A work in progress – the fuller biographies will emerge in due course: please sign up to the Newsletter (bottom of the page) and we’ll let you know when we’ve done more justice in writing up our extraordinary signatories.
Reverend Gp Capt W Eric MANTLE MA represents all CHAPLAINS of each service, with a fair number of mainly ARMY ones decorated for gallantry under fire.
He served in ITALY with RAF, and later, after helping evacuate the DUTCH out of JAVA, played a special role in the 1945 (& the later Fiftieth Anniversary of) RECONCILIATION with the JAPANESE PEOPLE at HIROSHIMA after the atomic bomb. In the eerie silence of Hiroshima’s ruins, Eric met Kyoshi Tanimoto, also a METHODIST PASTOR, and helped via the RAF CHURCH IWAKUNI plus AUSTRALIAN, NEW ZEALAND and AMERICAN contributions, to repair the Church roof to allow services to begin again in this one of the only buildings, with its unusual reinforced construction, still standing amid HIROSHIMA’s devastation.
In 1955 a poignant RECONCILIATION took place in USA with the Enola Gay B-29 Crew Co-pilot Captain Robert LEWIS and this FRIENDSHIP and RECONCILIATION connection with the late Rev Tanimoto’s family and church emphasises the JAPANESE CIVILIAN price paid in the CONVENTIONAL and ATOMIC BOMBING of JAPAN, to achieve an end to WW2. The totemic exemplar of those awesome events of HIROSHIMA and NAGASAKI on 6Aug45 and 9Aug45 would provide a badly needed, overarching and geostrategic stability to the next half a century of the Cold War and beyond.
This historical element on this WW2 participative mosaic, plunging the world into its new nuclear era, has been covered also partly by official British observer, Gp Capt Leonard CHESHIRE (Signatory 31 on a limited number of prints), who was on board Major SWEENEY’s “Bock’s Car” B-29 Stratofortress, which destroyed two thirds of NAGASAKI, as well as being later reinforced by Signatories 182 (Manhattan project), 298 (Tinian B-29 operations) and 284 the bridging Japanese Canadian Christian, Father John Motoki SHOZAWA, to ‘sign anonymously’ for the JAPANESE by inscribing HIROSHIMA in vertical Japanese writing on each print.