COFEPOW is a charity run by volunteers, as such, from time to time we have some vacancies. Would you like to volunteer a few hours of your time by helping us to remember our FEPOWs? All of the these posts are of great importance to COFEPOW, either to its’ running or the continuing quest for information. Please give some thought as to how you could help!
Do you have any spare time and would like to help COFEPOW for a few hours a month? If so, would you like to be a volunteer Archive Assistant.
This would entail, manning the Archives in the FEPOW Building at the National Memorial Arboretum, on occasion, and helping members to research their FEPOW, which is an essential role for COFEPOW.
You will gain a great deal of personal satisfaction and gratitude from the people you help – full training will be provided.
Ideally we would be looking for several people for this role, so if you think you might like to help please contact Keith Andrews, Archivist.
Contact Keith Andrews by email email@example.com or by phone 01530 450621.
Members will be aware that for a number of years COFEPOW has been building a master FEPOW list and producing copies of Liberation Questionnaires (LQ) completed by service personnel at the end of the war in the Far East.
There are 96 File boxes at the National Archives at Kew containing FEPOW’s files, an estimated 58,000 personnel of which an estimated 30,000 completed an LQ. None of the LQs have been officially digitised. COFEPOW has permission from Kew to photograph the LQs. Those that have already been photographed and processed have been added to the COFEPOW website.
There are 8 file boxes yet to be searched and LQs photographed and a few other boxes to be checked for where some names have not been assessed. We are so close to completing the process after more than 10 years.
For the last five or so years, only one volunteer, member Ivor Watson (no relation) has been going to Kew three or four times a year and taking images of LQs for as long as his camera battery allowed!
He has forwarded them to me and then members - Valerie Rodgers, Jane and Roland Stuart helped by converting the camera image number to the name of the FEPOW, which then enables Guy Metcalfe-Hume, Trustee and Webmaster, to upload them to the website.
Sadly, as we all know, March 2020 changed the world. Along with all the adversity the public were faced with, the project was suspended as Kew closed. We are now finding a new normal is evolving and, freedoms are returning, enabling us to plan future actions. Kew is re-opening soon, however, there will be restrictions on its opening hours and the number of items available. We understand each item has to be sanitised after use.
We are asking for help from members and are looking for volunteers willing to visit Kew to help with photographing LQs. Ivor will continue to do this long running task but, the restrictions being imposed at Kew will prevent him covering the numbers required.
We are so close to completing the LQ project and really need the help of additional members for the final phase - COFEPOW would be so grateful for any help you can give.
Paul Watson is heading up the project so, If you are interested and would like to know more, please feel free to contact him by email- firstname.lastname@example.org.