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- Reader Stanley. Able Sea. This page is new, as yet no names have been submitted.
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Dec 2017 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 237716, your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.
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Wanted: Digital copies of Group photographs, Scrapbooks, Autograph books, photo albums, newspaper clippings, letters, postcards and ephemera relating to WW2. We would like to obtain digital copies of any documents or photographs relating to WW2 you may have at home.
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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.
Able Sea. Stanley Reader SS Empire MarchMy father's ship, SS Empire March, was sunk in the South Atlantic by the German raider Michelle. The surviving crew were rescued by the raider and off loaded at Singapore. The crew were transferred to Changi prison where they stayed for six months. In mid 1943 my father, Stanley Reader, was taken by "hell" ship to Japan and eventually landed in Hakodate. After a short time he was moved to the cement plant at Kamiiso just outside Hakodate. The camp closed in mid 1944 and all POWs were sent to the coal mine at Bibai POW camp until liberation in September that year.
I visited both camps in 2013. The cement factory at Kamiiso still operates and the staff made great efforts to take us around the site and where the camp had been situated. The ground is bare. The Bibai camp is now a Japanese Defence Force anti missile battery base. During the visit in May we waded through 2 feet of snow to visit the desolate camp site. Only some mounds and foundations remain.David Reader
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