Wilfrid Midgley

    The cartoon at the top of the page, titled Midge's Midget, was drawn by Alan Toze, who, along with
    Wilfrid Midgley, was a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp in the Singapore area. A book of
    Toze's cartoons titled "In Defence of Singapore," not including this one, was published after the war.
    Margaret Swanson, (grandaughter of Wilfrid Midgley) who sent the picture to me, noted that it
    appeared to have been drawn on a paper bag. Mr. Toze sent the cartoon to Wilfrid's son, Jim, along
    with the following note.

    "I am delighted to be able to send this caricature of your father, Sgt. Midgley, which I drew whilst he
    and I and a couple of thousand others were engaged in building of roadway for the Japs on
    Singapore Island in 1942. The original drawing is in the Imperial War Museum, London, together
    with my diaries and sketches. Enclosed is a copy."

    A note on the drawing says, "There were some funny moments, tho. This is Sgt. Midgley who was
    detailed to crush huge bolders with a roller."

    The photo at the bottom, taken in November 1945, shows Wilfrid Midgley on the right, and his
    older brother, Harold, on the left. The picture was taken in Hopedale when Wilfrid was on his way
    from a Japanese prison camp to his home and family in England. He eventually settled in the
    United States.

    In the Milford News, the name was "Wilfred," but Margaret says his name was spelled "Wilfrid."

    HOPEDALE, Nov. 27 [1942] - Sgt. Wilfrid Midgley, 34, of the British army, former resident, reported
    missing by the War Department nearly a year ago and since thought by his relatives to have died, is
    still alive and a prisoner of war, according to a telegram received yesterday, Thanksgiving day, by
    the young man's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Midgley.

    The Midgley family was gathered around the table for the holiday dinner when the welcome news
    was received and its arrival proved to be the best Thanksgiving day present the family ever received
    and most appropriate.

    Sgt. Midgley came form England to Hopedale and remained here about five years, being a
    machinist at the Draper Corp. plant. He returned to England 11 years ago and enlisted in the army
    at the beginning of the war. His relatives received letters from him while he was stationed in
    Singapore, previous to Dec. 7, 1941.

    They believe him to be still in that vicinity. He is married and has a wife and three children in
    England. A brother, Harry, is also in London, employed at the Croyden Aircraft works. Another
    brother, Raymond, is at the Navy yard in Boston.

    The telegram was read while his brothers, Arthur and Harold, with their families, were at dinner
    with Sgt. Midgley's parents.

    The War Department last January advised relatives that Sgt. Midgley was missing and the long
    period which elapsed since without any further word, gave the family the impression that he had
    been killed. Milford Daily News

                                          Ex-Prisoner Writes Parents In Hopedale


    HOPEDALE, Oct. 15 [1945] - Mr.and Mrs. Harry Midgley were overjoyed Saturday to receive a letter
    from their son, Sgt. Wilfrid Midgley, a former resident, stating that he was in Manila on the S.S.
    Sanctuary, having arrived there from Okinawa after being liberated from a Japanese prison camp.

    Sgt. Midgley's wife and three children are in England and he was serving with the British forces
    when taken prisoner at the fall of Manila. [Wilfred's son, Ray sent a correction to this. Wilfrid was
    taken prisoner in February 1942, after the fall of Singapore.]  First reported as missing, his family
    were notified that he was a prisoner of the Japs nine months later, That was three years and nine
    months ago.

    His parents had a brief note from him dated Sept. 16, telling of his evacuation from Japan and the
    letter which arrived here Saturday was dated Sept. 27. It expressed his happiness at being on the
    way home at last and referred to a letter he got from home during 1944, which helped his morale.
    He also wrote that he had been afflicted with dysentery, diphtheria, frost bite, pneumonia and a
    fractured jaw received in a beating by the Japs, but was now on the top of the world.

    By a strange coincidence Sgt. Midgley missed seeing his brother, Raymond who is serving with the
    army engineers on Okinawa, but this was inevitable as neither one knew the other was there.

    There is a possibility that the ship on which the liberated man is a passenger may proceed to the
    British Isles, via the United States, and if so his parents will have an opportunity to see him soon. At
    present they are anxiously awaiting news from Raymond who has not written since the recent
    typhoon hit that section. Milford Daily News

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