I was evacuated from Libya in February 2011 during that time while I was waiting in Malta for my husband to leave Libya I decided to search for the lost pieces of the jigsaw of my family back ground surrounding my courageous grand father and grand mother’s past.
The puzzle has proved to take me on a journey of sorrow, inspiration and elation.
My curiosities lead me to discover the truth behind the heart wrenching sad story of my grand father’s and the many Far Eastern POW’S.
The story of my grand father that has inspired me to write, document and research in to the history of the far eastern war.
The documentation only now coming to light after so long of how the courageous second world war far eastern prisoners of war endured such torment and brutal suffering, the men that survived and returned to their country of origin and their families.
The history has given me a true understanding and determination of seeing how the sanctity of life is being taken for granted by so many people and how so many people ignore the true reason behind their suffering.
They suffered so that all of humanity would be able to enjoy their freedom.
Any human being that ignores it, ridicules it or does not support it should hang their heads in shame.
All in their name I dedicate everything I write to their memory.
It is a contribution and understanding of how I perceive there is a greater need for all of humanity to stop ignoring war, to discourage it and help put an end to the use of destructive weapons so that this planet and the people who have the privilege to live on it can have Peace and Freedom.
My father’s memory will live on along with his father and mother’s memory through the history told through my blog.
I decided I needed to make contact with my father whom I had not had any contact with for most of my life.
I had a strong sense of urgency to contact him.
So during the last two weeks of September 2012 I began putting the feelers out to people who may know where he lived.
The feeling of urgency in contacting my father was feeling stronger and it actually crossed my mind what if he had already died?
I had an idea of the area of address where my father lived but I had no address or telephone number.
I wasn’t having any luck at tracking my father down.
There was only one person that knew where my father lived. My sister!
I had no choice and I put the past to one side and decided on the 28th of September to send a message to my sister via face book.
I thought I would not hear from her as the last time we had spoken was over four years back were on very bad terms.
Sadly I received a message back from my sister on the 4th of October my sister informed me my Father died on the 1st of october.
Epitaph to Leslie Nowell.
Leslie was born in Yorkshire North Riding in 1936 and started his life with his Mother and Father at Alcuin Avenue, Tang Hall York.
Leslie later went on to share his life at the home with his parents and sister Christine.
But sadly his family circumstances changed when his Father went to fight for his country during the Second World War.
Leslie didn’t have the privilege of his mother or father seeing him grow up or being able to carry on living with his sister.
Unfortunately Leslie’s father Leslie and mother Eleanor died, both in the same year when he was 8 years old.
Sadly Leslie’s mother died not knowing her husband had been killed. She contracted TB and died very young.
Leslie’s father was a far eastern prisoner of war in the second world war. He was killed on a Japanese ship that was transporting the prisoners when the American submarine torpedoed it.
Leslie and Christine were sent to an orphanage.
Leslie lost touch with Christine for many years because she had been adopted.
Leslie joined the boy army brigade when he was 15 and went on to becoming a Sergeant in the Royal Horse Artillery following in his father’s footsteps.
Leslie’s life in the Army became his life.
During 1959 that was another sad time for Leslie as his baby daughter Leslie died of cot death syndrome.
Leslie’s life in the Army took him to Kenya in 1959 when the Mau Mau uprising occurred.
Leslie soon made the rank of Sergeant.
While he was in Kenya the feature film The Guns of Navarone was being made and his gun troop took part in the film.
Leslie was not supposed to mix with the lower ranks it was not the expected thing to do, but Leslie insisted on mixing with the lower ranks.
Leslie would often go up in front the commanding officer Edward Heath.
Leslie would be demoted down to corporal however he would eventually make Sergeant again.
Leslie enjoyed music and sang regularly in the troop band.
After Leslie left the army he continued to go to the RHA reunions, sadly a lot of his comrades have passed away.
Leslie had artistic talents he was very good at sign writing, old english writing, barge painting and he was very talented at needle craft embroidery.
Leslie reunited with his sister Christine and kept close contact.
Leslie after many years eventually learnt of his fathers military history and that his memorial grave stone is laid at Kranji memorial cemetery Singapore.
Leslie’s last wishes of leaving a donation to the British Legion is a true honour to all the fallen heroes.
Leslie’s life story is an epitaph to all the courageous families that have been affected by war and is a story to be encouraged towards world Peace.
Rest in Peace dad with your mum, your dad and your baby daughter Leslie.
I forgive you for staying out of my life you had your reasons, you did the best you could.
I had to grow up without you dad.
It saddened me you were not there.
Especially when life became tough.
I learnt to grow without you and hide my feelings well.
I wish you could have waited for me to find you.
But death came by surprise.
I wish there had been more time for you to know.
That I forgive you for leaving me and not being in my life.
Sleep well dad.