.htm. There was a Hospital, a Women's dispensary and a men's dispensary. Go to: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/history/leftFrame2.htm and click on the 3 last photos. Furthermore, if you click on this link in Norman's chapter: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/Photos/1945/compound/images/p-hospital.htm you will notice that the outside wall has exactly the same curve and if you compare this photo with Eric Gustafson's of 1908 you will notice that the Japs added a small boundary wall (on the ground denivellation) and a watchtower mounted with search lights and machine guns.

The door seen in Eric's photo is the secondary door (closed) as mentioned in Father Verhoeven's map: http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/maps/pages/page04.htm. Remember, it was there that Father Hanquet was waiting, very early in the morning before roll-call,  with a rope ladder for the eventual return of the escapees when Hummel & Tipton escaped from the camp --- The main entrance, as I mentioned previously, is not visible on the photo.

Any suggestions?

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Tapol

To: Len ; weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, April 08, 2008 7:46 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien Camp Website

 

Dear Len,

Thanks for all your additional data :-)).

I will also forward your message to "Topica-Weihsien-chat-list" started 8 years ago by Natasha Petersen.

http://lists.topica.com/lists/weihsien/read

The whole of my website is connected to and thanks to this chat-list and your family archives will certainly interest more than one.

You can - of course - refer to my website in your e-book and as for the future --- as long as I will be able to use a keyboard, my website will live --- I am certain that there are still many unpublished diaries or stories, photos and maybe even films about Weihsien that still can be added to all we already have.

I hope that we will stay in contact in the future --- I'm  glad that you found the "weihsien-paintings" website on the Internet ---

Best regards,

Leopold 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, April 11, 2008 5:27 PM

Subject: Audio recordings related to Weihsien, NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

 

Hello, Everybody:

 

Troy Sacquety, who  has been researching OSS  Detachment 101 for his doctoral dissertation, recently wrote that he has found reference to  two audio recordings  about Weihsien in the NATIONAL ARCHIVES.  One is an interview with Major Stanley Staiger of OSS 101.  Major Staiger  headed the team that liberated Weihsen.   That rescue was called the DUCK MISSION.

 

The other audio recording  is an interview with  a Lt. William Zimpleman, an American pilot whose plane  was shot down near Weihsien and was hidden by friendly troops for more than six  and a half months until he was contacted by Lt. Jim Hannon.  Hannon, who died early this year, was in charge of the camp after other member of the DUCK MISSION left to establish an OSS base in Tsingtao.

 

Who in the Washington, D.C., area  can get copies of these two audio recordings for us from the National Archives?  What an addition these would be to Leopold Pander's WEIHSIEN web site!

 

Thanks to Troy Sacquety,  I have listed below all the reference numbers for these two audio recordings.   By the way, Troy will be awarded his Ph.D. in May.  Unfortunately, he never listened to these recordings, and he no longer lives in the  Washington, D.C. area

 

Mary Previte

----- Original Message -----


From: troy.j.sacquety
To: MTPrevite
Subj:
Re: OSS

 

Ms. Previte,

  I am now an historian with the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.  As you might guess, I work with a good deal of OSS stuff.

I found the following on the Duck Mission.  Both are audio recordings.

ARC Identifier:   102070 
Local Identifier:   226.13A 
Title:   INTERVIEW WITH LT. WILLIAM ZIMPLEMAN, 09/1945 
Creator:   Joint Chiefs of Staff. Office of Strategic Services. Office of the Deputy Director, Operations. Morale Operations Branch. (01/04/1943 - 10/01/1945) ( Most Recent)

Type of Archival  Materials:  
Sound Recordings 
Level of  Description:  
Item from Record Group 226: Records of the Office of Strategic Services, 1919 - 1948

Location:   Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 PHONE: 301-837-3540, FAX: 301-837-3620, EMAIL: mopix@nara.gov 
Production Date:   09/1945

Part of:   Series: Audio Recordings, ca. 1940 - ca. 1945

Scope & Content  Note:  
INTERVIEW: Lt. William Zimpleman, U.S. flier whose plane was shot down near Weihsen, China, tells details of his experience. Lt. Zimpleman parachuted from falling plane, injured ankle upon landing and could not run. Friendly troops rescued, hid, and kept him safe for six and a half months until contacted by Lt. Hannon of Duck Mission. Zimpleman reached OSS headquarters on Sept. 6, 1945.


Use Restrictions:   Undetermined

General Note:   Title from preservation list.Reverse of 226.0013.

Variant Control  Number(s):  
NAIL Control Number: NWDNM(s)-226.13A

  
Copy 1   
Copy Status:   Preservation 
Storage Facility:   National Archives at College Park - Archives II (College Park, MD
         Media   
Media Type:   Audio Disk 


ARC Identifier:   102069 
Local Identifier:   226.13 
Title:   DUCK MISSION, THE: INTERVIEW WITH MAJ. Stanley A. STAIGER, 09/1945 
Creator:   Joint Chiefs of Staff. Office of Strategic Services. Office of the Deputy Director, Operations. Morale Operations Branch. (01/04/1943 - 10/01/1945) ( Most Recent)

Type of Archival  Materials:  
Sound Recordings 
Level of  Description:  
Item from Record Group 226: Records of the Office of Strategic Services, 1919 - 1948

Location:   Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-M), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001 PHONE: 301-837-3540, FAX: 301-837-3620, EMAIL: mopix@nara.gov 
Production Date:   09/1945

Part of:   Series: Audio Recordings, ca. 1940 - ca. 1945

Scope & Content  Note:  
INTERVIEW: Maj. Stanley Staiger, leader of Duck Mission to parachute into civilian prisoners of war camp near Weihsen, China, for purpose of evacuating internees needing medical assistance, discusses mission details. Describes how camp was found and identified. Lists names of mission participants, roles they played, order in which they jumped from airplane. Participants other than Maj. Staiger were Sgt. Nagaki, Ens. James W. Moore, Corp. Peter Orlich,  Eddie Wong, Lt. James J. Hannon, and Sgt. Raymond N. Hanchelak. Mentions other mission objectives of resupplying POWs with food and clothing, collecting and turning in Japanese authorities and Chinese assistants of camp, and learning of and contacting William Zimpleman, downed U.S. flier being hidden in area.


Use Restrictions:   Undetermined

General Note:   Title from preservation list. Reverse of 226.1003A, interview with Lt. William Zimpleman, recued by Duck Mission agents.

Variant Control  Number(s):  
NAIL Control Number: NWDNM(s)-226.13

  
Copy 1   
Copy Status:   Preservation 
Storage Facility:   National Archives at College Park - Archives II (College Park, MD
         Media   
Media Type:   Audio Disk 

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 1:06 AM

Subject: Re: Audio recordings related to Weihsien, NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

Thanks for the news, it would ne great to hear these recordings, please keep me updated   Phyllis(Evans)Davies

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, April 12, 2008 5:34 PM

Subject: Re: Audio recordings related to Weihsien, NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

Dear Mary,

I found this link on  the Internet:

http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/action/ExternalIdSearch?id=102069%20226&Gsm=2008-01-04

OK --- it is what we are looking for --- but can somebody let me know how I get it for the "paintings'" website???????

Help !!!!!

Leopold

 

From: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Monday, April 14, 2008 10:09 PM

Subject: Re: Audio recordings related to Weihsien, NATIONAL ARCHIVES

 

Ø      Leopold,
> Looks as if you may have to contact them to get a copy
> of the recordings. It appears to be a lot of red-tape
> to download or
> purchase a copy. I was looking under the heading
> Privacy & Use off this website.
Good luck!
> Terri

 

From: Briggs, Lyvonne (NBC Universal)

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 12:49 AM

Subject: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Hello all,

 

Greetings! My name is Lyvonne Briggs and I work with NBC Olympics in the United States. I am looking for archival footage (video, photos, artifacts, etc.) of Mr. Eric Liddell. We are planning a piece about Mr. Liddell for this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing, and I am hoping some of you might be able to offer some insight about Mr. Liddell.

 

Any assistance you can provide in the proper telling of Eric Liddell's story would be of great value to us! Please feel free to reply to this email or call me anytime. I can be reached in my office, 203-356-0663, or if there is a good time for me to reach you please let me know and I will make myself available.

My sincerest thanks for your time and I look forward to speaking with you soon!

 

Kind regards,

 

Miss Lyvonne Briggs
NBC Olympics - Profiles Production
3 Landmark Square

Suite 401
Stamford, CT 06901
W: 203.356.0663

F: 203.964.8689

C: 718.807.8726

 

From: C. Wayne Mayhall

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 1:01 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Lyvonne,

Unfortunately, you will not find much info from the participants in this thread regarding Eric Liddell artifacts. This is mainly a group of relatives and children of Shantung survivors. My brother and I have gathered information on Eric's life for a decade now in order to write a screenplay based on the book "Shantung Compound" in which he is a prominent figure. I suppose you know in died in the camp of what many suspect was a massive clot to the brain, not long before it was liberated.

We would be glad to assist you in any way possible and put you in touch with the right people to see this piece come to fruition.

Call me at 612-616-2366 anytime. I suspect an story even larger than Eric's death in the camp would be his life spent there and in China as a missionary and the extraordinary lives of others in the camp, too. Boy, would this make a great segment for NBC!

Regards,

C. Wayne Mayhall, Ph.D.
Associate Editor, Christian Research Journal
Professor of Philosophy, Liberty University
13508
Kensal Green Drive
Charlotte, NC 28278

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com ; weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 2:14 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Lyvonne,

You are probably aware that the city of Weihsien is in the process of making a documentary about Liddell, and also that a one-man play about his life was performed last year in New York.  If you need help in tracking down either, we can probably help you with that.

Donald Menzi

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 7:14 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Dear Miss Lyvonne,

--- the "little" we have about Eric Liddell can be found by clicking on this link:

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/people/individuals/Eric01/leftFrame.htm

Hope this helps you !!

Best regards,

Leopold

(4 years old in 1945)

 

From: Briggs, Lyvonne (NBC Universal)

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 3:50 PM

Subject: RE: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Leopold,

 

Thank you so much for your help! Would you happen to have these original photos? Have a blessed day!

 

LB

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 9:26 PM

Subject: RE: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Are you aware of PURE GOLD McCausland (ISBN 0 57293 051 9)to which I added a bit. , McCAusland also wrote three episodes for a small Christian TV Channel in the States and I have a tape of that it in UK Format should be possible for   the NBC to trace

Also that there is an institute to him in Edinburgh Scotland.

Finally as a matter of fact I was when he collapsed in February 1945 and was taken to the Camp Hospital where he died. The Camp was liberated by the OSS Duck Team on 17 August 1945.

Also Shantung Compund by Langdon Gilkey uses pseudonyms for the inamtes not the real names I ahve a decode done by my mother in the 1950s.

Hope that this helps.

Rgds

Ron Bridge

Ex Weihsien

Chmn Association British Civilian INternees Far East Region 

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 3:52 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

I hope they mention that Eric was a Christian  and was in China as a missionary Phyllis Evans

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:10 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Artifacts

 

Dear Lyvonne,

Our website is free access and non-commercial and all the data in it has been "given" to me for reproduction in the Weihsien-Paintings.org. All the originals (if the case) have been returned to their owners. As for the "Eric Liddell" chapter the documents and photos come mostly from Norman Cliff's scrap books.  Norman unfortunately died last year. Let me know as to which photos you may be interested in and I can have a look in my database for eventually a larger copy of it --- and give you the coordinates of the owner for the copyright permissions.

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>; "Brian Butcher" <bdbutcher@telus.net>

Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 5:20 PM

Subject: Fw: Brian Butcher

 

> Dear Brian,
> Copy of a message I just received --- from North Yorshire ---
> This Internet is really fantastic !!
> Can you help?
> I will also send a copy to Weihsien at Topica --- maybe somebody can help?
> Best regards,
> Leopold
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From
: "Vic Brocklehurst" <shamwari@gmail.com>
> To: <
info@weihsien-paintings.org>
> Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 5:28 PM
> Subject:
re: Brian Butcher
>
>
>> Greetings!
>>
>> A Google search on <"Alan Benson" missionary China> produced Brian Butcher's "MEMORIES OF INTERNMENT AT WEIHSEIN" page on your website.
>>
>> I remember Alan Benson as being a visiting missionary speaker, probably during the late 40's or early 50's, to the church my parent's and I attended.  South Normanton Assemblies of God.  Alan stayed overnight with us a number of times, and I have two book-stand end carvings, that I was told Alan may have made.
>>
>> Occasional searches for Alan Benson in the past had produced nothing, so it was interesting to find this single page which showed that my memory about Alan wasn't faulty!
>>
>> Would you be able to pass this message on to Brian Butcher, if you have his e-mail address, and ask if he has any further information on Alan Benson?  I assume Alan was "promoted to Glory" many years ago.
>>
>>     Vic Brocklehurst
>>     Scarborough
>>     North Yorkshire
>>

From: <mncpether@xtra.co.nz>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 10:58 PM

Subject: Tsingtao Internment Camp Iltis Huk

 

>I am researching a relative of mine who lived in Tsingtao from about 1937 until her death in 1951.
> Her name was Mrs. Flora Fretwell and I have a copy of a Red Cross letter, dated by her as 7 November 1942 with the address of "Tsingtao Internment camp,Iltis Huk, North China, Shantung". It has another stamp of 17 FEV 1944( presumably a Red Cross Stamp) and then the final stamp of the New Zealand postal authorities of 18 December 1946( an extraordinary delay even by japanese internee/POW mail standards!!).
> Flora lived before internment in her own home at N0. 10 Yueh Yang Road, Iltis Huk, Tsingtao and ,despite it having been used as a Japanese barracks - and absolutely trashed by the Japanese- she returned to this house after the War until her death there in march 1951.
> My research is primarily to ascertain what happened to Flora after the bulk of Tsingtao internees were moved from the Iltis Hydro  - Flora does not appear in the list of names of people in Weihsien on the website. Family "myths and legends" have her as under house arrest during the War - but this is patently not correct given her Red Cross letter and her sons record that her house was used as a Japanese barracks.
> I have many photos of Flora in her home in Iltis Hulk, together with my mother and grandmother, who would often visit her from Shanghai where my parents and grandparents lived in the 1930s.
> Does anyone know the name Flora Fretwell ( she was a widow by the time of the war and aged in her 6os )? Are there any copies of pre war maps of Iltis Huk or Tsingtao? Does anyone know of people not moved from the Iltis Hydro to Weihsien because of il health ( she was sick from some sort of affliction she had as a result of war work she did in the First World War)?
> I would appreciate any comments or leads.
> Thanks,
> Michael Pether
> Auckland
> New Zealand.
>

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 3:48 PM

Subject: 1945 interview with Major Staiger, transcript

 

 

Happy news, Everybody,

 

We have  retrieved from the U.S.  National Archives an audio recording of an August 1945 interview with Major Stanley Staiger describing the liberation of the Weihsien civilian assembly center and another recording of a Lt. William Zimpleman, an American pilot who was shot down near Weihsien in 1945 and hidden  by friendly Chinese forces.  With the help of 1st Lt. James Hannon, one of our liberators,  Lt. Zimpleman  was connected to the Americans in Weihsien in September 1945.

 

The voices of all seven of our liberators are on this audio recording.  In the last two days, I've listened to it over and over again with tears and giggles and teeth-gnashing frustration  that it is  too, TOO   brief.  I want more.  And you will, too.

 

It blows my mind -- that our hero, Major Stanley Staiger, who had just jumped from a B-24 bomber at 450 feet, facing possible Japanese bullets and death to liberate 1,500 allied prisoners,  is terrified -- of a microphone! 

 Yup!  You're reading right!  I giggle every time I listen to this hero interrupt his  narrative -- just when I'm waiting to hear about the parachute jump -- and he whispers, "I can't do this."

 

And the interviewer encourages him, "You're doing fine, Major.  Step right back to this microphone."

 

"Holy smokes!" the Major says. as the interviewer  nudges him back to the story.

 

So human!  You'll absolutely love it.  I know you want to hear every word.   However,  my computer server will not allow me to transmit an attachment with so much information, so I've mailed a copy of the recording to our wonderful Leopold Pander in Belgium.  Leopold will put the sound and transcription on his  Weihsien web site: 

 http//www.weihsien-paintings.org   early this week when the recording arrives there. .  Leopold -- bless him! --  has already  posted  the transcription on the web site for the whole world to read. .

 

When you go to the web site,  look for the link with an old-fashioned  HIS MASTERS VOICE record with the title Major Staiger interview.

 

I have transcribed the full Major Staiger interview for you..  I haven't yet transcribed the interview with Lt. Zimpleman.    Give me time.

 

You can imagine the joy  yesterday when I told Tad Nagaki about this recording.  Tad is the only living member of the team.  He helped me  identify the time of the interview as August 1945 when the whole team was still in Weihsien.   Carol Orlich, widow of Peter Orlich, was beside herself with delight when I told her I had just listened to her husband's voice.  I'll send copies of the audio disc to these folks.

 

My special thanks go to Dr. Troy Sacquety, who has just earned his doctorate following  completion of  his thesis about  the Office of Strategic Services.. Troy is now an historian  with the  U.S. Army Special Operations Command.  While he had not listened to them,  Troy alerted me several weeks ago  that these audio recordings existed in the National Archives.

 

Thanks, too, to Leopold Pander for reaching across the Atlantic to the U. S. National Archives near Washington, D.C., to start the process of getting our hands on these interviews.

 

 

 

Mary Previte

 

Interview with Major Stanley A. Staiger,  leader of the DUCK Mission, discussing the team’s liberation of the Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center on August 17, 1945

 

Place of interview:  Weihsien, Shantung Province, China

 

Date:  August 1945

 

The interview was created by the Office of Strategic Services  (OSS)  Morale Operations Branch

 

Transcribed by Mary T. Previte,  (2008)

 

Source of audio recording:  National Archives,  College Park, Maryland, USA 

(ARC  Identifier: 102069,  Local Identifier:  226.13)

 

Voices include those of OSS interviewer, Major Stanley Staiger,

Ensign James W. Moore, 1st Lt. James J. Hannon, Sgt. Tad Nagaki,  Sgt. Raymond N. Hanchulak,  Corporal Peter Orlich,  Eddie Wang.

 

Interviewer:    On August 17, an OSS humanitarian mission

parachuted into the civilian assembly camp at Weihsien, China.  There were 1,500 civilians of 14 nationalities had been interned here for 2 ½ years by the Japanese.  This OSS mission was called DUCK.  The team leader was Major Stanley A. Staiger.  Major Staiger now tells us about DUCK Mission and its objectives.

 

Major Staiger:  On August 17, 1945, our team comprised of three

officers and four enlisted men made a parachute jump into Weihsien, China.  Our mission was to arrange for the evacuation of some 20 to 30 medical cases who were internees in the POW camp at this station.    Also we were to arrange for the air transport and re-supply of food and clothing to the internees of this camp  All records concerning personnel, Japanese authorities, and Chinese assistance people were to be collected by us and turned over to our respective headquarters.

 

Interviewer:   Major, did you have any idea of the Japanese

         probable attitude towards your mission?

 

Major Staiger:   No we did not.  We had no idea.

 

Interviewer:  Uh, so you were taking a chance that you might be

met with bullets when you went out on that mission.  You knew that possibility.

 

Major Staiger:  Yes, we knew that possibility.

 

Interviewer:  Now, sir, you went up in the plane above Weihsien.

Now what information did you have on the location of the camp?

 

Major Staiger:  Our information concerning the location of the

camps was that the internee camp in this area was located near Weihsien, China.  The exact location was not known.

 

Interviewer:   Uh, you knew just that it was a compound outside

of the camp (city) somewhere.

 

Major Staiger:   Yes.

 

Interviewer:  And, uh, what steps did you take to discover the

compound from the plane?

 

Major Staiger:  Our plan flew in at about 2,000 feet over the city

of Weihsien on our first pass over the district.  Upon contacting no enemy resistance from the ground, we lowered down to 1,000 feet at which time we continued to lower until we were at 500 feet.  We made several passes over the city of Weihsien, the surrounding locality, various compounds.  Eventually, after making approximately six to seven passes over the area and various compounds, we located the camp at Weihsien. 

 

Interviewer:   Major, how did you locate the camp?  How did you

         know this was definitely it?

Major Staiger:  We noticed one compound which was located

two to three miles southeast of the city of Weihsien.  The compound had barbed wire – uh – around the outside of the area.  It also had a wall – uh – (whispered)   I can’t do it.

 

Interviewer:  You’re doing fine, Major.  Step right back up to this

 microphone!

 

Major Staiger:  (softly)  Holy smokes!

 

Interviewer:  You saw wire around it?

 

Major Staiger:  We saw wire around the compound and a high

wall with pill boxes on all ends.

 

Interviewer:  Fine.  And you saw people out waving, too, didn’t

you?

 

Major Staiger:  Yes, there were people in an area which was

similar to a ball diamond,  and, uh,  we got the idea right away that they were Allied prisoners of war because the persons waving as us has cotton clothes on – cotton dresses with plaid and so forth.

 

Interviewer:  Yes, that’s right.  Well, then you came down and

the pilot brought the   B-29, B-24 down.

 

Major Staiger:  Exactly – down about 450 feet.

 

Interviewer:  And then you jumped.

 

Major Staiger:  Jumped.

 

Interviewer:  Major, in what order did you and the team jump

         from the plane?

 

Major Staiger:  We jumped in the following order:  Myself was

number one man.  Number two man was Sergeant Nagaki.

Sergeant Nagaki.

 

Sergeant. Nagaki:    Sergeant Nagaki, Japanese-American

interpreter on this mission.

 

Major Staiger:   Number three man was Ensign James W. Moore.

 

Ensign Moore:  Ensign James W. Moore, Intelligence Officer for

 the DUCK Mission.

 

Major Staiger:   Number four man was T/5 Peter Orlich.

 

Corporal Orlich:   Corporal Peter Orlich, radio operator on this

         mission.

 

Major Staiger:  Number five man was Eddie Wang.

 

Eddie Wang:  Eddie Wang, Chinese-American interpreter on this

 mission.

 

Interviewer:  Ding hao!

 

Major Staiger:  Number six man was 1st Lieutenant James

         Hannon.

 

Lieutenant Hannon:  Lieutenant Jams J. Hannon, AGAS

         (Air Ground Aid Service) representative on the DUCK

         Mission.

 

Major Staiger:  Number seven man was T/4 Raymond N.

 Hanchulak, our medic.

 

Sergeant Hanchulak:   Sergeant Ray Hanchulak, medical

         surgeon on this mission.

 

Major Staiger:   I can truthfully say that it has certainly been a

pleasure and honor to serve with this group, the officers and enlisted men that comprised the DUCK Mission.  Each man has done his job to the best of his ability and due regard and honor is entitled to each and every one.

                                         #

 

From: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Tuesday, May 13, 2008 7:28 PM

Subject: Re: another correction in transcript

 

Ø      Dear Leopold,
>
> I was thrilled to read the transcript and sent a copy
> of it to my family that are now following these
> threads of history! My thanks to everyone for being
> able to obtain the recordings and to post them to the
> topica group. I've known a number of people over the
> years that would do ANYTHING but talk into a
> microphone...I can understand Major Staiger's
> reluctance! That bit of the human factor brought a
> smile to my face.
>
> Terri

 

From: rod miller

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 10:49 PM

Subject: Re: another correction in transcript

 

Dear Leopold

It sounds fine in Sydney Australia.
What an amazing find.
Congratulations to all involved making this available.

Rod

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, May 23, 2008 1:16 AM

Subject: Re: another correction in transcript

 

Thanks, Rod, for the response.

 

I mailed a copy of the audio recording today to Carol Orlich, widow of Pete Orlich, who was the radio operator on the rescue team and the youngest  member (age 21).  She was beyond thrilled when I phoned her last week to  report that  I had  just listened to her husband's voice.  Carol collects everything that tells the story of Pete Orlich's heroism and shares it all enthusiastically with her children, grandchildren, and her friends.  She says she has no recording of her husband's voice.   She'll have one now.

 

Carol  was especially thrilled with Teddy Pearson's account of Liberation Day,  finding Pete Orlich in the fields with his glasses taped to his head.  It confirmed the story Pete had told her -- and that she has told me many times.  Carol says that Pete wanted desperately to be on one of the rescue teams, but knew he would be excluded because he wore glasses and couldn't pass the eye exam.  When they were  conducting physical screenings of the volunteers for the rescue missions,  Pete removed his glasses as he waited in line for the eye test.   He memorized the eye chart  by listening to the men in front of him and passed the test.

 

When on his first practice parachute jump, his glasses almost flew off his head. Pete decided he'd have to tape on  his glasses for the jump.  That's exactly what Teddy Pearson says he saw out in the gaoliang fields where he found Peter Orlich.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2008 3:17 PM

Subject: NBC producing story about Eric Liddell

 

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in the USA  is now actively producing a piece about Eric Liddell to be aired in the USA during the Olympics.  The producer is Brian Brown, NBC's award winning producer who has specialized in Olympic stories.

 

Brian told me yesterday that he became fascinated with this story when he saw in his research that an Olympic gold medal winner from Scotland had died and was buried in China.  When he  traveled to Weifang to  get more information, first hand, he was amazed at the Eric Liddell monument and the astonishing collection of photos and mementos at the Weihsien Museum -- in what we called  the Japanese quarters of the camp.

 

Priscilla Liddell Russell,  Eric Liddell's oldest daughter, has been interviewed in Canada.

 

In England they have interviewed  Stephen Metcalf, a former Chefoo student who became an assistant to Eric Liddell in athletic activities in Weihsien and in mending  broken sports  equipment.  A few weeks before he died, Eric gave Stephen his running shoes.   As a result of Eric Liddell's Bible study lessons on LOVING YOUR ENEMIES, Stephen later  went as a missionary to Japan.  Many of us heard Stephen speak  so powerfully at the laying of wreaths at the Eric Liddell monument during our reunion  in Weifang in 2005.   Stephen's remarks were widely covered by the world press.

 

Sally Magnusson, author of  the Liddell biography, THE FLYING SCOTSMAN, has  also been interviewed in England. ..

 

I was interviewed yesterday in New York to give the story an American connection for what will be largely an American audience.  They scanned about 50 of my photos and mementos from Weihsien.

 

This NBC spotlight on Eric Liddell will almost certainly  bring more attention to the Weihsien Civilian Assembly Center  than it has ever before received.  If I tell you that the interview was held in the Presidential Suite of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, you will know that NBC is sparing no expense in producing this story.

 

I've asked if NBC  will allow us to post the Liddell piece on Leopold Pander's Weihsien web site.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2008 6:51 PM

Subject: Re: NBC producing story about Eric Liddell

 

Ø      Thank you, Mary, for this announcement and NBC's
> interest in Eric's story. I look forward to hearing
> more and seeing their broadcast later this year!
>
> Terri

 

From: Briggs, Lyvonne (NBC Universal)

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 7:51 PM

Subject: RE: NBC producing story about Eric Liddell

 

By the way, it's Patricia (not Priscilla) Liddell Russell. God bless!

 

LB

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 2008 8:15 PM

Subject: Re: NBC producing story about Eric Liddell

 

Thank you,  Lyvonne.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 1:03 PM

Subject: Where is Eric Liddell buried?

 

Hello,  Everybody,

With the current interest in Eric Liddell, I'd like to pass along a letter sent to me this week by Stephen Metcalf, the Chefoo student who helped Eric Liddell  with sports functions and helped Eric mend broken sports equipment at Weihsien.  In 2005,  Stephen spoke at the Eric Liddell monument at the ceremony for laying wreaths there.

 

 


Dear Mary, When the memorial gravestone was erected. Eric's remains were located and moved to that site. About 2 years ago Priscilla Russel (Eric's daughter) wrote me and told me that she had had a letter from the official who was in charge of the exhuming and reburial. He assured her the suggestion that they had been moved to the National Martyrs memorial was a rumour. I myself made some brief enquiries  when we were in Weishien regarding the remains of Brian Thompson. They pointed out a private garden quite a distance from the site and said they are lost somewhere in that location. I myself in writing up my article on Eric had taken up the rumour and included it in my article. In hindsight I have been quite embarrassed about it. Priscilla was quite distressed that they had not been consulted,and wrote me asking who she should contact to clarify the situation. I gave her Sui Shu De's E-mail. and subsequently he contacted the official who wrote her. Unfortunately there are rumours about Eric, ie: that Winston Churchill negotiated for him to be repatriated....(Highly unlikely) Journalists write things to make a good story! Of course once things are in print they are likely to be disseminated. I would suggest that where you have seen it on the internet you suggest they correct it.

Stephen A. Metcalf
Flat 2, 207 Trinity Road
LONDON SW17 7HW
UK

Tel +44 (0)20 8767 4257

 

From: jht3@msi-professional.org
To:
MTPrevite@aol.com
Sent: 6/17/2008 10:41:50 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj:
Re: Where is Eric Liddell buried?

 

Hello, Mary

 

Eric Liddell's body was laid to rest in the little cemetery where all who died while interned in Weihsien CAC were buried. It was located in the SE corner of the camp near the forbidden quarters occupied by the Japanese. To my knowledge, his remains were never exhumed. Some time ago, I inquired about the story that they had been moved to the Martyrs' Cemetery in Shijiazhuang, Hebei, but was informed that this was not the case. Like Hudson Taylor, his remains lie today in an unidentified spot, having already become part of the land of China for which he gave the full measure of his life and service.  David Mitchell, Mary Hoyte and John Hoyte presented a plaque with Eric Liddell's picture inset to the Second Middle School on the 40th anniversary of liberation, August 17, 1945. A large Eric Liddell Memorial Stone was shipped from Scotland and erected on the campus of the Second Middle School , June 9, 1991. Those present for the dedication included: Charles Walker, Norman Cliff, David Mitchell, and Peggy Judge. As you saw at the 60th Anniversary celebrations, August 17, 2005, it now stands near the old Weihsien CAC hospital and the Memorial Park.

 

Jamie  (James H. Taylor)  Hong Kong

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 12:20 AM

Subject: Re: Where is Eric Liddell buried?

 

Dear Mary, My father Algernon F. Evans was buried in the small weihsien cemetery where Eric was buried.  I was going to exhume my father, cremate and bury him next to my mother in Florida.  I was informed that the cemetery was razed  no one knew where the bones went. I understand There is a high rise there now. Eric was there.  I assume his bones went the way of my fathers.   Phyllis Evans Davies

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:27 AM

Subject: Fwd: Running the Race translated into Chinese

 

 

This information has been sent by Rich Swingle, the actor who will play the part of Eric Liddel in the docu-drama about Eric Liddell now being created by a production group  in Hong Kong.


Subj:
Running the Race in Chinese

 

http://picasaweb.google.com/richdrama/UntitledAlbum/photo?authkey=0-Te9v9v-qQ#5213308697455106082

John Keddie's biography on Eric Liddell, Running the Race has been translated to Chinese and is now available in China.

Here's an article that's been translated into English by Google:
Running life - dedication, born in China: China's Olympic champion

 

Rich Swingle

@ The Helen Hayes Theatre

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 1:58 AM

Subject: Re: Fwd: Running the Race translated into Chinese

 

Mary,

It's great that Swingle is getting to play Liddel in the docu-drama - he did such a wonderful one-man play about him.
Do you have any idea whether it will be possible for us to view this film some day?

That's some translation!  It says that it was translated by Google.  Do you think that they have some kind of automated translation program that just strings words together and doesn't go back an make sense of it all?

Donald

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 11:29 AM

Subject: Re: Running the Race translated into Chinese

 

I've asked if NBC will allow their Eric Liddell piece to be posted on Leopold's site after the Olympics, and Brian Brown, the producer,  felt confident we could get permission.

 

I'll ask the Christian production group in Hong Kong  the same for their docu-drama.  Theirs is a shoe string operation.  But they've put a lot of work into the project.   They've actually tracked down and interviewed  a former Chinese student of Eric Liddell in China and they've even  filmed Rich Swingle running in Franklin Field at  University of Pennsylvania -- where Liddell ran a few months before the Olympics.   Franklin Field was  where Liddell saw the motto he often quoted:  In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory is a glory to be found if one has done his best.”

 

Mary

 

From: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, June 20, 2008 6:07 PM

Subject: Re: Fwd: Running the Race translated into Chinese

 

Ø      I'm going to rent the movie "Chariots of Fire" again.
> At the time this movie came out, I did not know the importance of who Eric was. Boy, did I miss the boat on this one!
>
> Terri

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 2:39 AM

Subject: Eric Liddel story from exerpted Stephen Metcalf stories

 

 

ERIC LIDDELL:

            What I learned from an Olympic Gold Medal Winner

 

By Stephen Metcalf

 

Eric Liddell was the first athlete born in China to win an Olympic gold medal and to set a world record.  Born in 1902, he was the son of Scottish missionaries to China.  In choosing between a career in sports or a career as a missionary, Eric chose serving God in China.   A year after winning the gold meda, Scotland’s capital gave him a sendoff to China that no missionary before nor since has ever had -- a ride in a carriage flowing with streamers and ribbons, pulled along by adoring University of Edinburgh students.  Laughing, crying, shouting crowds swept him from the railroad platform to the train.  They started singing “Jesus Shall Reign.”

 

My personal connection with Eric Liddell started with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Overnight America and the British Empire were plunged into war with Japan.  North China, where I was attending a school that educated the children of Christian missionaries, was then a Japanese colony.   When the war came, the Japanese rounded up “enemy aliens,” Allied nationals throughout North China, and herded us into Weihsien Prison Camp in China’s Shandong Province.

 

I was just finishing studies at the Chefoo School when the Japanese shipped us, trucked us away to Weihsien  -- the whole school -- teachers, students, retired missionaries.  We were prisoners.

 

On my first Sunday in Weihsien, I found myself sitting in a Bible class led by Eric Liddell.  Knowing his name and his accomplishments, I could imagine an aura around him – fame, adulation, reputation.   This was THE Eric Liddell – Olympic gold medal winner.  World record holder.   But Eric quickly and genuinely identified with each of us he was speaking to.  He was speaking about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount – verses like “Blessed are the meek… Blessed are the poor in spirit… Blessed are the peacemakers…”  At first, it was Eric’s enthusiasm in his subject and his personality that captured my attention.   But as the months and years rolled on, it was seeing his life in a prison camp – and yet living the Sermon on the Mount that left an indelible impression on my young life.

 

Eric poured himself into offsetting the drudgery of our confinement. In a walled compound that stretched only 150 by 200 yards, teenagers were bored.  The Japanese had crammed 1,500 prisoners in this tiny compound. I remember his organizing sports events between the Tianjin Grammar School and our Chefoo School. In the prison camp, Eric was a school master of the Tianjin Grammar School and coach of our rivals.   It was the final relay that sticks in my mind.  I was running anchor for the Chefoo team.  As I grabbed the baton, their man was already away.  I chased him all the way, but just before the finish, I burst from behind to breast the tape.  Staggering, limp and exhausted, I found myself in the arms of Eric, who was exulting in my victory.   Here was a hero who could rejoice with the team that won and encourage the team that lost.

 

Years before, in his own competitions in International rugby in Europe, when someone fouled Eric, he never retaliated; he would turn tables by outplaying his rival. 

 

Eric liked to quote a motto he had seen when he ran at the University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field a few months before he won the gold medal:  In the dust of defeat as well as in the laurels of victory is a glory to be found if one has done his best.”

 

I gravitated to this man.  He was in his early 40s and I was 16 and 17.   I helped him on the prison camp Recreation Committee.  Eric took on the job of mending broken sports equipment.  He was always enthusiastic.  Here was a world-famous athlete tearing up sheets from his own bed to bind up bats and hockey sticks for the teenagers!  To fix the bats, one of the main chores was melting down the stinking Chinese glue made from horses’ hooves.  The glue came in hard thin strips about six inches long.  I don’t remember clearly where in the camp the sports equipment was stored.  It may have been outside the lower side of the hospital.

 

Eric Liddell had captured the attention of the world in 1924 when he refused to run the 100 meters in the Paris Olympics because the race was scheduled on Sunday.  His 100 meter run was almost guaranteed to win a gold medal for England.  To this son of missionary parents, Sunday was “the Lord’s Day.” His Christian principles came first.  Fighting enormous public pressure, he switched from the sprint to the 400 meters – a quarter mile -- winning a gold medal and setting a world record.  He won a bronze in the 200 meters.

 

Who in Weihsien could imagine Eric as a world famous hero?  Here was  a shy, modest man – 5 feet 9 inches tall, with a receding hairline and a dimpled chin.  He wore a shirt made from some of his wife’s curtains.  In all of the prison camp, I think he was the man most admired. He wasn’t an eloquent speaker.   Yet in simple words, he preached love.

 

It was in another Bible study on the Sermon on the Mount that Eric confronted us with the words of Matthew 5, verse 43.  Love your enemy.”    Was this possible?  Could we love the Japanese guards?  Or was this just an ideal that we should aim for?  The discussion was heavy on the side that this was just an ideal.

 

Eric smiled.  “I used to think that was the case,” he said.  “But then I took on board Jesus’ next words.  Pray for them that persecute you.’ ” Eric told us how he had started to pray for the Japanese.  “We spend a lot of time praying for all our loved ones and the people we like,” Eric said, “ but Jesus told us to pray for the people we don’t like – our enemies.”   He challenged us to start praying for the Japanese.

 

I began praying for the Japanese.

 

Shortly after this, I listened to some lectures on Japan, given in the camp by an American professor from Yenching University.  As my knowledge of Japan grew, my spiritual concerns for Japan grew, too.   I had witnessed the sadism of the Japanese army.  I was living through its lust for power. Japan was a country that knew little or nothing of the love of God.   In a moment of spiritual searching, I told God, “If I come out of this prison camp alive, I will dedicate my life to Japan as a missionary.“

 

About three weeks before Eric died of a brain tumor in 1945, he came to me with his dilapidated running shoes.   He had patched and sewn then up with string.  In his shy and offhanded manner he said, “Steve, I see your shoes are worn out and it’s now winter. Perhaps you can get a few weeks of wear out of these.”  He pressed the shoes into my hands. I was a teenager.  It wasn’t until much later that I realized how much those shoes must have meant to him.  He had gone to a lot of work to patch them up for me.   A few weeks later he was dead and gone to heaven.  

 

He died of a brain tumor. Only God knows how faithfully Eric had run his race.

 

The running shoes wore out.  At the end of the war, everything I owned was in rags and tatters, infested by the bedbugs that tormented our sleep.  Even the Chinese who raked through our refuse would find them useless.  I gave them up for a pair of U.S. Army boots.

 

But Eric had given me a greater gift -- the baton of forgiveness.

 

I’ll never forget Eric’s funeral.  I was one of Eric’s pall bearers and wore the running shoes he had given to me.   Only about a dozen of us – under guard – went to the grave.  The graveyard was in the off-limits Japanese quarters.   Someone read the Beatitudes and we lowered the coffin into the ground.  We shivered with the northwest wind whipping us.  My thoughts were crushing me.   Why had we lost a champion and a saint?   Was this all that became of a man who had given up so much to serve God and the Chinese people? Eric gave up everything.  He was only 43.  Was this all?

 

Some of us young fellows picked up some of the many jobs that Eric left behind.

 

The war ended suddenly with the atomic bomb.   In a few weeks I was settled with a steady job and a very busy life in a local church in Australia.    One day in 1948, I heard a rebroadcast of General MacArthur’s appeal for missionaries to go to Japan.  He said that Japan had a new democratic constitution, but didn’t understand democracy which has its roots in the Bible and its teaching the value of each individual.   Eric Liddell had passed me his baton.  Now this message came like the voice of God talking to me. 

 

I sailed for Japan in 1952 for my life’s vocation.

 

As the ship sailed towards Japan, the world was already at war again – in Korea this time, soldiers fighting under the banner of the United Nations -- making war to bring peace. With 300 young British conscripts aboard, all heading for combat, their officer asked me to speak to the men at church parade.  I talked about Eric and his message of praying for your enemies.  “You are going to Korea with guns to make peace,” I said.  “I am going to Japan with the Bible to proclaim the gospel of Peace.”

 

I suppose that most people thought that Eric’s life was just another story in the history of Christian missions.  Today, there are books, plays, articles, and an Academy Award winning movie about our “Uncle Eric.” 

I choose to think God nudged movie producer David Puttnam to read the 1924 Olympic Review and the story of a young Scottish runner who refused to race on Sunday. Thirty-five years after Eric’s death, the story inspired Puttnam to create the award-winning movie “Chariots of Fire.”  Released in 1981, “Chariots of Fire” told the story of two British athletes preparing for and competing in the 1924 Olympics.  One of them was Eric Liddell.  The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.  A postscript flashed across the screen: “Eric Liddell died in a Japanese concentration camp.  All of Scotland mourned.”

My heart knows Eric Liddell isn’t dead.   #

( This story is shortened  from two longer articles/papers by Stephen Metcalf.  They will appear unedited on the Weihsien web site: www.weihsien-paintings.org.  Look for them under the name of STEPHEN METCALF.)

 

From: Marti Suddarth

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 6:42 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddel story from exerpted Stephen Metcalf stories

 

In a message dated 6/21/2008 9:40:06 PM Eastern Daylight Time, MTPrevite@aol.com writes:


Shortly after this, I listened to some lectures on Japan, given in the camp by an American professor from Yenching University.



********** Does anyone know who this American professor from Yenching University was?   My father's aunt was an American professor from Yenching University who was also a prisoner at Weihsien.  (I know she wasn't the only one, however.)  I hope to find someone who remembered her when she was there. 
Her name was Martha Morrison Kramer.

Marti Kramer Suddarth

 

From: Pander

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, June 22, 2008 10:09 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddel story from exerpted Stephen Metcalf stories

 

Could it be Langdon Gilkey?

On the Weihsien-Painting's home page, there is a search engine. I tried with "Yenching" and got quite a few answers.

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 12:51 AM

Subject: Weihsien memories from Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE

 

            If you haven’t read Laurence Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE, you'll be fascinated by his chapters dealing with his and Arthur Hummel's escape fromWeihsien and their return after Americans liberated the camp.

            Leopold Pander has made the full narrative available on his Weihsien web site. Here’s Tipton’s description that many of you will remember.

"With the collapse of the Japanese, the food situation became serious for a few days. Supplies of bare necessities were sufficient only for two to three days at the time of the Japanese surrender. Major Staiger radioed his Headquarters for assistance and within a couple of days a B–24 flew over the camp to drop sheaves of handbills worded to the effect that supplies were on the way. Within half an hour we heard the ponderous drone of heavily laden planes. Ten B–29s circled overhead and, as their bellies opened, tons of supplies were dropped, filling the sky with yellow, green, red, blue and white parachutes.

 

            Some failed to open and steel drums hurtled through the air and, bursting on contact with the earth, sent up cascades of Californian peaches and cream, tomato soup, corned beef hash, cigarettes, candy and chewing-gum. At least 30 per cent of the first drop was wasted. This continued on and off for several days, until the church, resembling a warehouse, was stacked high with clothes, boots, food, smokes, medical supplies and books — everything that the Stores Officer on Okinawa (from where the planes had come) thought might conceivably be needed.

            To cope with the demand for fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs, an open-air market was soon established outside the front gate by the river, where dozens of stalls were set up. People were still short of money, however, and most of the business was carried on by barter. Old clothes that were hardly fit to wear, boots and shoes with gaping holes, women's hats, were all exchanged for eggs, milk, or maybe a fried chicken or a bottle of the local brandy. Never had there been such eating,  a craving of two and a half years' standing was satiated.   There were casualties, but all admitted that it was worth it!"

 

Mary Previte

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 2:08 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories from Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE

 

Thanks, Mary,

I see, by the way, that a used copy of Tipton's book is selling on Abe Books for $195.00.

By the way, Leopold  - do you have any idea what the copyright rules are for reproducing clippings from the NY Times that I've downloaded from their archives - not to mention excerpts from books?  I've used them in my family web site and "videos" without ever bothering to find out, since there purely non-commercial and I assume nobody really cares.  But then again, "assume" IS spelled ASS - U - ME.

Donald

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, June 30, 2008 9:16 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories from Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE

 

Dear Don,

I see it exactly the same way you do ---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 12:49 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories from Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE

 

Thanks Mary.
   Relish these Weihsein excerpts. I was nineteen when we were liberated.My memories are still very fresh. 
Phyllis

 

From: Alexander Strangman

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 1:27 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories

 

 Good for you , Phyllis!   Now here's a test for you and those who also still have memories that are fresh!

 

Can anyone recall where the 'Duck Team Seven' was billeted during their stay at 'Camp Weihsien' ?   and Who was the one that officially addressed the small gathering of internees, on the evening of the 17th Aug., in front of K3 (the former Peking kitchen) in the Italian section? 

 

After 60 odd years some of the details are less clear to me now, but I seem to vaguely remember we were 'advised' the day of our liberation, (somehow) that some one 'in charge' would be speaking to us, at a certain time and place, re initial plans regarding our immediate future.

Can you tell me who it was?

All the best,

Zandy

 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, July 10, 2008 4:35 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories

 

Zandy,

 

I phoned our American liberator Tad Nagaki this evening to get answers to some of your questions.  Tad was the Japanese-American interpreter on the Duck Mission that liberated Weihsien. .

 

At 88, Tad still farms beans and corn and wheat in Alliance, Nebraska, so I have a hard time reaching him because he often doesn't get in from his farm until after dark.   Here in New Jersey, my time zone is two hours earlier than Tad's. 

 

Tad is the only living member of the American members  on the Duck Mission.

 

Tad says that six of the seven members billeted in the Japanese commandant's office.  That office was located near the section where the Italians stayed.  He said they slept on cots that were in that building.  He recalls that the building was a two-story building with several rooms. This is the same building where  on Liberation Day,  Major Staiger took over the camp from the Japanese commandant. Staiger headed the team.   So Major Staiger, Jim Moore, Jim Hannon, Tad Nagaki, Peter Orlich, and  Eddie Wang stayed there.

 

Tad says that Raymond Hanchulak, the medic on the Duck Mission, stayed in the hospital and helped there as much as he could.

 

Tad Nagaki says that three of the team left Weihsien first -- Jim Moore, Raymond Hanchulak, and Tad  Nagaki -- to go to Tsingtao  (now Qingdao) to set up an OSS base there.   They were followed by Major Staiger and Peter Orlich.  At age 21, Pete, the team's youngest member,  was radio operator on the  mission.  Jim Hannon stayed later to help with repatriation of prisoners.

 

Tad and I had a good chat about Tsingtao  (Qingdao) scheduled  to be the venue for the Olympic sailing competition next month.  

 

Zandy, you mention that on Liberation Day, someone "in charge" was to  speak to prisoners about our future.  If that person was wearing a sling on his arm, it would have been 1st Lt. Jim Hannon.   Hannon wore a sling.  Hannon told me several times that  Chinese interpreter Eddie Wang froze with terror when Wang was supposed to jump from the plane.  So Hannon says he had to push or encourage Eddie Wang to jump.  Hannon, who was well trained in parachute jumps, told me that  a good parachute drop depends on the initial jump.  Hannon said that he was so occupied in getting Eddie Wang to jump, that he  himself didn't get a good start.  As a result, he injured his shoulder in his landing.  His arm was in a sling.  The men jumped when the plane was flying at 500 feet, barely space  to get a parachute open, so it's amazing more of them weren't injured.

 

Tad Nagaki says that the men dropped, carrying nothing but a fire arm..  Other parachutes that dropped that day provided them  supplies like food. .

 

On another subject,  I asked again this week if NBC will allow us to post on  the Weihsien web site their piece about Eric Liddell which they will broadcast during the Olympic.  NBC has exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympics in the USA.  No answer yet.  I'm sure the legal people have to make that decision. NBC doesn't yet have a date and time  when they will broadcast. the story.  I believe the principle broadcasters are heading for China  this week.

 

Mary Previte 

 

From: Alexander Strangman

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 2:05 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories

 

Dear Mary, thanks for such an informative email which fills in 'once and for all' any remaining details on our 'Memorable 7' that may have escaped my notice , before! 

 

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Mitch

Sent: Friday, July 11, 2008 3:57 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories

 

Were any of you able to respond to Mitch's questions about Helen Burton's barter shop, the White Elephant's Bell?  If so, I'd appreciate getting a copy for my record.  They should also go to Leopold.

Don

 

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 3:03 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien memories from Tipton's CHINESE ESCAPADE

 

Hi Everyone --

 

I got my copy of Chinese Escapade from a little bookstore in Bristol, England. If memory serves me right, it cost under fifteen dollars, including shipping!

 

If anyone's interested, I could go into my archives and see if I've still got the invoice from them, with their address. The gentleman who responded said it was quite fun to locate as copies were very scarce. Of course, this was back in '96 of '97 when I was doing all my research. 

 

Sorry, I am hanging onto my copy , not because it's now got an inflated tag, but because I think it's a gem of a history book, especially the first part where Laurie was in a filthy Chinese prison where executions took place daily, and he never knew if he was going to be next ! ! !

 

Pamela Masters Flynn

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 1:19 AM

Subject: Eric Liddell documentary DVD to be released for Olympics

 

 The Hong Kong production group that has been creating  a TV docu-drama about Eric Liddell and a Eric Liddell documentary DVD reports that  the 45-minute documentary will be released for the Olympics.

 

The TV docu-drama about Eric Liddell will not.

 

Because of security concerns, the Government has stopped issuing permits for many activities, productions, and concerts.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: bob.sanders

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, July 01, 2008 9:45 PM

Subject: Lewis Mills Burfitt at Weihsien

 

Hullo All

 

I am new to his group. I am interested in the conditions etc at the camp as my father's cousin Lewis Mills Burfitt who was a superintendent with Butterfield & Swire is listed as an inmate in the database on the Wiehsien Website. His gravestone at Ilfracombe, Devon, also records that he was a prisoner of the Japanese from 1941 to 1945. He was unlucky in both WW1 and WW2 as in WW1 his ship was captured by the German cruiser Emden.

Regards

Bob Sanders

From: Donald Menzi

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 2:20 AM

Subject: Re: Lewis Mills Burfitt at Weihsien

 

Hi,  Welcome aboard.

You should certainly explore Leopold Pander's www.weihsien-paintings.org web site.  You can also take a virtual "walking tour" of the camp at my "family" web site, http:/d.menzi.org.  There are also the topica.com email archives.

Those should keep you going for a while.  You should also feel free to ask any questions about life in the camp.  Those who were there will be very glad to respond, and your questions will help stimulate activity which we will all enjoy.

Donald Menzi

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 7:11 AM

Subject: Re: Lewis Mills Burfitt at Weihsien

 

Hello,

The "Emden" ? It is an extraordinary story!

http://www.greatwardifferent.com/Great_War/Naval/Emden_04.htm 

Is it true that the German captors in those days acted as gentlemen? After the allied merchant vessel was seized and sunk, the prisoners were well treated and fed. Did your father's cousin ever tell you stories about those days? I remember reading about the "Seeadler", a sailing vessel commanded by Captain Felix Von Lukner. He raided the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and did considerable damage to allied shipping without ever making a single casualty. This is an enemy that merits our respect. It was certainly no so in WWII.

Best regards ---

Leopold

 

From: bob.sanders

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:26 PM

Subject: RE: Lewis Mills Burfitt at Weihsien

 

Leopold

 

Unfortunately I do not recall having met Lewis Burfitt, although I may have done at some family get together. My father did, however, tell me that Lewis' brother George who he knew much better had told him of Lewis' capture by the Emden and that he was well treated by the Germans and in an interview that Lewis gave to the Ilfracombe Chronicle in 1937 he refers ro his capture and subsequent release onto another ship on which he sailed to Cochin, though he does not mention in that article how he was treated by his German captors. My guess is that if he had been badly treated he might have referred to it. From what I have read about the captain of the Emden everything seems to point to him being a "Gentleman" I think that the German officers of WW1 were generally aristocrats and often professional soldiers who treated their opponents with respect, even though they knew they had to fight them. As you say, not so, for the most part, in WW2. I am now trying to find out which ship Lewis was on when he was captured and possibly which ship he was released onto.

Regards

Bob Sanders

From: bob.sanders

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 10:47 PM

Subject: RE: Lewis Mills Burfitt at Weihsien

 

Donald

 

Thank you for your reply and pointers. I really enjoyed the video tour. It gave me some idea of what Lewis would have seen and experienced during his internment. I am very pleased to have found this group.

Regards

Bob Sanders
 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 5:34 PM

Subject: From Estelle Cliff Horne -- about the Eric Liddell monument

 

Charles Walker is an engineer, who worked for a time in Hong Kong. .He was reading about famous Scotsmen all over the world, and read the story of Eric Liddell. He wondered whether a suitable memorial existed for him, and in his holidays went up to Weifang to investigate. It was with his help that the memorial stone was shipped out from Scotland and erected. There is a video of the dedication ceremony, which my brother attended. Charles also established the Eric Liddell Foundation. I was privileged to be present at Edinburgh University when the Eric Liddell Gymnasium was opened, and the video was shown.

 

Formerly the memorial was in a little moon gated garden which was created to house it near the south east part of the former camp compound. We had a ceremony there in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of our liberation on 17th August. I gave the main speech. When we returned for the 60th anniversary in 2005, the monument had been moved to its present position in front of the former hospital, where he died. The ward where he was, was on the ground floor, right at the other end of the building, overlooking the former tennis courts, where the  band (including my brother on the trombone) played his last request: Be Still My Soul.

Estelle Cliff Horne

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2008 5:50 PM

Subject: Scotswoman in China

 

Can any of you who are expert is searching for Christian, out-of-print books tell me where I can get a copy of Annie Buchan's  book, Scotswoman in China ?

 

Annie was a longtime missionary co-worker of Eric Liddell's.  Annie was with  Eric  in his hospital room when he died.

 

 

Mary Previte

 

From: "Donald Menzi" <dmenzi@earthlink.net>

To: "weihsien" <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008 3:55 AM

Subject: Memories of Helen Burton's Barter Shop

 

Ø      Hello Weihsieners,
>
> I'm forwarding to you an email that I just received from Mitch Krayton.  He will probably be subscribing to the topica group soon, so if you have the kind of memories he is looking for, please hold them until your get the request directly from him.
>
> Donald Menzi
> ==================================================================
>
>
-----Forwarded Message-----
>>From: "
mitch@digital-res.com" <mitch@digital-res.com>
>>Sent: Jul 8, 2008 7:25 PM
>>To:
dmenzi@earthlink.net
>>Subject:
Wilders Web Site
>>
>>Don,
>>
>>I have just enjoyed the most heart-warming tribute to both your family
>>and those that shared their internment experiences out of Weihsien and
>>on the Gripsholm. Thank you for compiling this for others to appreciate
>>and enjoy. I have visited American internment camps for the Japanese in
>>California. Weihsien was not known to me. We must never forget how cruel
>>we can be to each other. Your site helps.
>>
>>I have been doing quite of bit of research on Miss Helen Burton, a lady
>>mentioned several times on your site. I have been doing my best to
>>document her unique life from North Dakota, to Beijing and finally to
>>Honolulu.
>>
>>My wife and I were fortunate to acquire the guest book from her Camel
>>Bell gift shop in Peping (Beijing). It is brim full of stories,
>>illustrations and photos of visitors to the shop and it tells about
>>quite a remarkable life story as well. Then to find out that she had to
>>leave her adopted daughters at the time of the Japanese invasion has led
>>me research further and ultimately to your site. Your work has given me
>>much more appreciation for what she and others had to endure.
>>
>>I would appreciate you assistance on gathering whatever artifacts,
>>photos or stories you have about the 'White Camel Bells' canteen she set
>>up at Weihsien. If your family had visited her shop at the Grand Hotel
>>de Pekin and had written about it, I would love the learn what they had
>>to say about that as well.
>>
>>And also if you have access to those incredible survivors from the 60th
>>reunion, if you could ask them on my behalf for their thoughts on Miss
>>Burton. I am sure they have tales to share. I would love to record that
>>before they get much older and leave us without a record.
>>
>>Again thank you for all your efforts. The illustrations and the personal
>>letters made this tragic episode come to life for me. It was a joy to
>>see how well the Chinese embraced everyone on the anniversary event. I
>>hope one day to be able to visit the site in person and pay my respects.
>>
>>If I may help you with any information about Miss Burton that I may
>>have, please let me know. By the way, the materials on your website
>>would be helpful in a book my wife and I are writing about Miss Burton.
>>May we have permission to use this material in our work?
>>
>>Thanks,
>>
>>Mitch
>>
>>--
>>Mitch Krayton
>>24307 Magic Mountain Parkway, #245
>>Valencia, CA 91355  USA
>>+1 661-310-2435 voice  | 
mitch@digital-res.com

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Saturday, July 12, 2008 10:34 PM

Subject: Researching Helen Burton

 

Ø      Hello to all on this list.
>
> My wife, Linda, and I have been referred to you by Donald Menzi and with the help of Natasha Petersen, I have successfully made it to this list.
>
> We live in the greater Los Angeles community of Santa Clarita.
>
> Several years ago, while attending an antiquarian book fair, we came upon the most incredible book that was the guest book of a The Camel Book shop in Peiping (Peking, Pekin, Beijing). We purchased this tome which is leather bound volume (apx 12"x18"x6"), corners of woven silk, has brass hinge fittings (missing the locking pin) and encrusted with many semi-precious stones. It was in the Grand Hotel de Pekin which was the largest and most modern hotel in the area and served as the major hotel for visitors of every rank and distinction.
>
> The hotel was located inside the walled city (which have since been removed to make the ring road) and very close the The Forbidden City and Tienanmen Square. Also nearby was the Foreign Legation which came to be as a result of the Boxer rebellion.
>
> The Camel Bell (aka The Camel Bells, The Camel's Bell) was owned by Miss Helen Burton. My wife and I are researching the life of this incredible person and hope to put our findings into a book. The more we research, more fantastic things we find out about the time, the place and the people she knew. Here is a bit of what we know...
>
> Born in 1917 in North Dakota, her father and brother both rose in state politics. She wanted to venture off to exotic places. She wound up in Peiping looking for secretarial work and it turns out she was a bit of an artist and entrepreneur.
>
> It was not long that she started her shop with candy, clothing, art and gifts of her design that she arranged to be made by locals.
>
> People from all over the world stopped by and signed her guest book. Others did a lot more: drawing, painting and writing poetry. There are photos and holiday cards, too. Hundreds of visitors are here (we are trying to catalog them all).
>
> She was very much the socialite and people would often stay with her in the city or at her summer home in the hills outside the city.
>
> She never married, but did adopt 4 Chinese girls who helped her run the shop.
>
> When the Japanese overtook Peiping, she was captured and wound up in Weihsien. Which leads me to find all of you.
>
> There she was involved with a barter site that has been called The White Camel Bell or The White Elephant Bell. There was no money but I suspect her entrepreneurial spirit and her fearless willingness to bargain gave her the courage to set this up.
>
> So to all of you who knew Miss Burton in Weihsien or the barter shop, we would be delighted to know your stories and your impressions of her. And if you have relics or photos of her or the shop, it would be a thrill to see those, too.
>
> Thank you all in advance for making our quest so real and so interesting.
>
> Mitch Krayton

 

From: "Tapol" <tapol@skynet.be>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 1:48 PM

Subject: Fw: Researching Helen Burton

 

Dear Mitch, Linda & Don ---
In Norman's scrap books I found the White Elephant's inventory ---- go to:
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/NoticeBoard/Oukaze/p-Inventory.htm
From Christine Talbot Sancton, we also received a painting of the White
Elephant shop:
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/ChSancton/paintings/p_ElephanExchange.htm
--- and many other links can be found about the White Elephant shop. On the
home page, just enter "elephant" in the search engine ---- I was surprised
at the many times it is mentioned in the Paintings' website.
On Mrs Wilder's painting I just added a link to Mitch's text --- a little
"book" symbol just under the water colour painting of the White Elephant
shop. Dear Mitch I hope it's OK?
You just wrote that you were writing a book about Mrs. Burton ---- If it is
OK for you and Linda, we would love to know a bit more (en avant
première) --- maybe a few extracts from the guest-book as *.jpg-files ??
with your coments --- You can send them directly to me at:
tapol@skynet.be
Best regards,
Leopold
http://www.weihsien-paintings.org

 

From: "Donald Menzi" <dmenzi@earthlink.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>; <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 3:06 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Researching Helen Burton

 

Leopold,

Thanks so much for the link to Christine Talbot Sancton's paintings.  They are really beautiful.  I wish I had known about all of them at the time I put together the first Weihsien slide show.  Maybe I can still work some of them into a second edition. 

And thanks to Mitch and Linda for recognizing the uniqueness of this fascinating woman, Helen Burton.  I'm sure that many in this group are waiting expectantly as you bringing her and her era back to life.  If only you can track down her daughters and their children!  What a thrill it will be for them to find their mother/grandmother's legacy.

Donald

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 7:32 PM

Subject: Re: Fw: Researching Helen Burton

 

Leopold,

Thank you for these links. You're site is filled with an amazing collection of memories. Every time I visit, it is another hour or two of amazement.

Thank you for posting the link about our Helen Burton research quest.
Not a problem for us at all. (And it is Miss Burton, Leopold, as she never married)

We would be happy to share bits from the book as we write it. We have only some outline notes for now. My wife is in a writer's group to help her get this done. We have had the guest book for several years and kept it safely in a closet. Then when we had a local fire storm in our community, we had to evacuate for a day. When we got back home safely, we then started to look seriously at what we had and rediscovered the treasure of The Camel Bell guest book.

The guest book is quite large and we have yet to photograph all the individual pages or complete the cataloging of its contents (hundreds of signature, addresses and telephone numbers). This is a big labor of love, but I am preaching to the choir on that account. Everyone's efforts here are much appreciated.

If folks have comments about what we will post from the guest book, it would make it all the richer for us all.

Best,

Mitch

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 8:49 PM

Subject: Weihsien Captives in National Archives

 

> Doing research and found this page from the National Archives Access to Archival Databases website:
>
> Records of World War II Prisoners of War, created 1942 - 1947, documenting the period 12/7/1941 - 11/19/1946 - Record Group 389
>
http://aad.archives.gov/aad/display-partial-records.jsp?f=645&mtch=282&q=weihsien&cat=all&dt=466&tf=F
>
> Perhaps we can review this for completeness and accuracy and update the archivists.
>
> I did find Helen B. Burton on the archive.gov site, but not registered as being at Weihsien. So if you don't find a name you are looking for at the link above, perhaps you should enter it last name first in the home page search box here:
http://aad.archives.gov/
>
> Mitch
>

 

From: "bob.sanders" <bob.sanders59@ntlworld.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:32 PM

Subject: RE: Weihsien Captives in National Archives

 

Ø      Mitch
>
> Thanks for pointing out the TNA records. Unfortunately my relative L M Burfitt was not listed.
>
> Regards
>
> Bob Sanders


 

From: "Ron Bridge" <rwbridge@freeuk.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>; <bob.sanders59@ntlworld.com>

Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 11:02 AM

Subject: RE: Weihsien Captives in National Archives LM Burfitt

 

> Gentlemen,
> Just for the record and There is often confusion between the US National Archives NARA and the UK National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office) now TNA.
>
> The former hold a list of all those released from Weihsien as well as the lists of those repatriated in 1943 ending up via Goa on the Gripsholm to NY.
> The latter holds the names of all those repatriated in July August 1942 mainly diplomatic staff of all allied nations via Lorenco Marques( Now Maputo) ( I suspect this is also in NARA.
> The IMperial War Museum LOndon hold the 30 Jun 43 and 30 JUn44  list of Weishien inmates found by me in the SWiss Foreign Office Archives ( this is only British and British Commonwealth as the US Lists had been destroyed in 1995 and the document I found had been scehduled for destruction but overlooked.
> There is also a Sp 44 edition in the Japanese National Archives Tokyo. IS this the LM Burfitt you are looking for:
>
> Lewis Mills BURFITT born Eeter Devon England 20Dec1894 Wharf Godown Supt Butterfield and Swire Tientsin travelling on British Passport C17965 issued at Hankow China on 23Jan37. Next of kin Mrs CM Burfitt 15 Portland St Ilfracombe Devon. IN Weihsien he was  in Block 51 Room 3
>
> I do not put detailed info such as this on the Topica Chat line
>
> Ron Bridge
> ex Weihsien my data base is over 60,000 names 40,000 civilians and the HK Garrison

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, July 18, 2008 7:21 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien Captives in National Archives LM Burfitt

 

> Ron,
>
> Thanks for your clarification.
>
> Mitch

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:32 PM

Subject: Eric Liddell -- 84 years ago

 

This week in the 1924 Paris Olympics, Eric Liddell won the gold medal in the 400 meters , capturing an Olympic and world record.   It took 35 years for anyone to beat his world record.

 

Having already  won the bronze in the 200 meters, he was the only British athlete to win two Olympic medals that year.

 

If you haven't read ERIC LIDDELL:  PURE GOLD by  David McCasland,  give yourself a treat.  Get a copy.

 

"Uncle Eric" as we called him was so much in demand by teenagers in Weihsien that his dorm  mates posted a sign on their door to indicate  Eric Liddell,  IN or OUT.

 

Weihsien gave us heroes.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:11 PM

Subject: RE: Eric Liddell -- 84 years ago

 

Can echo Mary's recommendation of Pure Gold ISBN is 0-57293-051-9 published by Discovery House publishers Box 3566 Grand Rapids MI 49501

Ron Bridge

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, July 14, 2008 4:22 AM

Subject: Interview with American pilot downed near Weihsien, 1945

 

Here's  transcription of an interview with an American pilot who was shot down near Weihsien.  You can listen to the full interview on the WEIHSIEN web site:  www.weihsien-paintings.org 

 

Mary Previte

 

INTERVIEW with Lt. William Zimpleman,   September, 1945

 

                           From the USA  NATIONAL ARCHIVES


 

ANNOUNCER:  At Weihsien, the DUCK team received word that a downed American flyer, Lt. William Zimpleman, was being hidden in the area by Chinese patriots.  Lt. Hannon immediately made effort to contact Lt. Zimpleman, and on September 6,  Lt.  Zimpleman reached OSS headquarters.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I am William V.  Zimpleman.  On February the 20th of this year, I left on a fighter sweep from a base in Free China.  While over the target, I had the misfortune of getting… hhh…

 

ANNOUNCER:  You came when you arrived at the target, Lieutenant … You came down in a dive to strafe the target.  Is that right? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  Uh.  Diving my last pass, I had steam come up in the cockpit, so I immediately knew that I had been hit and had only a few minutes to plan my escape.

 

ANNOUNCER:  That’s when you were pulling out of your last pass.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  That’s right.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And what is that an indication of – steam coming out from the cockpit?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That I’d received a hit in my cooling system.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And that meant what?  What would happen with a bullet in the cooling system?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That my engine would soon be out of coolant and would be too hot to run.  It would freeze.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And about what altitude were you when you made this realization?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I was on the deck.

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh, you were on the deck?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I was on the deck.  I was near the ground just a few feet. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  I see. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I pulled up to about 2,500 feet and headed in the direction that I figured was the safest.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And what did you see underneath you?  What was the condition of the terrain under you?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  It was a bay.  All water.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  A bay.  All  water.   What did you do then?  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I prepared to bail out ‘cause I knew I had only a few minutes --  and headed for the nearest land, the nearest terrain that I figured the safest. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  That was across the bay?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That was across the bay.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  About how wide was the bay? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  About ten miles. 

 

ANNOUNCER: That must have seemed the widest ten miles you ever saw. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  It looked very bad.

 

ANNOUNCER: And you moved the hell out until you got across the bay. 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  Just as I got to the edge of the land,  it started spitting and froze …right near the patch of land. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And then what happened? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I started losing altitude, but I still hadn’t reached the part I had intended to… started for. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  What is the sensation of a plane without adequate landing?  What’s the sensation of going down and out? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Like a rock.  You go down very fast.  

 

ANNOUNCER:   You’re really conscious of falling.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, gliding, but a very steep glide down.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And what plan did you have in mind then? 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  Well,  uh,  to bail out when I got to the least altitude to be safe.  

 

ANNOUNCER: You had to open up your hood… of the… 

 

LT.  ZIMPLEMAN:  I had released my canopy sooner… 

 

ANNOUNCER: Yes.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Sooner. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  You released the canopy immediately. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I released the canopy before my engine stopped.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  To be safe. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And then you waited to what altitude before you jumped? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  About a thousand feet.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  You were watching the altimeter.  At a thousand feet you went out.  Did you fall clear of the plane? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, it was very … it worked out very fine.  The plane went straight down.  I missed the tail.  It went right over me.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And did you wait ‘til you had seen the tail passed before you pulled the rip cord? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh.  And then did you see the plane handing? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  No, I didn’t.  No, I didn’t.  I was watching… (laugh)…

 

ANNOUNCER:  You were busy.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: …other things. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Uh, did you see the plane afterwards? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I saw the plane afterwards.  It was burning. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Yes.  And, uh, were you aware of an opening shock?

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Uh, yes.  I… But not much…very slight.

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And hen you had only a few hundred feet to fall. 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  What was your sensation coming down as far as expecting trouble? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I expected enemy troops – Japanese.  I could expect nothing else.  I was near water and everything.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  In that area there’s nothing but Japanese.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: Right near the target.

 

ANNOUNCER:  And as you came down, did you notice anyone below?  Had anyone seen you? 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yes, I could see many people.  Many people who had seen me were coming out of the village.  

 

ANNOUNCER:   Uh, these were villagers.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Yeh, that’s right.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  And, uh, when you landed, did you land safely?  Did you hurt yourself?  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  Uh, I landed…when I landed, I pigeoned my ankle.  I started running, but it was impossible for me to get away.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  I see.  And people came crowding around and said, “Ding hao.”  And then you said, “Ding hao.” 

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  No, I… No, I…  Not long I was rescued by friendly troops. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Oh,  Gol.  They came right on up!  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  And kept the civilians away.  I had no contact with civilians.  They didn’t know where I went.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  That must have been a relief to you…to know what happened.   

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN: For the full length of time I was with them – which was 6 ½ months – they kept me safe.  

 

ANNOUNCER:  And then Lt. Hannon, who had come with the Duck  Mission in Weihsien,  contacted you and you came back.

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  That’s right.  After this time, my first contact with my own people – with the Duck Mission at Weihsien. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Lieutenant, nice having you back.  I hope you’ll be home.  

 

LT. ZIMPLEMAN:  I’m very glad to be back. 

 

ANNOUNCER:  Thank you very much. 

                                                    #

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2008 5:37 PM

Subject: RE: Yangchow C

 

 

Pamela.

I do not know if you can help as you were active with Gil Hair in ex internees in the US.

As you may be aware I seem to be the end of the line when people are trying to trace their kin who were Internees or PoWS. Certainly I get steady inquiries through both the UK National Archives and the Imperial War Museum.

I have had an inquiry this time from a Lady Doreen Massey, Baroness Massey of Darwen,  in the House of Lords from the and also through Greg Leck asking after her aunt, Helen Sharrock, and her cousin, Elizabeth Helen Sharrock, Helen’s daughter.   They were in Yangchow C.  She is attempting to trace what became of them.

 

 I did check that 1991 OCH directory and neither Helen nor Elizabeth is listed.  Helen was a White Russian and married a British member of the SMP.  He was killed by armed robbers in the Shanghai Badlands in the early days of the Japanese occupation of Shanghai, in January 1942.  Her maiden name was Olesoff or Olesova.    She is trying to trace where they went from Shanghai.

 

All that I is that Helen Sharrock was born 1905 thus unlikely to be alive now. The daughter   was born 16Oct1927. I have the husband/father Samuel Sharrock b 1905 who was shpt by amred robbers while working in the Shanghai Municipal Police in 1942 and his death is recorded in the British Consular Death Registers kept during the war by the Swiss Consulate on HMG's behalf. The daughter in some lists is shown as Eleanora Helen and she and her mother were interned on 13Mar1943 being released in early September from Yangchow C.

I have no trace of what happened to the Sharrocks post war, there was a lot of toing and froing, many in Helen Sharrock's position went to the US sometimes as GI Brides.  Baroness Massey is asking where they went, have you come across them in the States

Thanks

Ron

From: "Christine Talbot Sancton" <sancton@nbnet.nb.ca>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 1:42 PM

Subject: Eric Liddell

 

> Last night, my family and I were going through some old photograph albums of
> Ida Jones Talbot.
>
> We found a photo of Eric Liddell with another runner, ? Cerrino and his daughter, Betty. Who was Cerrino? When was this taken? in the late 20s?
>
> I haven't been able to find any infomation about the Cerrino family on the web.
>
> I have asked Leopold to post it on his website.
>
> Interesting to find this photo particularly at this time.

>
> Christine Talbot Sancton

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 2:57 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell

 

Here in the USA, the NBC producer of the TV piece about  Eric Liddell  says he expects it to be aired near the end of the Olympics.  He has given me no specific time.   I will continue to ask NBC  for permission for  this Liddell piece  to be posted on Leopold Pander's Weihsien web site.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Mitch Krayton

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 5:47 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell

 

Thank you Mary for this update. If and when you can determine a date and time that NBC will air this piece, we can all set our recorders and be certain to watch it.

Best,

Mitch

 

From: "Ron Bridge" <rwbridge@freeuk.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 7:25 PM

Subject: RE: Eric Liddell

 

Ø      NO trace of a surname Cerrino in the Italians in WEihsien, it could have
> been a forename. Eric would have moved more in missionaary circles in
> Tientsin unlikely to have been Protestant Missionaries are you sure that it
> was ERic's photo.
> Ron Bridge

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 2:39 PM

Subject: China's new interest in Eric Liddell

 

Rich Swingle, who plays the part of Eric Liddell in a one man show that has appeared Off Broadway in New York,  will be in China during the Olympics and is scheduled for some performances.

 

http://richdrama.com/NewsBlog/2008/08/running-race-in-china.html

 

Rich will also play the part of Eric Liddell in the docu-drama still in production in Hong Kong.  The docu/drama is expected to be released after the Olympics.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 7:19 PM

Subject: Arthur Jones

 

Arthur Jones, uncle to Peter Talbot, Christine Talbot Sancton and to me Gay, had the honour of accompanying Eric Liddell on a victory lap around the track at the Ming Yuan sports field. He spoke of the occasion with great pride.

As I think about Eric, I can only marvel at the difference to the world one man can make. This is a source of hope for the planet...

Good wishes to all.

Gay Talbot Stratford . 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 04, 2008 2:48 PM

Subject: Thank you to Tad Nagaki, Libetrator of Weihsien

 

The August 17 anniversary of our liberation is almost here.

 

Only one of our American liberators is still living -- Tad Nagaki.  Tad, who will be 89 in January, still farms beans, wheat, and corn on his farm in Nebraska.  He was the Japanese-American interpreter on the rescue mission.

 

If you'd like to drop him a note of thanks,   tell him what your remember and felt about Liberation Day.   Here's his address:

 

Tad Nagaki

5851 Logan Road,

Alliance, NE  69301

USA

 

Tad says he's not a hero.  He says he did only what any American would have done.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 3:26 AM

Subject: Message from Rich Swingle, actor who plays ERIC LIDDELL

 

 

Here's a  message from Rich Swingel, the actor who plays the part of Eric Liddell in the one-man show about Eric Liddell.   Rich wrote this letter  en route to China.

Mary Previte

We're bringing the story of
Eric Liddell, the first person born in China to win an Olympic gold medal, to the people of Asia before, during and after the Beijing Olympics.

Most of the itinerary is at
http://RichDrama.com/Olympics. Then I'll perform the play between the closing ceremony of a sports camp and before the opening ceremonies of the Olympics at 08/08/08, 8:08:08. The next night Jim Hudson Taylor will tell of his remembrances of Eric Liddell when they were interned together during World War II.

I'm finishing this note while I wait for my flight which has been delayed four hours. That puts me into the Hong Kong Airport after 11:00pm. I wasn't expecting that when I agreed to speak and perform at a luncheon the next day at noon (midnight my time) and again that night at 6pm (6am my time). We're Hoping for Stamina! The good news is that they just gave me my seat assignment. They were oversold, so knowing I actually have a seat is a relief!

Follow our adventures at
http://RichDrama.com/NewsBlog.

Thanks so much for Hoping with us!
Rich & Joyce Swingle
http://RichDrama.com

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 3:42 PM

Subject: Fwd: "Olympic Hero in China - the Story of Eric Liddell"


From: elaine@gnci.org.hk
To:
mtprevite@aol.com
Sent: 8/6/2008 2:15:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj:
"Olympic Hero in China - the Story of Eric Liddell"

 

Dear Mary,

 

Greetings from HK!

 

By the grace of our Lord and supports from many people, especially Rev. James Taylor III and you, the 45 min. documentary of Eric Liddell, "Olympic Hero in China - the Story of Eric Liddell" is ready for broadcasting/showing during the Olympic period at churches and  through different channels. DVDs will be distributed during this period online or through various channels.

 

The documentary is in Cantonese and Putonghua (except the interviews in the original languages spoken) with English and Chinese subtitles.  We pray that we can continue the production of the docu-drama once the Olympic is over and you will be kept updated. 

 

 

We are also working on the website www.ericliddell.tv and hope that we can get it finished soon. Please feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions or comment. Thanks!

 

God bless,

Elaine

 

 

Elaine Yau

General Secretary

Goodnews Communication International

Email: elaine@gnci.org.hk

Tel. (852)2409 1233, 6017 7531(Mobile)

Welcome to visit our websites

===================
真証傳播     http://www.GoodnewsCom.org
基督教資源庫         http://www.NeighbourOnline.com

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 6:32 AM

Subject: Eric Liddell from the London Daily Mail

 

 

  • Oliver Holt pays tribute Beijng hero: Chariots of Fire's Eric Liddell

By Oliver Holt 7/08/2008

Beijing Olympics 2008

The Olympic torch will be carried into the Bird's Nest stadium tomorrow night with the eyes of the world upon it.

But yesterday I found the spirit of the Games burning at its most fierce in a quiet, peaceful place where a concentration camp used to be.

Eric Liddell, one of Britain's finest Olympians, died here in 1945 at the hands of the Japanese army but his memory lives on in this dusty, chaotic town 300 miles south east of Beijing. Liddell, the hero immortalised movie Chariots Of Fire, was a remarkable man whose greatness extended beyond the running track.

Some will always remember this profoundly religious man, a Chinese-born son of Scottish missionaries, for refusing to compete in the 100m at the 1924 Olympics because the contest was held on a Sunday.

Even though Liddell was the hot favourite to win the gold medal in the sprint in Paris, he would not compromise his Christian beliefs by racing on the Sabbath.

So he switched to the 400m and won the gold medal in that instead, setting an Olympic record that was not broken until 1960. In the process, Liddell, whose parents had worked in the Far East as missionaries, became the first man born in China to win Olympic gold, another reason why his memory should loom large as these first Chinese Olympics begin.

But others revere him for what he did after he gave up athletics and became a missionary in China. And particularly for what he did while he was interned in this place then known as Weihsien.

The grounds that weave around the lazy river are tended lovingly now as part of a Chinese initiative to turn them into a memorial to those who lived and died here.

Peach trees and bamboo line the driveway into the park, cicadas tick and chatter, and in a shady corner outside the building where Liddell died, his headstone, hewn from a one ton block of Mull granite erected in 2005, stands alone. "He embodied fraternal values," part of the tribute reads, "and his whole life was spent encouraging young people to make their best contributions to the betterment of mankind."

But when Liddell and more than 1,500 others were brought to the camp early in 1942, soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the surroundings were very different.

The prisoners, many of them children, lived in dormitory blocks that looked like stables and were penned in by electrified fences, guarded by soldiers in watchtowers and kept close to starvation.

Liddell's spirit was not quenched, though. He took charge of recreation for the children and organised daily games of rounders, hockey and football in the camp's cramped grounds. Few of the inmates had any idea he was a famous runner because he never mentioned it, but the children soon grew to love him for his kindness and his patience.

One of those children was Mary Previte, now a member of the New Jersey state legislature in the US. She was nine when she was imprisoned. "We children adored him," she told me. "We called him Uncle Eric and it would be fair to say he was the most admired prisoner in the camp. He wasn't a big deal type and he never sought the spotlight.

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"He was 5ft 9 inches tall with a dimpled chin and a receding hairline. He wore a shirt made from curtains. You would need a wild imagination to picture him winning an Olympic gold medal. I suppose there were clues now and again. Sometimes, he organised running races around the small open space near the camp gate. He would give everyone a big head start, but he always won.

"We children became his priority. When we had a hockey stick that needed mending, it was Uncle Eric who would truss it up with strips made from his bed sheets and with stinking glue melted down from horses' hooves. It was him who made sure that we did not give up hope.

"He taught us from the Bible, too. He told us to love our enemies. To Uncle Eric, that meant praying for the Japanese who were our captors.

"Here was a man who gave up the chance to become the fastest man in the universe and he was binding up hockey sticks with stinking glue for kids. Nothing was beneath him." The extent of Liddell's quiet heroism in the camp is only just starting to emerge. When a British Olympic Association delegation headed by Sir Clive Woodward and Simon Clegg visited the memorial park recently, they were humbled by the stories of Liddell's selflessness.

To the kids in the camp, Liddell's relentless good humour and concern for others made him seem invincible. Someone they depended on. Larger than life despite his modesty.

But at the beginning of 1945, just a few months before the camp was liberated by US paratroopers, Liddell fell ill. He wrote to his wife, who was safe with their three daughters in Canada, to say he feared he was having a nervous breakdown.

In fact, he had a brain tumour and no access to treatment. As he lay dying in the stern three-storey camp hospital that still stands today, a group of camp inmates improvised a small band and stood under his window, playing his favourite hymns.

He died in February, aged 42. The children were devastated. "It was unbelievable when he died," Mary Previte said.

"A man who was also interned in the camp turned to me and said 'Jesus has been walking among us here and now he is gone'. That was what Eric Liddell was to us... Jesus in running shoes."

Some Olympic records still to be beaten

American long jumper Bob Beamon, right, set a new record of 8.90 metres at the 1968 Mexico Games - and 40 years on it has yet to be beaten.

Portugese Carlos Lopez's marathon record of 2h 9m 21s at the 1984 LA Games has also never been beaten.

American sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner, left, set unbeaten records in both the 100m and 200m at the 1988 Seoul Games.

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 6:43 AM

Subject: Eric Liddell from Sunday Daily Mail

 

Olympic Games have come home for sprinting champion

He is a sporting legend whose extraordinary influence has not faded in 84 years. The story of champion sprinter Eric Liddell, one of Britain's greatest Olympians, has been brought back into focus as the 2008 Games take place in the land of his birth...and death. The Chinese see him as their first Olympic gold winner. For Scots, Liddell was immortalised in the Oscar-winning film Chariots Of Fire as the Christian who refused to run on a Sunday. BBC newswoman Sally Magnusson wrote the best-selling The Flying Scotsman in 1981, just before the release of the movie. Today she reveals how the Olympics have finally come home to Liddell's last resting place.

IN the Chinese city of Weifang perhaps the finest Olympian of them all rests in peace near a quiet garden.

For Eric Liddell, the Olympic Games have come home.

Scotland's 1924 gold medallist lies buried in what was once an internment camp.

Liddell was imprisoned there for two years during the Japanese occupation of China and died of a brain tumour in 1945, six months before the camp was liberated.

He was laid to rest near the Japanese officers' headquarters on a bitingly cold February day.

At the graveside, his friends recited the Beatitudes: "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

The wind lifted their hair and tugged at their coats as they lowered his coffin.

It was more than two months before Liddell's wife, safely evacuated to Canada with their children, heard the news. She found it hard to believe.

Her Eric was too full of life, she said. Too bouncy to die.

Scotland mourned too. This unassuming sportsman had captured hearts everywhere with his world-beating speed, face-splitting grin and passionate but softly expressed Christian convictions.

Liddell's reputation has continued to shine for more than 60 years but his grave has gone largely unvisited.

For a long time no one was even sure where it was.

Now it's known to be in the grounds of Number Two Middle School in Weifang, an unprepossessing city famous nowadays for its annual kite festival.

Perhaps when the Olympic sailing events are held in the neighbouring eastern port of Qingdao, visitors will take the chance to pay their respects at last.

As far as I'm aware, Liddell's precise grave is still unmarked.

But in 1991 the University of Edinburgh - where Liddell studied science in the 1920s and enjoyed his earliest sprinting victories - paid for a handsome memorial stone in Mull granite to be shipped and erected nearby.

The authorities in Weifang prepared a garden of inspiration in his honour and the stone was unveiled there in a ceremony eccentrically marked by Chinese firecrackers and bagpipes.

Liddell is considered a Chinese hero, too. He was born in Tianjin in 1902 to Scottish missionary parents and although his Christianity was once considered an embarrassment, the Chinese now seem proud to claim him as their own greatest athlete.

Just as Scots do, they relish how he refused to compete in the Olympic 100-metre heats in 1924 because they were on a Sunday and then took Paris by storm with an extraordinary, against-the-odds victory in the 400 metres instead.

Young Chinese film-makers told me recently how much they appreciate the way he then left Scotland at the height of his sporting fame to join the mission field in China.

There he taught science for a while, before heading into one of the country's most perilous war zones to care for Chinese peasants caught in the fighting.

One of the many schoolchildren later interned with him remembers the Olympic hero arriving in 1943 as "a strong, athletic-looking man in baggy shorts down to his knees and a shirt made of curtain material".

"Who's that?" young David Michell asked.

"That's Eric Liddell," said his pal with awe, "the Olympic gold medallist who wouldn't run on a Sunday."

In the camp Liddell devoted himself to making life easier for the many youngsters separated from their parents.

He organised games and even broke the Sabbatarian principle that had so infuriated the British athletic authorities in 1924 - to referee a kids' hockey match on a Sunday.

In an era when sport has been sullied by drug-taking, commerce and politics, Eric Liddell is still widely hailed as an embodiment of the Olympian ideal.

He compellingly combined a drive to win with the grace to give in, charisma with modesty, deep faith with utter humanity.

In camp one day he spoke of the thrill of having once watched a hurdler refuse to take advantage of the gap left by a fallen hurdle. He swerved to jump the adjoining one instead and lost the race.

What was wonderful about sport, Liddell added, was "not the almost superhuman achievements, but the spirit in which it is done. Take away that spirit and it is dead."

That message from the Scotsman who lies in a little garden in Weifang is one that bears hearing again this week.

Sally Magnusson's updated biography, The Flying Scotsman, has been re-issued by Tempus.

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 1:21 PM

Subject: from THE HERALD, Scotland

 

Did Eric Liddell turn down freedom to help another prisoner-of-war?

DOUG GILLON, Athletics Correspondent

August 11 2007

Comment | Read Comments (14)

It was a typically selfless act. Eric Liddell, the iconic Scottish Olympic athletics champion, turned down an offer of liberation by Winston Churchill from a wartime internment camp in China in favour of another prisoner, it was claimed yesterday.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, and elite performance director Sir Clive Woodward were laying a wreath on Liddell's grave in Weifang when they were told about the move by Chinese officials. Weifang, in Shandong Province, was used by the Japanese to intern many foreign and Chinese prisoners.

The pair are in China for the pre-Olympic regatta, and were taking the opportunity to honour the 1924 Olympic 400 metres champion who gave up athletics and a promising career as a Scotland rugby winger to become a missionary in China. He had been born there and his parents also served there as missionaries.

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Mr Clegg said: "We had lunch with the vice-mayor of Weifang and some of her colleagues. I was told by a senior official that Eric was given the opportunity of being exchanged while he was still alive, and he turned it down in favour of someone else.

"If that's the case, it's entirely in keeping with the way he led the rest of his life. Talk about a role model - someone who had achieved so much in the sporting environment and then effectively to walk away from that, not for any personal advancement, but to devote his life to working with other people. He really is an inspiration to us all.

"What was said related to Winston Churchill arranging a prisoner swap, but Eric let somebody else go in his place. It would be hard to substantiate the details now, but the Chinese are not known for elaborating in this way."

Liddell died of a brain tumour in February 1945, just months before liberation. His grave was marked with a plain wooden cross, his name written in boot polish. However, on the 60th anniversary of the internment camp a memorial park was built, and in 1991 a one-ton block of Mull granite was erected on Liddell's grave.

"It's in a quiet and very dignified setting of a courtyard," added Mr Clegg. "We laid a wreath of brightly-coloured local flowers there, on behalf of the BOA and athletes past, present, and future.

I hadn’t realised just what an outstanding human being he was

 

"Torrential rain fell before and after the ceremony, but there was a glorious break in the weather when we were at the memorial. There is still an old missionary building, which during internment had a hospital on the second floor, offices on the ground floor, and accommodation units on the third. It's in the courtyard of this building that the memorial stands.

"There's also a small museum to the internment camp. Liddell does feature, both in terms of his athletics prowess and contribution to the camp and society. There's a log book with his name, Liddell, EH, and a reference to where he was accommodated in the camp.

"The people of Weifang have done a fantastic job in terms of keeping his spirit alive today. I hadn't realised just what an outstanding human being he was. It was quite emotional being there."

The Chinese are making a documentary about the internment camp, and have interviewed survivors as old as 103. This will also feature Liddell, because of the role he played in the camp, and they are coming to the UK to research and film.

Numerous biographies of Liddell have made no mention of a prisoner exchange. His late sister, Jenny Somerville, never spoke of it, nor did his daughter, Patricia, who accepted Liddell's induction to the Scottish Athletics Hall of Fame two years ago. An attempt to contact her at her home in Canada last night was unsuccessful.

Bob Rendall, chief executive of the Eric Liddell Centre in Edinburgh, said: "I have been in this job 12 years and have never heard any mention of it, either from the family or in print, but there are always secret papers being released."

Two other films are currently being made. Caithness-based screenwriter Murray Watts has collaborated in one of these, being made by Toronto-based Windborne Productions.

"Funding is still being put in place, but we look like going into pre-production at the end of next month with Bruce Beresford as director," said a spokeswoman.

Beresford won four Oscars with Driving Miss Daisy. David Puttnam's Chariots of Fire, which featured Liddell's life as an athlete, won five.



A life more worthy of a film than Chariots of Fire


THE life Eric Liddell had after the Chariots of Fire era may prove more worthy of a film than the athletic achievements which Ian Charleson famously portrayed.

Liddell, who gained seven rugby caps on the wing for Scotland before winning Olympic gold and silver in 1924, was carried shoulder high down the platform of Edinburgh's Waverley Station when he turned his back on sport for the glory of God, as a missionary in China.

He risked his life, smuggling money for church work, hidden in bread, or tending typhoid victims.

A man whose execution the Japanese had bungled lay dying in a derelict temple. Fearing reprisals, nobody would go to him, until Liddell rescued him on a handcart.

Another man was cleft from the back of his head to his mouth, and left for dead. Liddell ferried both 18 miles to a hospital. Both recovered.

Many Britons were interned when the Sino-Japanese war erupted, Liddell among them. He had sent his pregnant wife to Canada for safety, in 1941. He died without ever seeing his third daughter.

Inmates of the camp included the elderly, children separated from their parents, a touring jazz band, and a white Russian prostitute.

The Edinburgh University BSc wrote a chemistry book for the camp children, inscribing the cover: "The bones of Inorganic Chemistry. (Can these dry bones live?)"

One lad, David Mitchell, became a minister, and wrote a book on his childhood. He recalled Liddell mixing glue from fish bladders and scales, mending hockey sticks, and doing so by night, to spare inmates the smell.

The man who had declined on Sabbatarian grounds to run the 100m at the Olympics, refereed youngsters' football on Sundays. He mixed coal dust with clay to make crude briquettes for the elderly, and when the prostitute was ostracised by other women, he rigged a shelf for her. She said he was the only man to do her a favour without seeking other favours in return.

When he died on February 16, 1945, the camp was devastated. He had seemed invincible. The kids whom he had walked with earlier were the cord bearers at his burial in the snow of north China.

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 4:24 PM

Subject: Re: from THE HERALD, Scotland

 

Hello,

--- try clicking on this URL,

http://www.theherald.co.uk/sport/headlines/display.var.2046582.0.Spirited_life_in_the_fast_lane_races_off_the_page.php

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Albert de Zutter

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 10:08 PM

Subject: Re: from THE HERALD, Scotland

 

That apocryphal story is resurrected once again. Many missionaries were repatriated or allowed to return to their former places of residence. There was no quota and no "places" for people to give up. For example, there were originally 300 Catholic priests in the camp, but all but 11 (who volunteered to stay) were allowed to return to their stations. Eric Liddell was a fine man and no doubt a father figure to many of the Chefoo boys and girls whose parents were not with them, but there is no reason to gild the lily.

 

Albert de Zutter

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 3:56 PM

Subject: from Jim Taylor re. Eric Liddell repatriation story

 

 

 

I have always tried to play down this story about Eric Liddell forfeiting his opportunity to be repatriated in favor of someone else. As far as I can recall, the repatriation option was never open to subjects of Great Britain. As we  Chefoo students were about to leave Temple Hill, a number of our American classmates were informed that they would be part of a US/Japanese prisoner-of-war exchange. For a brief moment, I was quite excited thinking that having an American mother would somehow qualify us for consideration. It was not to be. We were all on British passports. Our American classmates shipped out on the SS Gripsholm shortly after we were moved to Weihsien. That is when Kate Leininger and Geneva Sayre also left. A few of our classmates were moved to camps elsewhere in China because their parents were there.

 

 

 

Jim Taylor

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 6:36 PM

Subject: RE: from Jim Taylor re. Eric Liddell repatriation story

 

There was a rumour around Weihsien after the Americans and Canadians left in late August early September 1943 that there would be another exchange and that would be for the British. It was just that a rumour. I have done extensive research into  the subject at the UK National Archives Kew and can find no trace that it was ever organised or trying to be organised. One reason why it could not be organised in any case was that whilst there were from know records at the time 16856 British civilians in Japanese Camps there were no Japanese in any British Camp so the question of a swap never arose. Indeed when the diplomatic exchange was made on the Kamakura and Tatatu Marus they had to scrape the barrel to get enough Japanese civilians living in Britain and the British Commonwealth to equate to the large number of diplomatic and quasi diplomatic staff of British and Commonwealth origin who had been captured.  Incidentally, subsequent recent research done personally, from the contemporary nominal rolls (done 1942-1945) has shown 19,250 UK British,  712 Australian, 621 Canadian, 12 Maltese(Mostly nuns) 173 New Zealand 45 South African 11 West African and 8 West Indian  a total of 20833. Of these 1,039 died in Captivity and there were a further 391 deaths of British subjects who through age infirmity or whatever were not interned but living in Japanese occupied territory.

 

Back to Weihsien -I have a copy of the Swiss Government records of the British inmates of Weihsien Camp and the entry on one sheet for Eric Liddell is:

 

LIDDELL Rev Eric Henry born Tientsin (Tianjin) 16Jan1902 passport no C41820 issued Tientsin 16Jan37 no mention of a wife formerly resided in Tientsin. Never applied for evacuation received Cross parcel died 21Feb1945.

The other document lists the same basic data but adds Missionary employed by London Missionary Society Shanghai and that employer in the home country was London Missionary Society   London England.

 

I support Jim Taylor whole heartedly and felt I must chip in before another fable was cast in stone.

 

Rgds

Ron

 

From: David Birch

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 11:26 PM

Subject: Re: from Jim Taylor re. Eric Liddell repatriation story

 

This is how I also understood the matter.  Eric Liddell was a good man, a very good man. But it does him a disservice to fictionalize his life in an effort to make him what he was not!
Had he voluntarily remained as a prisoner of the Japanese in Weihsien, instead of accepting an offer of repatriation during the war, WHAT WOULD THAT HAVE SAID OF ERIC LIDDELL'S CHARACTER AS A HUSBAND OF A YOUNG WIFE AND FATHER OF TWO LITTLE GIRL'S?

It is true that he sent his wife and children home just before the war, while remaining himself to do missionary work. But this would have been quite different. He was in a prison camp and therefore unable to serve the Chinese people to whom he was called.  So it seems to me that if he now had the opportunity to rejoin his little family, who had not seen him for several years, it would have made sense to him to accept the offer.

I do not think that the British Prime Minister ever became personally involved in negotiating the freedom even of British subjects. Eric's wife and two little girls were in Toronto, Canada and not in England. Of course in those days Canada was still a part of the British empire. I was a boy in Weihsien, and I was Canadian, but I held (and still possess) an Emergency Certificate from the British Consulate in Chefoo stating that I was a British Subject.  As Jim says, we 'Britishers' were not eligible for repatriation during the war, although I think that somehow Jack Bell, a Chefoo grad, may have gotten in on that repatriation with the Americans.

These repatriations of internees were NOT CHEAP!  I've read that the Japanese insisted on 'trading' our personnel for Japanese personnel from America. And it was apparently NOT one for one.  Even for western children, the Japanese demanded several Japanese of fighting age from our side. Perhaps prisoners of war or possibly American ethnic Japanese.

Anyway, this fiction about Liddell is annoying. It's a phoney attempt to deify a wonderful man who was, nevertheless, just a man!

David

 

From: rod miller

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 11:59 AM

Subject: Re: from Jim Taylor re. Eric Liddell repatriation story

 


I was never an internee and unfortunately never had the honour of meeting Eric Liddell. I do however have a little knowledge of the
the British exchange from the Australian (Australians being classified British) point of view.  I started reading this Topica group
due to the fact that people from Weihsien had been part of the second American exchange.

It should be kept in mind that the exchanges were all politics and in the early days of the negotiations both the Allies and the Japanese,
as they were wining, thought they would be ongoing.  However a lot of bureaucracy on both sides made things very difficult after the first exchange took place.

Ron I understand how much work you have done in the British archives but there is evidence of the British pushing for a second exchange.

From Ron Bridge:

There was a rumour around Weihsien after the Americans and Canadians left in late August early September 1943 that there would be another exchange and that would be for the British. It was just that a rumour.

I wasn't in Weihsien but isn't it possible that the Japanese were talking of a second British exchange?
The reason I pose this question is because the Australian nurses that escaped Singapore and were captured on Banka island heard of all the exchanges, British and American. In her book White Coolies, published in 1955, Betty Jeffery dismisses the talk of exchange as rumour. Information about the exchanges, being secret during the war, went under the 30 year rule and wasn't released till 1975. She may have written it differently had she known of the exchanges. She mentions an exchange ship which was the Teia Maru. On Don Menzi's site
http://reced.org/dmenzi/wilders/Gripsholm_English_04-10-07-b/Gripsholm_04-10-07-b.html
you can see that it was very close to where they were being held in the Malacca straits.

I have done extensive research into the subject at the UK National Archives Kew and can find no trace that it was ever organised or trying to be organised.

There was never a second British exchange but there were negotiations.
Even the Swiss minister in Tokyo M. Camille Gorge, who had been in charge of American interests in Japan since 9 December 1942, in early 1944 reported to the Americans that the Japanese were favouring a second British exchange before a third American 

One reason why it could not be organised in any case was that whilst there were from know records at the time 16856 British civilians in Japanese Camps there were no Japanese in any British Camp so the question of a swap never arose. Indeed when the diplomatic exchange was made on the Kamakura and Tatatu Marus they had to scrape the barrel to get enough Japanese civilians living in Britain and the British Commonwealth to equate to the large number of diplomatic and quasi diplomatic staff of British and Commonwealth origin who had been captured.

Australia still had 800 odd Japanese in Australia even though we had released 850 for the return of only 150 odd in the first exchange.
The first exchange was a debacle for the Australian government.
As the war progressed the Japanese had lost so many ships it wasn't easy to find one for exchange purposes.

 

From: "Mitch Krayton" <mitch@digital-res.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 8:35 PM

Subject: Re: from THE HERALD, Scotland

 

Ø      Mary,
>
> Thanks for sourcing those great Eric Liddell articles. They are good
> reading and a great memory to Eric.
>
> Hope you find out when the segment on Eric will air on the NBC Olympic
> coverage.
Eager to watch it...
>
> Best,
>
> Mitch

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, August 15, 2008 10:36 PM

Subject: Eric Liddell and BBC

 

BBC completed interviews today for a segment on Eric Liddel that will air in the next few days, maybe as early as Sunday in Great Britain and accessible on Monday in the USA.  Air date will depend on how quickly BBC can access other material to enrich the story. 

 

They have promised to let me know air time.  We'll all be able to hear it via computers.

 

Mary

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 16, 2008 8:35 PM

Subject: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

 

When the Chefoo schools arrived in Weihsien in September 1943. Eric had already been there over six months. He was already actively involved in the teaching and other activities of the children who were not Roman Catholics, who with all their priests formed their own circle.

 

Stephen A. Metcalf

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 7:49 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

I am afraid that's not quite correct. The primary grades might have been taught by Catholic nuns and priests, but students from St. Joseph (girls) and St. Louis (boys) Catholic high schools in Tientsin completed their studies at the British grammar school that was formed in Weihsien under Mr. Foxlee, who had been the assistant headmaster of Tientsin Grammar School.

 

Pamela Masters-Flynn

 

From: Albert de Zutter

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 2:36 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

Pamela,

 

What you say may be accurate with regard to the particular groups you mention, but my brother and I had our high school teaching done by American nuns (Sister Hiltrudis comes to mind) and Mrs. Moore of the Peking American School. In fact, Joyce Cooke received her high school diploma in the camp from Peking American School.

 

Albert de Zutter

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, August 18, 2008 8:46 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

Thanks for that info. I'd totally forgotten that the American kids had their own school in camp. I gather from your posting that you were American. I got my US citizenship in '52.  Actually I have dual citizenship, although on the British side we're called subjects not citizens. I will take the title British Subject to my grave, even though I swore allegiance to the United States, and to no other country!

 

Have a good one -- Pamela

 

From: David Birch

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:14 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

RE. BRITISH SUBJECT STATUS

Hullo Pamela,

I too have a certificate that states that I am a British Subject. It was presented to me by the British Consulate in Chefoo in 1942 when I was ten years old and about to enter the Temple Hill Concentration Camp as a young prisoner of the Japanese.

Interestingly, that old status of British Subject, believe it or not, IS NO MORE!  The British have for some years been officially recognized as CITIZENS of the United Kingdom and NOT any longer as SUBJECTS of the reigning monarch!

I am sure that if you check on Xanga, you will be able to confirm what I am saying. I learned it myself when I made application for a benefit that I was entitled to as a former CITIZEN of the United Kingdom.

Peace!
David

 

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 1:30 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

Thanks David --

 

I guess the recent article I read on the subject, confirming my belief, was in error. Regardless, I'm glad I'm a citizen and not a subject, although Lillibet (as she was known as a little girl) is a pretty neat Queen.  I sent a copy of The Mushroom Years to her a while back, addressed to Buckingham Palace, London. I figured it was a just gesture, and I wouldn't hear a word. Lo and behold, in just under ten days I got a hand-written reply from her lady-in-waiting at Balmoral Castle saying how The Queen was touched by my letter, and was looking forward to reading the book.

 

Of course, my old British passport has me listed as a British Subject. I haven't seen a recent British passport ... that would be interesting.

 

Pamela

 

From: Albert de Zutter

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 7:52 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell and youth in Weihsien

 

For the record, I was Belgian. Our family spoke English because my Belgian father didn't speak Russian and my Ukrainian mother didn't speak French. Also, all my schooling was in English in Tsingtao.

 

Albert de Zutter (a Flemish name)

 

From: Lennart Holmquist

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 6:49 PM

Subject: English Speaking School in Tsingtao

 

Hello Albert,

 

Where did you go to school in Tsingtao. The reason I ask is that my mother's cousins John Rinell and Lally (Alice) Rinell also went to an English speaking school in Tsingtao though they were Swedish.

 

I am writing a book about the family's experience in China. The working draft can be found at:

 

http://www.switzerland-traveler.com/Family-Archives/Rinell-Book/005Table-of-Contents.htm

 

Lennart Holmquist

 

 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 2:10 PM

Subject: Today is LIBERATION DAY

 

Hello, Everybody,

 

Today is LIBERATION DAY.

 

Remember the joy?  Remember the madness?

 

Leopold, would you post the link to the photo showing the euphoria of Liberation Day?

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2008 2:48 PM

Subject: Re: Today is LIBERATION DAY

 

With pleasure ---

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/NormanCliff/liberationDay/leftFrame.htm

--- and click on the pictures ---

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, August 19, 2008 12:35 AM

Subject: BBC about Eric Liddell


Subj: BBC interview about Eric Liddell

BBC aired a segment about Eric Liddell today.  You can access the interviews with Eric Liddell at the following site

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_7567000/7567819.stm

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 3:26 PM

Subject: Eric Liddel segment on NBC in the USA

 

NBC -- National Broadcasting Corporation -- will air its segment on Eric Liddell on Saturday, August 23, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.   Their representative says she will let me know if and when they get notice of the hour of this telecast.

 

For this segment,  NBC  interviewed the daughter of Eric Liddell; 

Stephen Metcalf  (Three weeks before Eric Liddell died, he gave Stephen  his  running shoes) ;

and Sally Magnusson, author of The Flying Scotsman. 

 

They interviewed me to give an American connection to this story.  For supporting art, they copied all of my Weihsien photographs and posters.

 

In a thank you message this week  from Oliver Holt, sports columnist  for the London Daily Mirror,  Mr. Holt  writes,   "The Olympics are nearing their end now and I've had a fantastic trip but the visit to Weifang was the most rewarding part of all of it."

 

Mr. Holt   wrote a beautiful story about Eric Liddell and Weifang at the beginning of the Olympics.  My special thank you to Mr. Sui Shude in Weifang for hosting Oliver Holt and showing him around the site of the concentration camp in Weifang.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Mitch Krayton

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 2:14 AM

Subject: Re: Fwd: Eric Liddell Vignette

 

The segment aired in LA at about 3:15pm on Saturday Aug 23. You, Mary were featured along with Eric's daughter and several others. The piece was very thoughtfully produced and lasted about 7 minutes. I was so engrossed I did not actually time or record it.

Also saw this posted online today:

http://www.nbcolympics.com/countries/country=gbr/olympictradition/index.html
http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=reu-liddell_feature&prov=reuters&type=lgns&print=1
http://geoffng.wordpress.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPB7r0UpNIE
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-art/1453062/12605/Eric-Liddell-at-the-1924-Olympic-Games-in-Paris-where

Many thanks to Lyvonne Briggs of NBC for giving Eric proper recognition at these games.

MTPrevite@aol.com wrote:

 

 


From: lyvonne.briggs
To:
mtprevite@aol.com
Sent: 8/23/2008 3:54:17 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj:
Eric Liddell Vignette

 

Dear Mary

 

Greetings from Beijing! I just wanted to inform you that NBC will be airing the Eric Liddell feature at approximately 4pm (EST) on Saturday, 8/23. Of course this is subject to change, but please let this serve as your notice.

 

This piece never could have been completed without your guidance and assistance. Thank you so very much for all of your help! I hope you enjoy! God bless!

 

Lyvonne Briggs, NBC Olympics

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 5:41 AM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Vignette

 

NBC's  Eric Liddell segment aired on the  USA's East coast at around 3 p.m. today, August 23.  Producer Brian Brown wove  together scenes from Chariots of Fire, wartime scenes from China, film at the Eric Liddell monument in Weifang,  interviews with Eric Liddell's daughter, Heather;   author  Sally Magnusson (The Flying Scotsman);   Chefoo school student Stephen Metcalf;  and me. 

 

Brian T.  Brown is an award-winning producer at NBC.  Try googling his name.

 

I was especially pleased that Brown focused on the faith and values that inspired  both Eric Liddell's  running and his life -- even in a Japanese  prison camp.   News stories like BBC's broadcast this week told the anecdote of Eric Liddell's giving his running shoes to Stephen Metcalf just weeks before Liddell died in Weihsien.  NBC's producer chose Steve's telling about Liddell's  teaching  boys in a Bible study the words of Jesus:  "Love your enemies."   Translated into action, that meant praying for the Japanese.  

 

There's a post script to Stephen's story.  After the war, he went as a missionary to Japan where he served until his retirement.  Today,  he lives in London.

 

For this vignette, NBC pulled together segments from around the world:  from  the Eric Liddell monument in Weifang,  Sally Magnusson and  Stephen Metcalf in Great Britain,  Eric's daughter Heather in Toronto, and me in the USA.

 

Pat Moore, widow of Weihsien liberator Jim Moore, phoned me from Dallas, Texas, after watching the NBC piece.  She loved it, but wants NBC to take all the interviews and produce a MUCH LONGER Eric Liddell story for future broadcast.  She and her daughters wanted more about  Eric Liddell in Weihsien.  I've passed her wish on to producer Brian Brown who is still in Beijing.

 

Getting NBC's permission to post this Eric Liddel piece on the Weihsien web site is the next project.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 12:05 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Vignette

 

I believe the Eric Liddell vignette  was scheduled to air only once.  I've inquired if CDs are available.

 

Mary Previte

 

In a message dated 8/24/2008 12:19:08 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, tksweaver@verizon.net writes:

NUTS! Due to hurricane "Fay" our power went out for a
couple of hours and I missed it! Does anyone by chance
know if/when this will be aired again? I searched the
NBC schedule and could not find today's feature.

Terri

 

From: "Terri Stewart" <tksweaver@verizon.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, August 24, 2008 4:56 PM

Subject: Re: Eric Liddell Vignette

 

Ø      Thank you, Mary. I know you will keep the list posted
> on this information.
>
> Terri

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:28 PM

Subject: Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Janie Hampton, an author in England, is looking for information about Girl Guides (Scouts) and Brownies in Weihsien to use in a book  she is writing  for the 100th anniversary in 1910.

 

She writes:  "In the archives of the Girl Guide Association across the road from Buckingham Palace in London is the log book from the Brownie Pack in Weihsien Camp.  This is a moving and extraordinary document of courage -- Brown Owl must have been a strong woman to keep the pack going so effectively.  "

 

Janie, who authored a dozen books,  has been commissioned to write this book.  She would like to include a full chapter about Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien.

 

She found me through Google.

 

What Brownie and Girl Guide memories do you have?  Who were the troop leaders?

 

How well I remember practicing  our semaphore and Morse Code while waiting for roll call on the quad outside the hospital in Weihsien.  I can still sing Stephen Foster's "Way Down Upon the Swanee River"  (OLD FOLKS AT HOME) which I learned for my Girl Guide folk music  badge in Weihsien.

 

Leopold, would you give us all the markers to she the photos you have on the Weihsien web site of photos of Brownies and Girl Guides -- and Boy Scout troops in Weihsien? 

 

Ron Bridge, do you know when these photos were taken?

 

I've asked Janie Hampton to let us know exactly what she wants --  paragrahsessays? photos?  She promises to give full credit  for all contributions.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 8:19 PM

Subject: RE: Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Dear All,

The dates of the Photographs I am not sure of it could have been for propganda purposes in late summer 1943. Leopold may know.

I do knwo that soemhwere in the house I have a WEihsien Cubs badge but nothing on the girls.

Rgds

Ron Bridge

 

From: Gay Talbot Stratford

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 10:57 PM

Subject: Re: Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Mary,

I was proud to be a Girl Guide in Weihsien. It was a novel experience as my family had always lived in mining districts where I had only one or two playmates.

I do have a few memories: Mrs Lawless was our Leader. She was Swiss, and I remember learning "La haut sur la montagne  il est un vieux chalet." A round which was not particularly appropriate in the circumstances. Still, we sang it with gusto.

 We worked hard at earning badges. The one I remember best was Invalid Care. Much attention given to drawing the ideal sickroom, with attention given to the placement of windows. Again, purely an academic exercise.

To our sorroow, Guider Lawless died of typhus fever in the camp, and my last view of her was through the window of the morgue. It was a great shock. 

Hope this helps .

Gay Talbot Stratford 

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:01 AM

Subject: Re: Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Gay:

 

Wonderful!  Wonderful!  I've forwarded your memories to Janie Hampton, but I suggest that you connect her directly with as many details as you can.  hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com

 

Thank you so very much.

 

Mary Previte 

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2008 8:49 AM

Subject: Fw: Brownies and Girl Guides in Weihsien

 

Father Hanquet also explains the Boy Scout Weihsien episode in his book. All in French. The Weihsien chapter was translated for us by Michael Canning. The rest of the book could also be translated. Any volunteers? My English is not good enough!!

http://www.lycee-moliere.org/spip.php?article339

All the group-pictures visible in Norman’s chapter were taken after our liberation by the Americans --- who gave us copies of the photos.

Have a look in Albert de Zutter's chapter for more documents & badges.

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:03 AM

Subject: Weihsien Camp memories of Brownies and Girl Guides

 

 


From: hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com

 

Dear Weihsien survivors,

Mary Previte has very kindly offered to send this round to you.I have been commissioned by the London publisher Aurum Press to write a social history of Girl Guides, for publication during their 100th anniversary in 1910. As with my recent book on the 1948 London Olympics, this will be the stories of the ordinary people involved, told by them.

I found the Log Book from the Chefoo/Weihsien Brownie pack in the London Girl Guide archives, and realised that Weihsien Concentration Camp is an extra-ordinary example of how being a Brownie or Guide can help in any circumstance. I plan to make the story of Weihsien a chapter, after a chapter on Guides in the London blitz. Could you share your memories and photos of Brownie and Girl Guide activities in Weihsien?

I would love to see either fully written articles of your experiences or notes and paragraphs - whatever you can manage. For example, what badges you got as Brownies or Guides? Can you remember the Brown Owl 'I.E. Phare', or Tawny Owl 'R.E. Grening',  or Guide Captain? What did you do for uniforms?
What you did when you grew up? Do you think that being a Brownie or Guide helped your adult life?

Everything will be fully acknowledged, and within the international laws of copyright.

My email address is hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com
Or write to me at 80 Temple Road, Oxford OX4 2EZ, U.K.

All best wishes, and thanks, from Janie Hampton

Tel 00 44 1865 395857

----- Original Message -----
From: MTPrevite@aol.com
To: hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 27, 2008 12:07 PM
Subject:
Re: Weihsien Camp


Your composing a message for me to send to our Weihsien group is the best plan because you can clarify exactly what you want.  Keep in mind that there are very few of us left and our memories are from more than 60 years ago.

Mary Previte


In a message dated 8/26/2008 9:55:13 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com  writes:

Dear Mary ( may I?)
Thank you so much for replying so quickly to my air mail letter. I am so delighted to find you. I read your article to my husband (he teaches pastoral care at a theology college in Oxford) and we were both in tears much of the time. My goodness what a story, and how beautifully you tell it.

In 1980 we took our three children ( then aged 2 to 7) to an Anglican Mission school in Zimbabwe, where for five years they lived with no shoes, had few toys and learnt to speak Shona. I look at them now (grown up and parents themselves) and think it did them no harm. But at least we were
always together.
Yesterday I was reminded of Eric Liddell (still a huge hero in Britain). I was with an 84 year old Olympic silver-medal rower who appeared in my recent book about the 1948 London Olympics. After rowing and studying at Cambridge, Michael was ordained and then for 25 years was the Vicar of Mount Kenya. His daughter is a missionary teacher in Tanzania, close to where I was earlier this year.


Back to my book about Brownies and Guides. I plan to make the story of Weihsien camp a chapter, after one on  Guides in the London blitz. I think Weihsien  is a wonderful example of how being a Brownie or Guide can help in any circumstance.  I would love to see either fully written articles ( like yours) or notes and paragraphs - whatever people can manage. And of course
it will all be fully acknowledged, and within the international laws of copyright. It would be extremely helpful if you could  send an e-mail blast to your Weihsien network around the world asking for memories and photos of Brownies and Girl Guide activities in Weihsien.  Would you like me to compose the email? I am happy to share my email address.

Can you remember what badges you and your sister got as Brownies or Guides?
And I would love to know what you did when you grew up.

Now I will go and look up the books you recommend. Many thanks for that.


All best wishes, Janie



Janie Hampton
80 Temple Road
Oxford OX4 2EZ U.K.


Tel 01865 395857
----- Original Message -----
From: MTPrevite@aol.com
To: hampton.oxford@dial.pipex.com
Sent: Friday, August 22, 2008 10:45 PM
Subject:
Weihsien


Dear  Janie Hampton,

Many books have been written about the Weihsien camp.

    The best references are

     Langdon Gilkey's  SHANTUNG COMPOUND,  published by Harper and Row

    David Michell's A BOY'S WAR,, published by Overseas Missionary Fellowship Books
    ( OMF BOOKS)

    Norman Cliff's  COURTYARD OF THE HAPPY WAY, published by Arthur James
    Limited,   The Drift Evesham Worcs, WR11 4NW

The WEIHSIEN web site  holds a wealth of information:
www.weihsien-paintings.org
I believe it includes photos of the Brownie and Girl Guide  troops at Weihsien.

I do not fully understand your air letter request.  Are you  requesting fully-written memory articles to be included with full credit to the authors or do you want memories in notes and paragraphs?

If it would be helpful,  I  can send an e-mail blast to our Weihsien network around the world asking for memories and photos of Brownies and Girl Guide activities in Weihsien..  Please let me know.

Mary Taylor Previte

 

From: Mitch Krayton

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:24 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien Camp memories of Brownies and Girl Guides

 

I would be terrific if Janie Hampton would contribute scanned images of those Girls Guides to Leopold for posting online. It would make a great addition to the photo archive.

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, September 15, 2008 4:10 PM

Subject: Chefoo/Weihsien/Kuling Brownies and Girl Guides


Forwarded from: alfyb@bigpond.net.au

Subj:
RE: Chefoo/Weihsien/Kuling Brownies and Girl Guides

I was in Weishien for a few months before being transferred to Chapei in Shanghai.

Being a boy I had no experience with the Brownies or girl guides. I was however a scout until I was court martialed for being involved in the black-marketing of stove pipes. This was a bitter blow to me.

I have written a book about my experiences as a child in the last war in China and can make it available to you for a payment of $A 20.00 plus postage of about $8.

Please let me know if you are interested.

My address is

Alfred W Binks

7 Nero Close,

Joondalup, West Australia, 6027

Very best wishes

Alf

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, October 02, 2008 4:50 PM

Subject: The Weihsien Symphony Orchestra

 

--- a message from Peter Bazire ---

 

The Weihsien Symphony Orchestra – 1943-45, and other music
By Peter Bazire,

In September 1943 the Chefoo contingent arrived in Weihsien. We soon heard the Salvation Army band playing, and later that month some of us went to a concert given by the Weihsien Symphony orchestra. Boy, what an experience! In Chefoo we had a school orchestra that played simple, light classic pieces. But here in Weihsien was an orchestra of a much higher standard, and with a good range of instruments.

The only work I remembered that September was the first movement of Beethoven’s 1st piano concerto. That music lived with me during camp and afterwards. To this day if I occasionally hear the concerto on the radio, memories of 1943 come flooding back.

The W. S. O. did not play very often. For one thing, the only music available was some musical “scores” (i.e. the conductor’s part), from which the individual parts were written out in camp. The S. A. band had a book of marches for each player, with lots of marches in the book.

The S. A. band provided what brass instruments were needed for the orchestra. Other internees had brought in flutes, clarinets, but no oboes or bassoons (if my memory is correct). There were violins, violas and cellos, bu no double basses. Altogether there were twenty-something instruments; enough to make a pleasing sound, even if small in number compared with a full symphony orchestra of 60 to 80 players.

Curtis Grimes was probably the solo pianist in this September 1943 concert. Curtis Grimes was repatriated to the USA in September 1943.

Earlier in 1943 there was a concert in which a number of nuns played in that first orchestra. Later, the nuns were moved to Peking (now Beijing).

In the last few years I have made a few phone calls to Nelma (Stranks) Davies, who lives in Australia. She is the daughter of Brigadier Stranks who conducted the band and later the W.S.O. Nelma is 90! She told me that Curtis Grimes had played a piano concerto, probably one of Tchaikovsky’s, where the orchestral part was played on another piano.

I am attaching some posters my mother made of concerts and recitals. You will see the W.S.O. playing for the cantata “Far Horizon” on 3rd and 4the November 1944, and for the cantata “Crucifixion" on 25th and 26th March 1945.

In July 1945 the W.S.O. gave a concert which had a profound effect on me. The main work was Mozart’s piano concerto n° 20 in D minor, K466. Nelma (Stranks) Davies was the soloist. She had been taught the piano in Peking before the war by Curtis Grimes. This concerto remains one of my all-time favourite pieces of music. I played 2nd trumpet, not a demanding part. (50 years later I played in the same work in the Bath Symphony Orchestra, this time in the 2nd violins.) Nelma told me that at a previous concert she had played the first two movements of the Mozart concerto. She posted me a copy of the poster for the July 1945 concert, and on the back of it my mother had made a provision for the orchestra members to sign:

1st violins:
Vicente de Legaspi
Eileen Avery
Can’t read the name !!
Gladys Craggs
Mathilde Bono


2nd violins
Wentworth Prentice
John Barling
Angela Bono
Alice Wiloughby
Monica Priestman
John Hayes

Violas
Eileen Bazire
Stephen Shaw

‘Cellos
Arnold Scott (bishop)
Ernest Shaw
Robin Hoyte

1st Cornet
Fred Buist

2nd cornet (trumpet)
Peter Bazire

Trombone
Major Ollie Wellbourn

Eb Bass
Major Len Evenden

Flute
George Foxlee

1st Clarinet
Mary Scott

2nd Clarinet
Theo Bazire

 

Sometimes when I visited my parents in their room, I saw my mother drawing music lines on plain paper, and copying music from an orchestral “score” for individual players, or for some recitals, e.g. for singers. If an orchestral work included oboes and bassoons, of which were none in camp, she would adapt these parts for e.g. flute and clarinet. Singers in camp would write out their parts for choral works, e.g. “Messiah”.

Let me turn now to music practising, and choir and orchestra rehearsals. I know next to nothing about this, except that my mother happened to keep a week’s practicing schedule for October 16th – 21st (probably 1944). This gives an indication of the range of musicians. You may remember names better than I do. Percy Gleed was an accomplished musician. He had a fine baritone voice, and could play “by ear” to a very high standard. Some time after the war he was working in Nairobi, and took his turn playing the organ in the cathedral. Later in London he and my mother often played duets on two pianos in her home. Shireen Talati was a talented pianist.

I think the above practicing schedule took place in church. There was a second piano in some other large room. Nelma said that one was a grand piano. One came from Peking and the other from Tientsin. Nelma sent me a photo of her and her parents turning up at the Japanese Legation in Peking on March 23rd 1943. They were told that they could only take what they could carry into the internment camp. You will see a viola (her father’s instrument) strapped to her back. It was this viola that my mother played in the orchestra. Nelma adds, “My mother’s Chinese basket of food was too heavy for her to lift so Dad fastened an old roller skate underneath so that she could trundle it along. Dad had his heavy cases strapped onto a very primitive wheel-barrow which he had made with two poles and a wheel. We had to walk with our burdens to the station (about a mile?) with our Japanese guards.”

I include this photo as an attachment.

(click on this link for the photos)     http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/PeterBazire/WSO/p_WSO-01.htm
I also include 6 posters of other concerts, where some of you may recall some of the names of musicians. I remember the leader of the orchestra, Vincente de Legaspi: a musician to his fingertips. It was said in camp that he had been the finest trumpet in the Far-East, before he had lung trouble. Lopez Sarreal was a trumpeter I admired. I remember him playing Celest’Aïda (Verdi) at a concert, but cannot recall other items.

A long time after the war my mother wrote an account of her life. Here are a few excerpts from Weihsien.

There was one music job and somehow I got it. I had to arrange concerts and assign practice and rehearsal periods in the church which was also used for concerts, and another large room which, like the church, had a piano.”

“I walked into camp carrying my ‘cello and a suitcase ……. Orchestral scores had been brought in from Peking. I was able to adapt these as orchestration had been part of my B. Mus. Course. This had not included the euphonium played by a Salvation Army major. To this day I forget whether the music sounds a third lower or higher than written. During a rehearsal of a Haydn G. minor symphony something sounded terribly wrong. The conductor, Brigadier Stranks, was very musical and played the violin beautifully. I put down my viola and walked up to the rostrum. “I think there is something wrong with the euphonium part,” I said. “Where are we?” looking at the score in front of the Brigadier. “I haven’t a clue, dear,” said he and continued conducting. I had to write out the euphonium part.”

“A fine coloratura singer, Jacqueline de Saint Hubert, nearly always wanted a flute obligato. George Foxlee obliged. I enjoyed writing the part.”

“The Brigadier’s daughter Nelma played the piano beautifully for Mozart’s D minor concerto which I had orchestrated. Shireen Talati, a gold medallist from the Royal Academy, gave piano recitals. Other instrumentalists played solos. I did most of the accompanying including playing for the choir who performed ‘the Messiah’, 'Hiawatha' and the other oratorios and cantatas. I probably had more music than if I had just been a housewife in England. Such privations as we had were well worth it.”

Do any of you have memories of the dance band? In my post-war Weihsien diary, Monday 20th August, I referred to the “Gala Super”. After this there was dancing. I go on, “Once after a dance Mr Adams played his clarinet in and out of the dancers very beautifully.” So there was Mr Adams on clarinet. Lopez Sarreal played the trumpet. Mr Jones (aka ‘Jonesy’) was a bass player, but did he have his double bass in camp? There was at least one guitarist. Any further help, please?

***
A footnote:
Before coming to Weihsien, we in Chefoo were interned for 10 months. My mother later wrote about our experiences there, including:
“The sound post in my ‘cello had come loose and I was unable to mend it. I don’t know what made me take the problem to the Japanese guard, but he kindly managed to fix the sound post firmly into its natural habitat from whence it never strayed again.”

#

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, October 03, 2008 6:45 PM

Subject: Re: The Weihsien Symphony Orchestra

 

I believe I can help. There were two guitarists known as "The Two Pineapples": George Kalani and George Alawa. In happier times they'd played at the Lido Ballroom. Kalani had a ballistic temper, and one time he got so mad at Alawa (who played Hawaiian guitar as it was known in those days) he broke his own guitar over George's head. That was dumb, as now Kalani had no guitar. Then someone remembered I had a huge concert guitar that I hardly ever got to play, so Kalani, all contrite, came over and begged me to sell him mine. I did -- for $5 American.

 

Pamela Masters-Flynn

 

From: David Birch

To: Weihsien

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 12:18 AM

Subject: William (Bill) Shell

 

A friend who tells me that one of his heroes is Eric Liddell, asked me today if I knew a man named William (Bill) Shell who claimed to have been in the same internment camp in North China as Eric.

My friend asked me if I knew this Bill Shell. However, I don't even recall the name. I wondered if any of the rest of you might have been acquainted with him. Apparently he knew Eric Liddell and may have been one of the little boys whom Eric coached in soccer and softball.

I am wondering whether any of you could shed some light on this man's identity as I would like to be able to give a satisfactory answer to my young friend.

Thank you!

David

 

From: mark chang

To: weihsien@topica.com ; gdavidbirch@yahoo.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 5:58 AM

Subject: Re: William (Bill) Shell

 

Hi David,

Actually, I meet one of Eric Liddell’s student in TACC (Tientsin Anglo-Chinese Colleage) in Tientsin. The gentleman name is William Yu.  He used to be Eric’s student and later on become a christian due to Eric’s influence.  He collected a lot of Eric Liddell’s information and have to said he is one of the few chinese who has personal contact with Eric and still alive.

However, William is already 80+ yrs old and almost lose the sight, so he can not see.  He still very sharp in his mind.  His does speak English!!.  His contact number is +86 13652143940

Regards,

Mark Chang

 

From: Ron Bridge

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 15, 2008 10:25 AM

Subject: RE: William (Bill) Shell

 

I can find no trace of a Shell in Weihsien

 

Rgds

Ron Bridge

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 8:19 PM

Subject: 5-part TV documentary about Weihsien aired across China this week

 

Attached are segments of a remarkable, 5-part documentary about Weihsien that has been broadcast  throughout China this week.    Congratulations to Mr Sui Shude, the Weifang Municipal Government, and the Shandong  Film Producttion Center.  This is WORLD-CLASS!  Imagine  a billion people  having a chance to see this remarkable story!

 

The quality of this production reflects the same world-class effort of the celebration that the government of Weifang created for us in  August 2005 in  their commemoration of the 60th anniversary of our liberation.   Words cannot adequately express my gratitude.

 

My thanks to Douglas Sadler for forwarding these links  to me.

 

Mary Taylor Previte

 

My brother, James Taylor, writes from Hong Kong:

I just had a long chat with Sui Shude. He informed me that the Weihsien Camp Documentary was shown on the Beijing Central Channel 10 in a 5-part series produced by the Shandong Film Production Center and the Weifang Municipal Government. It was shown nationwide, October 12-16.  Mr. Sui said it was the best production he had seen and really put the Weihsien Camp on the map. He had helped with the translation for which he received credit. He obviously was very upbeat.

 

I later found Ms. Li Jiuhong's (Maggie) calling card and spoke directly with her. She was thrilled with the tremendously positive nationwide response there has been  and promised to send me copies of the entire 5-part production. I will forward a copy to you as soon as her package arrives.

 

Love,  Jim

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, October 17, 2008 8:53 PM

Subject: TV documentary about Weihsien

 

 

 

Forwarded from Jim Taylor:

 

The response I have been picking up following the showing on national TV of the Documentary on Weihsien has been quite stunning. Mr. Sui Shude told me today that it has put the Weihsien concentration camp on the map. He is thrilled. He said it is the best work on Weihsien and the Camp that he has ever seen. He was given prominent mention as one who helped to do translation. Ms. Li Jiuhong, who did the interviewing, also told me that the feedback she has been picking up has really blown her mind - all positive.

 

Jim Taylor,  Hong Kong

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 8:37 PM

Subject: Re: TV documentary about Weihsien

 

 Here are three parts.  I don't yet have the full set.. Mary

.http://space.tv.cctv.com/act/video.jsp?videoId=VIDE1223860275605181

 

http://space.tv.cctv.com/act/video.jsp?videoId=VIDE1223907524476953

 

http://space.tv.cctv.com/act/video.jsp?videoId=VIDE1223994568842362

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 6:47 AM

Subject: Re: TV documentary about Weihsien

 

Hello,

Try this link: (the complete set)

http://www.weihsien-paintings.org/CCTV/p_CCTV_01.htm

--- and let me know if it works for you?

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: bob.sanders

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, October 23, 2008 10:40 AM

Subject: RE: TV documentary about Weihsien

 

Leopold

 

That is working very well. Thanks.

 

Regards

Bob Sanders

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 10:00 PM

Subject: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Where were you when the Japanese rounded up all   "enemy aliens" in China and interned you?  How did the Japanese round you up?    What was the evacuation  like for you and your family?  Was marching you away framed as a public humiliation?

In the 1940s, editor of the Chefoo School magazine, John G. Weller, wove together excerpts from letters by  Chefoo teachers,  to describe how the Japanese commandeered the Chefoo School  and interned its students and teachers.  In 1943, the school was moved to Weihsien.  Most of us were students whose parents were missionaries hundreds of miles away from us. Chefoo School students were first  interned in two separate compounds in Chefoo (Yantai).

Last week's  documentaries aired in China  gave me the first insight that  Chefoo School Head Master P. A. Bruce  successful negotiated after many hours to stop a demand by the Japanese to use  the older Chefoo School  girls as "comfort women" for their troops.   I've been shuddering ever since I saw that interview in the documentary.  .  My sister, Kathleen Taylor,  would have been one of those girls.

Here is the account of our internment that appeared in the  July, 1943 Chefoo School Magazine.

Mary Previte

 

Letters from Gordon Martin and the Misses Broomhall, Stark, Woodward and Hills have given us close-up pictures of Chefoo, before and after the compulsory evacuation of our premises.  Needless to say, the accounts are both jolly and pathetic, but the prevailing note in each is cheerful courage, deep thankfulness, and a ready recognition of God’s goodness in what were and are hard circumstances.  Here are some extracts:

“For a long time we expected to leave;  one building after another was being commandeered and ‘visitors’ were always coming.  We had to pick our way about the compound over new wires, holes, heaps and among buildings going up apace around us.

“Suddenly in the first week of November, sentries, posted at our gates, prevented anyone leaving.  The same day, all foreigners outside the compound were ordered to Temple Hill.  We thought we should be sent for next day, and most of us kept busily planning and packing, feeling that it would be a question of how much we could transfer in a given time.  We waited breathlessly to “start the race.”  But a car was sent to take Heads of Departments to see the houses at Temple Hill.  Amazing, this! and a “billeting committee” was soon hard at work.  Finally we were given two days to move and had the loan of army trucks for our baggage.  I wish you could have seen us.  The doctor’s cart looked like a gypsies’ caravan, with all kinds of parcels, baskets, pots, pans, and two babies slung around it.  The Preparatory girls looked a rather pathetic little procession, with their favourite dolls in their arms.

“The weather was just right for packing and moving.  The loan of Japanese military lorries carried many loads across the city for us and supplemented the labour of the multitudinous coolies we employed.  The amount of private School and Mission goods we were allowed to bring and the comparatively few things lost by theft or misadventure during the exodus is another cause for praise.  It is difficult to recall the details of those days,--our plans were upset by the speed at which we were transferred here, and the receiving party were not numerous enough to handle effectively what many hands dispatched from the other side.  Goods were still piled outside when the first night fell. The next day heavy carts, bicycle-wheel carts, rickshaws, lorries, bicycles, pedestrians, all added to the masses of goods in the new compound, while the kitchens did their best to turn out meals in the midst of the hurly-burly.  My own impression of the day is a whirl of greeting coolies with carts, telling them where to unload and signing their receipts.  In the whole day I think I had to deal with only two or three who were bad-tempered, and at the end of the day several showed their sympathy with our ejection.  That night many boxes were still in the open,--my share in the necessary patrolling was only remarkable for the persistence with which Mr. Olson’s goats, lonely in their new home, followed me on my rounds till forcibly restrained.

“The next days were a busy time of adjustment.  You know we are in three houses, well-built and spacious, about sixty to a house.  Boys old enough to be useful have been subtracted from the school and appended to the San house and the Prep House.  Adults have been similarly portioned out so as to give brains and brawn in fair proportions, and brawn has been more in demand than brain.  But the effective adult strength is barely sufficient to carry the weight of tasks, which cannot be shared by boys and girls, however willing.”

(Two servants per house were promised, but the promise has not been fulfilled to date.  No furniture was granted from the Schools, so mattresses on the floors, and boxes or lockers for seats, have taken its place.)

“Have you tried making beds on the floor?  My muscles are hardened now, but at first it made shoulders ache after the first few.  I have not heard anyone complain that they were not comfortable sleeping on the floor.”

“We are short of water, so most folk do very little washing!  Superintending a crowd of little children washing thoroughly in a basin of water is not the easiest job!  You cannot imagine how much mending there is, and mending parties are part of the daily routine.  Can you imagine me with a little boy across my knee while mend the seat of his trousers? , , , The staff have improvised all sorts of nooks and crannies for sleeping, there are rooms in outhouses which were servants’ quarters, and these make better rooms than many get inland.”  “Greatly to our relief we can now get laundry done out.  The man comes to the gate, where we hand it to him, as we are not allowed outside the compound, but exercise by strolling round the garden.”

“You who remember Chefoo classrooms, would grieve to see forty boys, and a few girls seated on lockers in a two chien room in the servants’ quarters without blackboard, desk, or convenience for writing,--but the room has been whitewashed.  A stove and the south aspect keep it warm, and teaching goes ahead.  At present the teaching is admittedly a makeshift affair, at least for the senior school; we hope we shall do better after Christmas.”

“News of the outside world leaks through to us and occasionally we get B.B.C. time.  Buying of food and other supplies is difficult.  One man has the monopoly.  Mr. Seaman has a difficult job, but he keeps serene and we are feeding well and keeping warm.”

(Later news says:  Fuel and food always come just in time.  Stood winter well.  All children healthy.)

“The one possible room for Sunday services in our house is not quite big enough and the crowding in is uncomfortable and undignified.  Yet our services have been happy and profitable.  Some of the happiest times have been the Sunday evenings, with hymn singing round the fire.:

“Mr. Bruce goes daily to the other compound, heavily freighted with letters to sisters, and twice a week he leads an expedition whereby brothers and sisters meet.”

Later news, presumed to be sent at the end of February, tells that further accommodation was being prepared, giving hope of expansion for the summer, making regular classes possible.  Architects were planning repairs and improvements to present buildings, beds were promised, maintenance guaranteed, and access to the adjacent hospital granted in cases of urgent need.  Further letters have given the opinion that they can carry on under present conditions “for the duration.”  #

The Chefoo School  was moved to Weihsien in September 1943,

               

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Saturday, October 25, 2008 12:08 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 


We were in Kiaohsien.  The only Americans in the village of thousands.  We were put under house arrest the morning, Monday Dec 8th early.  Swedish Baptist missisonaries would come over a and we talk from our apartment on the 2nd floor and they would give us news, not better off than we were, just free in a nation at war.
Then in Feb we were told we were going back on a ship.  They took us into Tsingtao on the train, we lived with other missionaries there.  Ship never materilized.  Sometime in the summer or Fall we were put into a small hotel with everyone else. all Allies, and set up the camp like Weihsien.  A committee and we had classes with teachers and made our meals with food brought in.  We were allowed to take two suitcases from our home and every time we were moved they checked us to make certain we didn't have anything else.  I still travel lite, but we were getting lighter and lighter.
Then we were bussed to the train when we left for Weihsie.  I think we were the first to get there.  It was really a mess.  No humiliation like yours, just kept moving us till we got to Weihsien.
Georgie (Reinbrecht) Knisely

 

From: "Joyce Cook" <bobjoyce@tpg.com.au>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, October 26, 2008 11:40 PM

Subject: Fw: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Dear Georgie.
 My family's home was right at the rear of the hotel in which you were incarcerated in Tsingtao and was named the Iltis Hydro Hotel. About two hundred of us were forced to go there and I remember your family the Reinbrechts there including your sister Janet, very well.  Do you remember one breakfast time when the Japs tormented a beggar boy by chaining him to a tree with a dog chain and collar and stuffing his mouth with orange peel, as set out in my book "Forgiven But Not Forgotten" that can be read on the WeiHsien site in its entirety. From the hotel we were given one hour to go to our homes and pack after which we were transported by truck and train to WeiHsien.  Did you have to sit on tatami mats on the floor during the train trip as we did?
My family was not told where we were going, or for how long. While at the lIltis Hydro Hotel we were waited upon by Chinese servants who served our meals and I remember our Russian friends Katie Maevsky and family occasionally bringing Russian delicacies to the big green gate at the front of the hotel for our family. The quality of food very sharply deteriorated when we arrived at WeiHsien of course. Regards. Joyce Bradbury (Cooke)

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 1:19 AM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Ø      Joyce,
> Thank you.  I should have known the name of the hotel, but did not remember it.  You were probably closer to Janet's age.  And at the 60th reunion, I remember your saying how often you were clean up to your wrists because you did dishes after meals.  I don't have your book, but I do have your speech on a CD from one of your children.  I will check out your book.  Thanks so much for that information.  Keep informing me.  I do not remember tatami, but i don't remember much abut the trip.  I remember the beggar boy being beaten - poured hot water in him?  Were we the first people in Weihsien - those of us from Tsingtao??? 
Thanks, Georgie

 

From: "Gay Talbot Stratford" <stillbrk@eagle.ca>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 5:38 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Ø      Georgie,
> I cannot answer your query entirely, but when we came from Tianjin and
> surrounding areas, we were greeted by nuns who were already there.
> Gat Talbot Stratford

Ø       

 

From: "Joyce Cook" <bobjoyce@tpg.com.au>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 8:52 AM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Ø      We certainly were the first internees to arrive in WeiHsien. In fact we had
> to try and tidy it up for the next batches. The boiling water was on a chair
> that a servant had to continuously hold over his head with the Japanese
> tellinga us if we misbehaved we would have to do the same. I remember the
> servant straining to keep holding the chair with the boiling water above his
> head and his arm veins were bulging with the effort.
Joyce.

 

From: Dwight W. Whipple

To: weihsien@topica.com ; weihsien@topica.com

Cc: Gay Talbot Stratford

Sent: Sunday, November 02, 2008 7:32 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Thank you Gay and Georgie for your recollections.  We were interned in our own home, Tsingtao, actually it belonged to the CIM (now OMF) and was known as the Scott house -- we, the Whipples (six of us) and the Waltons (four of them and one added later born on December 10, 1942) and several other CIM folk.  It was a large house (photo attached) and we were under house arrest beginning on Dec. 8, 1941.  We could leave for a portion of the day (wearing armbands) and I remember going to town with our parents and extended family, and going to the beach a few blocks down the hill to swim during the warmer months.  We were "herded" into the Iltis Hydro Hotel in the Fall of 1942 for about a five month stay.  All six of us Whipples were in one room and I think that was the norm for families.  I remember seeing a Chinese boy beaten by the Japanese, tied to a pole with orange peels stuffed in his mouth.  I also remember a piano in the dining a rea where I had my first "feel" for piano.  It continues still.  Then we were taken to Weihsien where we entered the Civilian Assembly Center on March 20, 1943; we remember that date because it was our mother's birthday.  We were there for six months before repatriation on the Teia Maru and Gripsholm.  I had my seventh birthday in Weihsien and my memories are still vivid of our time spent there and for us kids the whole thing was a great adventure (a tribute to our parents and other adults).  Fortunately, our family was all together for the entire time because of the school break at Chefoo; our extended family students arrived in Tsingtao on December 1, 1941 just a week before Pearl Harbor and our house arrest and subsequent internment camp experiences.  It is amazing that a number of us are still in touch through this Topica website.  I do remember the Reinbrecht (sp?) name as do my siblings, Elden, Jr. and Lorna.  Our little sister, Julie, was two years old when the war broke out in 1941.  The Walton children are Bobbie, Tom and Lindie (born in Tsingtao, 1942).  Lorna and I were born in Kuling, now Lushan in the mountains just south of the Yangtse River, Kiangsi Province.  My wife and I visited that beautiful place a few years ago and we were royally welcomed, given gifts and the key to the city.  They were overjoyed that we would come back to visit my birthplace.  Quick anecdote of that visit:  We were taken to lunch in what they told us was one of the finest hotels in the city/village -- and by the way, they said, it used to be the community hospital (the very place where I was born!).  And so it goes . . . keep the remembering up!

~Dwight W. Whipple (known as Didi, little brother in Chinese)

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Tuesday, November 04, 2008 7:30 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

> Dwight or Didi,
> I remember spending time with you all in the Scott House in Iltus Huk.  I have a picure of us all dressed up in mom and Dad's clothes.  I also remember one of the girls being slathered with white stuff.  There had been a huge jellyfish in the water, circled her body - not a happy camper.  I also remember being nasty.  You all were allowed two things on your toast.  We had no restrictions and so we ate butter, peabut butter AND jam on our toast - not nice children????  Funnuy the things you remember and awful how much we forget.  Good to hear from you.  Georgie Reinbrecht Knisely  38 Clemens Drive, Dillsburg, PA 17019-1366 tel. 717.432.5802

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Monday, October 27, 2008 5:36 PM

Subject: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

 

Just as you describe in Kiaohsien, Georgie,  Japanese  appeared  on the doorstep of our Chefoo School the day after they attacked Pearl Harbor.

 

Japanese gunboats had been in Chefoo harbor long before that -- bombarding Chinese guerillas in the hills behind the city.

 

But the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese Shinto priest  conducted a ceremony on the ball field of our school, saying that this school  now belonged to the Great Emperor of Japan.  Then the Japanese came through the school, pasting paper seals on furniture and equipment, saying this all now belonged to the Great Emperor of Japan.   Japanese guards with face guards and padded chests  started  practicing bayonet drills by the front gate of the school.  We were school children watching Japanese guards practicing how to kill.  Because the guards  always shouted "YAH"  as they charged at each other with their bayonets, we  called it "YAH practice."  .  If we left the school compound, we had to wear arm bands with a big capital letter indicating our nationality -- B for British, A for American.  In 1942, the Japanese  commandeered the school for a military base and marched us across the city in a long, snaking line of children and teachers.  Up at the head of the line, one of our teachers began singing from Psalm 46  and we joined in --  "God is our refuge and strength, therefore we will not fear." 

 

Chinese friends stood beside the road and wept.

 

The Japanese  interned us  -- crammed us -- into two small Presbyterian missionary compounds in the Temple Hill section of  Chefoo (Yantai).  We slept on the floor, one child's bedding almost overlapping the next.  In  a residence designed for one family, about 70 of us younger children  were crammed  together.  Crowding in Weihsien was NOTHING compared to the cramped quarters we suffered in Temple Hill.   Our teachers worked miracles.  There in Temple Hill, our Brownie troop  learned to tie knots -- reef, bowline, round-turn-and-two-half-hitches.  I remember learning  proper way to bandage a sprained ankle or injured knee. And, bless my soul -- yes, doing a good deed every day! Can you believe it? 

 

We had the good fortune  to arrive in Weihsien in September 1943 after earlier groups had cleaned the place up.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 5:19 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 


Mary, isn’t it amazing looking back and recalling these things.  People say I suffered so.  I say I was too young to know, Mommie and Daddy were taking care of me.  And in Weihsien, everyone was in the same boat, but I cannot imagine, maybe some now, what Mom and Dad were going through.  My poor Mom, when they came to put us under house arrest, Dad was not home and they wanted our telephones and radios.  Well, we had none that caused trouble for awhile, till they believed us.  Dad was Dad was at Tsimo, another mission station and didn't come home till Feb.  Poor Mom!  But I know my sister three years older than I and her age youth were angry and upset.  I had a class, not home schooled in camp and I thought it was wonderful.  My sister remembers things very differently.  I was born in 1933, how old are you?
Wish we had had time to share at the 60th reunion, but that might have been overload? 
Thanks for asking, Georgie

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 9:54 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

Georgie

 

I think we who were children in Weihsien have a very different perspective on the Weihsien experience -- perhaps because we were shielded from the horrors that grown-ups knew about the war and what the Japanese had done in places like Nanking -- the Rape of Nanking.  Grown-ups  in Weihsien  knew that the Japanese could do the same to us as their captives.

 

We children didn't have those images in our heads.  We even played with some of the guards who were stationed in the  guard tower near the hospital where we stayed.

 

Before I wrote the cover story for the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine  to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the ending of World War II, I  went to England and visited/interviewed  a few of our Chefoo teachers who had cared for us throughout the war.    Remember, most of us Chefoo School children were separated from our parents for 5 or 6 years -- some even more. So our teachers were our protectors.  Miss Carr, the principal of our elementary school told me, "I would pray to God at night that when the Japanese lined us up along the death trenches and started shooting us that God would let me be one of the first to be shot."

 

Never!  Not in my wildest imagination had I envisioned such a scene. 

 

Yet look at photos of the hospital taken from outside the camp and you can see trenches beyond the camp walls.

 

I wrote my Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine story, "Song of Salvation at Weihsien Prison Camp,"  from my own perspective as a child.  (Leopold has the story on the Weihsien web site.)   I was 9 when the  Japanese invaded our school in 1941 and 13 when the Americans liberated us.  

 

Even older students in our school had a different perspective.  Chefoo School student, Stephen Metcalf, who was interviewed by BBC and NBC for the Eric Liddell story during the Olympics, gave me the insight of a boy in his late teens -- maybe 18.  Talking about the influence of Eric Liddell's message to pray for the Japanese,  Stephen said,  "I told God that if He would get me out of this place alive, I would give my life to God's service in Japan."

 

It NEVER occurred to me that I might not get out of Weihsien alive.  Never! 

 

Stephen served God as a  missionary in Japan all of his  career.  He is now retired in London.  You will be interested to know that an official in Weifang is currently  seeking authorization to translate into Chinese and publish in China Stephen's book that sold out in Japan.   Today, Stephen says there will never be reconciliation between Japan and China until Japan apologizes for what it did to China during the war.  Stephen even said this in his speech at the Eric Liddell monument at our 2005 reunion.

 

Mary Previte

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:42 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 


Mary,
You are so right.  I was 8-12.  Weihsien was a good experience for me.  Good education, best friend whom I am still in touch with.  Great programs.  Miss Rudd, taught us elementary children Greek alphabet and silly Latin jokes as we studied The one I still know and laugh at is on a Latin verb test a student wrote - slippo, slippery, falli, bumpus.  The teacher wrote back. Failo, faiere, fluckus, suspendus.  We had good times there and no I never thought about how long it was, and how terrible.  We were protected.  My sister who was three years older still talks in terms of how her life was affected and how awful it was.  Age is very important.  I cannot imagine being separated from parents for 5 or more years, but have known some.  Does the name John Hayes mean anything to you?  Georgie  Thanks for sharing your background, I don't feel like such a naive little kid!

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:32 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 

I certainly remember John Hayes as one of the leaders we admired in Weihsien.

 

What do you remember of John Hayes?  Did you have contact with him after the war?

 

His wife dropped me a note after my Weihsien story appeared as the cover story of in the Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine.   Do you know where is wife was during the war?

 

Mary

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 3:49 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 


John Hayes and his parents lived next to us in camp.  After we returned home I saw much of him.  He had been imprisoned by the Communists in South China, a spy of the US gov't.  They finally kicked him out of the country because he was converting his guards!!!!  He was asked to go to work for the US govt when he returned and he said and Prove them right?????  His wife and kids were interned in the Philippines and returned on the Gripsholm.  Knew them well.  John married my husband and me in a Lutheran church, by a Presby (John) minister and a Methodist.  In Dillsburg, PA.  He was an amazing man.  I believe one of his parents or both died in camp. 
They were in their 80s! Georgie

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 3:52 PM

Subject: Re: How did the Japanese round you up for internment?

 


John Hayes went to Indonesia after the war and was killed when he swerved off the road to avoid a bicyclist.  There was an article about his Communist experience in Reader's Digest after he returned home. 
Georgie

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 10:02 PM

Subject: Weihsien library

 

Internees created amazing morale boosters in Weihsien --  schools,  plays, religious services, Weihsien Orchestra concerts,  Salvation Army Band,  debates, athletic competitions,  lectures,  White Elephant Bell Exchange,  bird exploration walks. 

 

Can anyone provide information about the "library" in the Weihsien camp?  Where was it?  And where did the books come from? Who organized it?

 

Mary Previte

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 2:45 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 

Dear Mary, I do not know where all the books came from, but those of us from Tientsin were asked to take one medical supply item and one book in our meagre allowance. I believe most of us did that. After we got organized in camp we pooled the books and made the library. After my father died and my mother got so sick mother was taken off vegetables at the kitchen and given the library for while When she was stronger some else got it. Hope this helps, Phyllis Evans Davies

From: Pamela Masters

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 3:56 AM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 

Dear Mary, Joyce and All --

 

I'll put my oar in for what it's worth: Somewhere I read (maybe in my Dad's journal) that the books came from Tsingtao and arrived at the camp on donkey carts sometime in the midsummer of '43. I don't know if some good soul rounded them up for us, or if they came from a library, but I am certain that Mr. Egger of the International Red Cross was the person who saw that they arrived safely at Weihsien.

 

Pamela Masters-Flynn

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 1:38 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 

Phyllis,

 

Where in the camp was the library located?

 

Mary

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:22 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 


Interesting question, where was the library????  I have no clue, but there was a one, because I remember reading a lot!!!!!  Most of Charles Dickens and Sir Walter Scott.  And the books smelled very British.  I am a Librarian and have always smelled books - You can tell where they were published by the smell!!!! 
Where was the library?  Georgie Reinbrecht Knisely

 

From: "Donald Menzi" <dmenzi@earthlink.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:42 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 

Was it possible that the library was located in the same building as the post office?

Donald

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 7:44 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 


Where was the post office?  I remeber a couple of Red Cross 25 word letters and my mother saying when Eric Liddell died that his letters from his wife were his gift from God.  I think he received a couple of couple page letters. 
Stories to tell, huh?  Georgie Reinbrecht Knisely

 

From: "Ron Bridge" <rwbridge@freeuk.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:21 PM

Subject: RE: Weihsien library

 

Ø     
>
> Dear All,
> The library was near the Guard Office and the Camp Commandants Office it is
> clearlt marked on the map in Langdon Gilkety's Shantung Copmound page 147. I
> seem to recall that the post office was adjacent to it which would be
> logical as censorship prevailed hence it wold be near the Japanese Offices.
> Havinfg said that I think that the library intially was in what became the
> White Elephant Store behind block 24.
> Rgds
> Ron Bridge Block 42/6 and then 13/11

 

From: grannydavies@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 11:14 PM

Subject: Re: Weihsien library

 

O>K> the library was in a small room, fairly near the hospital, not near the kitchens or rows of barrack rooms most of us lived in by twos or threes If I remember right. the room was bigger than the  regular living quarter rooms It had a smallish table and a chair   the rest was books on shelves. If you can recall where the japs erected  long tables to go through any packages that arrived from outside for  an internee,  they were in front of the library,  the tables were removed after the guards had taken everything out of the packages they wanted and kept for themselves. Pushed the remainder over to the  recipients. Usually not much left.  After my fathers Masonic funeral our boxes were often just pushed over to me and I took them to mother.  I used the room a lot.  Did you?    Phyllis . Davies

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:48 PM

Subject: Triumphs I remember in Weihsien

 

As a grown-up thinking about my Weihsien experience,  I  am profoundly moved by the triumphs of the human spirit in such a place.  Yes, I've read a few reports of  Weihsien internees who gave up or who soured.  But the  stories that grab me are the triumphs.  Look at the art that flourished in Weihsien.  Think of the athletic events. I remember a Nazarene missionary, Mary Scott, who had been a tomboy  growing up in a family of boys in  the state of Indiana.  Mary Scott rounded up us young Chefoo girls in the South field near Block 57 and taught us how to throw  a softball.  Chefoo School had given us a British education with games like cricket and teni-quoit.  We had no clue about softball.  I remember one of the Catholic priests -- I think it was Father Palmer -- walking around the camp day after day teaching French to  Elizabeth  Harle.  Look on Leopold's Weihsien web site at the astonishing range of posters drawn and posted by Chefoo teacher, Eileen Bazire, announcing lectures and  concerts.   Concerts and plays and debates in an internment camp?  Yes, in Kitchen Number 1 we were eating glop out of empty tin cans, but we also attended concerts and plays in the church.   Do you remember "The Crucifixion" at Easter time?  Do you remember "Androcles and the Lion" ?  To costume 10 Roman guards with armor and helmets, stage hands soldered together tin cans from the Red Cross food parcels.   It boggles the mind.  Who ever  heard of Boy Scouts and Girl Guides in such a place?  I earned a Girl Guide badge for folk singing in Weihsien and practiced my semaphore and Morse code during roll calls.  Our teachers would not let us give up.  They inspected us every day -- Were we clean, were we neat, did we have our mending done?  Every weekday they scheduled us in something called "session" when we had to mend holes in our socks or tears in our clothes.  They insisted that we behave with good manners.   We scrubbed the concrete around our beds every morning. Yes, we might be prisoners on the outside, they said, but we were not prisoners on the inside. We battled the bedbugs in a Saturday ritual in the summertime.  Even the Battle of the Bedbugs was a triumph.  Even making coal balls was a game.

 

 For  more than three decades in one of my careers,  I administered a residential program  with thousands of delinquent teenaged boys and girls, and discovered along the way that I had shaped my program  with high expectation and structure, structure, structure that our teachers had used to shape us and that had made us feel safe in  Weihsien. Those gifts anchor children. They anchored me. 

 

I give my eternal gratitude to such grown ups who shaped  me in Weihsien -- and for ever. 

 

Mary Previte

 

From: <jknisely@paonline.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 3:43 PM

Subject: Re: Triumphs I remember in Weihsien

 

Ø      Mary,
> I believe that is why I look back on Weihsien with joy - I believe it molded me by the adults who taught me and the adults who kept us entertained beautifully and we did not feel like we lacked - we all ate the glop so what difference did it make.  I didn't fel needy or forlorn because there were so many people building us up and keeping us going.  Thank you so much for making us remember and see this and as you said, thanks so much to Leopold for all the memories jarred back as we communicate with each other.  Thanks for sharing.  Appreciate to all who keep communicating.  Regards, Georgie Reinbrecht Knisely

 

From: "MonikaA" <monikakey@Hotmail.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 9:42 PM

Subject: Researching Rev. Clare Scratch

 

Ø      I've just discovered this list and I am so glad! A friend's relative
> (great uncle) was interned at Weihsien from 1941-1943. His name was
> Clare Scratch, a Canadian Pentecostal missionary. He was 39 when he was
> taken to Weihsien.
>
> I have a transcript of a presentation given in his honor, written in
> ~1969 that says he and four others were elected to bargain for daily
> food. He wore an armband to show his position as food supply man. From
> the pictures I have, he looks like he was average-to-tall, and had a
> receding hairline. Of course he was very thin by the end of his time
> there.
>
> In 1943, he left on the Gripsholm in the third wave of prisoners
> released/exchanged. He returned to Toronto by train 3 Dec. 1943. I have
> a newspaper photo of him registering at Rio De Janiero.
>
> I'm writing a story for children/pre-teens about Rev. Scratch and am
> looking for anything I can to make the story come alive. Did any of you
> know of or see him? Or have recollections of the food supply men? Or
> were on the Gripsholm with him?
>
> He had sent his wife and daughter (about 11 yrs old) to Canada a couple
> of months before he was interned. I don't know enough about his
> personality or habits yet to know if he would have played with the
> children much. All I know is he was recognized for his leadership and
> diplomacy.
>
> Any help you can give me would be fantastic. Thanks so much!
>

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 9:29 AM

Subject: Re: Researching Rev. Clare Scratch

 

Dear Monika,

A suggestion:

Go to our website, http://www.weihsien-paintings.org

then, click on the chapter: "Norman Cliff"

then click on "a brief history"

then click on "documents & archives"

---- there are quite a lot of very interesting official documents about our life in camp.

---

also:

when you are on the "home page" --- insert "food" in the search engine ---- quite a lot of info about food (a major conversation in those days ---- my dad always dreamt of making himself a "fricassé de lard" ) ----

You can also insert "Clare Scratch" in the search engine --- Brian Butcher mentioned him. Have a look at his chapter too.

Hope this helps you,

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: "MonikaA" <monikakey@Hotmail.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 8:49 AM

Subject: RE: Researching Rev. Clare Scratch

 

Leopold,
Thank you! This is very helpful. The website has quite a lot of
information! I see that I have my work cut out for me :) Thank you for
pointing me to a good starting point.

~ Monika

 

From: "Tom Ulrich" <TUlrich218@aol.com>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Wednesday, November 05, 2008 11:53 PM

Subject: Item comparing internment camps

 

>A friend who has followed my wife, Susan's, discovery of her birth
> mother Ada Foxlee and her time in Weihsien sent us the link at the end
> of this e-mail. 
>
> The item describes research conducted by a professor of economics at
> Yenching University who was a Weihsien internee and who returned to the
> United States on December 1, 1943.  The research compares conditions in
> a US internment camp in Texas for persons from Japan, and a Japanese
> internment camp for persons from the west - Weihsien.
>
> Mary Previte suggested we forward the link to the study to the Weihsien
> topica group, as folks may be very much interested in the details about
> food, sanitation, and condition of housing in 1943 since quite a few on
> the topica network arrived in Weihsien in 1943.
>
>
http://www.foitimes.com/internment/compare.htm
>
> We hope it is of interest. 

> Tom and Susan Ulrich
> Swanton, Maryland
>

 

From: "Kim Smith" <kim5888@sbcglobal.net>

To: <weihsien@topica.com>

Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 4:37 PM

Subject: My father, William A. Smith...

 

Ø      ...came with the OSS to liberate Weihsien.  His drawings can be seen on the Weihsien_paintings website, contributed by Stanley Fairchild. 
> Probably next week, and article on the blog "Today's Inspiration" will focus on the drawings and accounts of my father's time there.  I am looking for as much information as possible on this subject; very happy to have come across the site.  I have a large number of photos from the liberation to be posted (eventually). 
>
> I am looking for information on Art Hummel, who escaped with Laurence Tipton in advance of the liberation, especially photographs of him, if anyone has such a thing.  Art Hummel ec=ventually became Ambassador to China.
>
> I also am looking for a copy of Asia and the Americas from, I think,  April of 1945, which I believe had an earlier article by my Dad.  It's a bit hard to find, though I have the issue from which the drawings on the website are taken.
>
> Very best t
o all
>
> Kim Smith

 

From: Tapol

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 6:01 PM

Subject: Re: My father, William A. Smith...

 

Dear Kim,

Hello,

I'd be glad to add the photos concerning the liberation of Weihsien Camp to the Weihsien_Paintings' website. You can send them to me by e-mail (tapol@skynet.be ) or by post to Belgium

 

I think that I will start a new -- interesting -- chapter with all you will be sending my way ----

Many thanks for sharing your data with all of us  --- the ex-prisoners of Weihsien 1943-1945.

Best regards,

Leopold

 

From: Kim Smith

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, November 07, 2008 6:20 PM

Subject: Re: My father, William A. Smith...

 


So happy to make a connection with you!

I just started scanning the photos yesterday, and there are a large number of them.  There was apparently sand in the camera, or in some developing machine, because there are consistent scratches across the photos, so I need to do a little Photoshop work.  But I will put some heat on to do this.  I am unfortunately extremely overbooked most of the time, so sometimes progress is slow!

Very Best,

Kim Smith

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, November 28, 2008 10:42 PM

Subject: Tad Nagaki -- fractured pelvis

 

Tad Nagaki, the only living member of the American  team that liberated Weihsien in August 1945,  is recuperating at home after fracturing his pelvis in a fall from his truck.  He's home now and in good spirits after six weeks in the hospital.  Still farming corn and beans in Alliance, Nebraska,  Tad will be 89 in January.

Tad was the Japanese-American interpreter on the Duck Mission that liberated the camp.   Born in America and growing up in a farm family in Nebraska,  he had starred as a high school  athlete -- basketball, football,  track (hurdles) -- and played with a Japanese-American baseball team in the Nebraska-Denver area during his summer vacations, which explains why he delighted teenagers in Weihsien  by playing baseball with internees.  (See the following entry from 14-year-old Peter Bazire's diary  entry  for August 23, 1945.)

"Thursday 23rd
The 3 schools ― Chefoo ― Weihsien ― American school were photographed with a small Kodak camera ― 2 photos each.

In the evening there was a softball England v America. After the first innings 3 Ams. came, J. Moore (R.F.), P. Orlick (S.S.) & Tad Nagaki (C.). Tad is in my mind the best catcher in camp. I was told he couldn't peg fast 'cause he strained a muscle but he was as quick as anything, getting some which meant a quick spring. He was very springy although he played in boots. "

After  Tad  graduated from high school in 1938,  he went to Japan for a year in Tokyo for language school.  Returning to the USA, he was drafted in 1941 not long before the Japanese attacked  Pearl Harbor.

His is a remarkable story -- a Japanese-American fighting for America when thousands of his people were interned in relocation camps on America's west coast.  

In my interviewing Tad for over a year -- month after month after month of questions  in 2001 as I prepared to write a magazine story about him --never once did I hear him complain about America or of his treatment  for years during the war -- mistrusted as a Nisei, sidelined with about 40 other Japanese-American soldiers in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky,   limited to pruning trees and loading trains -- when he  was itching  to be out front fighting for America.  When he passed his physical and collected recommendations to be an air cadet,  his commander sent him a personal letter:  They could not accept him because  he was Japanese-American.  

No matter how I dug to find his feelings -- Did he resent  being sidelined and mistrusted? -- Tad's answer  was always the same:  "I am American." 

In the astonishing turn of events when Tad was accepted  by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) for a special Nisei combat unit to operate behind Japanese lines in Asia,  he had to know his grim realities as an ethnic Japanese.   "It's a one-way ticket,"  Nisei volunteers  were told.

 I prodded Tad:  "What would the Japanese do to you if they caught you?"  Of course he knew.

"I never gave it any thought,"  he  said.  "I am American." 

"And in Burma and in China, what if American soldiers thought you were the enemy?" 

He made it sound so simple. " In war, if you think about that, you're not going to be a very good soldier.  I am American."

On August 17, 1945, carrying in a sling over his shoulder a .45 made into a sub-machine gun, Tad Nagaki parachuted from a B-24 called the Armored Angel and landed among the graves and gaoliang stalks outside the barrier walls of Weihsien.  This Japanese-American helped  liberate 1,500 Allied prisoners behind those walls.   

Tad tells me he's not a hero. 

If you'd like to drop him a get well card, a note of appreciation, or a holiday greeting, his address is: 

Tad Nagaki,  5851 Logan Road, Alliance, Nebraska  69301USA 

Tad was one of about 25,000 Japanese-American men and women who served in U. S. Armed Forces during World War II.

On Liberation Day this year, I asked Tad  how the war changed him.  It didn't really change him, he said.   Like so many Americans, he returned home and picked up where he had left off.  He married the girl he had met in Army Language School in Minnesota, and settled back into farming in Nebraska, and made a family. 

Mary Previte

From: Albert de Zutter

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Friday, November 28, 2008 11:35 PM

Subject: Re: Tad Nagaki -- fractured pelvis

 

Mary,

 

Thanks for your feature on Tad Nagaki. One thing: as I remember, some of the rescuers carried .45 caliber submachine guns, and I wonder if that's what you are referring to when you say "a .45 made into a machine gun?"

 

Albert de Zutter

 

From: MTPrevite@aol.com

To: weihsien@topica.com

Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:22 AM

Subject: Re: Tad Nagaki -- fractured pelvis

 

Hello, Albert:

 

I know nothing about guns.  A few months ago, when I asked Tad Nagaki about the weapons they carried -- if any -- when they parachuted to liberate Weihsien,  my notes from the conversation   say "Tad carried .45 made into a machine gun."  Tad said some the team carried a  "side arm pistol."

 

Liberator Jim Hannon told me several years ago that the DUCK MISSION team had considered arming themselves heavily for the parachute drop.  He told me he advised against it.   Because these August 17 rescue missions were supposed to be strictly "humanitarian,"  Hannon thought that their carrying too much armament would send the wrong message to the Japanese.  He told me that  that the team took his advice.

 

Researcher Troy Sacquety,  who has written extensively about the OSS,  dug up documents in the National Archives in which a couple of DUCK MISSION team members -- Ensign Jim Moore for one -- req