Banner image - Java FEPOW 1942 Club, 2 logos, with strapline "To keep going the spirit that kept us going..."

OUR REUNION 2017 - STRATFORD UPON AVON - 2ND TO 5TH JUNE

Despite a lot of the hotel being closed for refurbishment, the staff all coped very well and we were not limited on our enjoyment of our weekend at all, thankfully!

It was lovely that we were joined by our 'Magnificent Seven' FEPOWs, Bill Frankland, Ron Hollis, Bill Macauley, William Mundy, Vic Pugh, Ron Mockford and Harold Pleasance, plus wives, Kath Macauley and Elsie Pugh, and widows, Sheila Brede, Elsie Edwards, Gill Hopkinson and Pam Stubbs. We also had civilian internees, Barbara Anslow and Jean Addis, and many family with 68 with us at our Saturday Gala Dinner.

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'The Magnificent Seven' - Front left to right Bill Macauley, Vic Pugh, William Mundy, Bill Frankland, Back left to right Ron Hollis, Ron Mockford and Harold Pleasance

Of course President Bill Marshall, and Vice President Mac & his lovely wife Brenda McDaniel were sorely missed, as were regular attendees Bob & Flora Boocock, George & Tom Reynolds, Tom & Ron Boardman, Ann Kelly and Olive & David Ladmore.

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Our FEPOWs, wives, widows and internees - Front left to right Elsie Pugh, Bill Macauley, Vic Pugh, William Mundy, Bill Frankland, Centre left to right Sheila Brede, Ron Hollis, Ron Mockford, Harold Pleasance, Barbara Anslow, Rear standing left to right Kay Macauley, Jean Addis, Elsie Edwards & Pam Stubbs(sadly we lost Gill Hopkison somewhere at that point)

It was lovely that Steve Surr joined us again, this year accompanied by his sister Nora and husband Tony, and Mike Baxter also, so that it seemed that dear Jim Surr and John Baxter were still with us as we remembered all who were no longer with us.

It was also fabulous to see the family of Barbara Anslow, including Janet from the USA, and many relatives of Ron Hollis join us too - it was great that extended family wanted to be included and I'm told, enjoyed the experience too.

Our number also included the 'usual suspects', too numerous to mention, but our thanks certainly go to John Martin, Keith Andrews, Richard and Susan Brown, Imogen Holmes, Christine Broadhurst and Sue Turner who all helped out with their usual enthusiasm!

We were extremely happy to be greeted by our local friends, Mayor Victoria Alcock, Civic Secretary Charles Wilson, Cllr Chris Wall, all our RBL friends including Chairman Dave & his wife, Margaret Hastie plus all the staff at the Falcon. It is their support and friendship that keeps us coming back to their lovely town.

The weekend started with a group dinner on the Friday, followed by the business of our AGM on the Saturday morning, which was concluded with lunch provided by the hotel and a good opportunity for interesting discussion as well as making new friends within our Java Club family, including those who could only make it during the day, such at Geoff Magnus who joined us for the first time.

We also had others again from far flung places - Martin & Noock Prechner, Ray & Khamma Withnall, and Andrew Glynn - all who are based in the Far East.

Our Saturday night dinner went as well as ever - the annual group photograph was a little more cramped than usual with some of the garden being closed off, but never ones to shrink in the face of adversity, our photographer climbed on tables and we managed to include everyone (I hope).

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2017 Group photo

Thanks to the sales of raffle tickets by Sue Turner and Imogen Holmes 430 was made, and gave much hilarity due to the unidentified booby prize known as 'orange thing' reappearing from last year! It was gamely won by the Mayor - who knows if it will make another appearance next year!?

This year we were joined again by the lovely singer, Victoria Wilson who entertained us amazingly with her beautiful voice, singing 40s and 50s songs, as well as her operatic and show tunes, ending fabulously with rousing choruses of Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory - accompanied by us all and lots of flag waving.

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On the left is our singer Victoria, flanked by some of her fans, Bill Frankland and John Martin






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Right - Girl Power! Margaret & Lesley with SoA Mayor Victoria Alcock





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On the left we can see Mayor Victoria with Ron Hollis whilst she keeps a tight hold on the coveted returning raffle prize otherwise known as 'orange thing'.

And right Ron Mockford mid gusto during Land of Hope & Glory.


Sunday morning brought our usual wonderful memorial service in Stratford upon Avon's beautiful Garden of Remembrance.

Taken by Reverend Neville Beamer and organised for us by Dave & Margaret Hastie of the RBL, assisted by their son Kevin who supplies the sound system for us.

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Once again there were many standards which added gravitas to our proceedings, the local people always do their best for us and are eager to help make it a moving occasion.

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In Bill Marshall's absence local FEPOW Harold Pleasance read the Kohima Epitaph for us and laid the wreath, assisted by Lesley.

This was followed by some welcome drinks at the RBL club and a lovely buffet laid on by the lovely ladies of the local RBL - we thank them all for making us feel so welcome!

Many of our workers amongst us had to leave on the Sunday afternoon, but there were still many of us who shared a joyous dinner on the Sunday night before we left Stratford upon Avon for another year on the Monday morning. We, and I hope many more of you will be joining us next year!

Whilst our normal lovely photographer Simon couldn't make it, local man, Russell Hirst kindly stepped in and took some great shots of us to help us cherish the memories for years to come. We thank him, as well as Richard Brown and John Martin for sharing their photographs with us!

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More of our lovely smiling faces - Sheila Brede (left) and Pam Stubbs (right)
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Rev Neville Beamer taking our service for us
2017 Mayor Ron Pete Val
We were also joined again by Mayor Victoria, seen here with Ron Hollis, as well as old RBL friends Pete & Val Summerton (Val behind)
2017 A Team
It was a good opportunity for the A Team (Java Club members who went to Java and Ambon together in 2012) to catch up - sadly Jacqueline Crofts couldn't make it, but seen here are Andrew Glynn, Lesley, William Mundy, Christine Broadhurst, Hazel Wilson and Martin Prechner.
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Margaret & Lesley with Harold Pleasance who laid our wreath
2017 Vic Pugh
Vic Pugh
2017 Bill Macauley
Bill Macauley
2017 William Mundy
William Mundy

Photographs courtesy of Russell Hirst, Richard Brown and John Martin