On Friday November 11th 2011 - exactly 69 years after the first POWs arrived at Taihoku Camp # 6 from Singapore on the hellship England Maru, a memorial was dedicated to the men of No. 6 Camp by the Taiwan POW Camps Memorial Society and the ROC Ministry of National Defense. Taihoku Camp 6 was the main POW camp in the capital area, and one of the principal camps in Taiwan, and the Society is very thankful to the Ministry and Minister Kao, Hua-Chu for their help in getting this long overdue memorial erected.
Despite the very wet weather all week, the rain held off for the dedication ceremony which took place on the site of the ROC Ministry of National Defense Headquarters complex at 2 pm. Present for the ceremony was one former Taiwan POW, several POW family members, Ministry of Defense personnel and other dignitaries. It was great to have a number of friends and supporters of the Society with us for the occasion as well as some media.
The ceremony was conducted by the Rev. Dr. Herbert Barker of the Church of the Good Shepherd (Anglican). Society director Michael Hurst MBE gave an overview of the history of the former camp and spoke of how much the memorial meant to the former POWs and their families. Then the Deputy Minister of National Defense, Lt./Gen. Hsiung, Shang-Tai brought greetings and a message from the Ministry and the Minister.
Following this Mr. Kevin Magee, Representative of the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei spoke on behalf of all the Commonwealth and Allied countries who had POWs in the camp. Also, in attendance was Director-General David Campbell of the British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei and Mr. Hughes Minot, Representative of the Luxembourg Trade Office.
The poem "Who Will Remember Them?" was read by a very emotional Jim Ferguson whose father was in the Taihoku Camp, and this was followed by a speech from Mr. Jack Lu, Deputy Secretary-General of the ROC Veterans Affairs Commission.
Gunner Ken Pett, formerly of the 80th Anti-Tank Reg't. R.A. who was interned in the Kinkaseki and Kukutsu camps, spoke on behalf of his comrades who were interned at Taihoku, many of whom later joined him at Kinkaseki. Harold Brant whose father Harry Sr. had also been in the camp brought the "Tribute to the Prisoners" before Rev. Barker rendered a prayer of dedication for the memorial.
Wreaths representing those present were then laid on the memorial and this was followed by the "Act of Remembrance" with Last Post and Reveille being played by a trumpeter from the ROC Navy Band. Two minutes of silence was also observed and in closing the FEPOW Prayer was read by Mr. Brian Ferguson, Jim's brother.
It was a wonderful ceremony and we are grateful to all those who came out to support us on this day, so that the men of Taihoku Camp # 6 will always be remembered.
We will be visting the site at various times throughout the year with MND permission, and we hope that a good number will take the time on their own to visit and pay their respects at the memorial to the POWs of Taihoku Camp # 6.
The location of the memorial is east of the Grand Hotel and the Martyrs' Shrine on Pei-an Road and just west of the Dachih Bridge. It is located about 150 meters up Tong-Bei Street from the corner on the right hand side. The memorial can be viewed from the sidewalk and photos can be obtained by simply zooming your camera in. Please see the drawing below for directions.