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Diver gives new lease of life to pub

PUBLISHED: 02:05 13 October 2001 | UPDATED: 15:18 03 March 2010

A FORMER deep sea diver who spent the war in Japanese camps has given a new lease of life to a rural pub.

Indonesian-born Hys Olink, 59, and his family were interned in Japan while his father Edward worked on the Burmese railway as a prisoner of war.

A FORMER deep sea diver who spent the war in Japanese camps has given a new lease of life to a rural pub.

Indonesian-born Hys Olink, 59, and his family were interned in Japan while his father Edward worked on the Burmese railway as a prisoner of war.

Mr Olink is now the owner of The Ship Inn at Blaxhall, near Woodbridge, and hanging in the bar is a 1946 photograph of prisoners of war from the Suffolk Regiment enjoying a celebratory dinner at the pub.

Two of those soldiers pictured, Geoff Ling and Bert Smith, use the pub and Mr Olink said it was possible his father could have toiled with other people in the photograph during the Second World War.

His sister, Clara Olink Kelly, is writing a book about the family's wartime experiences and it is hoped The Ship Inn will be the venue for a book-signing session next year.

Mr Olink and Linda Wilson, a former conservation architect, bought the pub after the previous owners, Jim and Sue Grubbs, left.

They made a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy the freehold while seeking a new challenge and were attracted by the traditional 18th Century pub with its low-beamed ceilings.

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