• upcoming trips

    None scheduled at the moment
  • Theatre and Concerts

    May20 My dear friend, Barbara, invited me to a play reading at the Roundabout Theatre Company. The play is by Greg Pierce and is entitled: The Decoys. the storyline has, as a base, the tale of the two escapees from a high-security prison some years ago. They engineered their exit with the help of electric tools supplied to them by a prison guard who was also the girl friend of one. I seem to remember that one died, somehow, shortly after the escape and the other recaptured. I do remember that the girl friend was arrested and charged. However,the main theme of the play seems to be the conflicted emotions of father and son. I found the reading, interupted by scene settings by the Director, somewhat rambling and difficult to follow. My short-term memory failed to reinforce my imagination.
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. . . . Festive Hamilton and Royal Navy Dockyard

Enlarge the pictures to full screen for detail

To continue the Bermuda story: After finishing our tour of St. Peter’s and its ancient churchyard, we took the local ferry to Hamilton immediately after getting off the shuttle from St. George, in order to see the Hamilton festival, which was about to take place that very evening. Before leaving, we did make a brief tour of the  Historical Museum and its Printery but it was too sketchy to be of much interest to us:

Christine enjoying the ferry ride


This tree was used by the original settlers as the bell tower for the old wooden St. Peter’s church — which is the oldest Anglican church outside the UK — It was toppled in a hurricane many years ago.


St. Peter’s graveyard–Not many stones still standing and they are mostly too worn  to be able to decipher the inscriptions.


Christine trying out The Queen’s chapel – Her hat, I fear, would not be suitable!


More Bermudan roofs . . .


. . . .


. . . .


The Ladies and Gents


Hamilton Festival — something for everybody . . .


. . . young, very young and tourists . . .


. . . .


Dance leader . . .




All together!


Parade leader . . .


. . . .


Follow me . .


. . . .


. . . .


. . .

Farewell Hamilton . . .


. . .


Back at the Royal Dockyard, we were not alone–the “Celebrity” ship shared our dock and added another 3/4 thousand tourists to the throng


Evening view of the Dockyard


Day time view of the Bar  (which is open all night). . .


Christine at lunch in the Garden Café (The ‘Escape’s” buffet restaurant)






7 Responses

  1. As always, you do a great blog! I’ve been to Bermuda a couple of times and I always enjoyed it. Ben, it seems you cover a lot more ground than I have… other than I did a race there, a few years ago!
    Thanks for sharing.


  2. Hi Ben,
    Perhaps this isn’t the appropriate feed, but I can’t find any other way of contacting you.
    I have just read your POW tales online and realise that my late father was amongst you in Shamshuito. He sailed on the Tatua Maru in January 1943 and ended up in Amagasaki.
    Would be interested in having a chat and sending a few more details if OK with you. If so perhaps you could let me have and email etc.?
    Kind regards
    Richard Howell.

    • Richard, Hi! Thank you for your message. It is almost certain that I knew your father–we were such a small group–perhaps no more than 200 on my draft! What was his name and regiment? Best wishes, Ben Thompson

      • Hi Ben,
        His name was also Richard Howell. (same as me)
        He was RAF LAC 979266.
        Born 12/1/15 was from Withington, Didsbury, Manchester. Religion RC.
        Captured 25/12/41, as everybody else.
        Records show:
        ShamShuiTo 29/12/41 to 12/1/43 Detachment/Block Leader W/O Butt.
        Amagasaki 23/1/43 to 20/5/45. Detachment/Block Leader W/O Divett.
        Takoaka 21/5/45 to 3/9/45 Detachment/Block Leader W/O Andrews USAAF.
        Looking at the dates he was obviously on the Tatuta Maru in January 1943.
        Unfortunately he died in 1975, when I was 23, of Cirrhosis of the Liver, directly attributable to his diet etc in the camps. (My mother was awarded a war widows pension)
        He never talked about it all really, but did confide some details of the atrocities to me when I was a teenager.
        In recent times I have done a bit of research using current internet facilities etc. I just feel that such events should not be forgotten and am trying to compile a record so that his grandchildren and great grandchildren, (which of course he never knew) will realise what their grandfather/great grandfather, together with the rest you, went through.
        Finding your ‘POW tales and other stories’, was really a ‘pot of gold’ from my perspective, so without wishing to be intrusive any other information you have would be most appreciated.
        Best regards

  3. Richard. Surely your father, Dick Howell, and I were comrades in Amagasaki–Divett was my O/C too. I have been struggling to recall his features but no success so far. However, I am out of town at the moment have only my Surface to work with. Tomorrow, I shall be home and have access to my PC where all my details are stored. If you send me your e-mail address, I will be able to send you a photo (taken be the Japanese on the day of our release) of all the POW’s left in our group. If he is among them, you could, perhaps point him out to me. In addition, I could let you have the Curator’s address at the Imperial War Museum, where my POW diaries and artifacts can be viewed. Best wishes, Ben Thompson.

    • Dear Ben,

      Yes, I think I may have that photo you refer to. If it is the same one I think he is the second row down from the back, 4th person in from the right. (Directly underneath the ladder)
      I have some better photos of him before and after the confinement which I could also send you if that helps.
      My email is: info@howellsail.com
      The details at the Imperial War Museum would be of great benefit to me also.
      Thank you very much.

      best regards

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