On VJ Day 74: Letters between the generations

RFHG

On the 74th anniversary of VJ Day, Ashley Prime writes for RFHG about his father, Lance Corporal Ashley Prime – a former prisoner of war in Singapore and Thailand – whose moving post-war letters have been published open access for all to read.

Ashley Prime Lance Corporal Ashley Prime. Courtesy of Ashley Prime

I had of course always known that my father had been a Japanese Prisoner of War. I grew up with that always in our minds in our home, but it was never really seen as a negative. It was just there, and from my childhood, I recall kindly former colleagues of his visiting our home. They were always kind and I never felt any anger in the way they were. At least to me as a small child.Β 

Later in life, I was living in West Germany in my early twenties, and whilst back in London on holiday, I…

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 22, 2020, in First-hand Accounts, Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 59 Comments.

  1. Excellent repost again gp, plus another great link to an intriguing story, fortunately my library here is quite adept in getting my requests in stock.
    Cheers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ThNk you for posting Greg. Such a great resource.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How fortunate Ashley Prime’s family is to have his letters–and how fortunate we are to have access to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like his father learned a terrific life lesson from his suffering in the war.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t read much fiction; I prefer history, essays, journals — and collections of letters. These are wonderful letters, and I’ll be reading more. Thanks so much for bringing them to our attention, GP!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this, GP! Wow, so powerful and so important! And a wonderful post for Father’s Day! The post and the few letters I read, so far, brought tears to my eyes. πŸ™‚ What a wise father who lived what he said/taught.
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚
    PS…I’ve been thinking AGAIN about all of the sacrifices the family of soldiers, and most Americans, made during WW2..going without, rationing, supporting, contributing, caring, etc…and people today are complaining about wearing a mask.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It is very moving! Beautiful post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fascinating story about the life of a soldier not written in history books. I read three chapters so far and will come back for the rest. It must be a shock for them to see how the Japanese soldiers behaved. I love the one who defied the Japs and nothing was reported.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. These letters are fascinating, GP, Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Both his parents were very wise, pragmatic people. His father is correct about forgiveness being difficult, anger eating one from the inside out.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderful first-hand info. Thanks, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow, GP! What a fantastic site. I would like to think I would be that forgiving but knowing how the Japanese treated their POWs, that would have been quite difficult I think. He must have been quite a man. I also bookmarked the site to read more letters later. Thanks for sharing your find.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for sharing, GP! Will head over to read, and i am sure it will be very heart touching. Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks for sharing – I love the write up about his father’s capacity to forgive, and that bitterness eats away from the inside. That’s wisdom. We are graced with their presence (both patriarchs & matriarchs) until they are gone and most of the time take it for granted…

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a very personal, powerful message that could teach us do many lessons today since we are do divided on so many issues. Thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My pleasure, Pat. It’s terrific having more letters from the past. That generation can still teach us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Have you noticed how trendy WWII is right now? I don’t know if it was viewed as a simpler, purer time, if it is because we are losing so many of the Greatest Generation, or so many people sense a similarity to the rise of Fascism and Nazism and today’ polarization? Bet you didn’t know you were writing a trendy blog. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • Not when I started, that’s for sure. What I did notice was more interest in it because the new on-rush of family history research going on due to DNA advances. People realized I was talking about their own ancestors. I’ve had a number of people tell me that after reading some posts here, they were beginning to understand their parents better. How the Great Depression and war molded them since birth.

          Like

  16. Great idea for father’s day. I too read some of them and bookmarked the rest for later.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. oh, these are so powerful and moving, thanks for sharing them

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Just read some of the letters, and saved the link. Many thanks, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Thank you. Isn’t it a great site?!!

    Like

  1. Pingback: On VJ Day 74: Letters between the generations // Pacific Paratrooper | ' Ace Worldwide History '

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