Excerpts from internees’ recollections of liberation from Weihsien Camp, China
Composed by Dr Bernice Archer
Ron Bridge, interned with his grandparents, parents and younger brother in Weihsien civilian internment camp Shandong province China at the age of 8.
(Ron Bridge; No Soap, Less School. Chillies Oast Publishing 2019.) pp.146-150 (Used with kind permission of the author)
Ron records: On the morning of 17th August the drone of aircraft could be heard. A lot of people rushed out and suddenly a large American aircraft appeared from the sky and out of the rear dropped seven parachutes. We ran down the sloping road and through the gate, the guards made no attempt to stop us. As we approached the paratroopers emerged from six foot high kaoliang with guns at waist height. When they realised that they were being approached by schoolboys, women crying and gangly thin men they relaxed….One of my friends grabbed a parachute and we passed the silk around. Anyone got a knife. A knife appeared and the panels of the parachute were soon mutilated and our heroes asked to sign before they disappeared into camp. The good natured soldiers obliged us…I got all seven signatures. When I got back to our hut, I told mum what had happened and asked her to look after the precious piece of silk…She promised faithfully to look after it. So much so that seventy years later I still have it and the names of the Duck team.
2 thoughts on “Liberation of Weihsien Camp, China – Ron’s Story”
I will never forget that day. Such jubilation as we saw the American planes fly over. We were FREE! No one could stop us as we ran madly for the big front gates. Now all these years later l have just given my son a book to read ‘SHANTUNG COMPOUND written by Langdon Gilkey.
I was there too, but was a baby. I was born in the camp. So happy to hear about your story. Perhaps you remember Monica Morris who was about your age then or Margot Wulfsohn ? Mary Previte?
Sandra Roche ( now Sandra Small)