The Emperor’s Irish Slaves
Prisoners of the Japanese in the Second World War
The first book to explore the fate of the 650 Irish men and women, serving with the British armed forces, who became prisoners in the Japanese POW camps.
Sister Mary Cooper died in a Japanese prison camp on 26 June 1943, from the combined effects of starvation, brutality, and tropical diseases. Timothy Kenneally and Patrick Fitzgerald tried to escape from a slave labour camp on the Burma Railway: They were caught, tortured – probably crucified – and then executed on 27 March 1943. And Patrick Carberry spent the summer of 1943 cremating the emaciated corpses of his comrades, who had died from cholera.
These people had two things in common: they were Irish citizens serving in the British armed forces; and they were amongst more than 650 Irish men and women who became prisoners of the Imperial Japanese Army in 1942. Nearly a quarter of them died whilst in Japanese captivity – this is their story.
Combining historical narrative with first-hand accounts of the conditions in Japanese POW camps, Robert Widders brings to light their suffering and the strength that brought them home again.
ROBERT WIDDERS is an author and ex-serviceman, being the last man alive to have served in all three branches of HM Forces. He has a degree in history and has previously published books on the fate of Irishmen serving in the British Army. His book, Spitting On A Soldier’s Grave, revealed the story of the 5,000 men who deserted the Irish Army during the Second World War to fight fascism. He lives in Bristol. www.robertwidders.co.uk
The History Press
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198 x 124.5mm
16 b&w illustrations