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102-YEAR-OLD ISLANDER BERT WARNE AWARDED FREEDOM OF CITY OF SOUTHAMPTON

272284130 1061132284449001 6750558774733116968 NAlbert Warne, a former prisoner of war of the Japanese, who was born in Cowes in 1919, has been awarded an Honorary Freedom of the City of Southampton. 

At a special council meeting on Monday, 102-year-old Albert Warne received the award in recognition of his continued commitment to ensuring that those who served in the Far East theatre of war are remembered.

Mr Warne is one of the last remaining survivors of the notorious Burma Railway. After returning from the war, Bert settled in Southampton. However, he has still stayed in regular contact with his relatives on the other side of the Solent.

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Bert was taken by the Japanese in 1942 and spent 3-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war. He was among 60,000 British and Commonwealth troops forced to work on the Burma and Thailand line, also known as the Death Railway. His weight at the time dropped to just 6-and-a-half stone but he survived, although around 16,000 of those working on the line didn’t because of the harsh conditions and starvation.

Speaking about his Honorary Freedom, Bert said:

“I am truly honoured by the award you gave me today. I would like to share it with my people. Since 1950, we have worked continuously to ensure that the sacrifices that they have made will not be forgotten.

“It feels very nice to receive this award. Thank you all very much indeed.”

Mr Warne was presented the award by the Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Alex Houghton, at Southampton Guildhall.

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The Mayor of Southampton said:

“It is my great privilege to bestow the Honorary Freedom of the City to Mr Albert Warne. Granting a person the title of Honorary Freeman is the highest honour the city council can bestow upon an individual.

“My colleagues on the council voted unanimously to award this honour to Albert for his continued commitment to ensuring that those who served in the Far East theatre of war are remembered. Albert is the last remaining prisoner of war who installed the memorial in Bitterne Churchyard in 2003. His own story of survival and his continued work to support prisoners of war is both inspiring and incredible.”

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Magical mag
Magical mag
3 months ago

Good luck to him ..my dad was a Japanese prisoner of war and it was hell for them all his best mate a Scott was beheaded in front of him and he was only a small man but he stood strong and looked the commandant in the eyes he was not going to show any weakness whatsoever , what these men had to go through was horrifically atrocious ..bless this man

 

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