From: Natasha Petersen

To: weihsien

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 6:09 PM



Dear Weihsieners,

I have not had any messages since 12-18  Has anyone?

Natasha Petersen


From: Buddy Grant

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 11:16 PM

Re: messages




From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 7:19 PM

Re: messages


Not I.


From: Bobbie Bridger Backhouse

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 10:18 PM

Re: messages

Hi Natasha   Last message I had was from Terri Stewart   Was that the one you had ?  Bobbie Bridger Backhouse


From: Dwight W. Whipple

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:31 PM

Re: messages




From: George Kaposhilin

Sent: Saturday, February 12, 2011 8:36 PM

Re: messages

nor I


From: "Donald Menzi" <>

Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 7:10 AM

-: Messages

> Well, at least we've all received a lot of messages in the last day or so, so we know we're still alive. 
> This is a good time to wish everyone a "Happy Chinese New Year." 
How do the Chinese say that?
> Donald Menzi


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 10:27 AM

Re: messages


Hope yr'all OK ?

I can tell you that "our" website is visited about 160 times a month and that there are about 3200 pages in it --- so far! However, we are once more --- censored in China !!!!!



From: "Natasha Petersen" <>

Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2011 3:48 PM

Re: Messages


>  Yes, Donald, thank goodness we now know that the website is in working
> order.  I am happy about that as I am a first grader in computer workings
> and problems.       " Kung cee fa tsai" is happy new year in Chinese.


From: Ted Margrett

Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 9:28 AM

Re: Messages

Happy New Year in Mandarin or putonghu is "Guo Nian Hao" or "Xin nain kuaile".


From: claude giguere


Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 4:36 PM

Re: messages


no, nothing....


From: Laura Hope-Gill

Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 4:36 PM

: Re: Messages


It's nice to see you all.
Guo Nian Hao!

Laura (grand-daughter of Donald and Grace Hope-Gill)


From: "Buddy Grant" <>

Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 10:07 PM

Re: Messages


Ø  In Beijing try `Xin xi fa tsai`
> Buddy


From: "Natasha Petersen" <>

Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 11:26 PM

: Re: Messages


> My error --"Gung cee fa tsai"   --Hard "g"
> Natasha


From: Alison Holmes

Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 8:55 PM

RE: E-mail Address Change


Oh I am so glad to have had this jog of my memory! When Sass and Serendipity came out I tried in vain to get in touch with you but I would so enjoy having a copy of it. I don't do Pay Pal so as with the Mushroom Years I would need your address to send a cheque to...or if it is easier for you, I could just order it from Amazon...

I hope all is wondrously well with you...though I must say that getting creaky is not a lot of fun.

Everything has gone very quiet on the Weihsien Topica front for you think we might possibly have said all that could be said about that time? It amuses me to see grandchildren getting involved now.

Wonderful snowstorm happening right now here in the mountains of Arizona which will do a wonderful job of slowing down spring. No need to rush forward to the heat of summer just yet!

All the very best,

Alison (Martin...daughter of Gordon and Heather Martin, teachers at Chefoo and Kuling)



From: Ron Bright

Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:10 AM

- Re: E-mail Address Change




Do you recall Kamal at Weishein, am sure you do. He later became a very famous muslin and was featured in a new book '"Mosques in Munich". I contributed some of his early history from Los Angeles to Weishein based on some of your recollections. I was contemplating on having you write a book on that rascal!

Ron Bright

(ps Still haven't found Amelia)


From: Pamela Masters

Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:25 PM

-: Re: E-mail Address Change


Hi Allison -- Great hearing from you. I'm still wondering how you heard about the change of address through Weihsien Topica as I don't recall sending notification to Topica. Be that as it may, I repeat, it's great hearing from you.


If you'd like a copy of "Sass & Serendipity" it's still available. It's quicker to send your request to me direct, along with your physical address, and I'll ship it with a statement enclosed. You can pay for it after you receive it. The price is $15.00 plus shipping.


Thanks for touching base; it's always great to hear from someone who walked the walked with me years ago.


Warmest regards, Pamela


From: Pamela Masters

Sent: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 10:57 PM

-: Re: E-mail Address Change


Hi Ron --

If I recall, I sent you all the info I had about Ahkmid (sp?) Kamal in Los Angeles several years ago, and that sure wasn't enough to write a book on. He was one more ship that passed in the night, and until recently, he was still over the horizon. I still haven't gotten a copy of "Mosques in Munich," as I'm too busy just keeping up with all the current global happenings.

Good hearing from -- keep well,  Pamela


From: Raymond Moore

Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 12:54 AM

-: My story


Hi everyone,
At the behest of my family after we had celebrated our Golden Wedding, I have made my story available to them online.  It includes some chapters on my stay in Weihsien.  It is still a 'work in progress' so there are unfinished bits and empty chapters here and there.

I thought some of you may be interested to check it out, and so I have set up a website for this.  You will find it at: .

Although I am largely a silent partner in this group, I do however, keep a very keen eye on all the contributions and often go to the Weihsien pictures website for information.

best wishes

Ray Moore


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Monday, March 28, 2011 10:04 AM

- Re: My story


Dear Ray,

Thanks for the new link :-)

This is great and very professional. Congratulations. I already printed a few pages and am now settling down to read them. I do not have a iPad (yet) but A4-paper seems perfect for the job !!

I shall also have to learn more about "scribd" --- all this is new for me (and I guess that I am not the only one !!)

Oh! Yes!, I already added your new book on the Weihsien-Paintings' website with the correct link ---


best regards,



From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 9:56 AM

- Father Van Genechten


I finally received it -- in my letter-box -- the book I ordered about "Mon Van Genechten"

I ordered it on, and three months later they told me that it was unavailable. I was disappointed of course (and forgot all about it).

Recently, I had a e-mail contact with a very kind archivist of the town of Geel in Belgium who suggested I look at:

--- so, I ordered the book and got it just a few days later.

To whoever might be interested --- just click on the link. Father Van Genechten is indeed a fine artist and there are many of his paintings reproduced in the book. The only portrait of a person smoking a pipe is a self-portrait of the artist. Also a few colour reproductions at the end of the book. The texts are mostly in English and a few in Flemish.

Janette, Nicky and I will be going to Geel on the very beginning of May to visit Geel's town-hall and what can be seen of Father Van Genechten's paintings.

For Ron's listings, I asked for an official document with the mentioning of Van Genechten's presence in Weihsien but unfortunately --- nothing for the moment. I wrote to the Belgian Prisoners Association but got no answer yet !!

Hope everybody is OK !  Easter soon, and Russian Easter too --- the same day this year!

Best regards,



From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Friday, April 15, 2011 6:11 PM

-: Re: Father Van Genechten




I think I already sent you the following two references to Fr. Genechten in George Wilder's diary, but here they are anyway:


June 23-30, 1943

...I had had a full day, sitting for a pen portrait by Father Genechten for an hour.  He couldn't get the likeness as he did with Porter and Britland, both in characteristic pipe-smoking attitudes.


... I saw Father Genechten's picture of the dead Father, who is to be buried Friday temporarily in the cemetery cow pasture. 


Do we know what happened to the portraits that he did in Weihsien?  I'd love to see the one he did of my grandfather, if it exists.


Donald Menzi

From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Saturday, April 23, 2011 9:21 AM

- Re: Father Van Genechten


Hello Don,

Yes! we will be looking for these two sketches that you mention in your message.

I will let you know :-)

--- all the best,



From: Mary T. Previte

Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 11:21 PM

-: Proposed Eric Liddell movie -- an update


The producer who has been working on a new Eric Liddell movie for several years told me  last week  that he is very hopeful that the project is moving again.  He envisions it as a sequel to Chariots of Fire.   Money has been the big problem -- like finding $30 million


Ken Wales, the producer,  is  now working with Twentieth Century Fox on a different movie and says that  his new working relationship with Twentieth Century Fox has opened the door to the Eric Liddell story.  Wales hopes Twentieth Century would fund the Eric Liddell movie.   The script has been pretty much finished for some time.


Ken Wales and  script writer, Rich Swingell, told me again that they continue to consider Australia as the site where the movie might be produced.    They told me parts of Australia provide a promising pool of  ethnic Chinese and Japanese needed in the film as well Chinese-style architecture.


I was delighted to be part of  their  four-way telephone interview  today with former Chefoo student,  Jack Graham, who lives in St. Louis.


Because Jack doesn't use the Internet,  we are missing out on a gold mine of Weihsien information.  Jack says  the Americans who liberated Weihsien inspired him to choose a career in the Armed Services.  Jack ranked as Colonel in his military service.


I'll send a later account  of what Jack told us  about his hair-raising adventure of stealing a radio tube from a radio in one of the buildings in the Japanese quarters. He says he was given the assignment  by an internee,  Gerry "Lucky" LuckorLuckor is listed in my prisoner list as a 23-year-old American,  "company employee."


What do you remember of this man?


Mary T. Previte


From: Natasha Petersen

Sent: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 2:17 PM

-: Re: Proposed Eric Liddell movie -- an update


Mary, this did go to the weihsien list. I will check in a day or two to see whether you are re-listed.

I remember Gerry Luckor.  I believe that he worked for the British - American Tobacco Co.





Sent: Monday, May 02, 2011 7:53 PM

-: Mrs. Evelyn Huebner--nee Evelyn Davey


I am asking a favor of you who remember Evelyn Davey from the Chefoo contingent.  She  was in Weihsien for the duration of the war.


She will be celebrating her 96th birthday on May 20th.   I thought it would be a very nice gesture for us to  send  her birthday cards.  She loves to receive cards.


One of her daughters has kindly allowed us to use her e-mail address for those who would wish to write her that way.  Any memories you have of her would no doubt delight her and brighten her day.  The letters will be printed and given to Evelyn.


Evelyn lives in her own apartment and does her own cooking.  She has a very good memory.


Some of you from Weihsien might remember Evelyn Davey as your teacher,  as she taught kindergarten -- 


She was an active leader in Brownies and has contributed to the book by Janie Hampton called "How the Girl Guides Won the War".


She met her husband-to-be, Mr. Huebner,  in Weihsien.   He was the roommate of Eric Liddell. 


The  e-mail address is


Evelyn Huebner's mailing address is as follows:


Mrs. Evelyn Huebner

Greenbrier Apartments #102

14390 N.E. 189th Place

Woodinville, WA 98072


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 7:46 PM

- a visit to Geel - Belgium


Hello, Weihsien friends ---

We rendezvoused with Janette in a supermarket parking just East of the battlefield where Napoleon’s French army was defeated in June 1815. It was mid-morning of a beautiful sunny day. I set my GPS for a course bound for the city of Geel — express highways excluded. We then drove around the Eastern-side of Brussels in the finishing morning traffic and turned right for Tervuren, Leuven, Aaarschot — and Geel. We had a two hour ride through the pretty, very neat and clean Flemish countryside. Nicky and Janette did a lot of woman gossip while I concentrated on the GPS’s woman-voice instructions and driving the car safely on. We arrived in Geel somewhere around noon. It was market day and very animated with bicycles all over the place. We located the town hall, a big and modern building not more that two stories high and very well integrated in the green surroundings. The town hall buildings were a few hundred yards away from a typical Flemish-style church.

We had lunch and walked around a bit. Just before two o’clock we went to meet Gonnie Leysen as scheduled by our numerous e-mail exchanges. She is the town of Geel’s archivist and very well informed about Father Van Genechten. She already had a few paintings to show to us in the office next door and the conversation started immediately. We excused ourselves for our bad knowledge of the Flemish language and as Gonnie’s knowledge of French wasn’t so good either we all spoke in English and later on we mixed all the three languages and everything was very comprehensible for all of us. Just then, Lorry Sweerts arrived. He is THE Van Genechten specialist. He knew him personally when he was a young lad and admired Van Genechten a lot as a man and as an artist.

Of course, I had in my papers: the photo of Claude Giguère’s painting. I was quite certain that it was painted by Van Genechten but Lorry Sweerts confirmed the contrary.  Although the painting was the good style, it was not by Van Genechten. The signatures do not match and Lorry told us that in Van Genechten’s entourage, many other Chinese painters painted the same way. He thinks that the painter could be Luke Chen. Then we talked about George Wilder’s diary extracts. Unfortunately, no such sketches exist in Belgium. He has the sketch of a person smoking an opium pipe but that was not what we were looking for. Then, Lorry showed us two important documents … for our eyes only. They were yellow carbon copies, one: a document attesting that Edmond Van Genechten was a political prisoner imprisoned in Weihsien by the Japanese with signature and official stamp. I have the same kind of document in my personal papers and so has Janette. The second carbon copy was Van Genechten’s first letter home written in Flemish to his folks in Belgium just after the war. Lorry showed me the passages where he mentions Weihsien and the fact that our Japanese captors considered him as an artist and allowed him to sketch whoever he wished. The Japanese, he told us, had a great esteem for true artists and that is probably why Van Genechten was so free in his movements. Of course, all his sketches were confiscated by our guards and that is also possibly why only two sketches have survived that period. Lorry told us that Mon Van Genechten regarded those two sketches of Weihsien as his personal treasures. In the same letter, Van Genechten tells us that after a few weeks in camp he was asked to give drawing lessons to adults. Our mother who always liked to draw and paint attended those classes in Weihsien and told us about it. Later on, in the 1950ies she did painting lessons by correspondence with a French school and painted quite a few oil paintings of us and many different landscapes as well.

I know that Donald will be disappointed, but, IF the smoke-pipe-attitude-paintings still exist, they must be somewhere in Japan. Certainly not in China anymore. Everything was destroyed by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.

After that, Lorry and Gonnie guided us in the different offices and conference rooms of the Geel’s town hall. Van Genechten’s paintings are magnificently visible and Lorry has a long explanation for each one of them. What a fine artist he was!

Lorry also told us how all those paintings came from China to Geel. Well … at the end of the 1940ies when many of us left China, Father Van Genechten also came back to his homeland. His most precious belongings were his paintings. He rolled them up together, into three big rolls. Upon arrival, at the end of the voyage, in Antwerp, he descended the ship’s gangplank with the three precious rolls and while doing so, he lost grip of one roll, which fell into the river Scheldt, … where it still is today!

Janette asked Lorry, what “MON” stood for. “Mon” is diminutive of Edmondus, Van Genechten’s Christian name. He was known by his friends as “Mon” (or “Mond” for the French).

Of course, I checked with Father Hanquet’s listings of all the Belgians in camp but did not find any “Mon”. I did find one Edmond but it was not Van Genechten.

Lorry then showed us a quite a large room where he had the project of making a Van Genechten Museum.

It was already over 4 o’clock, we had a drink and I was allowed to take a photo of the group.

Our heads, buzzing with all the information we got in such a short time, we parted … very happy of such a nice afternoon in such good company.






Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 12:07 AM

-: update on proposed Eric Liddell movie


The producer who has been working on a new Eric Liddell movie for several years tells me today that he is very hopeful that the project is moving again.  He envisions it as a sequel to Chariots of Fire.   Money has been the big problem -- like finding $30 million


Ken Wales, the producer,  is  now working with Twentieth Century Fox on a different movie and says that  his new working relationship with Twentieth Century Fox has opened the door to the Eric Liddell story.  Wales hopes Twentieth Century would fund the Eric Liddell movie.   The script has been pretty much finished for some time.


Ken Wales and  script writer, Rich Swingell, have  told me again that they continue to consider Australia as the site where the movie might be produced.    They say that parts of Australia provide a promising pool of  ethnic Chinese and Japanese needed in the film as well Chinese-style architecture.


I was delighted to be part of  their  four-way telephone interview  recently  with former Chefoo student,  Jack Graham, who lives in St. Louis, USA.


Because Jack doesn't use the Internet,  we are missing out on a gold mine of Weihsien information.  Jack says  the Americans who liberated Weihsien inspired him to choose a career in the Armed Services.  Jack ranked as Colonel in his military service.


I'll send a later account  of what Jack told us  in this interview about his hair-raising adventure of stealing a radio tube from a radio in one of the buildings in the Japanese quarters. He says he was given the assignment  by an internee,  Gerry "Lucky" LuckorLuckor is listed in my prisoner list as a 23-year-old American,  "company employee."


What do you remember of this man?


Mary Previte


From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2011 5:40 AM

-: Re: a visit to Geel - Belgium


Thanks, Leopold.


Yes I am disappointed, but am grateful to you for making the effort.  Also happy that George Wilder's diary helps confirm Fr. Genechten's presence in Weihsien.  


At least you had a pleasant drive and visit, which you will always remember with pleasure.


Best wishes.




From: A. Knüppe- de Jongh

Sent: Sunday, May 15, 2011 7:07 PM

-: getting into touch.


Dear Mrs Petersen,

To my great dismay I only recently discovered the wonders of internet and I was able to find the Weihsiensite, full of

all my camplife memories.

My attempt to contact Leopold Pander, my neighbour in Block 22, failed. I used the address L=E9opold-Pander?=

but it didn't work. Would you be so kind as to let me know his e-mail?

I am Anne de Jongh (now mrs Knüppe) and I was interned with my parents and was the eldest of the 6 de Jongh

children. The past week was very emotional- all the events described in the various papers were familiar and I

was back in my childhood years. As an 80- year old I have been blessed with a good memory and it was quite a

sensation to read all the different stories, that I so well remember.

Thanking you in advance, kind regards,



P.S. this letter was originally sent to but it couldn't get there. So I'm trying it this way.


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 9:28 AM

-: re: getting in touch


Dear Anne,

What a good surprise to read you after such a long time ...

Of course, I just phoned to Janette and forwarded your message to her. I am sure that you have much in common with her about our Weihsien days. This is her e-mail address: (in fact, it is her husband's name).

I don't remember Weihsien, but I took a liking for computers (as a hobby) and built all this website to try to remember those days. Already more than 3200 pages to read and I still hope to get more and more memories ---

Here is my private e-mail address:

Hope to read you soon,



From: anne knüppe- de Jongh

Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 11:29 PM

-: Fw: Weihsien


I tried to send you this message to your home address,, but it wasn't accepted, Thank you for your prompt reply by email.

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

From: A. Knüppe- de Jongh

Sent: Monday, May 16, 2011 4:39 PM

-: Weihsien


Dear Natasha


How nice that you remember our family. I'm afraid I can't exactly recall you but I'll ask my sister Wies in California if she remembers you

To my great surprise I succeeded in joining the club and this morning Leopold P. sent me a reply so that I can contact him at home. Thanks

for your offer to help me register as a  member.

All the messages and summaries of our Weihsien years are really keeping me quite busy these past and coming days. Although I realize

they were hard times, I still somehow enjoy experiencing the feelings of a young girl with her whole life ahead, waiting to be released from camp. 

I'm sure we'll have regular contact in future.

With kind regards,





Sent: Friday, May 20, 2011 6:03 PM

-: Miss Eveklyn Davey (Huebner)


In case some of you didn't receive the letter about Evelyn Davey's 96th birthday--it is today and the above e-mail will reach her--if you wish to send her a birthday greetings to brighten up her day.


She lives alone in her apartment.  Her memory is good--the above e-mail is one of her daughter's e-mai address.  They will kindly print off any message received to give to her. 


Evelyn was involved with brownies etc in Weihsien and also  gave much information about brownies etc.  for the book on "How the Girl Guides Won the War" by Janie Hampton.  Her future husband, Mr. Huebner, roomed with Eric Liddell. 


Audrey Nordmo Horton


From: Dwight W. Whipple

Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2011 7:53 PM

-: Re: My story "moondani kyema"


Ray Moore~

Thank you for your life story in the book, "moondani kyema."  A lot of familiar names and places because my parents were also missionaries in China under the CIM.  We were living in Tsingtao (Qingdao) when WWII started and were placed under house arrest immediately on Dec 8, 1941.  Then to a hotel, Iltis Hydro in Tsingtao, then to Weihsien.  We arrived March, 1943 and were repatriated in September so we overlapped with you just a week or so.  Your comments about people, especially your parents resonate with the feelings of a lot of us "kids" who were MK's.  Our life journeys take us through various and sometimes winding paths.  In our own family the four of us kids, all of us were together during the war years, have quite different reactions/responses to what happened to us during those days.  Would love to get together with you and share notes!  Our personal email address is  Would love to connect.

~Dwight W Whipple



Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 1:33 AM

-: Weihsien -- The Len Mapes Story


Today, I received a copy of a fascinating -- and illustrated -- story in the June issue of Leatherneck Magazine written by retired Lt. Colonel Tom McKenney of the U. S. Marines. (Here in the USA,  Marines are nicknamed "Leathernecks." )  Most of this story took place in or around Weihsien -- with the Len Mapes adventure taking place on October 12, 1945, on the Weihsien landing strip. .


Because we four Taylor children were evacuated  from the Weihsien landing strip  on September  10, 1945,  the deadly confrontation in this story is all new to me.  I never  before heard  of any shootout during any evacuations of prisoners  from Weihsien.


Here's a small  excerpt about the confrontation at the air strip. I quote verbatim from the story::


"A Mission to Be Remembered

    "Among the prisoners in Weihsien was a 72-year-old White Russian of distinguished background.  She might have been a countess,  related to Czarina Alexandra.  Her husband was a Romanov, related to the late czar.  She would have  had enormous propaganda value to the Chinese Communists, who were aware of her presence.


   " Lt. Mapes was briefed about her presence and that the Chinese Communists might take her, and the team was prepared.   Sharp shooters were  stationed at open windows. instructed  to open fire on the Chinese the moment a  shot was fired by anyone.


"Into Weihsien

    "Mapes landed in Weihsien without opposition and taxied to the landing area  The prisoners had been trucked to the airfield,  and when the R4D rolled up and stopped, they were ready.


    "Leaving the copilot at the controls with one engine running and the brakes on,  Mapes climbed down to supervise the loading of the prisoners as the sharpshooters took up their positions.  The prisoners climbed aboard on the fold-out ladder and the loading was accomplished smoothly.  The starboard engine continued to run at a fast idle with the engine straining against the brakes.


"I Will Have the Countess"

    "As the last prisoners were being seated, a Chinese Communist colonel arrived with a escort of soldiers.  With an air of belligerent authority, he announced that he would take possession of "the countess."    The sharpshooters were at the ready, their M1s locked and loaded.  To fire, they had only to push the safety forward with their trigger finger and squeeze.  The colonel's escort stood at order arms.


    "Mapes' reply could not be misunderstood, no matter what the language,  and the colonel seemed to expect the negative reply.  Without another word, his hand moved toward his pistol and opened the holster flap.  Mapes instinctively drew his .38 from its shoulder holster.   In one uninterrupted motion,  before the colonel's pistol cleared its holster. Mapes shot the colonel in the forehead.


    "There was no turning back.  With that first shot, the Marine sharpshooters opened fire with a fusillade on the colonel's escort.  Shocked at what they were seeing,  the Communist soldiers hesitated,  and most were down before they could bring their rifled to the ready.   It happened in a matter of seconds.


"A Little Too Quick on the Throttles"

    "When the  firing began, the copilot started the port engine, released the brakes and eased the throttles forward.  The Chinese were not all dead and fired a few ineffective rounds as Mapes sprinted after the R4D.  He caught the trailing edge of the fold-out ladder, skipped along as the R4D picked up speed and, with the help from the sharpshooters, scrambled through the open door.  As he caught his breath, the aircraft lifted off the runway.


    "Mapes and the sharpshooters pulled in the ladder and closed and secured the door. He then went forward settled into his seat as the R4D's 1,200 horsepower engine roared, clawing away toward safety.  Mapes made a climbing, wide left turn, set  a course of Tsingtao and chastised the copilot  ("he was a little too quick at the throttles").  Everyone began to relax.  It had been quite a day, but they had taken no casualties.  They were headed for home and the prisoners were free.


Great Work That Never Happened

    "Although there were free drinks and backslapping at the officers' club back at Tsingtao, the rescue of the prisoners, including the distinguished Russian, without taking a casualty, was one of those exceptional accomplishments covertly appreciated, but never recognized officially.  The incident had the potential to produce a political hurricane. For that reason,  Mapes would never be decorated for the rescue or have it mentioned in his fitness report."



The author notes that "no official record of the details of this particular mission is available; this account is based on Maj. Mapes' recollections, which remain vivid after more than 65 years."


Since the evacuated internees in this story were flown to Tsingtao,   I'd like to hear more about this  from those of you who were also evacuated to Tsingtao.  Surely these heroics would have been breathtaking news to internees there.  What do you know of this incident?


After reading this story,  I wish Weihsien liberator 1st Lt.  Jim Hannon were still alive to add what he remembers of this incident.  After Major Stanley Staiger and most of the Duck Mission rescue team left to set up an OSS base in Tsingtao,  Hannon stayed and took charge of evacuating internees from Weihsen.


Tom Bridge, who was this 72-year-old White Russian countess?


I've asked Lt. Col. Tom McKenney to give permission to post this fascinating story on the Weihsien web site.


Mary Taylor  Previte


From: Ron Bright

Sent: Thursday, June 09, 2011 10:06 PM

-: Re: Weihsien -- The Len Mapes Story/Earhart?



 Although there is no physical description of the Russian Princes or her condition at the Camp, I wonder if that is the "comatose" woman that Hannon believes was Amelia Earhart who was separated from the other prisoners and eventually flown out secretly?

Have you read Hannon's book?

Ron Bright;

Earhart researcher


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 8:52 AM

-: Re: Weihsien -- The Len Mapes Story/Earhart?



The story Mary sent to us mentions :

"Among the prisoners in Weihsien was a 72-year-old White Russian of distinguished background. ---

72 years old, thus born in 1873 !

If you make a search in Ron Bridge's listings, you find:


Leonie Anastasia





Household Work



Trans 16.08.43



According to this list, the Belgian lady was transferred with the large group of Americans in August 1943 on the Grispholm.


Who was that lady?




From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:17 AM

-: Fw: Weihsien -- The Len Mapes Story/Earhart?


oooops! My mistake ----

--- it was not the Gripsholm but the group of priests ---



From: Ron Bridge

Sent: Saturday, June 11, 2011 10:05 PM

-: RE: Weihsien -- The Len Mapes Story/Earhart?


Dear All,

The lady that Leopold mentions  Smets was a member of the Franciscan Missionary of Mary captured at TaiYuan and transferred to Peking on 16 Aug 1943 tshe was not moved with the Americans during Sep 43( only move in August was 224 on 16 Aug 43 and 226 onP 23 Aug 43 all of whom were RC Priests and relgious)  and I suspect irrelevant to this quest.


Ron Bridge.

PS Ron Bright suggestion re Aemelia Earhart is very very unlikely


From: "Donald Menzi" <>

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:28 AM

-: Helen Burton's Barter Shop


Ø  Do any of you know if the barter shop that Helen Burton set up in Wehsien (perhaps called "The White Elephant's Bell")continued to operate after she was repatriated in Sept. 1943?  If any of you remember this I have a fascinating story to tell you, which would take more time than I have right now.
> Donald


From: Terri Stewart

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:31 AM

-: Re: Helen Burton's Barter Shop


Hi again Donald,

In the attached document of another email to you, there is a quote of what happened to the shop at the camp.  I do not know who the writer was, but at least there is a brief explanation of what happened after Helen left Weihsien.




From: "Donald Menzi" <>

To: "weihsien" <>

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:52 AM

-: Helen burton's Barter Shop


Ø  Do any of you remember if the Weihsien barter shop continued to operate after its founder, Helen Burton, was repatriated.  A very heartwarming thing has happened recently with regard to her, which I will share with you when I have more time to write it.
> Donald


From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 4:35 AM

-: Re: Helen Burton's Barter Shop


Thanks, Terri,


As you can see I canceled my request after reading your email.  Thanks again for the excerpts.




From: Natasha Petersen

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 2:20 PM

-: Re: Helen Burton's Barter Shop


Would it be possible for the rest of us to read about the "White Elephant".  Did it not continue to exist?




From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 3:25 PM

-: Re: Helen Burton's Barter Shop


Yes, I'll send you the whole story - hopefully this evening.




From: Natasha Petersen

Sent: Friday, June 24, 2011 8:37 PM

-: Fw: Tad Nagaki



Mary Previte is on and off the Weihsien member listing.  I have not been able to get a response from Topica, and I have promised Mary that I would forward her email to Topica, and emails from member Weihsieners will be forwarded to Mary.


Natasha Petersen


From: Natasha Petersen

Cc: Previte, Mary

Sent: Saturday, June 25, 2011 9:38 PM

-: Fw: Weihsien internee John Taylor visits Len Mapes


I will forward any email messages for Mary Previte sent to   Weihsien-Topica.


Natasha Petersen


From: George Kaposhilin

Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 12:37 AM

-: Re: Weihsien internee John Taylor visits Len Mapes


I was evacuated to Tsingtao from Weihsien. We did stay at the Edgewater Hotel, a luxurious experience after Weihsien sponsored by the U.S. government. I lived in Tsingtao until August 1948 when I immigrated to the U.S. During this time Tsingtao was in control of the U.S. military with a strong presence of the the U.S. Marines and Navy. I never heard of any incident of a Communist leader being killed at the Weihsien airport. There was little communist presence in the city but a lot in the surrounding countryside.


George Kaposhilin (aka George Watts in the camp)


From: "mncpether" <>

Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 2:03 AM

-: Re: Weihsien internee John Taylor visits Len Mapes


Hello George,

I had a relative ( originally from New Zealand but married to a British captain of Shell Oil tankers) who was interned in Tsingtao at the Iltis Huk Hotel – Mrs Flora Goodyear aged about 60 at the time – who lived in quite a grand house at 10 Yueh Yang Road she built  built around 1938.I have attached some photos to help stimulate anyone's memory.

She was a widow and she appears not to have been moved to Weihsien with others for the duration. She was not well but survived the war and remained in Tsingtao after the Japanese surrendered. Apparently her house had been occupied by the Japanese but was trashed by the time  she returned to it after the surrender. We believe that because of her health and age she might have spent the war at the Iltis Huk – this is the address on Red Cross cards.

A long shot but did you or anyone else come across such a person after the War?


Michael Pether


From: Ron Bridge

Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2011 9:55 AM

-: RE: Weihsien internee John Taylor visits Len Mapes


I must support George in his statement. It was actually called Edgewater Mansions and was sort of Small appartments. There is no record of the shooting incident in any report of the Duck Mission or the other visiting military teams. That does not mean to say it did not take place but I suspect in anoher context

I transitted Tsingtao in August 1946 en route from Tianjin to Shanghai in an ex USN LST called the Wanhsien run by the China National Relief and Rehabitation Adminstration, ostensibly distributing UNRRA aid to Chinese but a useful vehicle to line Kuomingtang offcials bank accounts.

The very natural harbour was packed with USN ships of all sizes. Bear in mind too that the 3rd Amphibious Crops of the USMC comprising the 1, 3 and 5? divisions total 50,000 plus marines had been shipped into North China from Okinawa to protect the Railways and infrastructure. I have old 8mm film showing Tsingtao harbour.

Those evacuated from Weishien by rail to Tsingtao were either taken to US by the USN,  taken to Hongkong by the USN or by Royal Navy.

those that flew out mainly  by C 47 although an occasional C46 was used had left Weishien by 24 October. 


I hope that this refereshes memories or edcuates those who were no their

[Ron Bridge] 



From: "Donald Menzi" <>

Sent: Monday, June 27, 2011 2:42 AM

-: Helen Burton


Ø  Hi, All,
> Family visits have taken more time than I thought and my piece of the Helen Burton story is going to take longer than I had planned. Sorry, but it'll get there eventually.
> Donald

From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 5:55 PM

-: Fw: Weihsien Camp song, add'l letters




I'm forwarding this from Terri Stewart, who was unable to get it through to the web site.  Can you also check as to the reason it might have bounced.



-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Terri Stewart
Sent: Jun 24, 2011 9:26 PM

-: Fw: Weihsien Camp song, add'l letters

 Hi Again Donald,

Would you please forward this to Leopold for me? I tried using the web site's email contact and the whole thing kicked back at me. Thanks!


Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011, 1:17 AM

Hi All & Leopold,


Leopold, the rest of us have had frequent emails between us in regards to Helen Burton and my great Aunt, Ruth Kunkel. We have sent pictures and information to Zi, who's grandmother was Helen Burton (one of her adoptive daughters was his mother, Tzu Yi Burton) and recently I came into another long-awaited batch of letters from my g.Aunt. I am attaching some of the camp songs she wrote down along with many articles of information about Weihsien and Ruth's life during those years and after. Please feel free to put on your site anything you feel is worthy. I have had to retype all of this because the paper is in such a delicate condition, that I do not want to handle it very much or - to a copier any more than necessary.


The rest of the information that came in this new batch of letters is more personal family stuff and I will not be sharing those. I have included the info that most relates to the camp. My mother still has many letters from before the war but my brother and I are sneaking them out of the house bit by bit to copy and then return. Her mental health is beginning to suffer and for some strange reason, this is a touchy - and she will not let me research this material on my own. I will provide more info as I am able to discover it over time.


Terri Stewart




Blues by Nancy Cochran, Tune by Solomon Levi


We used to be executives  who labored with our brains,

With secretaries neat and quick to spare us many pains.

And when the ticker tape gave out we didn’t touch a thing,

The office staff could tend to that, we did the ordering.



But now we’re in Weihsien

Nothing’s too dirty to do

Slops, pots or garbage or stirring a vegetable stew

To shine in this delightful camp, you join the labor corps

Where, if you do your work too well, they work you more and more.


For since we’ve come to Weihsien camp they’ve worked us till we’re dead

Though now we’re called the labor corps, we’ll be a corpse instead.



Some say that white’s a color pure so baking should be chaste

So now you see me plastered up from head to foot in paste.

But since Cordell’s supporting us the bakery can go

For now the comfort money’s come, why should we raise the dough!



I used to take my steak well done. I could not stand it rare,

But now whene’re the cows come home, the blood gets in hair.

We call it roast or steak or chops, but when the cookings through

No matter how we cut it up, it all turns into stew.



If mama just could see me now, she wouldn’t know her boy

My rosy cheeks and golden locks were once her pride and joy

But stoking fires and hauling coal have crusted me with jet

Though ladies may prefer us blondes, alas I’m now brunette.



I thought I’d take an office job to spare my lily hands

And so I signed with the police and issued my commands

But when police began to count they put me on the shelf

For though I counted everyone I clean forgot myself.



You’d think to hear these fellows sing, the men do all the work

But I am here to tell you now, the ladies never shirk.

We clean the leeks, we scrub the floors but then, what really hurts

When they have done the dirty work, we have to wash their shirts.




Tune – The Old Oaken Bucket

How dear to our hearts are the scenes of old Weihsien

When fond recollection presents them to view

The court yards, the main roads, the well trodden by ways, paths

And every loved spot where we stood in a queue

The beautiful garden , the wide spreading shade trees

The birds whose gay songs start the day with good cheer

But foremost among them a holding our mem’ries

The wonderful people that dwell with us here.

They’re folks that we eat with

They’re folks that we play with

They’re folks that we live with

The best of all here.


They’re preachers and teachers and doctors and nurses

Professors, musicians, and artists a few

They’re blonde and brunette and ones and all in between ones

They’re old ones and young ones and wee babies too


They’re Catholic fathers and busy Dutch cleansers

They’ve fashions in headgear and gowns without end

We list to the talk that betrays many nations

But all of them now are just neighbors and friends

They’re folks that we eat with

They’re folks that we play with

They’re folks that we live with

The best of all here.


When we are far away will mem’ries throng

Of Weihsien as we knew it in tale and song?

And as we sit imbibing ice-cold tea

Will we remember soup in kitchens three?

And as we motor o’er country wide

Think of the garbage cans we dumped outside/

No matter where we roam when once we’re free

Weihsien will ever be part of you and me.

No matter where we roam when once we’re free

Weihsien will ever be part of you and me.


Take Me Back Home, F.W. Cheney

Oh give me a home where the buffaloes roam

And they don’t cut things up to make hash!

Where the boy mops the floors and does all the chores

And looks after the garbage and trash.


Oh give me a home near the old Canidrome

Quite content ‘neath its roof I’ll remain

And I never will scold if it’s hot or it’s cold

Or the weather brings sunshine or rain.



Home. Let me go home

Where the beer and the cantaloupes stay

And I will not complain if never again

See my little gray bunk in Chapei.


In my slumbers I dream of strawberries and cream

And the waffles my cook used to make

Of Virginia baked ham and roast chicken and lamb

Real coffee and angel food cake

Then I wake with a jump,  I am still in this dump

And it’s time to get something to eat.

So I mutter, “Oh well” as I answer the bell

And come back with a dish of cracked wheat.


I’ve stopped using a comb on my once furry dome

I am needing new specks for my eyes

And my teeth day by day are dropping away

Cause they don’t get enough exercise.


Oh! How gladly I’d change everything within range

For a platter of good Chinese chow

Oh! How gladly I’d swap for a breaded pork chop

All the rice between her and Swatow.


Oh! Let me go back to my seven room shack

Where my cook and my amah abide

Where the blue bottle flies don’t crawl over the pies

And the screens keep the skeeters outside.


For I’m tired of this range and the measles and mange

And I’m weary of standing in line.

And I’d give the whole lot to get out of this spot

And go back to the that old home of mine.


My Souvenirs

I used to live at the Cathay

Where I was happy and free

They caught me and brought me to Chapei

Oh! They can’t do this to me.


There’s nothing left for me

Of days that used to be

There’s not one CRB

Among my souvenirs.


I used to have a car

And dine on caviar

But now I thank my star

If I get beef and tea.


My one and only wish

Is for a glorious dish

That doesn’t smell of fish

Among my souvenirs.


I had upon my rack

A white farina sack

It’s now an apron black

Among my souvenirs.


My days are filled with gloom

There’s 15 in my room

A bucket and a broom

My only consolation.


A sentimental soul

I keep my monthly dole

Of Happy Paper Roll

Among my souvenirs.


My one and only aim

To have a wooden frame

I guess you know the name

Among my souvenirs.


My life is not my own                                   

I want to be alone

I think that I’ll go home

And drink my gin and vodka.


My arm band bright and gay

Embroidered with an “A”

Is safely tucked away

Among my souvenirs.


Going To Goa

There’s a ship a comin  from the good old homeland

And she’s due most any day.

We’re goin’ to Goa and we won’t stop goin

Till we hit the USA.


We’ve stuck it out till the last call sounded

And we ain’t made any fuss

But now we’re packing for the last long voyage

For the east is through with us.



Yes, the east is through with us

We can no longer stay

We’re goin’ to  Goa and we won’t stop goin

Till we hit the USA.


When the war first started we were settin’ pretty

And the skies were bright and blue

We thought we owned most of Shanghai city

And the natives thought so too.


Now we’ve lost it all but the socks we stand in

And there’s just one thought to cheer

We’ve done our bit for this Greater East Asia Co-

Prosperity Sphere.


Since we’ve moved to this Assembly Center

We’ve lived like kings and jacks

We’ve grown so fat that our clothes hand on us

Like a bunch of gunny sacks.


Oh! There ain’t no kickin’ and there ain’t no crabbin

‘Bout the way they treat us here.

We like chicken peas better’n old fried chicken

And we’d rather have tea than beer.


There’s a lot of prayers that we all been prayin

‘Sides the one ‘bout daily bread

There’s a lot of things we might be sayin

That are better left unsaid.


There’s a lot of roads that a man can travel

And they don’t all lead to home

But there’s just one song we all are singin

And it sure is “Home Sweet Home.”


There’s a guy back home by the name of Sweeney

Who will meet us at the pier

And he’ll want to know all we can tell him


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2011 11:02 AM

-: website


Dear Terri,

I sent your message via topica and it came back to me perfectly :-) --- so, I hope that you all got it the same way.

I shall gladly add all that on the website for everybody to read.

Could you help me for the layout? Photos? Sound recordings of the songs! ?? It could be amusing to have those words put into music ? (just a suggestion) ---

thanks in advance

--- all the best,



From: Terri Stewart

Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 3:27 AM

-: Re: website


Hi Leopold,

It all came through just fine and thank you for your personal email address - I'm adding that to my contact list so we don't go through this again. No, sadly I have no recordings, music or images to go with this. Just the words typed out on small sheets of paper. A couple of the songs gave an indication of the tune they were sung to (not all original scores here) but they are before my time, so I'm no help as to how the tunes go. Perhaps Mary Previte or others might remember? I will send you more info that may not have gotten to you before and you can decide whether or not to put that info on the site as well, but sending that to you on your personal email address since it will be an attachment.



From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 6:52 AM

-: Ruth’s Letters – new batch


Hello Terri,

Here comes the first batch for "topica"

I shall try to get it on the website asap ---




Ruth’s Letters – new batch


Article written by Robert O’Brien, San Francisco Newspaper (no year on clipping)

“Frederick B. Snite, father of the young man in the “Iron Lung,” was here last week. One of the friends he looked up and took to dinner was Miss Ruth Kunkel of Berkeley, who arrived home last year aboard the refugee ship Gripsholm after internment in a Jap prison camp. A former teacher of nursing at the Peking Hospital, Miss Kunkel tended to Snite’s son when first stricken by infantile paralysis in China eight years ago.”


Another clipping, no year or name of paper or writer:

“Mobilized Women To Hold Luncheon”

  The experiences of an American woman as a Japanese prisoner of war in China and her repatriation via the U.S.S. Gripsholm will be told at the spring luncheon of the Mobilized Women of Berkeley on Wednesday at noon at the organization’s headquarters, 1002 University Ave.

  Miss Ruth Kunkel, the speaker, was returned to the United States on the second trip of the Gripsholm after some three years’ internment in Japanese prison camps. (note; Ruth was liberated after 6 months from Weihsien). She, together with other American and British -s, was imprisoned by the Japanese when they invaded Peking, where she was serving with the Rockefeller Institute (note: that school went by a more common

name, Peiping Union Medical College.)


Newspaper clipping – source and date unknown

“Prison Celebration: There Were No Fireworks, but U.S. Internees in China Saw a Good Omen”

  Fourth of July a year ago is sharp in the memory of Miss Ruth Kunkel, American nurse who recently returned to the Bay Area (San Francisco) after 15 years in North China. It was, to be exact, 14 short and pleasant years in Peking, and six long, un-pleasant months in a Japanese concentration camp, terminated by repatriation on the Gripsholm, last December.

  “Celebration of the Fourth in Weihsien camp,” said Miss Kunkel, “was lacking in fireworks, but it furnished us with a storm we used to good effect.”

  “All of us Americans spontaneously appeared that morning in red, white and blue, at least as to hair ribbon or necktie, and we sat long over and bread-and-water breakfast in the mess hall watching our fellow prisoners come in and admiring their efforts. Now and then the applause got so loud some of the Britishers dropped by to see what we Yanks were up to.”

  “The cheers about lifted the roof when Helen Burton, famous for her Camel Bell gift shop in Peking, swept in. She had somehow contrived a dress of red stripes and topped it with a blue jacket to which she’d basted white stars. We’d have waved her to the breeze if we’d had a flagpoye!”

  The interned Americans, Miss Kunkel went on, spent the day entertaining their friends at parties, refreshments being crackers and jam they had left of their hoards, or precious items like peanuts or hard-boiled eggs that had come in “over the wall.” Celebrations and a baseball game were interrupted, however, by an unexpected rain.

  “It was a cloudburst, really,” she explained, “and almost as unusual in that part of China as it would be here in California. It was so sudden and strong that it washed down a long stretch of the mud walls surrounding the camp. We could have walked out – but the Japs would have had little difficulty rounding up Occidentals in that flat, forsaken region, if we had.”

  “But we used that wall for its full propaganda value. ‘Look,” we said to our Jap guards. “This is an omen. Today, on America’s big Independence Day,  a rain washes down the wall of the camp, here. That is a sign from heaven. It shows even Nature is on our side. And it’s sure proof we’re going to win the war.”

  “And, believe me,” added Miss Kunkel, “those Japs turned really pale.”


Letter from Ruth, Nov. 8 1945

  On the Lavaca were the following whom I saw: Stephen Shaw, Luscious Porter, The Norman Hos, Orchestra man West and his wife who was the Desmond girl with their cute little chocolate drop of a daughter, John and Mary Stanley with little Charlie, Mrs. Helen Chien with Marguerite and Jeannie, Dr. Sam Young, John Hayes and his old mother, Lang Gilkey, Mrs.Lang and other I think but can’t remember at the moment, Mrs. Pyke and Mrs. Hubbard.

  It was a big day. I spent hours on the pier but did not mind a bit since we had a regular old home week there. Saw Shirley Duncan, Dolly Gray, Selma Payne, Dr. Ralph Lewis, Mrs. Fason Jordan, Eleanor Shaw, Dr. Pettus, Mrs. Luscious Porter, The Stanley’s, etc. Fun!

  That evening Eleanor Breed  (friend in Berkeley) and I went down to see John and Mary Stanley and Luscuis Porter. We sat spellbound listening to the stories of things that happened in the camp after we left. Here are some tidbits: Ridgeway’s wife was sent to camp but she was in delicate health (whatever that means). Preston’s wife did not get there but he was flown out of camp early to go to meet her. Leo and Hilda Bielfeld are reported us having been killed by guerillas who found that Leo was working for the Japs. Dolly Pearson’s mother died while Dolly and her brothers were in camp but Dolly was fine and a bright spot in camp life. The Shoemakers were a source of trouble during their entire stay – they made false accusations against people and would not cooperate in the new roll call regulations that arose after Hummell and Tipton escaped. Miss Bailey went back to Peking as did Mabel Margetts who had a bad arthritic condition which made it difficult for her to walk. Others who went back were Alice Moore, Mrs. Kendall, Leilia Hinckley, Marge Moyler, the Irwins, Wrights, Shaws, Peter Lawless (Mrs. Lawless died of typhoid in camp), McGuire, etc. Agony Black fell in love in camp and it was mutual so she ceased to be a sore spot but sat and mooned day after day.

  Yes, Iris Sidow came back and was met by her “real” husband. The Albert girl had a baby in camp – no marriage – father was Wade. Mosley, Laughlin, Dorland remained suspect up to the end. Payton was flown out because he had been very ill and in the hospital for several months.

  After Italy declared war the Italians of Shanghai and north China were sent to Weihsien and a separate part walled off for them. They took in crates of food and helped the guys who had been interned so long. The Rivas of Peking did not go.

  After Hummell and Tipton escaped in June of 1944, the discipline became rigid. For ten days, ten of the prominent men, especially those who had lived near the two escapees, were put into the church and were closely guarded. They had to do everything at the same time and were not allowed to talk to each other. Luscius Porter says this worked OK except that the Japs could not figure out a plan whereby all could go to the toilet at the same moment. So when a man had to go he went to the church window and called out to the guards “benjo.” Then an armed guard escorted him.

  They had to go to the toilet that was in the newly walled off Italian compound and the Italians fixed up a code whereby they left messages and cigs in the twilley for the marooned men. Slick I think, but the very best plan was that used in getting news into camp. Mr. Chu of Peking was its instigator. Remember he was in our kitchen. He and another man would go outside the gate every morning with the garbage box. After they had dumped the box they would go back up the ramp and up to the top of the mound where they would have to sit down to rest for a few minutes. While they were sitting there, the Chinese coolie who cleaned the latrines would appear at the gate and be searched by the guards. Then he would come on in and as he passed the open garbage box, he would spit into it out one side of his mouth. Then Chu and friend would put the cover onto the box and go on to the kitchen. There they would retrieve and wash the small piece of silk on which all was written. Sometimes it would merely be that they should use special caution the next day as there was to be very important news. After the war was over the “latrine coolie” turned out to be the head of the Weihsien Police Force. When he came into the camp with the Americans, the Japs were go to  “fall upon” him but he was protected by our men.

  Tipton and Hummell worked for over a year right near the camp with the so called communists and when they came into the camp after the Americans got there, they were held. Were they sore, oh boy. And I do not blame them.

  Charlie Stanley is the cutest kid. Mary said that after they reached Tsingtao and were in the Edgewater Mansions, Charlie begged to go back to camp and he said he didn’t like Tsingtao. Mary is expecting in March.

  The Arthur Wrights have gone back and will live with Mr. Husselmann in one of Mr. Chin’s house which had been rented by Bob Drummond.

  The day the paratroopers came, John Stanley said he spent in dodging “help.” It seemed that in whatever direction he ran the plane seemed to follow and there was real danger of being hurt. All went well, however, and only one man was damaged slightly.

  The ones who came home were among the first five hundred out of the camp. Only that many could go out at a time since they had to be housed in Tsingtao. I read a letter Mary Wright wrote after the bunch had one and she said the mud was awful following a three day rain. Can’t you just feel it?  A better type of stove was developed after we left. It was  specially designed for coal balls and held the heat all day. Also had oven space where soy beans could be kept for several days when they were really cooked.

  The two roll calls a day were a source of annoyance but lasted to the end. People were shuffled around too after the boys left (Hummel et Co.). Several houses near the wall were torn down. Among them the Stanley’s. The barbed wire fence outside the camp was reinforced and electrified.

  Helen Burton’s White Elephant functioned to the end and was greatly appreciated. It became too big a job for Mary Wright to handle and was taken over by a committee of men. Shows how big the child became.

  It was reported that all D’anjou girls are safely married. Mr. Marshall of Du Nord is dead. I can’t remember all the news but hope that some of this is new to you and that you’ll get a kick out of it as I did.  Gladys Ryan was a peach all through.


Magazine clipping – source & date unknown

North China – Weihsien

  The American Presbyterian Mission Compound, two miles southeast of Weihsien, a city of 30,000 inhabitants in Shantung Province, half way between Tsingtao and Tsinanfu, is the site of the principal internment camp for North China. The camp was opened in March 1943, internees being transferred mainly from Tientsin, Peking, and Tsingtao. Later, in September 1943, more internees arrived from Chefoo, the camp there being closed. One large transfer from Weihsien, however, occurred in August 1943 when about 450 Catholic missionaries were moved to Peking to be interned in nine different religious houses.

  After the above transfers, and the repatriation of a majority of the Americans and Canadians at Weihsien, there remained about 1400 internees. Mr. Egle, the Shanghai Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, visited Weihsien on November 9 and 10, 1943. He reported that there were 202 United States, 1093 British, 42 Belgian, 28 Dutch, and 58 other nationals there, of whom 358 were children.

  The Mission Compound comprises a tract of land about the size of five large city blocks, and is surrounded by a high brick wall. Buildings consist of several three-story school buildings, some residential bungalows, a church, and a hospital. Single men are housed in small rooms and dormitories, single women live in school rooms converted into dormitories, while families use single or double rooms. Frequently four persons in a family share one 12’ x 8’ room. Heat is furnished by small cast iron stoves.

  The hospital, built in 1924, was originally well equipped, but waves of guerilla warfare throughout this region have left buildings with very little except four walls and a roof. Interned doctors and nurses with the help of others, however, have done much to restore the building and equipment. Favored with good weather from March until September, doctors have maintained a surprisingly good standard of health, the chief problem so far being a high incidence of gastroenteritis during the summer.

  The church, in addition to being the center of religious activities, is used as a general recreation hall. Theatricals and concerts are held regularly, one of the features being two-piano recitals made possible by the possession of two grand pianos. Outdoor sports are also popular, particularly softball, tennis, basketball, and volleyball.


How the “Palace of Ruth” came to be. Newspaper clipping (source unknown) column titled, So We’re Told, by Hal Johnson

 (Note: Helen Burton had spoken of her many visits to Ruth Kunkel’s Peiping home and often referred to it as “The Palace of Ruth.” This article explains how Ruth came to reside here until her internment at Weihsien and events at the camp)


  Did you ever hear of a woman holding a party in honor of her eviction from her home? Well such a gathering was held in Berkeley last evening – an informal affair – to celebrate the second anniversary of being ejected bodily from one of the most beautiful residences in the Orient. And it was Japanese occupation rather than non-payment of rent or the return of the owner that caused Miss Ruth Kunkel to be evicted. Now she can laugh at her experiences, even at her stay in a concentration camp, but it wasn’t so funny between Nov. 9, 1942, and when she was repatriated from Japanese occupied Weihsien. She returned to the United States on the S.S. Gripsholm last December.

  Miss Kunkel was at teacher in the Rockefeller Foundation in Peking (PUMC) and later at the American School (PAS). One of her bittersweet memories is seeing the Rockefeller Hospital in the hands of “bowlegged, dirty Japanese nurses.” But her eviction from the palatial home of the late Mrs. Owen Roberts in Peking has a bit of the comic opera “The Mikado” flavor. Mrs. Roberts was the wife of the former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

  The mansion and grounds had been the home of the Duke Chin, brother of China’s Empress Dowager. It included gorgeous gardens, many courtyards and necessitated the employment of retinues of servants. Mrs. Roberts modernized the great residence, adding six palatial baths and then went to New York, leaving Miss Kunkel in charge of the estate and the priceless treasures.

  In China, you pay taxes on your ceiling measurements on the basis of the number of chiens in your house. An average Berkeley home would measure up to 12 – 16 chiens. The Roberts home was taxed for 100 chiens. It had its large coffin room, where in the days of Duke Chin, tailor-made caskets for the entire household were kept until needed for use.

  When Miss Kunkel occupied the mansion the coffin room was used to store the books from Chin Hua University library. The University was built and equipped by funds received from Boxer indemnities.

  Japanese did not bother Miss Kunkel until two years ago this month. In China foreigners are not allowed to own property in their own name and it took the Japanese until November 1942 to decide finally that the Roberts estate – part of the property settlement Mrs. Roberts received with her divorce – actually was American owned.

  Around 6 p.m. Nov. 9, 1942, a drunken Japanese soldier and two myopic University of Tokyo students who spoke English fairly well, came to the Roberts home and pasted the doors with the royal seals of the Japanese Emperor. They commanded Miss Kunkel to dress and leave.

  In fact, she overdressed – putting on several dresses, two suits and her fur coat. Then taking her little dogs on leashes, she walked to the home of another teacher and friend, Miss Frances Russell. Of course she was followed, but that evening wouldn’t have been such a hectic one for the two women, if one of the Tokyo students who followed her hadn’t been - to apoplectic (epileptic) fits.

  The Japanese soldiers and their civil detective companions demanded to be fed. Miss Russell had her cook prepare a meal. Then suddenly one of the Japanese started frothing at the mouth and fell to the floor. “White devils have poisoned us!” shrieked his companions as they rushed out.

  Miss Kunkel, who is a registered nurse, worked over the stricken Japanese. As she loosened his kimono out popped choice linens he had stolen from her house.

  In a few minutes the streets were filled with Japanese troops, infantrymen and machine-gun units. Five army ambulances, with sirens wailing, sped toward the Russell home. The Misses Kunkel and Russell and the latter’s servants were dragged to a car and carried to the city jail.

  Then the Jap who had thrown the fit came, thanked Miss Kunkel for administering first aid, saying, “Such like fits am I have three a year, thanking you.” Replied Miss Kunkel, “To think you had to pick such a time and place to have this one.”

  The two women were allowed to return to the Russell home, but were kept under Japanese surveillance constantly. Then in March 1943, they were taken to the American Presbyterian Mission Compound at Weihsien. This compound was the birthplace of Henry Luce, magazine tycoon and husband of Clare Boothe Luce, Republican congresswoman.

  More than 500 Catholic priests were among the civilians also confined there. Food consisted of stew made from cheap cuts of meat, some bread and weak tea. The war prisoners had lost weight before they were brought there and soon lost on an average 25 lbs more. Miss Kunkel’s weight dropped from 135 to 114 pounds.

  One of the priests had died. Permission to bury him in the Catholic cemetery was refused and he was laid to rest in the Presbyterian Mission Cemetery.

  Finally a Trappist monk organized a “black market” deal on a credit basis with Chinese outside the compound. The internees had become desperate. Often the meat given them by the Japs was so bad it could not be cooked. It was buried at night so the Japs would not know and refuse to supply more meat.

  While the “black market” flourished the food situation was better. Peanuts and peanut oil, fruit and native honey were tossed over the compound wall at night. Then the Chinese traders bored hole in the wall and sometimes rolled through the opening dozens of eggs at a time – eggs that cost a dollar each, Chinese money.

  When the “black market” system was discovered by the Nips they cruelly punished the Chinese. The Trappist monk, who true to his vows of his order, had not spoken a word to anyone except Trappist superiors for 15 years, was given a term of solitary confinement.

  For such a devout churchman being locked up by himself actually was a treat. The Jap realized that in a few days and he was released. Miss Kunkel said it was marvelous to see how he directed Chinese by his sign language. “We certainly owe much to those wonderful men of the cloth, “ she told us. “They were indeed a great help to us.”

  Miss Kunkel is a native of Westfield, PA, a graduate of Goucher College, Baltimore, and received her nurse’s cap at St. Luke’s Hospital, San Francisco. During WWI she was Red Cross and then an Army nurse. She is entitled to wear a service ribbon with two stars for being under fire in the Meuse-Argonne and at Ypres. (Note: family has often told me that she was General Pershing’s personal ambulance driver).

  Miss Kunkel was assistant superintendent and teacher of nursing at St. Francis Hospital when she resigned to go to China in 1929. It was there she first met Miss Eleanor Breed with whom she now makes her home.

  Now Miss Kunkel is a graduate student at the University of California where she is just learning to read and write – Chinese, which she speaks fluently. When the Japs are driven from China she will go back to Peking.

  There is one person she hopes she will never meet – the Japanese student whose untimely apoplectic fit threw him into convulsions and his countrymen into consternation two years ago last night.


Newspaper clipping, source & date unknown

  Under the title of “The Trappist Trapped” Anne Cochran, interned in the Presbyterian Mission Compound in Weihsien, tells of the way Father Scanlon of the Trappist Monastery, about 100 miles from Peiping, and priests of other Catholic orders added to the scanty food supplies of the internees.

  A dispensation from the Pope to war prisoners had released Father Scanlon from his vows of silence and he not only gave eloquent lectures for the benefit of the internees, but with the cooperation of other priests, managed to communicate with the Chinese farmers of the vicinity who had plenty of fruit and eggs to sell, although the Japanese allowed the camp canteen to sell only one pear to every five people.

  Clerical garb lent itself admirably to smuggling in supplies which were drawn up over the wall and even if the suspicions of the guards were aroused it was hard for them to tell one father from another, so honey, fruit, peanut oil and other grievously-needed edibles were shared with the camp.

  “Diets and dispositions in camp began to look up,” says Miss Cochran, “as Presbyterians, infidels and Holy Rollers alike gorged illegitimately on Catholic bounty.” Father Scanlon outwitted the guards until early in July when he was caught and put in one of the houses out of bounds for a week in solitary confinement.

  Even then he managed to communicate with camp and one of the hits of the Fourth of July concert was the “Prisoner’s Song,” sung by one of the Benedictine fathers, of which two stanzas ran:


   O, they trapped me, a Trappist, on Wednesday

      Now few are the eggs to be fried

  I sit in my lone cell and wonder

    If my clients are hallow inside


  O, there’s a big bag on the outside

    Overflowing with honey and jam

  But how can it get on the inside

   Till the bootleggers learn where I am?


  In August the Catholic nuns and fathers were taken away from camp to be interned in the monasteries in Peiping, a sad day for the internees left inside. An American high school girl begged Father Scanlon for his autograph just before the exodus and his signature filled a whole page: “Father Scanlon, Trappist and Bootlegger.”



From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 6:54 AM

-: Excerpts of letters from Ruth Kunkel and friends:


Hello again,

here comes the second batch

hope y'all get it fine ---






Excerpts of letters from Ruth Kunkel and friends:




It was found that some people had taken to camp articles which they didn’t need. So Helen Burton of “The Camel Bell” in Peking, got permission to use a small shed as headquarters for exchange. To pave the mud floor, we scrounged bricks when the guards weren’t looking. No goods were displayed except shoes. Notices were posted and contacts were made. This exchange became so important and helpful that, after Helen left, a committee was set up to take charge of her wonderful idea. (writer unknown).


Oct 15, 1948

“Yes, Helen sailed from Shanghai on the eleventh. You should have seen her leave here. She had all the baggage two people could carry even after she had checked a lot of overweight. Well they wouldn’t let her on the plane with so much so she had to check more at the field and pay ten ($10) US more. One thing which she took was a canary, cage and all. She had a fancy cover made for the cage a la Burton style. She is the darnedest woman when it comes to travel. I could not have been hired to start out with such an assortment. She wired back three or four times for things she forgot. Well she must be off now and will have a long voyage before she reaches Honolulu. The Kyska (Watermann line) goes to Hong Kong, Manila, Yokohama and then Honolulu.”



Oct 30, 1948

“Ma Yu Kuei has a second child , a girl, Oct. 27. (Helen Burton’s adopted daughter).” Ruth


Dec 19, 1948

“After the guests left an embroidery boy and Tzu Ju Burton arrived. The latter is very worried because she lives so close to the new airfield. She said that she has a suitcase packed against an emergency. She stayed behind locked doors all morning as people kept knocking at her door to be let in. She expects to move any moment and is worried about Helen Burton’s things. Ruth offered her the two spare rooms in the back for her and the child. Tzu Ju’s husband has been called on already to work on the Tung Tan blinding.”

Lillian Li


Dec 22, 1948

“Tzu Ju and child have moved in with Ruth and Alice (Moore). Last night’s gunfire at Kuang An Men was too frightening.”

Lillian Li


Dec 24, 1948

“No gunfire for so long! Cocktails and Christmas presents at Ruth and Alice’s. Came back loaded with presents from R&A (Ruth and Alice) and Tzu Ju.  Rewrapped the mittens from Tzu Ju for my sister-in-law because my hands are too big for them. Kept the “beanie” for myself though.

Lillian Li


Dec 27, 1948

“No question of water shortage any more. Dropped in on Ruth to see if papers had arrived safely. They had come. The news was that Fu (General Fu) had retreated. Tzu Ju has heard that the Reds have given us grain which we are lacking in exchange for cloth which they are lacking. Two truckloads of wounded soldiers have moved into Yu Ying.”

Lillian Li


Dec 28, 1948

“Grand Central Station was very crowded today but there was little or no news to be gleaned. (The Moore-Kunkel’s ménage is so called because it is a sort of central gathering place). Press and mail censorship, along with constant arrests of evildoers has certainly cut down our crops of rumors. Tzu Ju and Robert (Robert Wu) are both looking for houses. Miss Moore will start classes in her private school next week – 23 South Compound PUMC. (Peking Union Medical College)

Lillian Li


Jan 4, 1949

“The nicest part about this Christmas was that it snowed during the night.  Thanks to our refugee guest, Tzu Ju Burton Lu, we had a nice tree. She had ordered it ahead and we were glad, because just before the 25th it was impossible to bring trees in and many people had a treeless Christmas.”



Jan 20, 1949

“Luxuries are cheap now before the Christmas New Year and I have bought some lovely tribute silks for Helen Burton. Only hope I can get them to you Hel. “



Jan, (no day) 1949

“Tzu Ju Burton was just here and told us the latest so far as her family is concerned. Her husband has been taken for a six-month training after which he may be given a professor’s job in the Hua Pei University. No provision has been made for the maintenance of his family while he is at the training school.”



March 13, 1949

“There are so many lovely things to be had these days for almost nothing. The best tribute silk is now selling for 2 dollars a yard. It is cheaper than cotton. I have bought quite a lot for Helen Burton. Just had a letter from Hell (Helen). Tzu Ju has a little shop at her house and is working hard. She’s a dear. Ma’s baby is darling. Husband doing nothing I believe.”



April 17, 1949

“Helen Burton’s Tzu Ju sent us the cutest Easter basket – pansies with two tin foil wrapped eggs at the side and all wrapped in orchid paper and tied with the same shade string. Helen trained those gals to know how to do the nice things.”



July 24, 1949

“It was rumored at  Helen Burton’s birthday breakfast this morning that a ship may be leaving Tientsin tomorrow or Tuesday and so there is an incentive to write. One of our friends is going down tomorrow and it may be that he can get this into the boat and it can be remailed from Hong Kong. Yep, the Burton girls, Bertha Lun Lois Chen, Dorothy St. Clair, and we (Alice and I) had a good time at Dorothy’s in memory of similar parties we have had on this date.”



Aug 23, 1949

“I am afraid there is no good news of Ma Yu Kuei; in fact there is no news. There was a rumor some time ago, apparently, that she had been allowed out and had gone with her husband to Manchuria, but unfortunately there is nothing to it. At least Catherine saw Tzu Ju yesterday and she says there is no change; Ma’s husband, however, is allowed to send food and clothing to her on certain days. “Tzu Ju seems to be managing well, and Tzu Yi’s husband apparently has a good job, so they are perfectly all right. This includes Mei Li.”

To Helen Burton from Peter Lum Crowe


Aug (no day), 1949

“I read Helen’s round robin (letter) when it was in the rough but did not see the completed copy. It gave such a good picture of her summer which she considers the perfect one. As usual she was lucky. Wonder if the purchase of the public toilet property will turn out as good a deal as most of Helen’s gambles?”



Sept 2, 1949

This will doubtless be the last gasp from behind the curtain. Alice and I are booked to leave Tientsin on or abut the 22nd on the “Hunan” for Hong Kong. Wish I knew what all of you would like to have me stick into the trunks. Have oodles of  silks for Helen B. and am praying that they will pass the inspectors. Those in power are on the watch to get hold of all the US currency they can. They hate us but like our cash.”



Ruth and Alice Moore made it to Singapore in Sept 1949 and stayed there for a few weeks selling various goods they were able to get out of mainland China. They eventually went to Istanbul where both were hired as teachers at colleges for American girls and new adventures began for both of them.



From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

Sent: Friday, July 01, 2011 11:13 AM

-: Edgewater Mansions


We of the Chefoo School contingent were evacuated from Weihsien to Tsingtao in September. We were met by a brass band of the British Navy and taken to the Edgewater Mansions - black tie waiters and crisp snowy table napkins.


We were allocated a US ship to take us to Hong Kong to be handed over to the British forces for repatriation. If you go to Wikipwdia and look up the USS Geneva, you will see a paragraph which I submitted on that trip. The typhoon was so bad, I was the only passenger on deck, and had to climb to the third deck to watch the storm without being washed off by the waves.


But I must tell you an episode that took place between our release and our departure. We were in the matric form of the Chefoo School, who always did the Oxford Matriculation Exemption. Our schooling had been interrupted in Temple Hill because we were interned in different houses, pupils and teachers. The School had plans for us to write our exam in October, using spare papers reserved since the beginning of the war.


"Pa" Bruce, our headmaster came to our lesson, and proposed to us that we sit the exam in a week's time, before we were scattered. We swotted for the week, with B24's flying over and dropping food parcels in the surrounding fields. So to the roar of engines and the buzzing of the scissor-grinders (cicadas) in the trees we did our exams, myself and eight boys. Pa Bruce took them personally to Oxford when he got "Home". They were accepted and marked, and in April 1946, we heard that most of us had passed.


Estelle (Cliff) Horne

--- On Sun, 26/6/11, Ron Bridge <> wrote:

From: Ron Bridge <>

-: RE: Weihsien internee John Taylor visits Len Mapes

Date: Sunday, 26 June, 2011, 9:55

I must support George in his statement. It was actually called Edgewater Mansions and was sort of Small appartments. There is no record of the shooting incident in any report of the Duck Mission or the other visiting military teams. That does not mean to say it did not take place but I suspect in anoher context

I transitted Tsingtao in August 1946 en route from Tianjin to Shanghai in an ex USN LST called the Wanhsien run by the China National Relief and Rehabitation Adminstration, ostensibly distributing UNRRA aid to Chinese but a useful vehicle to line Kuomingtang offcials bank accounts.

The very natural harbour was packed with USN ships of all sizes. Bear in mind too that the 3rd Amphibious Crops of the USMC comprising the 1, 3 and 5? divisions total 50,000 plus marines had been shipped into North China from Okinawa to protect the Railways and infrastructure. I have old 8mm film showing Tsingtao harbour.

Those evacuated from Weishien by rail to Tsingtao were either taken to US by the USN,  taken to Hongkong by the USN or by Royal Navy.

those that flew out mainly  by C 47 although an occasional C46 was used had left Weishien by 24 October. 


I hope that this refereshes memories or edcuates those who were no their

[Ron Bridge] 


From: Natasha Petersen

Sent: Monday, July 04, 2011 2:16 PM

-: Do you remember? 


HAPPY JULY 4TH.  Do you remember the celebration of the day in Weihsien?  I remember the  outdoor Dinner and Dance.




From: annemoen

Sent: Monday, July 04, 2011 8:42 PM

-: 4th July


Dear Natasha,


Sorry, but I can't remember the camp celebration of july 4th. What I do remember is that my father put up a tiny Dutch flag on the top of our little summer house on the patch of land in front of our rooms

on Aug. 31  for Queens day (Wilhelmina) and that a Jap. guard noticed it and asked what country the flag represented and why. When he had heard the answer the flag had do be removed immediately.

This summerhouse was an octagonal construction of wooden beams or tree branches, with a straw matting roof and inside there were benches along one side and I remember that on terribly hot nights

my sister Wies and I would sleep there under mosquito nets. It might have been cooler but I remember hearing all kinds of creepy noises and I was really scared and didn't sleep very well after all! 

 I am still enjoying reading all the camp stories and thank you for passing them on to me.


Annie de Jongh, block 22 rooms 2 and 3.


From: Ron Bridge


Sent: Monday, July 04, 2011 10:28 PM

-: Re: Do you remember?



There were three 4th July in 1943, 1944 and 1945



From: Natasha Petersen


Cc: Previte, Mary

Sent: Tuesday, July 05, 2011 2:20 PM

-: Re: Do you remember?


Ron, I know that were three, but I remember only the Dinner-Dance celebration. 




From: Ron Bridge

Sent: Wednesday, July 06, 2011 8:26 PM

-: Re: Do you remember?


By 1944 there were frictions developing between the various nationalities mainly due to the sequestering of the first Red Cross Parcels by the Americans as they had been provided by the US Red Cross. by 1945 people were getting so tired and hungry any big dance was beyond them.



From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 10:38 AM

-: Fw: Len Mapes Story


Dear Mary,

Thanks very much for the Len Mapes' story from the Leatherneck Magazine.

You can now access it by clicking on your chapter (last picture (bottom) of left frame) or by clicking on the "log-book" --- it is the latest entry.

Let me know if you get it?


I wonder who took the pictures?

The second photo with the people waiting to board the plane.....

The little girl in the GI's arms is my little sister MaryLou, born in camp on July 7, 1944.

The man waiting to board the plane and seeming to have a good laugh, is my father. The little boy next to him is me! --- and I bet that the hidden person climbing the ladder to the plane is my mom! --- no wonder my dad is having a good laugh !!!!

If all this is correct, the picture was taken on October 17, 1945.

Best regards,



From: Carol Ann Vaughn

Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 3:03 PM

-: RE: Len Mapes Story


Wow.  I am trying to imagine what conditions and emotions must have been for your mother who went through labor and delivery and postnatal care in the camp.


Thank you for this link and information!




Carol Ann Vaughn Cross



Carol Ann Vaughn Cross, Ph. D.

Core Curriculum

Samford University

Office: 205.726.4226


a&s blue



Sent: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 5:08 PM

-: Tad Nagali, Weihsien liberator



Please forward.



Tad Nagaki,  the last living American on the Weihsien rescue team,  is being treated  for internal bleeding in the Intensive Care Unit of the Scottsbluff  Regional Medical Center.   The Japanese/American interpreter on the team,   Tad is 91.


Because Tad is being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, I have not been able to speak to him by telephone.  However, his grandson tells me that Tad feels good, looks good, and sounds good.


If you'd like to drop him a card or letter,  his address is
    Tadashi Nagaki,  Scottsbluff Regional Medical Center,  4021 Avenue B. 

     Scottsbluff, NE   69361



  Tad,  who has continued  farming in AllianceNebraska,  was hospitalized last month for pneumonia.


Mary Previte


From: "Donald Menzi" <>

Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 7:24 PM

-: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle


> Hello, all,
> I finally finished "My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle - A Progressive Revelation."  It turned out to be too long to send as an email, and topica doesn't allow attachments, so I've asked Leopold to put it on the site with a link so that you can either read it on line or download it for later.
> Even though Helen Burton left the camp in the prisoner exchange of September 1943, you may remember the Elephant's Bell exchange shop that she had started, and which was so useful that it was continued after she left.  I'd be curious to know if you have any memories of that place - things that you or someone else might have bartered there, for example.
> In any case I think you'll find Helen Burton to be a fascinating person, and the re-emergence of her persona at this time is an example of something that the has been made possible only by the existence of the Weihsien web site.  Thanks again, Leopold.
> Best wishes for an enjoyable summer.
> Donald 
> I
> Hi
> fixed it :-)
> all the best


From: Terri Stewart

Sent: Sunday, July 17, 2011 7:27 PM

-: Re: Fw: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle - Sent Again


Hi Donald,

I rec'd it just fine when you sent it before, although I will admit that I didn't check the email address to know if you sent it via Topica or my personal address.




From: Estelle Horne nee Cliff

Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 6:15 PM

-: Re: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle


Thank you, thank you Donald,

Never have I been mesmerized by so beautiful a description of such a magnificent city! Nor a person so full of  "joie de vivre". 150% English.

Is there any copyright covering it? I would so love to pass it on to whomever would appreciate it. It will remain a reference point in my love of China for as long as I live.

Estelle Horne née Cliff


From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 8:33 PM

-: Re: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle



Thanks for your kind note.  I'm so glad you liked it.  I found it very exciting to see this person gradually emerge from mystery into reality.

Of course you can send it to anyone you think might be interested.

Thanks again.



From: rod miller

Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 11:04 AM

-: Re: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle



I enjoyed reading it.
My mother who knows nothing of the Weihsien story also found it fascinating.




Sent: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 9:32 PM

-: For Weihsientopica


Weihsien liberator, Tad Nagaki,  was released today from the hospital and is at home in Alliance, Nebraska.  He is the last living American on the Duck Mission that liberated Weihsien.  He is 91 years old.


I talked with Tad this evening.  He sounds good.  He says he feels good.  He says doctors have placed no limits on his activities.


Tad lives alone.  His wife and sons have been dead for several years.  So I was especially pleased when he told me that one of his two grandsons was outside mowing Tad's  lawn.


Mary Previte



Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 10:14 PM

-: Dr. Stanley H. Nordmo


It is with great sadness that  we, Stanley's siblings; Kathleen (Nordmo Rictor), Audrey (Nordmo Horton) and Rowland Nordmo,   write this note to let you know our older brother Stanley Haldor Nordmo, M.D.  lost his battle with cancer and passed away peacefully on August 1st in Phoenix, Arizona.  He is survived by his wife Naomi, three daughters, a son and five grandchildren.


For those of you who are in the Phoenix area--the viewing will be between 6-8 p.m. on Monday. August 8th, the grave side service will be on August 9th between 9-9:30 a.m. and the memorial service will be later on the 9th  at 11 a.m. at the  Bethany Community Church where Stanley was a member.


If there are any who are interested in attending any of the above events  please write Audrey  at for the addresses as we don't have them right now.  Phone: 1-602-819-9207


From the remaining Nordmo three;


Kathleen, Audrey and Rowland


From: Dwight W. Whipple

Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 10:25 PM

-: Re: Dr. Stanley H. Nordmo


Our condolences to the entire Nordmo family.

-Dwight W Whipple



Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 12:46 AM

-: Stanley Nordmo


If any of you have memories of Stanley that you would like to share with the family.  It would be greatly appreciated


The Nordmos.


From: Natasha Petersen

Sent: Thursday, August 04, 2011 8:48 PM

-: Re: Dr. Stanley H. Nordmo



My condolences to the entire Nordmo family.I am so sorry for your loss.

Natasha Petersen


From: G.K.Stillbrook

Sent: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 6:01 PM

-: Re: My Piece of the Helen Burton Puzzle


Donald ,

Your piece of the puzzle was totally delightful. Thankyou for making it possible for us all to meet the wonderfully whimsical Helen .Ida Talbot , mother to Christine ,Peter and me was also one of a kind and full of surprises.

Thank you again.  


From: "Donald Menzi" <>

Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2011 9:49 PM

-: Weihsien Stew


Hello Weihsieners,

I may have sent this to you already, but I came across it again recently, so here it is (again?) in hopes that it will bring back pleasant memories.

My uncle, describing my grandparents homecoming after the 1943 repatriation, had written the following:

"Among our 1943 Xmas presents was a small, blue and white granite-ware bowl which Mother ate from throughout her time in the Concentration Camp and in the bowl was a card with the following:

Beautiful Stew
(to the tune of Lewis Carrol's "Beautiful Soup")

“Beautiful stew, so thin but hot,
Waiting in the steaming pot,
Who would not give all else in lieu
Of a big bowlful of beautiful stew?”  (repeat)


“Beautiful stew, beautiful stew -
Stew of old Weihsien,
Beautiful, beautiful stew.”

Hope you are all as well as can be expected at our age.



From: "Ted Margrett" <>

Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 12:39 AM

-: Re: Weihsien Stew


Thank you for this delightful reminder of what it must have been like in the Weihsien Camp.

Ted Margrett,
Yantai, Shandong,


From: Terri Stewart

Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 3:50 AM

-: Re: Weihsien Stew


Thanks so much Donald, I will add this to the little collection of camp songs my G.Aunt wrote down.




From: "Léopold Pander" <>

Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 9:16 AM

-: Re: Weihsien Stew


Hello don,
All is well in the best of worlds --- thanks from Belgium ---
Thanks for the beautiful stew song ---- could you send me a photo of the
bowl --- (for the website)?
--- all the best,



Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 11:48 PM

-: Fw: In memory of Stanley Haldor Nordmo, who was a Chefusian interned in Weihsien





Sent: Sunday, September 18, 2011 4:35 AM

-: Re: In memory of Stanley Haldor Nordmo, who was a Chefusian interned in Weihsien.



Most  of the following was taken from the  time line Stanley Nordmo  wrote for his 75th birthday where he says  at age 75 he is White Chinese by birth, Norwegian by nationality and American by adoption.

Sister Audrey has added  a little here and there.    I trust you enjoy reading the highlights of  Stanley’s life  as well as the inserts about his siblings—Many of you will relate to the below time line of his life. 

Any questions can be addressed to Audrey Horton at


Stanley Haldor Nordmo, November 28, 1927August 1, 2011. of Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona,  was 83 years of age when he entered his heavenly home having lost his battle with cancer.

            Stanley Nordmo was born in Chefoo, Shantung, China to pioneer missionaries, Jacob Martin Nordmo and Esther Oberg Nordmo who were with the Mission Covenant Church of Norway.  The Communists were coming down from the north and all missionaries were ordered to evacuate. His three year old sister Evelyn had died en route from malaria with black water fever and was hastily buried in a metal suitcase in a cemetery where 11 martyred missionaries were buried.   (Stanley’s oldest brother had died at age one in 1924 from meningitis. . His parents were travelling to the coast for their first furlough.  Erling became violently ill—they travelled 11 days without finding a doctor.  When they got to Hankow there was nothing the doctors at the hospital could do for him.  He was buried in Hankow. They went on furlough with empty arms.)

                 The family returned to Shanyang, Shensi with Stanley  after some order was restored by the government troops.  Sister Kathleen joined the family on January 15, 1930.

            The family went on furlough from 1933-1935.   Stanley and Kathleen did not know that would be the last time they would see their home until 1997 when Stanley paid his three siblings’ way for the four of them to visit their China roots.   They found the churches flourishing that  their parents had pioneered.   They even met Chinese Christians who remembered them.

             Sister Audrey joined the family in Farnam, Nebraska, her mother’s home town, on August 21, 1933.  Then the family  finished their furlough in Norway, their Dad’s native country. The parents had met and married in China.   Stanley and Kathleen got scarlet fever.  A Norwegian photographer won world wide acclaim for his picture of the serious 6 year old Stanley.  1935 the family returned to China with stopover in Chefoo for Stanley and Kathleen to start school. 

            Rowland was born on June 10, 1936 in Shangshien, Shensi.   Parents visit Chefoo   1936-1937 for Rowland’s health.  (Kathleen had been hospitalized for 18 months with heart problems due to being born with a patent ductus.)

   1939-1940 Parents came to spend Christmas together as a family.  Stanley contracts pneumonia—Dr. Hess, a new missionary, has the latest medicine from the States.  Audrey starts school. No escorts available for the children to travel to Shangshien from Chefoo.  Stanley and Kathleen never went home in their ten years of school life.  (5 years for Audrey.)

             Stanley, Kathleen and Audrey were interned by the Japanese with the Chefoo schools in Chefoo and Weihsien.  In Weihsien,  Stanley’s jobs were manning the pumps for what he said seemed like an eternity and for his last year he cleaned the hospital floors.  He and Kathleen lived in the hospital.  He had hepatitis in camp.  He graduated from Chefoo Schools in April of 1945.  Passed Oxford Matriculation Exemption Examination.   Took adult education courses, including Greek and German.   Read 142 books from camp library—somehow fitting that recreation in while cramming for exams and doing his chores. The list is on Weihsien Topica site under Stanley and Audrey Nordmo, Books I read--  He enjoyed playing tennis and had to roll the clay courts.

August 17, 1945 was Liberation Day in Weihsien when all were liberated by an American rescue team,   which included Chefoo alumni James Moore.  Stanley contracted Typhoid fever and was on a stretcher when left camp on rail to Tsingtao—taken to a German mission hospital in Tsingtao where he was treated with the new sulfa drug. 

            The Nordmo three were on the ship Tamaroa en route to Norway via England.  At Ceylon, (Sri Lanka,)  the Red Cross interrupts their voyage saying mother and younger brother are in Calcutta, India  so they are to disembark via rope ladder to little boat which will take them to shore.  They stayed in Ceylon for three days —and then on to Calcutta in a military plane to Calcutta. Kathleen and Audrey only girls among the soldiers.    Stanley is suddenly solely responsible for two younger sisters.  The experience left him saying he would never travel with them again (which later was thankfully retracted). It was a hair raising experience as he was grilled at a plane stop due to not having passports.  Then In Calcutta the scenario was worse as no mother and brother at the airport.   They had not been notified.  So  they were taken by military bus into Calcutta. India was in the midst of their rebellion to England so not safe to be on the streets.    God miraculously brought the family together.—.  Mrs. Nordmo did not recognize Stanley who was dressed in army khakis and was now a handsome 18 year old young man.   Five years had been a long absence. She recognized his sisters who were in dresses she had sewn for them 5 years earlier—(don’t know how that could be when our clothes were in rags).   A sea plane, (which had brought English parliament members to India)  took them to England with nightly stops in Bahrein, Cairo, Sicily and Marseille, France and then by ship from England to Norway. 

              Mrs. Nordmo had been the cow woman for the Chefoo School in Kiating. No  one else could milk  the  cow who hated foreigners and it didn’t help that mother was dressed in Chinese clothes.  They had to tie the back legs of the cow, tie her snoot and somebody held the ropes on her legs.  But mother fed the cow properly and then the cow produced much more milk for the children.   Rowland was the one who would have died from lack of oxygen on the plane from Cheng Tu airport to Kunming.  The plane had to go up to 17,000 feet elevation instead of the 6000-7000 ft. they were supposed to travel at-- to escape enemy fire.  Rowland was dying from lack of oxygen, his face turning black, couldn’t find his pulse and his eyes were rolled back in his head-- set.  Miss Francis Williamson and mother worked at reviving him. If they hadn’t landed when they did—he would have died. However, they landed at a field Yeaning[?], before the Hump which is right near the-Burma border with an empty gas tank—the pilot had lost his way— God had had them put in extra gas  in the wings before the plane left.  Miss Francis Williamson, principal, said they kissed terra firma as they were so grateful to have their feet on solid ground. According to Mother’s notes there were 24 children and 6 adults besides the crew on the plane.   Most of the children  and the 4 other adults were sick and vomiting.  There were no conveniences of any kind.   Mother and Rowland had been in Kalimpong, India  for a year with the Chefoo School.  If you type in Rowland Nordmo, Billy Graham Archives in search the article will appear under Collection 187 - Eleanor Ruth Elliott. TN Transcript—and scroll down to where she is talking about the CIM school in Kaiting—and their escape to India.

              Stanley spent a year in Norway becoming very fluent in Norwegian.  His dad recommended that it would be therapeutic for him to write his memories of camp in a book which he did.  It didn’t get published due to people being tired of war and its stories.  He taught English to missionary candidates.   Christmas, 1946 Stanley’s father came home from China after a term of 11 years without a furlough.   The family was together for six weeks for the first time in 7 years. Then Stanley set sail all alone for the United States of America.  He had learned to have a stiff upper lip from the Chefoo schools

 He entered the US on a non-quota student visa.  His Norwegian passport did not place him in the Norwegian quota since he was born in China, and thus classified “White Chinese.”   As an alien living in America Stanley he had to notify immigration every time he moved between the years 1947 and 1962—which were 15 different places from the west coast to the east coast and in between.    Stanley had to get official clearance from Immigration to work during the summer.  Year round work on a non-quota student visa meant deportation.  He worked on a  farm loading haystacks, cleaning turkey pens and chicken coops, sewing sacks of grass seed, baling hay, topping beets; ,selling Collier’s encyclopedias, restaurant bus boy, delivering newspapers, work on a construction crew, laboratory technologist, clinical clerkship. During this time he translated a book,  written by his father from Norwegian to English called “Demons Despoiled”.  Each chapter tells of a Chinese convert, or non convert.  It was published by C.I.M. in 1950 and sold for 2s 6d. 

            1947-1950 he finished his pre-med course in three years. Was salutatorian of his class at Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Idaho. A.B. 1950

            1950-1951-Spent a year at the University of Washington Department of Psychology in Seattle, WA visited the Huebners who met in camp (Mrs. Evelyn Davey Huebner).

 1951-1955-Boston University School of Medicine M.D. 1955.  His wife was in the hospital having given birth to their first child so there was no family member watching him receive his hard earned medical degree.   His parents were in Indonesia and his siblings were tied up with school on the west coast, plus having no money to travel. 

!954 he married Naomi Taylor, a wonderful helpmeet.  She had her degree in elementary education.   She  understood about being separated from missionary parents.  Her parents were Nazarene missionaries in Bolivia and Stanley’s parents had moved to Indonesia to work with the Chinese.  Stanley’s parents were in Indonesia from 1951 to 1962 without a furlough and without seeing family.  Neither set of parents were there for the wedding.

1955-1956 rotating internship, Georgia Baptist Hospital in Atlanta.

1956-1957 Treated for tuberculosis in Rome, Georgia.

1957-1959-Pathology residency at Colorado State Hospital-the chairman of the pathology department was a graduate of John Hopkins University.

1959-1961 - Pathology residency Tacoma General Hospital.

1961-1966- Taught at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine Department of Pathology, Assistant to Associate Professor

1962- Became US citizen

1964—Certified by Pathology Board in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology.

1966-1990—staff Pathologist at Maricopa Medical Center.  Teaching many residents in Pathology

            Stanley took his responsibilities as a pathologist very seriously knowing the chain of events that would follow his diagnosis.  After retirement he had the time  to relax.  He donated his medical journals to Romania and his textbooks, pathology teaching sets and teaching fascicles on tumor pathology as they were issued by the American Registry of Pathology to West China University of Medical Science in Chengdu, Sichuan whose president is a pathologist.

            1992-2000 Stanley taught survival English to wives of students from mainland China enrolled in Arizona State University.   His sister Kathleen observed him and said he was in his element—such mutual respect and love.  China and Chinese were dear to him.

            Stanley took several overseas trips.   Three times to Chinafirst time with alumni group in 1989 to Chefoo and Weihsien; he kindly paid for his two sisters to accompany Naomi and him.

            Second time in 1992 he went to teach English in summer school session at the August 1st Agricultural College in Urumqi, Xinjiang Autonomous Region with group from Grand Canyon University.

            Third time in 1997 to mission stations in Shangzhuo and Shanyang, Shaanxi—his roots. He paid his three sibling’s way—just the four siblings went.

                Two trips to Norway. The first  in 1972 with his family and second in  2004 for his 50th wedding anniversary, when he and Naomi went by boat along the coast of Norway to see all the places where his father had preached.

             A trip to England in 1996 making contact with several of his schoolmates from China. He was very loyal to Chefoo and Chefusians – and Weihsien. 

            He was well versed in Mandarin, Norwegian, and Spanish, Latin and other languages.   During his retirement he took on the task of translating his parents’ letters from Norwegian to English which brought a deeper understanding of their lives. He was a Macintosh enthusiast and attended their weekly meetings.   His hobbies included stamp and coin collecting and photography. He was an avid reader, a perpetual student.  He was a long time member of the Bethany Community Church in Tempe, AZ. 

            In the words of his children and son-in-law (an army chaplain) Stanley had integrity, honesty, loyalty, was a hard worker, provided a good education for his children, and most of all he lived his life for his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

            He is survived by his wife of 57 years: Naomi Taylor Nordmo, Sisters: Kathleen  Nordmo Rictor of Ocean Shores, WA, Audrey  Nordmo Horton of Kamloops, B.C., and Brother Rowland Nordmo of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Children: Eileen Neiford of Beaumont, Texas, Sylvia Schmitt of Tomah, Wisconsin, Edwin of Tempe, Arizona and Phyllis Hanna of Aurora, Colorado and 5 grandchildren including: Benjamin Schmitt of Henderson, Nevada, Sonja Shaver of Aurora, Colorado, Lauren Schmitt-Boyd of Nampa, Idaho, Bob Shaver of Aurora, Colorado and Kendra Schmitt of Anchorage, Alaska.  Three of the five grandchildren are following him in medical fields, pharmacist, nurse, and doctor.

          Stanley is already missed by his wife, children, grandchildren, siblings and many friends.   To his sisters and brother he was their older brother who was very kind and helpful when in need of medical advice and knowledge of family history.    He was buried at the City of Mesa Cemetery with a private graveyard service for the family followed by a memorial service at their church, Bethany Community Church in Tempe, AZ.



From: G.K.Stillbrook

Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 5:31 PM

-: Re: In memory of Stanley Haldor Nordmo, who was a Chefusian interned in Weihsien


The adventures never stop coming. Thanks so much for sharing this account. May Stanley rest in peace.

Ga talbot Stratford



Sent: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 6:02 PM

-: Re: In memory of Stanley Haldor Nordmo, who was a Chefusian interned in Weihsien


Thank you for your response--yes,the ones from  China  have had lots of varied experiences.  Audrey Nordmo Horton


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 4:36 PM

-: Book



--- a good book to read, (I just discovered it!!) ---

Best regards,



From: Ron Bridge

Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 10:00 AM

-: Re: Book


Dear All,

Nicola Tyrer the author was very thorough in her research and spent many hours in my study for those who read the book all is revealed on Page ix of the Acknowledgements. I read it at an early stage and either provided or arranged for some of the photos. The publishers editor inevitably changed the very occasional fact.

Those readers in England my wish to know that Nicola has written a book about the Women's Land Army those who left the cities in the UK to till the fields during World War 2 and another Sisters in Arms the story of the British Military nurses caught up in WW2 (includes the story of those in HK and in the Sumatra Camps.


Ron Bridge

Weihsien 1943-5


From: Donald Menzi

Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:36 PM

-: Re: Book


Hello, All,


Modestly, Ron didn't mention his own wonderful (and beautifully produced) book,Prisoners of Empire, TJapanese Internment of Allied Civilians in China.  All Weihsieners should own a copy of both of these.




From: "chris brain" <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:37 PM

-: Cyril & Anna Burge


>A bit of a stab in the dark, but I was wondering whether anyone on the
> message board that spent time in Weihsien Camp have any recollections of
> Cyril James Burge and his Russian wife Anna (or Anya) Burge.  They were
> both British Citizens and Cyril worked for the Customs Service in
> Shanghai.
> On a list of inmates I have seen they are recorded as being located in
> Kitchn1.
> Any memories of either of them would be cherished as they are the great
> aunt and uncle of my wife.
> I can be recahed by email on
> Best regards


From: "Léopold Pander" <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:16 PM

-: Fw: Cyril & Anna Burge


>> Hello Chris & Anna,
>> Did you try to enter "burge" in the search engine on the
>> Weihsien-Paintings' website  -  (home page)?
>> Best regards,
>> Leopold


From: "chris brain" <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 3:52 PM

-: RE: Cyril & Anna Burge


Hi Leopold, and many thanks for responding.

Yes I have done that general search and it simply produces links to the inmate list.  I was hoping there may people with personal stories or even sketches or photographs.  I have not heard from anyone else as yet but it is early days.

Thanks again.

Chris Brain


From: "Pamela Masters" <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:41 PM

-: Re: Cyril & Anna Burge


Ø  Chris -- I knew both the Burges, but I didn't know Dick was known as Cyril.
> Anyhow, Dick was employed by the Chinese Maritime Customs, and in 1941 he
> and Anya were in Chinwangtao, where my family lived.
> I am surprised to learn Anya was in camp with us as I don't recall seeing
> her there. If my memory serves me correctly, Anya, being Russian, opted out
> of going to Weihsien Prison Camp with the rest of us.
> I'm afraid that's all I recall, except that Dick always gave a prize to one
> of us kids when we found the first violet of Spring pushing it's pretty face
> out through the snow. He loved children, but they were childless.
> Pamela Masters-Flynn
> (nee Simmons)


From: "Ron Bridge" <>

Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:37 PM

-: Re: Cyril & Anna Burge


However, they are named in a Memorial book of the 19400 British civilians
and 1550 Commonwealth civilians who were captured by Japan it is A3 Sized
leather bound in an oak display case housed in St Michaels Cornhill Church
London. The pages are regularly turned so that all names are exposed during
the course of the year there are 100 names per page listing names forename
and one camp. Each alphabet letter lists British and then Australian,
Canadian New Zealand etc
 St Michaels is a Wren church dating from the late 17th Century. There are
copies of the Book in A4 size held by the Imperial War Museum, The National
Archives Kew the Guildhall library London
( A3 size) as well as the War Museums in Ottawa, Auckland and Canberra.
Ron Bridge


From: Sylvia Walker

Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 6:09 AM

-: Photos


Was browsing through the Weihsien site and came across Leopold Pander's Photographs frpm Weihsien Camp.

No 20 shows 4 unidentified persons... I am the little girl Sylvia Tchoo and my mother is next to me with hands crossed in front of her, Lillian Tchoo.

What a tremendous job you have done with the website.

Leopold, how old were you when in camp ????

Does anyone know what happened to the Alberts who had two girls Patricia (Patsy) and Camille ????

Also what about Cesspool Kelly (Daniel Kelly) ???

Hope you are all well and fit

Sylvia Walker (nee Tchoo)


From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 10:09 AM

-: Re: Photos


Dear Sylvia,

Could you help me to identify the picture No20? In which chapter (and/or subchapter) was it? As soon as I locate the picture, I will complete the caption.

Oh! yes, to answer to your question: I was 4 years old when we were liberated in 1945. I hardly remember anything from those days. All rubbed out of my memory I guess !

Best regards,



From: Christine Talbot Sancton

Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 1:16 PM

-: Ida Talbot's recipes


Dear Leopold:


thank you for putting the recipes which my mother, Ida Jones Talbot, collected in Camp on the Weihsien site.


I see you had to tweak them quite a bit, thank you for that.


You do do a wonderful job with this site.


Christine Talbot Sancton


From: Sylvia Walker

Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2011 5:39 AM

-: Re: Photos



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

From: Léopold Pander

Sent: Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:09 PM

-: Re: Photos


Dear Sylvia,   Hello Leopold,

Could you help me to identify the picture No20? In which chapter (and/or subchapter) was it? As soon as I locate the picture, I will complete the caption.   For the life of me, can't remember how I got onto the photos... there were about 20 photos on the page and the one I'm in I think was the last one. Will keep my eye open for it again.

Oh! yes, to answer to your question: I was 4 years old when we were liberated in 1945. I hardly remember anything from those days. All rubbed out of my memory I guess !  I was a but older than you so remember a fair bit.... Two of us kids got polio in camp, the other was a boy. I also remember being in the hospital with chicken pox . Our room backed onto the moon gate and as I had the top bunk where there was a window could see all the parachutes piled up on the verandah.  Should I tell you this .....  I got a licking from my mother when a friend came in telling Mum that I was out and about giving all the kids balloons !!!!!  They turned out to be condoms which Dad had brought with him. Of course Dad got a terrific ribbing about bringing these important items instead of say food... and poor Mum was so embarrared. I also remember in our little room, Dad and George Wallis making "hooch" with some sort of drip apparatus our of sweet potatoes or whatever peels they could get. George apparently got pretty tight one night and started climbing a lampost and serenading Trudy, his girlfriend !!!  Also remember being bitten by a scorpion after night roll call.... the things one remembers !!!

Best regards,   and to you too

Leopold  Sylvia