The Foreign Service Journal - January/February 2017
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Born Josephine Yvonne van Geelen in

Bandung, Java, in the former Netherlands

East Indies, to Karel Lodewijk van Geelen

andTheodora (Dolly) Henriette Antonia

(née Liveu, subsequently van Geelen,

then van Dijke) Hoekstra, Mrs. Duffield

grew up with her father in the pampered,

colonial-era Dutch society in what is

today Indonesia. She also spent three

years (1928-1931) with her mother in the


She was working as a steno-typist for

the Dutch Civil Air Protection Services in

Surabaya when the Japanese invaded and

occupied the Netherlands East Indies. As

chief administrative officer of the State

Railways for East Java, Mrs. Duffield’s

father was taken into custody by the Kem-

peitai shortly after Dutch capitulation in

March 1942, and she never saw him again.

Mrs. Duffield spent the war years in three

Japanese internment camps on Java—

Darmowijk in Surabaya, and Gedangan

and Lampersari in Semarang.

After the Japanese surrender, Mrs.

Duffield returned to Surabaya to search

for her father. Her quick thinking and fear-

lessness saved the lives of residents of the

house in which she lived frommarauding

mobs of young Indonesian nationalists.

When she refused to be evacuated, she

was imprisoned by the nationalists in the

Simpang Club, thereby surviving the ensu-

ing Massacre of Surabaya in November


When the nationalists were forced to

retreat inland, she was released by Deibel

Effendi and subsequently worked for the

Allied British Military Police until they

handed over power to their Dutch succes-

sors in April 1946.

Mrs. Duffield returned to the Nether-

lands in August 1946 and there met her

future husband. FSOThomas Duffield

was posted to Rotterdam and had rented

a room in Mrs. Hoekstra’s fifth-floor flat

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