Sunday, April 18, 2010

Townsend People in Japanese Internment Camps

At least two Townsend descendants died in Japanese internment camps, one in Java and one in Sumatra. I am sure that there are others who were interned but survived.

Marij Maria Eleonora Anna Townsend b. 16-4-1874 in Batavia, d. 14-12-1944 in Cidengkamp, Batavia (Also seen as Tjideng Camp – an internment camp ). Buried in Kalibanteng, Semarang.

I have looked through the register of names in this camp for April 1944 and the only person with initials MME is Sunnotel, M.M.E. However, there is a Sunnotel-Bennes M.M.E. in the August 1945 register so maybe a different person. However, not in another copy of the register.

Looking through the 1944 register, there are names that are somewhat familiar:
Andre Wiltens, L.S. While she was interned, her son Alfred John Andree-Wiltens was in the Dutch resistance and was later awarded the Medal of Freedom for his work. He was also godfather to Princess Margriet (sister of Queen Beatrix).
Andree Wiltens, M.M.
In 1945
Andree Wilton-Pennings, M.M (Cideng)
Goedhart, G. (no camp name given)
And undoubtedly there are others I might have missed.

Suse TOWNSEND (1-9-1913, Padang – 1-8-1945, Bangkinang internment camp), reported to have been married to Terry Meurs (van Meurs?).

There does not appear to be a page like the Tjideng page for Bangkinang, unfortunately. There may be registers of internees at some Dutch institution.

Drawings and other ephemera from the camps can be found at the Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie Museon, under the page Drawings from the camps in the occupied Dutch East Indies (1942-1945)
These are well worth browsing - some are excellently executed, some are naive but very evocative of the conditions in the camps.

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