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De : Estelle Horne
Envoyé : mercredi 29 août 2012 11:56
À : weihsien@topica.com
Objet : Eric Liddell's funeral

Hello Weihsieners

Mary has written about her midnight call re another Eric Liddell movie in the making. And when we tuned into the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London and heard the Chariots of Fire theme tune again, in spite of the comedian fooling around, I was overcome with emotion. I thought: there he was being honoured again, and what a contrast to our best attempts to honour him in Weihsien.

I pictured that grey winter day, when a bedraggled procession of children in threadbare, outgrown overcoats followed the coffin of our beloved "Uncle Eric" to the small camp graveyard. Our legs were bare in the bitter cold; our woollen stockings were the first things to wear out, and trousers were not part of our wardrobe in those days. We had unravelled the good parts of the stockings and knitted them into ankle socks with Pick-up-Sticks. Our shoes were cracked from walking in the mud and slush.

As we followed the pall bearers on the frozen ground, one of them my brother Norman Cliff, the cheap pine coffin creaked and groaned: would it hold together until they reached the grave? It did, and no one else knew of their distress. Norman had played his trombone in the brass band that played outside the hospital the previous Sunday afternoon. Eric had sent a note out to them requesting that they play for him "Be still, my soul, the Lord is on thy side". He was suffering blinding headaches from the tumour growing in his brain. He had a baby daughter in Canada he had never seen.. His beloved family was far away across the Pacific Ocean. He needed consolation. This godly man knew where to find it.

What a privilege was ours to know him and to escort him on his final journey! The best efforts of later visitors to locate the site were unsuccessful, and when we went back for the 60th anniversary in 2005, the area had been built over with a shopping centre. But the red marble memorial stone, which has been moved more than once, engraved and shipped out from Scotland, is still there inside the old camp area. The Chinese city authorities are talking of rebuilding the museum, so the memories will go on even after we are gone.

Greetings to all
Estelle Horne nee Cliff

De : tapol_(Skynet)
Envoyé : mercredi 22 août 2012 16:33
À : Estelle Horne ;
Objet : Re: Change of email address

Dear Estelle, Dear Natasha,

Unfortunately, I cannot help you here.

I am sending this message via Topica. I am certain that Natasha will take the necessary steps to arrange your problem. (desinscription and re-inscription on the Topica network)

Another thing you can try to do, is to click on this link: http://lists.topica.com/lists/weihsien/%3Fcid%3D324 and then click on “join the list” and follow the instructions.

Good luck

Estelle Horne
Mer 22-08-12 15:14

Dear Leopold

My Weihsien correspondence is still coming into my Yahoo account, which I want to close. I wonder why. Even your message of yesterday has done so.
I hope you can fix it.

Warm regards

De : tapol_(Skynet)
Envoyé : lundi 20 août 2012 12:14
À : weihsien@topica.com
Objet : Re: What happened to the Japs ?

This is one thing I found in Norman Cliff’s papers:
Go to his chapter, and click on “people” ... then, click on “the camp committee” and finally, click on Ted Mc Laren. : you can read:

“After the war, the Japanese Commandant, Mr. Izu, along with hundreds of other senior Japanese officers, Police Chiefs and Commandants throughout Southeast Asia, was charged with war crimes. McLaren, with his innate sense of honour, could not allow Mr. Izu, who had, in some ways, done his best for the Camp, to go undefended. He and others from Weihsien travelled to Tokyo, met General Douglas MacArthur, and testified on Mr. Izu's behalf. He was acquitted. “

Who were “the others” and what happened to Mr Izu after that ?

I would like to have the Japanese version ..... (if anybody is reading this in Japan????)

Best regards,

De : rod miller
Envoyé : lundi 20 août 2012 12:00
À : weihsien@topica.com
Objet : Re: What happened to the Japs ?

Hi Leopold

You pose the question what happened to the Japs?

Could they possibly have been investigated for war crimes?

For those interested in researching civilian internees in Japan the following files may be of interest.

Item details for: AWM83, 247
Request copy
United States of America versus Hiroshi Tamura: Military Tribunal, SCAP [Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers], Tokyo, Japan, 20 Oct 1948 - 23 Feb 1949, Volume 1
Contents date range
1948 - 1949
Series number
Click to see which government agency or person created this item.
Control symbol
Item barcode
Australian War Memorial
Access status
Date of decision
14 Jun 1977
Physical format
PAPER FILES AND DOCUMENTS (allocated at series level)
Date registered
04 Nov 1992

It concerns the war crimes trial of Hiroshi Tamura the last Lt General in charge of the Japanese Prisoner of War Information Bureau. [PWIB]

The case was so big that the copies of the documents from the trial in the Australian War Memorial are bound in 8 large volumes.

What I found most interesting is that the trial files included the affidavit of Tadakatsu Suzuki who, during the war, was chief of the bureau in charge of Japanese nationals in enemy countries, from December 1942 to August 1945. It would appear that part of his role was liaison between the Red Cross and the PWIB and handled any Red Cross enquires about internees camps in Japan.

The Japanese PWIB was also involved with the exchange of internees such as the Wilders.

A number of years ago I found a Red Cross report that showed that at the end of the war Minister Suzuki stated that 18 Australian nurses taken from Rabaul New Britain [New Guinea] to Japan had a special status. Unfortunately there was no other information on what their special status was, thus my interest in Suzuki.

There is also a section of the transfer of prisoners on the Montevideo Maru which is also one of my interests.

There is a lot of information in the 8 volumes on the working of the Japanese PWIB in relation to the war cabinet and POW and internee camps. As yet I have found no specific mention of Weihsien but an order was sent out from the publicity division of the war ministry in January 1943 that states only the exact location of Chosen and Mukden [amongst other camps in different theatres of the war] could be mentioned in publicity.

Rod Miller

De : tapol_(Skynet)
Envoyé : lundi 20 août 2012 09:36
À : weihsien@topica.com
Objet : What happened to the Japs ?


When the Americans came to deliver us on 17th August ‘45, and after the Jap commandant officially surrendered, Staiger ordered the Japs to keep their weapons and continue their work by protecting the camp against the Communist guerrillas. As for “what happened to the Japs afterwards” we missed a good opportunity of knowing more in 2005. Just click on the topica messages for the second half of 2005 and make a search (Ctrl-F) with the words “just a thought” .... there are 18 entries.

A Japanese gentleman proposed to take part in the 60th anniversary celebrations ..... We could have known much more about “what happened to them after the war” and this Japanese gentleman (whoever he is) could have taken an active part in our Topica gossip.

Nobody seems to be interested in our Topica gossip anyway. Hardly a single message since the beginning of the year! Are you all OK?

I remember seeing in a TV documentary about the return of the Jap civilians (and military) back to Japan. They were disembarking from ships to their homeland. They looked like miserable refugees, with hardly any luggage and not one of them looked strait at the camera !!!

Best regards,

De : Natasha Petersen
Envoyé : vendredi 17 août 2012 18:38

À : weihsien
Objet : Fw: Liberation Day -- Eric Liddell movie

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

From: Mary Previte
To: weihsein@topica.com ; np57@cox.net
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2012 7:52 AM
Subject: Liberation Day -- Eric Liddell movie

August 17, 1945 --the day that angels came, dropping from the skies to liberate us. Who can forget that day?

Today I'll phone Tad Nagaki to reminisce with him. Tad is the last remaining American from the "DUCK MISSION" that liberated Weihsien. I'll say thank you once again. I'll phone Pat Moore in Texas and Carol Orlich in New Your to remind them again of the heroism of liberators Jimmy Moore and Pete Orlich.

But I'm AMAZED that last night -- a few hours before our Liberation Day -- I was aroused from bed by a telephone conference call from two movie producers in California and a script writer in New York, who has been working for years on an Eric Liddell movie. One of the producers has been the lead player in this long term effort to make a follow up of Chariots of Fire, the Eric Liddell movie that won the Academy Award more than 20 years ago. The script writer is Rich Swingel, the actor who wrote and produced the one-man show about Eric Liddell -- a show he has given off Broadway in New York, in Hong Kong, and most recently in London during the Olympics.

The mood on this call can only be described as optimistic, excited, and action-bound. The old timers prodded me to tell the Weihsien story to the new producer and all that I could about Eric Liddell. Many of you know that for years I have been feeding Rich Swingel every possible source and contact information about Eric Liddell. The producer, new to this project, and who has a long track record in producing movies, punctuated this narrative with questions. As we talked, they guided the new producer to the Weihsien web site -- so that the new producer could look names up as we talked -- and see what vast resources he has there, including Peter Bazire's Weihsien diary. After an hour and a half, they sounded excited, enthusiastic, and committed to make this happen. The new producer sounded confident that they could get the financial backing -- something that has held up this project for years. It seems that the paths of these men have come together at a time that the new producer is looking for just the right story to turn into a movie. He asked questions I could not answer. I know some of you can help.

After the American liberators took over the camp, what happened to the Japanese who were in charge of the camp? Where were they put? Were they locked up in any way?

Who can provide more information about Jimmy Moore?

I'll keep you updated.
Mary Taylor Previte

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