THE SOUTHERTON FAMILY
July 2, 2005
Hi, my name is Lorna Loveland and I am interested in learning what I can about Santo Thomas as well as Chapei, YuYuan Road in Shanghai and then Yantzepoo, as my father was interned in all four. I also have some very beautiful sketches that he made in pencil of all three camps and a few other interesting bits of memorabilia. I am collecting information as my father passed away some 25 years ago and my siblings know very little of what he went through. I am in constant contact with my father’s sister Muriel who is 85 and living in New Zealand with a very sound mind and vivid memories of what happened.
My father’s name is Robert Grindley Southerton (RGS 2) . He was interned in Santo Thomas in the Phillipines with his mother Edith Southerton when the harbour was bombed and the ship’s crew mutinied. They had been on holidays in Australia and were returning to Shanghai when war broke out. They only got as far as Hong Kong. My grandfather whose name is also Robert Grindley Southerton sent his wife and my dad to Australia for safety and that was how he ended up in Santo Thomas.
My grandfather (RGS 1) was interned in Stanley camp at first but was was able to get back to Shanghai where the family lived and find his daughter Muriel. He thought his wife and my dad were safely to Australia as rumours had told him so. He nearly went demented when he discovered they were interned.
Eventually my dad and his mother managed to get on a troop ship back to Shanghai. Then the whole family was interned in YuYuan Road and finally in Chapei. They left China after the war and returned to England where they had family support. My grandfather was a headmaster by profession and liaised with the Japanese in the camps. I have a small amount of first hand information…letters and the like which will be of historical significance. The war memorial in Canberra want the original documents but will only get them after I have completed what I want to write.
Hope this is of interest