Former prisoner of war loses cherished wedding dress – Yahoo News Australia

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A 92-year-old former prisoner of war from East Sussex has put out a desperate appeal to try to find her wedding dress.

Eastbourne’s Olga Henderson, who was a prisoner of war in Singapore’s notorious Changi prison in World War Two, said the garment was made for her wedding in 1948.

She believed she misplaced the dress in Eastbourne Library in Grove Road on 17 April.

Mrs Henderson said: “I can’t really think about it. I don’t want to be disappointed again.”

Olga and James Henderson on their wedding day

Mrs Henderson had her wedding in what is now Malaysia [Simon Robinson]

The dress maker also made Mrs Henderson’s clothes when she was a child and saved special cloth for her despite materials being rationed.

Mrs Henderson married her husband James, who had also been a prisoner of war at a Japanese camp in Asia, after meeting the year before.

The couple raised four children together before Mr Henderson died 26 years into their marriage.

Mrs Henderson said it was “hurtful” that her four children had never seen the dress.

Mrs Henderson's wedding dressMrs Henderson's wedding dress

Mrs Henderson believed she left her dress at a library [Simon Robinson]

East Sussex County Council, which runs the library, said the dress has not been found yet.

Olga’s story

In February 1942, Mrs Henderson lived in Johor Bahru, in British Malaya (modern day Malaysia), with her parents and three siblings when it was invaded by the Japanese.

A British Army officer arrived at the family’s home to inform them that Japanese soldiers were 10 miles away and they were evacuated onto the island of Singapore.

However, the island refuge did not last for long as days later British forces there surrendered to Japan.

Nine-year-old Olga Morris – as she was then known – and her family were forced to walk 17 miles (27.3km) without water to the centre of Singapore, then on to Changi and three years in captivity.

At Changi there was forced labour, food shortages and inhumane living conditions.

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