Jun 11, 2011
The Red Cross sent a number of letters to Frank’s family. The correspondence includes references to broadcasts from Radio Singapore and the correct way to send mail to a prisoner of war.
Letter dated 29th June 1944: Radio broadcast
This letter was sent to the Larkin family regarding a Japanese radio broadcast of the 28th March, 1944. The letter, and the others described on this page, were sent by the Red Cross Bureau for Wounded, Missing and Prisoners of War.
Letter dated 5th July 1944: B.33 leaflet
This letter was sent to the Larkin family together with the B.33 letter detailed below. The Larkin family had requested a B.33 leaflet from the Red Cross Bureau for Wounded, Missing and Prisoners of War. The B.33 leaflet sets out in great detail how to prepare and address mail destined for a prisoner of war.
Jun 11, 2011
Frank is looking forward to his return. He wants his homecoming kept quiet.
2nd Oct, 1945.
Well dad, I’m very happy to let you know that we are embarking to-day on the air-craft carrier, “Speaker”, and will probably sail from Manila before Thursday. With good sailing weather we expect to be home Saturday or Sunday week. I can hardly believe it.
I’ve been away a long time, Pop, and you people are anyway as happy about my home-coming as I feel about it. It will be a wonderful day for me. I’ve been through all the army bulloney here & after about 2 or 3 hours army routine in Sydney, I’ll be able to come straight home on 28 days’ leave.
I’ve had no more mail since my arrival here, but Alice told me in her letter that everyone was OK at home and that is all that really matters as far as I’m concerned.
Well, dad, I’m only snatching a few spare minutes to write this. give my love to alice & rest of family.
Tons of love,
PS. Please tell all the family about time of home-coming, but otherwise I’d like it to be kept quiet, I guess. But you go right ahead and do what you like about it just the same.
Jun 11, 2011
Frank refers to his last days in Manila and the impending return on home on the British aircraft carrier “HMS Speaker”. Frank praises the good work of the American GIs looking after the liberated prisoners of war.
I received your letter to-day, dated the 18th of last month, and am real happy to read a real letter from you again. I’m awfully sorry to know you hadn’t heard of my whereabouts up to that time, but as I sent you a cable from Japan on the 15th Sept I suppose you would have had it a day or two after the eighteenth.
We were supposed to leave here yesterday, but owing to bad weather, we are unable to get on to the boat and may be delayed for a day or two. Our boat is the air-craft carrier “Speaker”, and we are told it can do the trip in about ten days, Manila to Sydney, so I ought to be home before the eighteenth of this month. I think you may be notified of the arrival date, or the day when we are to disembark.
I’m terribly glad to know the family are all well, and would very much like to receive letters from them before leaving Manila. The fellows here are just hungry for news, especially from their families, as we have been out of contact practically since we were taken prisoners, and are anxious to know what has been happening in this time.
How is Alice. Gee, Pop, I don’t really know what I should call her, or what I should say to her. Anyway, the two times I met her, & from the letters I had from her while in Malaya, I guess she must be very nice, and hope she’ll take to and like me the same as I like & think of her.
The news I got about young Bill was a very pleasant shock. It makes me realise just how long I have been away. I suppose quite a lot of my old friends are married now. Where is Bill living, I wonder. I’ll be real happy to see his nipper, and am looking forward to meeting his wife. I consider that I know Bill better than anybody, and I’m tipping that his missus is the real thing and one of the best. By the way, Jack isn’t married is he?
I’ve written to everyone at home, Dad, so there is not much more I can write about. I’m quite happy here, and have got everything I want. Its an excellent camp and the staff are falling over themselves looking after us. The American G.I.s do all the cooking and consider it a great pleasure to serve up our grub. They still think we are P.W.s, and can’t possibly fill us up. They are sure a great lot of fellows.
By the way, Freddie Durea, Ern Mcgee & Ray Connor are here with me, also Toddy Lees, a brother-in-law of Eddie Stoyles. We will probably all be here to-gether. I’ve met hundreds of chaps here, whom I’d previously met at Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Changi, and Thailand and had separated from on going to Japan. At one time, there were one hundred and sixty Australians in the boob at Kuala Lumpur, and of this party there were only nine of us at our camp in Japan. This gives you an idea how we have been separated and scattered about. I have met quite a few of this original party here. I’m getting on to a subject matter I don’t care to say much about, anyway Pop.
Guess I’ll close up now, telling you I’m still enjoying good health and am waiting for the day when I’ll see you again.
Lots of love,