Pic shock: relatives of Japanese POW sought in Romford

THE RELATIVES of Frederick J Want, who had connections to Romford, are being sought after a picture was found of him as a prisoner of war in World War II.

The photograph, taken in the Changi camp, Singapore, shows the two emaciated British serviceman shortly after Japan surrendered in 1945.

Chris McBrien, of Aberdeen, found the picture when he was searching for information about the other man in the picture, Charles Freeman, for a friend.

Mr McBrien, a former air force serviceman himself, carried out further searches and discovered that Mr Want had two daughters, Brenda and Rosemary, and that one of them married a policeman who was from Romford.

“The photo was on a New Zealand website that has since gone defunct,” Mr McBrien said. “I’m sure it’s the sort of thing that the family would be interested in.”


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The Royal Hospital in Chelsea said that Mr Want was blinded in one eye and deafened by a blast while on service, and served as a gardener in Changi. He died in 1988 as a Chelsea Pensioner.

His daughter Brenda, who would be around 68-years-old, was married to an Alan C Newman who was born in Romford in 1935. Their daughter Lisa was born in 1969.

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If you are a relative of Frederick J Want and would like to get in touch with Chris McBrien telephone: 01651-882379 or email mcbrien410@aol.com.

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