Rev. Vivian Redlich




Words from Vivian Redlich's last letter home from Papua New Guinea can be found on the wall of St Nicholas Church, and as a memorial in St Paul's Cathedral London
I'm trying to stick, whatever happens. If I don't come out of it just rest content that I have tried to do my job faithfully.

On August 2nd 1942, Japanese soldiers killed him.
Vivian was born in 1905 in South Africa, but grew up in England where his father was ordained. They moved to Little Bowden in 1924 when Rev Edwin Redlich succeeded Thomas Jerwood as rector.
Vivian followed his father into the ministry, first in Wakefield then, in 1935, joining the Bush Brotherhood. He spent five years in Australia before volunteering for service in Papua New Guinea. There, he enthusiastically set his energies into a thriving mission. Choosing to stay with his people, he and fellow European workers were killed on Buna beach by the invading army.
Although little is documented of his childhood, his martyrdom formed a link between the parishes of Little Bowden and Yokohama, and inscribed his memory on local minds. In 1992, the then incumbent, Rev Jim Seaton, received a hand-written apology and pledge of friendship from Bishop Kajiwara. The two countries now maintain cultural and spiritual exchanges.

Note: Later research has cast doubt on the precise location and circumstances of his execution