Syd Brewis, visiting the
Memorial at Kiwa-cho

Syd Brewis

I was captured in Singapore and taken to Changi, then on to the Thai-Burma Railway where the atrocities really started. We lost thousands of men through starvation and disease. After the war I refused to meet any Japanese people. However six years ago, I opened the door to find a Japanese lady standing at the entrance!

It was Keiko, the lady whom I had heard so much about. She had brought her mother and son to visit us in Scotland. It was so wonderful to meet them, especially Keiko's mother who had come all the way from Kiwa-cho

When they had gone, my hatred left. In 1999 my wife and I joined a reconciliation pilgrimage and were thrilled to return to Iruka where I had worked in the copper mine. It was so moving to see the graves of my comrades so beautifully kept, and I appreciate the local people who look after it so lovingly. In Tokyo I met my former guard. We shook hands and had a nice long chat through an interpreter.