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


Sadly the 2020 and 2021 reunions had to be cancelled due to COVID.

In 2022 our reunion in Stratford upon Avon was another great success, despite much lower numbers than in previous years. Our not having any of our FEPOWS, wives or widows with us was a great sadness, but we did have Civilian Internee Paul ‘Werly’ Werlemann who kept us enthralled with his many adventures, and many of us ‘kids’ who were happy to see each other again, as well as some new faces. We honoured our boys and exchanged many happy memories of our times together over the years and it was certainly worthwhile our continuing the trip.

What a fabulous weekend we all had! We returned to Stratford upon Avon as the lovely Jason is now the manager at the Shakespeare Hotel and he’d given us a great deal. It was also a wonderful opportunity to meet up with some of our old Stratfordian friends!

We arrived on the Friday and it was like meeting family again – our Java FEPOW Club family! Those who joined Lesley were John Baxter, Christine and Alan Broadhurst, Richard and Susan Brown, Imogen and Mike Holmes, Tom Jowett, Stephen and Su John, Caroline Maddocks, Susan Turner and Peter Parmee, Lore Ridings, Steve Surr, Paul Werlemann, Brain Williams, and Hazel Wilson. As a wonderful surprise Susie Browne also joined us – she always attended with Bill Frankland and was a very welcome addition again! Even if we are all jealous how amazing she always looks despite such a tiny suitcase!

After dinner on the Friday night Charles Wilson, the Civic Officer for Stratford upon Avon Town Council, and a long-term friend of the Club, came to catch up with us.


On the Saturday morning we held our AGM in the appropriately named ‘Cabinet Room’ at the hotel. They even have a Number 10 front door!

However, no other residents of Number 10 attended our meeting.


Lesley popped over to our old hotel, The Falcon, to see our FEPOW tree planted there. The plan was to have it re-sited in the Memorial Gardens as our link with the Falcon has now ended, but it has grown amazingly to in excess of 15 feet tall and is now far too large to replant. Lesley had a subsequent discussion with the new President of the local RBL and ex Mayor, Kevin Taylor, who had planned a walkway of trees in the town during his time as Mayor. It had got delayed due to Covid but he was happy to earmark one of the trees for The Java FEPOW Club in memory of FEPOWs. Lesley will follow this up and organise a new plaque to accompany it.


Our Saturday night dinner was a much smaller affair with just 20 of us, rather than 70+ in the old days. However, we still had a lovely meal together and a few glasses of wine, lots of chat and much laughter at Lesley’s attempts to take the mickey out of prizes in our traditional ‘Rubbish Raffle’. This year’s highlights being some slug tape, hemp hand cream, gnomes, a hula hoop with an attempted demonstration by Lesley, padded cycling pants, gamely modelled by Steve Surr and a Kimono modelled by some random guys staying at the hotel who decided to join us. There were also some nice prizes and lots of bottles of wine to win!

On the Sunday morning, the new local RBL Chairman, Sean Edmunds and Reverend Mike Steward organised a lovely service for us in the Garden of Remembrance. Topped off with Standard Bearer and old friend, Roger Bliss.


In just a week they’d pulled out all the stops and presented us with a lovely service, the Java FEPOW Club wreath being laid by Lesley and Paul (Werly) Werlemann.  There were over 30 of us in attendance it was a perfect end to our weekend.

We were all overjoyed that Dave Hastie also came to join us (far left in the photo below): Dave had been a previous Chairman of the local RBL who always attended our dinners, and with his son had organised many of our Remembrance Services for us when they were much larger and we needed chairs and a sound system! We sorely missed his lovely wife Margaret, but Dave will always remain part of our Java FEPOW Club family.


During the weekend we all discussed how we’d felt that it may have been the last proper reunion, but the conclusion at the end was “Yes! Let’s do it again!” It was lovely to see old friends, make some new ones, do the Club business with the AGM and honour our boys all together again!

A couple of people who had attended for the first time said they were amazed at how friendly and welcoming we all were, how useful a lot of idea exchanges had been and they would definitely come again. So if you haven’t been before, please consider coming in future!