MENU & KING'S LETTER OWNED BY SAM HODGES OF GRIFFYDAM MARKING THE END OF WW2
On the 15th of August 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced over the radio that Japan had accepted its fate of surrendering unconditionally to the Allied forces, marking the beginning of the end of the war and occupation. The official instrument of surrender was formally signed on September 2nd 1945 on board the USS Missouri.
Copies of a menu dated 18th September 1945 kept by 4859871 Lance Corporal Samuel Hodges from Griffydam, 1st Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, and recently discovered by his son Michael, can be found below.
An expert on the Leicesters, Ken Hewitt, has kindly pointed out the following:-
An article in the Leicester Mercury dated 10th October 1945 records the homecoming of Sam Hodges from Griffydam and his mate George Chippendale together with Mathews and Maile. Sam arrived into Liverpool on the “Monowai”, one of the first ships to arrive from Singapore with ex Japanese POWs. Apparently, the “Monowai” departed Singapore on 11th September 1945, so Sam could not have attended a breakfast, dinner or luncheon in Singapore on the 18th, thereby suggesting that the menu was a daily menu from on board ship, supported by the statement on the bottom “Smoking is strictly forbidden in the dining Saloon”. The diet being prescribed by the Senior Medical Officer subscribes to this theory.
The names and addresses on the back of the menu have been identified by Sam's son Michael as being in Sam's handwriting which suggests that Sam may have collected these from men whilst on board the Monowai. Michael said:-
"I tried to find out about the two Aussies listed on the menu and contacted the nearest RSL to the address’s on the menu but they couldn’t help. I can recall my dad talking about several Aussies he met and discussing the future and a couple of them had building firms before the war and they offered him a job when it was all over. He told me he nearly went to Australia when he was offered the chance in Singapore but chose to come home. My Dad was a brick layer all his working life. He also told me about a lot of Aussies he buried in his time as a POW, a lot of them were veterans of WW1 and were in their 40’s, being a young man he called them ‘old men' ".
Once the names and addresses on the rear of the menu have been transcribed, these will be added to the website, with the hope that some of their relatives may see them and make contact.
Below the menu you will also find a letter to Sam from the King following his return from the war.
Samuel Hodges (2nd from right) and George Chippendale from Ravenstone (2nd from left) arriving at Leicestershire station after the war.
Footage of Far East POWs returning home at the end of the war. The last part of the video shows the Monowai arriving into Liverpool on the 8th October 1945
Sam Hodge's POW Identify Badge. We believe the characters on the top mean British Soldier, with his army number below. Sam may have scratched his own name on the other side as it is roughly executed.