18th November 2023
Far East Prisoner of War Memorial, Town Quay Park, Southampton
Town Quay Park French St Southampton SO14 2DY
About this event
When Japan entered the second World War in December 1941, large numbers of British troops were sent to defend the Far East. Singapore fell on 15th February 1942. Tens of thousands of British & allied prisoners were taken and held in Changi, Singapore. Many were subsequently sent to build the Thai-Burma Railway, and to work in mines and other facilities across Asia. The death rate amongst the British prisoners was ~25%.
Between September-December 1945, around 19,000 British Far East PoWs and over 3,000 Civilian Internees returned to the UK via Southampton; a similar number returned via Liverpool. The memorial lists the repatriation ships that arrived at Southampton during that period. Photographs of some of the returning ships and of the Repatriation Camp on Southampton Common appeared in the Southern Daily Echo and can be seen in their microfilm archives at Southampton Central Library.
Memorials were established in Liverpool in 2011 and in Southampton in 2013. We gather each year to remember Fathers, Grandfathers, other relations and friends, those who returned and those that did not. You are welcome to join us - come beforehand from 10am for tea/coffee or join us for a prompt 11am start at the memorial.
1. Location of the event ?
Follow signs for Town Quay or Red Funnel (Isle of Wight) Ferry. The Far East PoW Repatriation Memorial can be found in Town Quay Park, adjacent to French St, about 40 yards north from Town Quay road (past Porters Lane); French St is across the main road (Town Quay) opposite the Red Funnel Ferry Terminal. The Memorial is directly across French St from an old stone building, "The Dancing Man Brewery" pub/restaurant (who kindly extend a welcome to us each year).
2. Timings... meet from 10am
The ceremony begins 11am prompt, and will last about 45mins. Either meet us at the memorial or, if you can, please join us beforehand for tea/coffee at The Dancing Man from 10am. We will process to the memorial from there at about 10.50am.
3. Lunch Afterwards - 12.30pm onwards for those who can stay...
There's opportunity to stay afterwards for lunch & conversation at The Dancing Man - all are welcome, the food is good and reasonably priced, or just stay for a coffee or drink afterwards and make new connections and friends from the FEPOW community.
4. Transport & Parking - Getting to and from the event
Train: The location is 1 mile (20 mins walk, 5 mins taxi ride) from Southampton Central Railway Station
Car: Use a Satnav or Google Maps if you have one of these, with postcode SO14 2AR. The location is shown on the map below.
If arriving from the west on the M271 or A35: Stay on the main road which passes the docks and industry on your right, and carry on past the roundabout to the next set of traffic lights, before the Red Funnel Ferry Terminal. Almost immediately on your left is a large white historic building, on the corner of Bugle Street, with The Dancing Man on the other side of Bugle St. Turn left immediately after passing through the traffic lights into Bugle St. To proceed to French Street continue along Bugle Street at the end of which you have to turn right, then about 40 metres further on turn right again and French Street is in front of you but you have to cross the main road to enter it.
Parking: Both Bugle Street and French Street have limited meter parking.
If arriving from the M3: The easiest route is to exit the M3 at junction 14, to join the M27(W). Then exit the M27 at the next junction, junction 3, to join the M271(S) into Southampton. At the roundabout at the end of the M271, take the first left towards the city and then follow the route described above.
(You can take the M3 directly into Southampton, but if you don't know the city, navigating your way to the waterfront can be a bit of challenge).