Denaby Soldier in Japan – Atom Bombed Hiroshima (picture)

May 1946

South Yorkshire Times May 25, 1946

Denaby Soldier in Japan
First Hand Impressions of Atom Bombed Hiroshima

A young Denaby soldier’s impression of atom bombed Hiroshima are contained in a letter we have received from private Richard Derringham of the fifth infantry Brigade, the British Commonwealth occupation force in Japan. Derringham, who writes from Kuro (Japan), states that “Sheffield and Coventry looked like hit-and-run rates compared with Hiroshima”.

World Thinking

Private Derringham, who receives the “South Yorks Times” every week from home, says that when he was in England, Japan always seem to far away from his interest, but she really thinks now that we all ought to take interest in every country in the world now even more so than boys in the military stop

“I arrived,” he adds, “in Japan on March 30 with the first consignment of British troops, with my battalion, the first battali Queens Royal Cameroon Highlanders, the first battalion to set foot in Japan. We arrived from Bombay on March 6 and landed in Kure on March 30th. On our way from Bombay to Cure we called at Singapore and did a march past before Lord Louis Mountbatten, who took the salute.

Our next stop was Hong Kong, and again we did a march past before the people of Hong Kong who became very much impressed with our Highland dress and most of all our pipe band.

From Hong Kong we sailed to Japan and we entered a Japanese harbour. We saw the results of the intense bombing it had received, ships and aircraft carriers line partly submerged, jetties and cranes also lying half submerged all-rounder., we found one jetty where our good old troopship came to rest stop

When we disembarked we lined up in companies and marched into Kure railway station. The jacks looked on as a moralist dumb surprise; perhaps it was the kilts. They could not make their minds up if we were men or women!

On our way to the station Major General Northcott, our commander-in-chief, took the salute. At the station we were relieved to see the train waiting for. We soon flopped down into our seats I do believe every one noticed the likeness the trains add to our own back in England.

We went to Hiro where we were stationed. Our billets are very comfortable, and I believe want and they belong to the Japanese.

Since our arrival I had been to Hiroshoma, the town where the first atom bomb was dropped. It is 25 miles from our camp. You assume is a grim reminder of what another war would me, now the atomic bomb is achieved. The city has been completely destroyed. Sheffield and Coventry looked like hit and run raids compared with Hiroshima.


Hiroshima after the bombing – from Wikipedia

Private Derringham adds that in his neighbourhood in Japan are private Murray from Conisbrough, and a private Walker R.A.S.C. of Doncaster Road Denaby. He has not yet met Walker but he is on the lookout for him. Derringham sends his best wishes to his friends in Denaby, Mexborough and conisborough