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


This year we were overjoyed to be joined by FEPOWs Wilf Edgar and his lovely partner Irene, Ron Hollis with his daughter and son in law, Marianne and Martin, Bill Macauley and his dear wife Kay, as well as those who visited for the day Ron Mockford with his daughter Maggie, and Vic Pugh with family Pat and Neil, as well as friends Dena and Neil Spence.

We also welcomed widow members Sheila Brede, Elsie Edwards, Gill Hopkinson, Sheila Rodaway, Pam Stubbs as well as Bob Boocock's friend, and member Flora Winter.

It is so lovely that these trips which started as mini holidays for FEPOWs, wives and widows, have now extended to the family, some of whom originally attended with their fathers - Claire Adams, John, Mary Ann and Mike Baxter, Richard and Susan Brown, Gwladys Law, Caroline Maddocks, Sue Turner and Peter Parmee, Hazel Wilson, Martin, Noock and Lianne Prechner, Christine and Alan Broadhurst, Steve Surr, Ian and Hilary East, Mike and Lynne Heather (daughter of Ken Pett) and Patrick and Jill Walker - I am pleased that we can all meet together in friendship and to honour our current and past FEPOWs!

Sadly the date change meant some of our regulars were not with us. But some could not attend at the last minute, including Bill Frankland and the lovely Susie Browne, Harold Pleasance, Brenda McDaniel, Jaqueline Frith, Anne Humphreys, Elsie Pugh and of course our dear Margaret and John Martin. John's pacemaker operation had been sprung on them as being the day before our reunion and of course his health must come first, no matter how disappointed we were not to see them both! We hope to see you all again next year!

This year was very emotional one for us all, having lost our President and Vice President, Bill Marshall and Edward McDaniel, who would rarely miss a reunion. But it's good that we can meet and reminisce over old memories to remember them and those we've known before. Such an honour and privilege to even have known them all!

Ron Hollis
Ron Mockford
Wilf Edgar
Vic & Bill catching up
Sheila Rodaway was with us from Canada

We met on the Friday afternoon, after Lesley had paid our respects to Stratford upon Avon's ex Mayor, our dear friend Keith Lloyd. Most of us enjoying a lovely meal together and we were later joined by the current Mayor, John Bicknall and our old friend, Civic Secretary Charles Wilson.

On the Saturday morning we held our AGM, which was followed by a buffet lunch while we caught up with old friends, and made new ones - some networking for research, some just enjoying being together.

For the Saturday evening's Gala Dinner we were joined by our local friends, the Mayor John Bicknall with Cllr Janette Dyson, Charles Wilson, Dave and Margaret Hastie, Cllr Chris Wall, ex Mayor Donna Barker and her husband Gerry, and our lovely singer Victoria Wilson.

The rain was falling and we didn't think we'd be able to have our annual group photograph outside, but a 10 minute break in the weather at the right time ensured most of us got out to the front of the hotel to be included. The photographer Lesley had arranged hadn't turned up, but thanks to Mike Baxter and Richard Brown - we have some lovely photos to share with you still.

2018 Group Photo

Lovely food and great fun was had by all, and huge thanks is extended to Sue Turner, Flora Winter and Peter Parmee, who sold our raffle tickets and to everyone who donated some fabulous prizes - as well as the odd one for Lesley to take the mickey out of!

As usual our evening was rounded off beautifully by Victoria with her fabulous singing! She'd learnt many more old tunes for us and it was wonderful to see our boys and girls singing along with beaming smiles! We ended our night with rousing choruses of Jerusalem and Land of Hope & Glory, accompanied by our usual enthusiastic flag waving.

On the Sunday morning our Memorial Service in the beautiful Remembrance Gardens was delayed due to torrential rain, but thanks to the fabulous help and quick thinking of the local RBL it was quickly relocated to their clubhouse. Including the sound system so that dear Kevin Hastie didn't get electrocuted!

Rev Neville Beamer kindly took our service again and there were 6 standards in attendance. Ron Hollis read the Kohima Prayer and the FEPOW Prayer was read by us all.

We again included the beautiful prayer from the 1961 FEPOW reunion service ... Let us pray that we may become more worthy of the sacrifice made for us by those whom we especially remember today. That we may live more bravely and faithfully to the values of those who are no longer with us here today, in their honour.

Wilf & Lesley laying the wreath
Wilf Edgar and Lesley laying the wreath
Relaying the wreath
Re-laying our wreath when the sun appeared

Wilf Edgar laid the FEPOW wreath in front of the FEPOW flag assisted by Lesley, and the Vicar kindly blessed the flag for us. Unfortunately, it gets most use at funerals of our 'boys' these days, but thanks to Bill Welch we can also use it at our reunions.

After our lovely tea and cakes supplied by Margaret and the kind ladies at the RBL, the sun came out, so a small group convened to the Garden of Remembrance to re-lay our wreath on the war memorial.

Again, we had a lovely relaxing afternoon together and evening meal before those that remained left on the Monday morning. Sad to say goodbye but hopeful for another year together to do our business, have fun and honour our FEPOWs next year.

Sadly Kay Macauley had a fall at the hotel during our weekend and was taken to Warwick Hospital for a hip operation - but we are in contact with both Bill and Kay and sending all our good wishes for a speedy recovery!!