Together at Last - Hong Kong Family Reunion in 1945

After VJ Day, the role of the troops changed literally overnight from being focused on fighting to a humanitarian effort. It took many months afterwards to free and repatriate all the Prisoners of War.

One of the first good news stories to emerge was of a young family coming together for the very first time.

September 1945 saw not only the reunion of Petty Officer (PO) John Wight-Brown RN with his wife, but his first meeting with daughter Elizabeth-Ann, then five years old.  

PO Wright-Brown had married in Hong Kong, but he was serving with the Royal Navy when Hong Kong fell to the Japanese. His wife and baby daughter were interned for almost four years. PO Wright-Brown returned with the British Liberation Force.

Elizabeth-Ann had never known anything but Japanese prison food and was photographed devouring the contents of a haversack of English rations.

She and her mother were wearing swimsuits, as the nearby bathing beach was their single recreational facility and the only means of bathing. The little girl could swim like a fish.

The Royal Navy photographer accompanied the Wright-Brown family on their first shopping trip, during which they bought their daughter’s first toy, a doll, and her first ever shoes and socks. They then enjoyed a meal out, complete with the new dolly.

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