VJ Day 75 – NIWM Collection items relating to the Far East
Further to our previous post looking at the Lennon Collection, our accredited museum collection contains hundreds of items relating to the war in the Far East.
Notably is this Blood Chit – a piece of silk with the Union flag at the top that carried a message in 16 languages including English, French, Tamil, Sumatra, Thai, E. Shan & N. Thai, W. Shan, Jawi, Chinese, Haka Chin, Kachin, Malay, Laizo Chin, Bengali, Annamite, Karen and Burmese. It was to be given to locals in the event of being shot down over enemy lines. The message reads;
‘Dear Friend, I am an Allied fighter, I did not come here to do any harm to you who are my friends. I only want to do harm to the Japanese and chase them away from this country as quickly as possible. If you will assist me, my Government will sufficiently reward you when the Japanese are driven away.’
It was issued to Henry McCreery from Dublin as he was en route to Singapore in early 1942. Henry studied law at Trinity College, Dublin and after graduating joined the RAF in Belfast. He was selected to go to Singapore to interview Japanese POWs due to his degree but en route, the city fell and he was reposted.
A further, much larger collection, donated in 2019 belonged to a man called Stanley Scott (pictured). Although born in Belfast, Stanley grew up in Scotland before joining the Royal Navy. After training he was posted to the Belfast built carrier, HMS Glory which then set sail for Australia just as the war was ending.
Although too late to see combat in the Far East, HMS Glory was selected as the ship to take the surrender of Japanese forces at Rabaul in September 1945.
Over the course of the next month or so we will share some more of this collection and highlight Stanley’s experiences at the tail end of the Second World War.