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The Repair Shop’s repair team restores a precious doll that a prisoner of war gave his daughter in 1945

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Finally arriving home from being held as a prisoner of war, Jane Devereux’s father gently took a blonde, blue-eyed doll from his tool bag and gave it to his daughter.

Jane Devereux, with her niece Millie Thompson and doll Jane Mary-Lynn, was fixed on the BBC1 programme.
Jane Devereux, with niece Millie Thompson and doll Jane Mary-Lynn, was fixed on the BBC1 show

Jane Devereux remembers the moment as if it were yesterday – she had just turned 4 and was told she was about to meet her father for the first time.

Finally arriving home in 1945 after being held as a Japanese prisoner of war, her father gently took a blonde, blue-eyed doll from his tool bag and gave it to his daughter. his small.

Jane, now 80, recalls: “I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life. I have never had a doll before. “

The precious toy was eventually damaged by the weather after a boy Jane knew tied her to his bike and left her out in the rain.






Jane’s father, John Vincent Bowen





Jane Devereux with her niece Millie Thompson and the Mary-Lynn doll

But Jane’s doll has always had a special connection to her father, and in the emotional scenes shown on The Repair Shop, experts managed to restore her to her former glory, bringing Jane back. straight childhood.

John Vincent Bowen, Jane’s father, was from Birmingham and joined the South Staffordshire regiment before being promoted to lieutenant in the Northumberland squadron.

He saw Jane on the day of her birth in October 1941, then set off for Singapore the next day but was quickly captured by the Japanese.







Prisoners at the Kanburi camp on the Thailand-Burma Railway line up to eat and drink
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Image:

PA)

“Prisoners were treated like slaves when they built the Burma Railway,” explains Jane. He was eventually rescued by the Russian military and taken to Canada. That’s when he bought a doll for a girl he had only seen once.

“He returned to England on board the Queen Elizabeth in November 1945. I was told, ‘I’m going to see my dad,’ but I haven’t even seen a picture. I don’t know what dad is.

“I remember wearing a pink sweater, pleated skirt, socks and shoes, walking into my bedroom and meeting my dad for the first time. He pulled the doll out of his briefcase and gave her to me. I remember it like it was yesterday.”







Jane with Julie Tatchell, Amanda Middleditch and Jay Blades
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Image:

Journal)

Seeing the brand name ‘Marilyn doll’ on the doll’s head, Jane called her Mary-Lynn.

But when Jane and 10-year-old niece Millie Thompson take her into the Repair Shop, Mary-Lynn wears worse.

Doll restorers Amanda Middleditch and Julie Tatchell completed their work to repair chipped and scratched faces, hands and feet, ruffled hair and torn dresses.

Jane said: “Nobody had a toy when I was a kid. It was post-war, there was no money. Mary-Lynn is always with me in a small stroller. She has this blonde hair and wears lace panties. None of my friends have seen anything like her.

“There was a boy on my street who thought she was pretty good and tied her to the top of his bike and ran home with her. But he left her in the rain. I remember bringing her back and thinking, ‘She’s ruined!’

Millie was so enamored with the doll and its wartime story that she took her to the Repair Shop. Millie said: “She has a great story and Granny says she used to be so beautiful.”

Jane, of Woodford, Essex, has “so many memories” of her father, who passed away aged 93 in 2005. She said: “When I saw the new Mary-Lynn, I was amazed. I came back straight like a four-year-old.

“Millie hugged her all the way home, then put her on the bed and read her a story. Mary-Lynn was like a birth certificate for my life with my father. Now the story will stay in our family forever.”

Repair shop, starting Monday, continuing weekdays BBC One, 3:45pm

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/repair-shop-team-restore-precious-26456393 The Repair Shop's repair team restores a precious doll that a prisoner of war gave his daughter in 1945

Fry Electronics Team

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