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Former internees relive 1945 celebrations on board HMS Belfast

London SE1 website team

To mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War HMS Belfast hosted a reunion of ex-civilian internees of the Japanese who were last welcomed onboard on 28th September 1945.

The internees, most of whom were children at the time, joined former HMS Belfast crew to relive the original party held for these newly liberated civilians from the internment camps in and around Shanghai.

Over 120 of the original children came together for the first time in 60 years to see friends they last saw whilst growing up in these internment camps. All can vividly remember the excitement of attending a party thrown by HMS Belfast's sailors, who gave up much of their rations, including chocolate and sweets, to ensure that the children were able to celebrate their freedom as best they could. Some had never tasted chocolate before and every scrap on The Ship was eaten. Former HMS Belfast crew were also available to recount their memories of the historic event.

Remarkably, film and photos of the original party still exists and many of the children featured in the photographs attended the reunion.

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