Iwata Murakami (centre) at the memorial service
|Iwata Murakami - former Chairman of Kiwa Club
When I took up my new post as deputy head of Iruka Junior High School
in 1950, the school was still located in buildings that had been formerly
used as a prison camp.
| Many years later I became Chairman of the Senior Citizens
Association known as Kiwa Club. In 1987 the grave of the former POWs
was moved to the present location. I am sure that all 300 of them
dreamt of returning home together but sadly 16 of them remained behind.
As we collected the ashes of those young British soldiers who had
died in a foreign land, we could not hold back the tears. It felt
like they were our own sons. Local people and the mine company financed
the new grave. It has become like a small memorial garden with different
plants flowering in each season. It is a dream come true that many
British people, especially former Iruka POWs, visit us each year.