109-year-old WWII veteran regains lost photo of husband after 73 years

Ma Chi(chinadaily.com.cn) | Updated: 2016-08-25 13:48

109-year-old WWII veteran regains lost photo of husband after 73 years

109-year-old WWII veteran Zhou Xiulian. [Photo/hunan.voc.com.cn]

109-year-old Zhou Xiulian looked closely at the photo of her 27-year-old husband, tears rolling down her cheeks.

"He was nice and handsome. He never cursed in front of me," said the old woman about her late husband Yang Ping, smiling.

Zhou and her husband, who was a military officer, married in 1931. After the wedding, the couple went to the frontline in the war against the Japanese. They fought together until Yang died when fighting against the Japanese forces in Myanmar in 1943.

Yang was posthumously conferred the title of major general and his body was buried in their hometown in Hunan province.

Since then, Zhou lost the photo of her husband for some reason and it became one of her great regrets.

"She wanted to find a photo of her husband, which is an important memory for her and the later generations of the family," said He Jia, a volunteer at the Home of Hunan Veterans, an organization that helps WWII veterans in Hunan province.

When volunteers visited Zhou in May, they learned of the old woman's wish.

"For (an old woman like) her, it is a race against time. When we heard of her wish, we felt that it was our mission to help her," said He Jia.

The volunteer first resorted to the internet by typing in key words including the name and hometown of Yang Ping. However, only simple descriptions of him turned up without any photo.

He Jia then posted the search information on social networking platforms such as Weibo and WeChat, and contacted researchers on China's War of Resistance against the Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) across the country.

And this proved a right move. Soon, she was told that a database of Whampoa Military Academy, the first military school of China where Yang graduated, can be found in Zhejiang Museum.

After searching through the database, a photo similar to Yang was located.

When the volunteers tried to verify the identity of the photo, a message from a Taiwan volunteer who studies the anti-Japanese war said that a photo of Yang was also found in the archives on the island. And this one was similar to the one found in the Chinese mainland.

As soon as the volunteers printed out the photo, they went to the home of Zhou Xiulian to tell her the good news.

When the 109-years-old received the photo, she recognized immediately the face which she had kept in mind for more than half a century.

109-year-old WWII veteran regains lost photo of husband after 73 years

The photo of Yang Ping, husband of Zhou Xiulian. [Photo/hunan.voc.com.cn]



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