The Rev. Mr. And Mrs. Cliff, who for 20 years did missionary work in China, are shown welcoming their three children,, who have been prisoners of war for three and a half years. Captured while they were at school in China, the children were released by American troops. Two members of the same camp escaped and lived only 17 miles away from the Japanese.
Return To Parents
Children Interned By Japanese
The happiest people in Durban yesterday were the Rev. and Mrs. H. S. Cliff, who up to Japan’s march into China had been missionaries there for 20 odd years.
Meeting the B.O.A.C. flying boat, they had come to welcome their three children, from whom they had been separated for four years. The Rev. Cliff in an interview with a “Natal Mercury” representative told how, when Pearl Harbour was bombed and war was declared; the children were at school at Chefoo, in North-Eastern China.
They were interned in their own compound at first, but later were transferred to Weihsien in Shantung Province. We managed to get mail to them by fooling the Japanese. We wrote all our letters in Chinese and posted them through the ordinary mail. They were all received. Later the Japanese found out and letters became very few and far between.
“Camp life was organized to such an extent that in the end my two daughters were able to take their matriculation there. We are waiting for the results now.
They were released by American parachutists, who baled out after the aeroplanes had circled round the camp. Seeing the aircraft, the whole camp just rushed the gates and forced their way out. The parachute troops said later that this probably saved their lives, as the Japanese were so bewildered that hey offered no resistance.
“After three or four weeks they left for Tsingtao where they boarded a transport and sailed for Colombo, via Singapore. They then went on to the Middle East, and now at last we have them home”
... letters to and from our parents ...
We managed to get mail to them by fooling the Japanese. We wrote all our letters in Chinese and posted them through the ordinary mail. They were all received. Later the Japanese found out and letters became very few and far between.