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So touched that Far East memorial remembers my grandad

25 August, 2017

Tommy and Charlie Reid wearing their great-grandad’s medals

• I AM writing to thank everyone involved in organising the VJ Day ceremony at the Far East Prisoner of War Memorial in Mornington Crescent on Saturday (Teens’ tribute to war hero great-grandad, August 25).

Once again it was a moving ceremony, but for our family this year was especially poignant as this is our first VJ Day without my grandad, Antonio Garizio, who lived in Highbury and died in March. We are so touched that there is now a plaque in memory of “Tone” on this memorial which was so special to him.

For more than 50 years Tone felt the suffering of his comrades in the Far East had been ignored but the opening of this memorial in 2012 changed that. For the first time he felt valued and he felt his friends who didn’t return hadn’t been forgotten. He would have been so honoured to see his name inscribed on the memorial.

When Viscount Slim unveiled the memorial alongside my grandad, he asked my sons to always return in years to come and to wear their great-grandad’s medals with pride. Now aged 18 and 15, they did so on Saturday and it was a great honour for them to stand alongside the veterans who had come to pay their respects.

We are so grateful to the readers of the Tribune’s sister paper the Camden New Journal and to editor Eric Gordon, Councillor Roger Robinson, Shaun Pollard and Sergeant Chris Maynard.

Your generosity and hard work in creating this memorial has ensured that the war in the Far East will no longer be known as the “forgotten war” and the prisoners of war who suffered barbaric treatment at the hands of the Japanese army will always be remembered.

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