Please forgive the rather impersonal nature of this E-mail. I am sending it to all the people I know who had relatives on the Lisbon Maru to let you know that a documentary film is being made about the tragedy of the sinking. The film company hopes that you will be able to meet them to be interviewed so as to contribute detailed human stories to help them produce a comprehensive account of all the circumstances surrounding the sinking. Like me, the producer is conscious that the story of the sinking, the quite unnecessary deaths of 828 British prisoners of war and the extraordinary courage of the Zhoushan fishermen who rescued so many, is not widely known about and has generally been forgotten. He is keen to produce an authoritative documentary for the international market so that the events, and the fate of those who suffered, can be remembered.
I am attaching two documents. The first is an announcement by Laurel Films about the documentary and a request to make contact, the second is a simple questionnaire to give them an idea of your individual stories ahead of any interviews.
Laurel Films have asked me to act as the UK contact in respect of this project, so please send any responses to me and I will forward them to the production team.
I am greatly encouraged and excited by this project, and I’m sure you will all share in the wish that the memory of the suffering and sacrifice of your relatives should not be forgotten. I hope you will all wish to contribute your thoughts and memories.
The production team is expecting to visit the UK around late March or early April and hope to conduct the interviews during that visit.
If you would like to take part, please complete the attached questionnaire and return it to me. It would be best to send it by E-mail if possible, but if this is difficult please send it by post.
I look forward to hearing from you and catching up with you in March or April.
Chulmleigh EX18 7HT