• Upcomimg Trips

    October 14 to 21 Cruise - Bermuda
  • theatre and Concerrts

    November 3rd. Saw the much acclaimed “The Nap” by Brian Bean. By coincidence, Christine and I watched the world snooker championship on the BBC while we were in London last May; the play is about an elaborate con pulled on the championships. Billed as a comedy, it has, in the cast, a transvestite Mrs. Malaprop. The actor/actress playing the part did not have the timing to make the most of the mis-pronounced humour. There was a very clever coordination between the real table on which the contestants played (one of whom was a real snooker champion) and the screen above  it showing the action. The con included a somewhat unconvincing fake execution which scuttled the comedy in my view.

    October 3. Attended a beautiful memorial to the late Robert Mann at the Manhattan School of Music. The highlight was  sandwiched  between Mozart and Faure – Robert Mann’s setting of The Swedish Match Girl. The story was narrated By his 96 -year-old widow, Lucy. The piano quartet included Nicholas Mann, Robert’s son.

     Ocober 8. Susan and went to the 92nd Street Y to see a pre-screening of the film “The Oath” followed by a question and answer period by the author/director and a well-known television personality. Susan was,  I think, impressed–it is an obvious Liberal political piece–I was put off by the gratuitous violence and expletive-heavy dialogue.

    October 9. Susan, Christine and I saw a most-marvelous production of Chekov’s “Uncle Vanya” at The Kaye Playhouse. The action was brilliantly played out by the actors in the pit of the theatre with the audience rising in tiers all around them.

    All the actors were superb, but Jay O. Sanders in the title role gave a commanding performance and the audience was spell-bound from beginning to end.


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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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