The heroes we should never forget

A READER of Kindred Spirits who now lives in Henderson, Nevada, USA, has written to me following the memories of Wells Street, Ipswich, featured in recent Kindred Spirits.

David Kindred

A READER of Kindred Spirits who now lives in Henderson, Nevada, USA, has written to me following the memories of Wells Street, Ipswich, featured in recent Kindred Spirits. Brian Gissing said: “For me it is extremely nostalgic to see the old pictures of Ipswich, as they bring back so many memories of the time I lived at 5 Bishops Hill, Ipswich.” Annette Westwood told us of her memories the day her father, Charles Carpenter, returned home to Wells Street after World War Two, having spent almost three and a half years in various Japanese prisoner of war camps.

“As a member of 'Children of Far East Prisoners of War' I felt compelled to find out what happened to Mr Carpenter during his army career and captivity. My research revealed that Charles was captured in Singapore, February 15, 1942 and released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp in July 1945.

“According to his liberation questionnaire he was held captive in five prisoner of war camps in Siam, located at Takanum, Chonkai, Na-Kon-Paton, Tamacan and Tamuan. Considering Mr Carpenter's wartime experiences, which were no doubt horrific, it was really comforting to see him looking so fit and well in the photograph which was taken outside his home in the 1950s.


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“It is evident that the love and devoted attention showed by his family helped his transition from a wartime soldier and prisoner to a normal family man. In my eyes, those who fought and died for their country during World War Two and subsequent wars are heroes and the memory and sacrifice should never be forgotten. No doubt many of your readers have no idea of the contribution that members of the family made.

“If any Kindred Spirits readers would like me to trace their relatives' Far East prisoner of war details, I can be contacted at bpgissing@gmail.com or at 1232 Seminole Lane, Henderson, Nevada 89015, USA.”

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Eric Ward, of St John's Road, Ipswich, also has memories of Bishops Hill, Ipswich. Eric recalls a little shop which stood on the right side of the hill going out of town. “I was intrigued by the memories featured in Kindred Spirits about St Helen's Street, Ipswich. In the '50s I was a rep for a grocery firm from Norwich, and used to ply the Ipswich streets, including the shops featured. I then had a brand new Austin Seven, which I thought was the cat's whiskers in those days!

“I used to call on a little lady who had a shop, halfway up Bishops Hill. I was astonished to see recently when I passed by that the building is still there! Just a wooden hut with a front window, now sadly looking derelict, but of course in those days there were a lot of houses in the vicinity.

“Perhaps some readers will remember the little lady I am talking about? She was quite a character!”

- Did you live on Bishop's Hill, Ipswich, or can you tell us more about the little shop recalled by Eric Ward or the lady who ran the business?

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