Today we remember Lou Engledow, who was a prisoner of war of the Japanese. His sister, Marj Purdon, recalls the mix of emotions which were felt when welcoming the prisoners of war (POWs) home.
Marj Purdon audio script
75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War
“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” — (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)
On the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, Australia remembers Lou Engledow, who was a prisoner of war of the Japanese for three-and-a-half years.
The experience of welcoming home the POWs after war’s end was full of mixed emotion. Lou and Vince were mates in Changi, but fate dictated that only Lou would return. His sister Marj Purdon picks up the story.
Vince’s wife drove us up to Liverpool to meet Lou when he arrived back. I didn’t recognise him at first, because when he went he was a young lad and massive curls. He came home a painfully thin person, like thousands of others that came back. And that picture of everybody at Liverpool that day that were meeting ex-POW’s from Changi … lots of happy laughter … but a lot of tears shed.
Unfortunately, this girl’s husband never came home and I felt that was a very, very brave and generous thing for her to come and drive my mother and father and myself up to meet Lou coming back from Changi.
Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.