VJ Day marked with launch of POW project on Merseyside

Press release 12 Aug 2009
6

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been awarded £48,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as part of its ongoing work with ex-Far Eastern Prisoners of War (FEPOW) to create an archive of oral histories from surviving prisoners.  The grant will expand this work through a website and interaction project that will allow many more of their stories to be told and preserved for future generations.

The two year project is led by LSTM’s Professor Geoff Gill with partners including the Imperial War Museum, Wirral’s Learning Lighthouse and Pensby High School for Girls.

LSTM’s longstanding relationship with ex-FEPOW dates back to the end of the World War II. Many of these men were stationed in Merseyside prior to travelling to the Far East and returned to the UK via Liverpool.  Those suffering from tropical diseases were admitted to LSTM’s tropical ward and treated by specialists.  In all more than 2,000 prisoners were treated, enabling ground-breaking research into the diagnosis and treatment of conditions such asstrongyloidiasis still affecting some over thirty years after infection.

Professor Gill explained:  “Over the past two years a group of 60 surviving veterans all in their late 80’s have given oral history interviews to LSTM.  They were keen to shed light on their collective and personal experiences both during and after their captivity to prevent them from being overlooked by history.  Having added their voices they have offered future generations a unique insight into the effect of long-term captivity.  This is something that can only happen through the development of appropriate and authentic learning resources.

“A dedicated website will feature learning material aimed at GCSE and A-Level students, alongside extracts from some of the 60 interviews.  We will be working with a group of Year 10 pupils from Pensby High School for Girls who have already studied the FEPOW diaries of a Wirral doctor. They will have the opportunity to meet and interview former FEPOW through specially designed workshops facilitated by the Wirral-based Learning Lighthouse CLC, they will be able to record the encounter via digital video cameras and this material, together with the work that is generated from it, will contribute to a scheme of work for future use in schools.  This website will eventually be promoted to the public, education professionals, researchers, family historians and to FEPOW history research groups, allowing further projects to grow, from what will be a legacy for future generations.” he added.

-ends-

 lottery

For further information, please contact:

Billy Dean, Development Officer
Office: +44 (0)151 705 3272
Mobile: +44 (0)7739 128664

Notes for editors

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) has been engaged in the fight against infectious, debilitating and disabling diseases for more than a hundred years and continues that tradition today with a research portfolio in excess of £130 million and a teaching programme attracting students from over 70 countries.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) enables communities to celebrate, look after and learn more about our diverse heritage. From our great museums and historic buildings to local parks and beauty spots or recording and celebrating traditions, customs and history, HLF opens up our nation’s heritage for everyone to enjoy. Since 1994 it has supported more than 26,000 projects, allocating over £4 billion across the UK.

The Learning Lighthouse (TLL) aims to provide schools and the general public with an opportunity to access emerging, innovative technology, enhancing curriculum and enriching multi-media skills through interaction.  Offering courses and activities for all areas of the curriculum, TLL specialises in multimedia, digital imaging, music technology and in particular video production.