Emotional re-union for ex-PoW Jane from Market Weighton

Jane Elgey (middle) with old friend Vilma Hawe (left) at a special concert in Chichester
Jane Elgey (middle) with old friend Vilma Hawe (left) at a special concert in Chichester

Jane Elgey still has very painful and vivid memories of her time as a prisoner of war in western Indonesia during the Second World War.

The 84-year-old, of High Street, Market Weighton, was incarcerated in horrific camps in Palembang, Sumatra, and on Bangka Island, east of Sumatra, with her family.

She was just 12-years-old when she and her mother, grandmother, sister and three brothers were captured by the Japanese on a British ship after evacuating their home in Malaysia, which was being bombed by the Japanese.

While being held captive in the ‘Irene-Laan’ camp in Palembang, she became friends with a young girl called Vilma Hawe, who was also from Malaysia. The pair lived just a few houses away from each other in the camp, but eventually they were separated and taken to different sites.

70 years on, the pair have re-united once again at a special concert in Chichester, held to mark 70 years since the creation of the Women’s Vocal Orchestra at the ‘Barracks’ Camp’ in Palembang, where Jane was also interned.

Full story in this Thursday’s Pocklington Post (14 November).