My brother Jim


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Slide 1

For those who went down in ships to the sea who fought for the sake of you and me may their memory ever constant be … Theirs is the Glory. Yangtze River, China

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This presentation is dedicated to my brother, James Patrick Foley, AB RN together with all the brave men who made the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in the Yangtze Incident, Thursday, April 21, 1949. Requiescat in pace

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My brother’s ship, HMS LONDON Domine dirige nos: “God Guide us”

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Miniatures of my brother’s medals ~ Please note that the Yangtze Medal is on the far right.

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Thank you for watching this presentation. The following slides include recognition of my brother’s bravery and death. Following this are copies of press photographs of the burial on Sunday, April 23, 1949 at the Hung-jao Christian Cemetery in Shanghai. Then, I invite you to join me as I travel to Shanghai during March 7-14, 2008 to try to locate where Jim’s final resting place is, and a journey to the Yangtze River. I could not have accomplished any of this without the help of Almighty God and the angels He sent to guide me, to whom I am so deeply grateful.

Slide 7

The Four Ships of the Yangtze Incident On April 20, 1949, HMS Amethyst was caught in the crossfire between the Chinese Communist People’s Liberation Army and National Liberation Army. On hearing her SOS, three ships responded: HMS London HMS Black Swan HMS Consort arriving in the Yangtze River on Thursday, April 21, 1949. The Four Ships Association marked the 45th anniversary of the Yangtze Incident with this exquisite plate.

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Yangtze River, indicating Battle site: Rose Island, (3) is where the Amethyst was grounded. Bate Island (4), approx. 20 miles away, is where the London came under heavy fire and quite likely the location where my brother was killed.

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Funeral of those killed on board HMS LONDON, April 23, 1949

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Is this Jim’s grave, five from the end on the back row? Only God knows.

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Hung-jao Christian Cemetery, where reports indicate that British Soldiers were buried 16 years earlier in 1933. It is quite likely that these white crosses mark their graves. Susie Chen from the British Consul later advised that the stamp in the centre of this picture is from the Shanghai Library.

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Acknowledgments I travelled to Shanghai to try in some way to bring closure not only for myself but also for my family. Like most relatives and friends, we are so unsure of what has happened since that fateful day, April 21, 1949. While the Internet has provided much information on the events of the Yangtze Incident, God sent me angels to help me in my quest, before and during my sojourn. I am most especially thankful to STEVEN NICHOLLS in South Australia. Steven’s father was 'Acting' C.P.O. Rosslyn Nicholls, who was one of the first to be wounded at the helm of HMS Amethyst when it was grounded on Rose Island. As the founder of the informative web site “The Friends of the Four Ships”,, Steven was the first person to find the Panyu Park Greenland and first person to document it in 2002. Steven has helped me tremendously and referred me to his friend and co-researcher ECHO HUI, a businessman living in Shanghai.

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Acknowledgments (continued) Following my contact with Echo, he arranged hotel accommodation near his shop and met me at the airport in his friend SHERRY’S car. In the week I spent in Shanghai, Echo was there for me and took me to the Yangtze on Sunday, March 9 with his friends SAM and MAGGIE, and on Monday, March 10, to Panyu Park Greenland, the park that has been built over the cemetery. Echo was there for me right up to the last day to ensure that I made it to the bus to take me to Pudong Airport for the return journey to Vancouver. When at the hotel I met two more angels, RUE LAN WANG and her husband DEMING, both originally from Shanghai and now living in Toronto, Canada. With Rue Lan’s sisters, they made me so welcome and guided my travels. I could not have done as much without these wonderful people, who led me through the bustling city of Shanghai and surrounding areas helping me fulfill my quest. Thank you so much, and may God richly bless you.

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My first glimpses of China The plane was landing at Pudong Airport, Shanghai, and having left the Pacific Ocean, these were my first glimpses of Chinese waterways.

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Echo in his shop Echo is in the pipe wholesale business and has clients in Italy, Germany and Denmark. Here is part of his pipe collection.

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Echo’s wife Lee (to the left) and friend Sherry (at the computer)

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A happy doggy! I just loved his little jacket – he looked so cute that I could not resist taking photographs! Just five months old, he was so happy to see Echo and eventually became very comfortable with me! Even then I was missing my own dog, “Lady”!

Slide 21

En route to the Yangtze River – with Echo, Sam and Maggie we stopped for lunch: Sunday, March 9, 2008

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My first glimpse of the Yangtze River, with Rose Island in the background

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A wide river, it is some miles to Rose Island and the area in which HMS Amethyst was grounded.

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This is the closest I could go to the water; in the distance are many ships and I wonder where HMS LONDON would have been under fire.

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This is also the first time for Echo to visit …

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A final picture with Echo, with Rose Island in the background. Rose Island has now been re-named and is not inhabited. Nice picture of Maggie and Sam. Maggie advises that this area would have looked just like this in 1949, as little has changed. I thank them so much for taking me on the 400-mile return journey – a first-time trip for them too!

Slide 27

Final view of the Yangtze and a time for prayer. Dear God grant Eternal Rest to Jim and all who died on this river. Amen

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Panyu Park Greenland, formerly Hung-jao Christian Cemetery 637 Hung-jao Road, Shanghai: Monday, Monday, March 10, 2008 A small park that primarily is used for Tai Chi and quiet times also includes a playground in the forefront, and is open during certain hours.

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A quiet place for rest and meditation: Monday, March 10, 2008 Small groups of people quietly performed their exercises while others simply walked around this very peaceful setting. Even with children in the park, it was still quiet and on this my first visit, I was glad to see that the aura of quiet and calm was still present, a peaceful and fitting tribute to those who were laid to rest so long ago.

Slide 30

My first visit to the former cemetery When Echo saw the picture of the funeral of the HMS London, he remarked immediately that the original tree in the former cemetery is still there. I was delighted to hear this, and Echo took this picture of me at the tree, perhaps one of the few original trees from the 1940s.

Slide 31

Where would my brother’s grave be? I sat on this small white bench to pray, because Echo felt that the graves were in this area. The following pictures show the location where possibly the burial site was, given that they probably retained the original pathway. However, I feel a solace in that a quiet parkland now exists in place of a Christian cemetery.

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Echo, patiently waiting for me …

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A Rosary for Jim Nestled in the trees in the area where Jim’s grave may have been, was the only part of a tree that enabled me to place a Rosary. I would return to the park on Thursday, March 13 and look for this tree again … the Rosary was still there. I hope and pray that it will remain.

Slide 37

Apartments not on the grave site Our family was advised years ago that apartments had been built on the cemetery; I am glad that was not the case. Two large high-rise buildings overlook the Park and you can see from these photos how the trees act as a boundary between the parkland and any exterior buildings. I think these buildings, while not new, have probably been there for the past 10 years or so, maybe longer.

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The beautiful sounds of birds When taking photographs, I could hear the beautiful sounds of birds. I looked up at the trees but saw none, and it was not until we were leaving the park that I realized where they were! People bring their birds in cages to the park and simply sit and listen to them sing. How very peaceful and uplifting.

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Different events take place in the park and here is a Timetable Some photos on leaving Panyu Park Greenland

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Thank you for visiting ……..

Slide 45

My solo taxi ride! Following lunch, Echo had to pick up his little boy from school, so I then returned to the park to spend more time in prayer. With some trepidation, I ventured to find a taxi to take me back to the hotel – the driver was so nice, I took his picture!

Slide 46

Hanting Hotels: Echo had arranged a room for me in this newly-built hotel, near his shop. Throughout the hotel the theme is Cherry Trees – and this beautiful painting is in the entrance.

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More trees and my room!

Slide 48

British Consul, Shanghai: Tuesday, March 11, 2008 Susie Chen had e-mailed me prior to my trip regarding the graves and had actually visited Panyu Park Greenland. I promised that, if possible, I would visit the Consul. Here we are after reviewing the Portfolio I had prepared on the Yangtze Incident. Thank you Susie.

Slide 49

Rue Lan and Deming: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 I found my way to the British Consul because of Rue Lan and her husband Deming. Residing at the hotel, they were wonderful in directing me and today invited me to tour some of Shanghai, which was an adventure. First we went on the underground to Century Park, and this is a lovely shot of them at the man-made lake, with the skyscrapers of Shanghai in the background. Such a beautiful day!

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Birds on the lake The birds you see on this small lake are topiary – lifelike expressions of birds in flight and landing on the water! More pictures in the park to follow!

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Cherry trees in abundance!

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The Oriental Pearl TV Tower, Pudong Park, Lujiazui, Shanghai. We then went to this magnificent TV tower to view Shanghai! Please join me in the following slides to see Shanghai from the heights!

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Before venturing upwards, took this shot of the aquarium - great colours!

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At the Bund – the Shanghai waterfront At a busy intersection, Rue Lan decided to take my picture, with the Bund in the background. I had heard of this waterfront just before leaving for Shanghai, so this was her opportunity to capture me on the spot!

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City God Temple, next to the Yu Garden On leaving the Tower, we walked to the City God Temple. Quite the tourist attraction with many shops and lots of people! Nice shot of Rue Lan and Deming to introduce the following photos – and I couldn’t believe what I would see at the end! …

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Slide 63

And then there was rain … Thursday, March 13, 2008 My last visit to Panyu Park was in the rain and this seemed so appropriate, for my last chance to visit my brother’s resting place. Mo Lan, one of Rue Lan’s sisters, was so kind in taking a taxi for our journey and stayed with me and listened while I prayed. Later in the day we all went to the Shanghai Museum, which was delightful. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Slide 64

Jim’s Rosary, still there …

Slide 65

Time to say Goodbye Thank you for visiting with me in my quest to find locations that are perhaps so improbable and yet so important to many people. I hope that these pictures have provided some insight and hope to the many people who lost their loved ones in the Yangtze Incident. Maureen, Easter Sunday: March 23, 2008

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Leaving the hotel … Friday, March 14, 2008

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Anchors Aweigh! Stand, Navy, out to sea, Fight our battle cry; We'll never change our course, So vicious foe steer shy-y-y-y. Roll out the TNT, Anchors Aweigh. Sail on to victory And sink their bones to Davy Jones, hooray! Anchors Aweigh, my boys, Anchors Aweigh. Farewell to college joys, We sail at break of day-ay-ay-ay. Through our last night on shore, drink to the foam, Until we meet once more. Here's wishing you a happy voyage home.

Summary: Wonderful presentation of Maureen's recent visit to China to put closure to her brothers untimely passing on HMS London April 20th 1949.

Tags: yangtze incident hms london amethyst consort black swan

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