Stratford Royal British Legion donate tree for service in Garden of Remembrance
THE sacrifice made by those serving in the Far East during the Second World War was commemorated with a tree planting service at the Garden of Remembrance on Sunday 30th July.
Stratford Royal British Legion donated the tree to Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW), a club which has been visiting Stratford for its annual re-union for more than 30 years.
The Java FEPOW Club was originally a group set up in the early 1980s by those who were held prisoner of the Japanese for more than three years throughout Asia. Not just the Thai Burma Railway, but building runways out of coral on Indonesian islands, another railway on Sumatra and working on docks and down mines in Japan itself.
Lesley Clark, from Essex, is the daughter of a FEPOW and is now chairman and treasurer of the club.
“My dad was captured on Java, taken to Ambon - a small Moluccan island - to build runways out of coral. Only 30 per cent from that work party returned after the war. My father died in 1989 and I was researching his experiences in the late 1990s when I came across The Java FEPOW Club. They helped me a lot and I was then asked to take over the running of it,” Lesley said.
At the tree planting, the Mayor of Stratford, Cllr Kate Rolfe was joined by representatives from FEPOW and the Royal British Legion.