There will be a memorial dedication ceremony at the site of a former prisoner of war camp in Douliu (Japanese reading Toroku) in Yunlin County this Saturday. There is a bus going from Taipei on Saturday morning. The deadline for booking a place on the bus has been extended to this evening (Thursday). Of course if you live in central or southern Taiwan you might like to wend your own way there. Details below:
[quote=“Michael Hurst”]The Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society would like to extend an invitation to you to attend the dedication ceremony for the new TOROKU CAMP POW MEMORIAL located at Gou-Ba Elementray school in the village of Gou-Ba near the city of Douliou. The ceremony will take place on Saturday June 6th at 1:00 pm
The Toroku Camp was first occupied by American POWs who came to Taiwan from the Philippines in November 1944 off the hellship Hokusen Maru. After a terrible 39-day voyage the men were off-loaded on Taiwan for a period to regain their health before being moved on to Japan for further slave labour. The more than 1100 men on the ship were distributed throughout several camps in Taiwan, 294 of them being sent to Toroku Camp. Here with no slave labour and better living conditions, their health gradually began to improve. In mid-January 1945 most of the men were removed from the camp and sent either to Kaohsiung or Keelung, loaded onto ships and sent on to Japan.
Following this, a number of British POWs from Inrin Camp were moved into Toroku and stayed there with the few remaining Americans until April 1945 when they were all moved to Shirakawa Camp and Toroku Camp was closed. In total five men died in this camp. It is all these men - several of whom are still living today, who we want to remember and honour with the memorial.
We plan to charter a bus to take our staff and interested friends from Taipei to the ceremony. The cost will be NT$500 / person for the day - including fruit drinks on the bus - lunch is on your own. We will leave promptly at 9 am from in front of the Friends Hotel near the corner of Roosevelt Road and Hoping West Road. This location is easily accessible from the Guting MRT Station (take exit # 8). We will return that afternoon around 5 - 6 pm.
At this point the chartering of the bus will depend on whether we can fill it or not to help defray the costs. If not enough interest is shown then we will only hire a van to transport the staff and participants to the service.
So if you are interested in attending, please contact us by email ONLY at email@example.com as soon as possible. The deadline for reservations for the bus is 5 pm on MONDAY JUNE 1st. EDIT: EXTENDED TO THURSDAY EVENING
There are only 12 or 13 seats available so it’s “first come, first served”. Once you register your name will be put on the list and you will be contacted next week - if enough people sign up, to confirm that the bus will in fact be going. We certainly hope that there will be enough participants for the bus to go. If you have any questions kindly let us know by email. Also, if for some reason after reserving a seat, if you find that you cannot go, please let us know right away so we can give your seat to someone else.
Thank you again for your continued interest in the Taiwan POWs and our work to make sure that their story is told and that they are not forgotten. We are looking forward to a wonderful day and hope that you can be part of this history-making event with us.
Michael Hurst MBE
Director, Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society[/quote]