New Books

Book Revue


Surviving the Death Railway-tnSurviving the Death Railway

A POW’s Memoir and Letters from Home


Hilary Custance Green


The ordeals of the POWs put to slave labour by their Japanese masters on the ‘Burma Railway’ have been well documented yet never cease to shock. It is impossible not to be horrified and moved by their stoic courage in the face of inhuman brutality, appalling hardship and ever-present death.

While Barry Custance Baker was enduring his 1000 days of captivity, his young wife Phyllis was attempting to correspond with him and the families of Barry’s unit. Fortunately these moving letters have been preserved and appear, edited by their daughter Hilary, in this book along with Barry’s graphic memoir written after the War.

Surviving the Death Railway’s combination of first-hand account, correspondence and comment provide a unique insight into the long nightmare experienced by those in the Far East and at home.

The result is a powerful and inspiring account of one of the most shameful chapters in the history of mankind which makes for compelling reading.

Imprint: Pen & Sword Military


Pages: 257

ISBN: 9781473870000

Published: 6th June 2016

Price £20.00

From the first page to the last ‘Surviving The Death Railway’ held me. The timeline connection to home from the horrors of the PoW camps made the book into a very emotional read, complete with a great depth of detail. This book is a must read and will keep the FEPOW candle burning with additional light and a warm glow.

Ron Taylor – FEPOW Community



Bamboo-Island-tn Bamboo Island


Ann Bennett

Juliet Crosby has lived a reclusive life on her Malayan rubber plantation since the Second World War robbed her of everyone she loved. However, the sudden appearance of a young woman from Indonesia disrupts her lonely existence and stirs up unsettling memories. Juliet is forced to recollect her prewar marriage, her wartime ordeals in Japanese-occupied Singapore and the loss of those she once held dear.

Bamboo Island is part of a Southeast Asian WWII trilogy of historical fiction that can be read in any order. Included in the trilogy are also Bamboo Heart and Bamboo Road.

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Monsoon Books (28 Mar. 2016)

ISBN-10: 9814625175

ISBN-13: 978-9814625173

Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 20 cm

Price: £8.99

Juliet’s memories takes the reader back, capturing the history of the Japanese invasion and showing the amount of research carried out. Having read the first book in this trilogy I looked forward to the follow up and was not disappointed.

Ron Taylor - FEPOW Community



Freeing the Demons Book One-tn Freeing the Demons


Alfred (Pop) Nellis

Additional Family Information by son Michael Nellis

When I first looked at my Dad’s Book, in 1966, I was shocked to see the pain, anguish and trials and tribulations, which he had gone through, as a Prisoner Of War on the Railway of Death.  It helped me to understand the turmoil he must have been going through, trying to adjust to what to us, was a normal, everyday kind of life. Not only this but, he had returned to two children, who had not had a man to rule their lives for almost eight years. To find them turning up their noses at food, which would have meant life or death to ‘His Boys’ was enough to send any person who had been through what he and the other P.O.W.’s had been through into any kind of a rage.  It took me fifteen years to come to understand his position at this time – and a further 50 years to get it this far!  I know that he wanted the World at large to understand what they had all been through, and was foiled at the time by petty bureaucracy and what appeared to be a fear that – “This should not be made public – at least not without the removal of names and some of the events as detailed!”

I promised him that I would produce HIS book, for HIM, as a permanent record so that others may understand a little of what happened in the past, for their future. Book One is his book with many additions by son Michael..Freeing the Demons Book Two-tn

Book Two compliments the first edition with many additions about family life Post War by son Michael.

Available direct from

 Price £12.99 each

Or £25.00 for the Both Books

Well done Mike for getting both books published. They are both a must for any FEPOW book shelf as they compliment each other very well with a great insight into the Far East and the camps and a follow up of family life. Well done Mike !!!

Ron Taylor FEPOW Community



And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder-tnAnd The Dawn Came Up Like Thunder

Edited by

Justin Nash and Dr Jacquie Mullender

And the Dawn Came Up Like Thunder is the experience of an ordinary soldier captured by the Japanese at Singapore in February 1942. Leo Rawlings' story is told in his own pictures and his own words; a world that is uncompromising, vivid and raw. He pulls no punches. For the first time the cruelty inflicted on the prisoners of war by their own officers is depicted as well as shocking images of POW life. This is truly a view of the River Kwai experience for a 21st Century audience. The new edition includes pictures never before published as well as an extensive new commentary by Dr Nigel Stanley, an expert on Rawlings and the medical problems faced on the Burma Railway. More than just a commentary on the history and terrible facts behind Rawlings' work, it stands on its own as a guide to the hidden lives of the prisoners. Most of the pictures are printed for the first time in colour as the artist intended, bringing new detail and insight to conditions faced by the POWs as they built the infamous death railway, and faced starvation, disease and cruelty. Pictures such as those showing the construction of Tamarkan Bridge, now famed as the prototype for the fictional Bridge on the River Kwai, and those showing the horrendous suffering of the POWs such as King of the Damned have an iconic status. Rawlings' art brings a different perspective to the depiction of the world of the Far East prisoners. For the first time the pictures and original texts are printed in a large format edition, so that their full power can be experienced. The new edition includes an account of how Rawlings' book was published in Japan by Takashi Nagase (well known from Eric Lomax's book The Railway Man) in the early 1980s. Rawlings visited Nagase in 1980 and at last reconciled himself to his experiences as a POW.

Published by

ISBN 978-1-905802-94-4

Price £25.00

The original book was one of the first I bought published  back in 1972 and signed by Leo Rawlings. Along with ‘Railroad of Death’ by John Coast they helped me understand the horrors my father and his mates, the FEPOWs, faced in the camps. The sketches by Leo Rawlings made the life in the camps come to life. The plates now jump off the page as they are now in full colour. The book captures the life in the camps to such a high standard, reading the book is travelling back in time - fortunately without a bashing from the bamboo interpreter. - Ron Taylor FEPOW Community


Railroad of Death-tn Railroad of Death


John Coast

A bestseller in 1946, Railroad of Death is the first and best account of forced labour on the Burma Railway. John Coast was a young officer in the Norfolk Regiment who was taken prisoner at the Fall of Singapore in February 1942. He took notes and concealed them from the Japanese for nearly three years, but he lost the lot when he was forced to bury them in Chungkai Camp to avoid repeated searches. Coast had to write the book all over again while on the voyage home. His book is moving, dramatic and chilling in the detail it gives of the cruelty inflicted by Japanese and Korean soldiers on the prisoners and Asian workers who died in even greater numbers working on the railway. Yet it is at the same time lyrical in its descriptions of the natural world surrounding the camps and the food and kindness shown by some Thais to the prisoners. Coast brings to life the camps and towns of the Burma Railway and the culture of Bali and Indonesia that so entranced Coast, allowing him to find some comfort and meaning amid the horror.

This new edition has an introduction and appendices which takes Coast’s legacy of dealing with his experiences in the camps forward through to his ground breaking 1969 BBC programme Return to the River Kwai and beyond and includes transcriptions of his BBC interviews with his Japanese captors and Takashi Nagase. Nagase’s appearance, decades before his meeting with Eric Lomax, author of The Railway Man, is revelatory when he and the other Japanese are asked to comment on evidence of Japanese treatment of POWs on the Railway. Other appendices  include never before published documents which help reveal details about secret radios and attempted escapes masterminded by the talented group of officers around Coast. The new edition includes an index and list of newly identified individuals mentioned in the book including the famous Lieutenant Railroad of Death: Colonel Toosey.

Published by

ISBN 978-1-905802-93-7

Price £12.99

My late father told me the first publication was the first book he had read cover to cover on the railway as it was so true to what he had gone through. The new book has the added advantage of an index and the extras at the back of the book make the book even more appealing.

Ron Taylor FEPOW Community



The Changi CrossThe Changi Cross


Louise Cordingly

This unusual story traces the journey of a small brass cross made by allied prisoners in Changi prisoner-of-war camp, Singapore in 1942.

The prisoners took the cross ‘up-country’ with them during the construction of the Thai-Burma Railway, where they struggled to keep faith and hope aliveunder the most appalling conditions.

The survivors then brought it back to Changi gaol for the final year of imprisonment.


Publisher: Art Angels Publishing (2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0992695414

ISBN-13: 978-0992695415

Price £7.99

Harry Stogden built the cross and I have a long lasting friendship with his son Bernard. An image of the cross is used in the thousands of pages within the Roll of Honour as a symbol of remembrance to those who gave their lives for our freedom, God Bless Them.

Ron Taylor FEPOW Community


Faith Hope and RiceFaith Hope and Rice


Ellie Taylor

Fred Cox, a young soldier in the East Surrey Regiment, was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore in February 1942. The next three and a half years were spent in a series of POW camp, notably in Thailand working on the aptly named Death Railway. Fortunately he was not one of the 12,000 Allied prisoners who perished as a result of extreme maltreatment, starvation or disease, but Tony's health, both physical and psychiatrically, was seriously affected. After liberation, whilst in hospital in Ceylon Fred was nursed by Joan whom he married. Advised by the doctors to talk about his horrific experiences, he and Joan spent the winter of 1946 - 1947 getting his story down on paper. Seventy years on, sadly after his death, Faith, Hope and Rice, (which were what sustained Fred through his ordeal) can be shared with a wider audience. Readers cannot fail to be moved by the author's and his comrades' inspiring courage and resilience in the face of extreme adversity and ever present death.

Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (12 Oct. 2015)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1473857880

ISBN-13: 978-1473857889

Price £16.58


This is another book I read on holiday, a fascinating story by Ellie. Enjoyed the read immensely. - Ron Taylor FEPOW Community


Down to Bedrock-tnDown to Bedrock


Louise Reynolds

Eric Cordingley was a POW and held captive in a camp in Singapore. However it was the numerous eulogies that Cordingley gave as chaplain while he was in the POW camp in Changi, Singapore. These eulogies served as a constant reminder of what could happen to them all.

On October 14, 1945, Eric, an Army priest who was originally sent to defend the Far East from Japanese invasion, had returned safely to his rectory in Leckhampton. His parishioners were elated at his return and they raised bunting to toast his survival. When Eric made the front page news, he wore khakis and it was obvious that he endured disease and hunger for the three and a half years he was held captive.

His story has been published in a book which includes his diary and secret notes that were written while held captive. If his writings were discovered by the Japanese, he would surely have been tortured,€ explained his daughter Louise Reynolds, who was born a year after her father was released.

A picture was taken inside one of the four chapels he built during imprisonment also gave his wife, Mary, hope that he would come home. Not knowing he was alive, Mary saw the photo in a shop window in Cheltenham in September 1945€ and recognised his head underneath the lamp on the right hand side of the altar and realised that he’d survived.

Eric died in 1976 from cancer. He was only 65 years old.

Louise and her younger brother, Christopher, edited their father’s memoirs into this book. Down to Bedrock€ depicts the war rector through sketches that were drawn by his fellow prisoners during the time they were held captive between 1942 and 1945 when he was released.

          Paperback: 155 pages

          Publisher: Art Angels Publishing (19 Oct. 2013)

          Language: English

          ISBN-10: 0992695406

          ISBN-13: 978-0992695408

          Amazon: £7.99

Such a good read, I took Louise books ‘Back to Bedrock’ and ‘The Changi Cross’ with me on holiday and what a read. - Ron Taylor FEPOW Community



Captive MemoriesCaptive Memories


Meg Parkes and Geoff Gill

Captive Memories, a new book by LSTM’s Honorary Fellow Meg Parkes and Emeritus Professor Geoff Gill, will launch next week at an event at the Liverpool Medical Institution. The book charts the history of LSTM’s longest running collaborative project involving Far East Prisoners of War (FEPOW).

At the end of WWII, even before the men returned to the UK following the end of hostilities with Japan, LSTM’s then Dean, Brian Maegraith addressed a large group of their families in Blackpool in early September 1945, answering questions about the kind of tropical diseases and infections that the men may return with. On their arrival back in the UK, the men went their own way, but in early post war months many, especially those living in the north if England, found their way to LSTM, beginning the unique scientific and medical collaboration which is now in its seventh decade.

From 1967 onwards LSTM became the primary centre to carry out Tropical Disease Investigations (TDIs) for FEPOW. By this time hundreds of men had been under the care of LSTM and in the mid-1970s Dr Geoff Gill became involved in their care until the last TDI was carried out in 1999. The relationship with LSTM did not end there and out of this enduring relationship came knowledge which improved the diagnosis and treatment of some tropical diseases.

In 2007 Meg began a social history project and recorded interviews with 66 former FEPOW as well as some of their wives and widows, the culmination of which is Captive Memories. It charts the history of these survivors, remembered six decades after their release. It is a touching and personal account of their captivity, survival and the struggles, both physical and psychological, faced on their release. Each person interviewed is quoted in the book which provides a fascinating history underpinned with eyewitness accounts and personal perspectives.

Captive Memories will be launched at 5pm on Thursday 28th May at the Liverpool Medical Institution. It is available to purchase from book sellers and the publishers (details below) and the profits from any copies purchased through LSTM will be reinvested into the further development of the project.

A week after the book launch Meg and Geoff are co-chairing an international FEPOW history research conference in Liverpool.  Far East Captivity Explored:- 70 Years On, takes place over three days between Friday 5th and Sunday 7th June. It will be attended by three FEPOW veterans and three former child internees, together with delegates representing many FEPOW families as well as academics and historians. There will an international line-up of speakers, and covering military history, medical aspects of building the jungle railways of Thailand and Sumatra. Among the speakers is the author Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the scriptwriter of the film The Railway Man, based on the book of the same name by FEPOW Eric Lomax. He is joined in his talk by Eric Lomax’s daughter Charmaine McMeekin.

Price: £12.99
Imprint: Palatine Books
ISBN: 978-1-910837-00-9
Binding: paperback
Extent: 272 pages
Format: 243 x 169mm, with flaps
Illustrations: c40
BIC code: HBWQ
Category: history/war/medicine Audience: general and academic
Pub date: 28 May 2015
Author: Meg Parkes & Geoff Gill

This was a fascinating read as my father had a lung operation at Roehampton on his return from the Japanese PoW Camps for a tropical disease. Very detailed book and well worth a read.

Ron Taylor FEPOW Community



Two Yaers of TenkoTwo Years of Tenko


Elizabeth van Kampen & Cec Lowry

In 1941 Elizabeth van Kampen was a fourteen year old Dutch girl living with her parents on the island of Java. In January 1942, the Japanese invaded Java and her father was taken to an all male internment camp. Elizabeth’s mother was now left alone to look after her daughters.  Four months later the van Kampens were sent to a women’s internment camp where food was scarce to non existent. For the next two years they were subjected to unspeakable horrors and deprivations at the hands of a barbaric enemy.  When the Japanese surrendered in August 1945, the Van Kampen family returned to Holland. Elizabeth was desperate to obtain news of her father and was devastated to learn that her father had died in the internment camp.  In the year 2000 she visited Japan and despite her harrowing experiences, she harbours no lasting bitterness towards the Japanese. This is her story.


Published by PublishNation

Published 18th May 2015


Price £5.99

I was given permission by Elizabeth to put her story into the ‘Far Eastern Heroes’ site a few years ago ‘How I Lost My Best Friend’ so the release of this book was a complete surprise. I wish Elizabeth all the best with her story in print. - Ron Taylor (FEPOW-Community)



The Return Ticket The Return Ticket


 Michael Bennetts

This is the story of a 1941 British Rail ticket and its journey from the UK to Singapore, Malaya and Thailand, eventually returning back to the UK four years after issue. Along the way, it sampled the delights of Cape Town, the hostile environment of the Malayan jungle, the horrors of working and surviving in various Japanese POW camps, and the joy of reunion with its owner’s wife and child.

The ticket belonged to my father John Bennetts, a signaller in the Royal Artillery during World War 2, and was the unused half of a return ticket between his home and his UK army camp. In March 1942, he was captured in Malaya by the Japanese Army and worked on the Railway of Death in Thailand. Both he and the ticket survived and he was repatriated to the UK in October 1945.

In later years, my father wrote of some of his experiences on the way out to Singapore, in the jungle, and in the POW camps. This book is his story, based on his writings and supplemented by what happened after he returned to the UK in 1945.

Published December 2014

ISBN - 9781311943248

Available in various formats from

Download is $3.99



Bamboo Heart-2tnBamboo Heart

Novel by Ann Bennett

Set in the Far East before and during the Second World War, Bamboo Heart captures the suffering and courage of the Japanese prisoners of war. It tells the story of Tom Ellis, a prisoner enslaved on the infamous Death Railway in Thailand, and charts the journey of his daughter, Laura, who turns her back on her yuppie existence in eighties London to investigate Tom's wartime experience.

When thrown into a solitary confinement on the death railway, Tom tries to keep his sanity by thinking back over his life, remembering, his boredom working in the city in the 1930s, and his unhappiness at home which led him to seek a new life in Penang, working on a rubber plantation. He remembers the women he loved, and how the Japanese invasion of Malaya altered their lives for good.

Laura is determined to uncover the truth about the ordeal her father never spoke about, when she finds that he suffered from bamboo heart from being starved as a Japanese POW. Her interest is kindled by finding a picture of an enigmatic Eurasian woman, and by the appearance of Jim Leech, someone Tom knew in the camps, but whom he refuses to see or speak about.

Laura travels to Thailand with her political activist boyfriend, Luke, recently involved in the Wapping riots. Will their relationship survive the trip, and will Laura discover what happened to Tom, and why Jim Leech provoked such a strong reaction in him?

The novel follows Laura on her quest for answers. It also traces her personal struggle to draw the strength from her father’s experience to give up her empty corporate life and do something more meaningful.

Author:- Ann Bennett
ISBN/Format:- 9789814423731 (paperback)
ISBN/Format:- 9789814423748 (ebook)
Imprint:- Monsoon Books, Singapore
July 2014
Subject:- Fiction

Order Book - £8.99

Kindle Edition - £2.47

Background on the book

Ann supplied me with an article featured in ‘Friends of The National Archives’.

It explains how she researched her book, which makes interesting reading and should help others. I enjoyed the book which illustrates the amount of her research - Ron Taylor (FEPOW Community)



The Narrow Road To The Deep North-tn The Narrow Road To The Deep North


 Richard Flanagan

A savagely Beautiful novel about the cruelty of war, the tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love

Forever after, there were for them only two sorts of men: the men who were on the Line, and the rest of humanity, who were not. In the despair of a Japanese POW camp on the Burma Death Railway, surgeon Dorrigo Evans is haunted by his love affair with his uncle's young wife two years earlier. Struggling to save the men under his command from starvation, from cholera, from beatings, he receives a letter that will change his life forever. Hailed as a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan's epic novel tells the unforgettable story of one man's reckoning with the truth.

Published 2014

Catto & Windus

The Random House Group


ISBN 13:- 9780701189051 ISBN 10:- 0701189053

Hardback £16.99

A very good read, could not put the book down. The description of the working conditions on the Thailand-Burma railway was thoroughly researched, although it was based at the Thailand end, there was very little mention of the British or Dutch but more on the Australians. If I am being picky it would have been better based at the Burma end where most of the workforce were Australian. The after effects of the war were captured brilliantly. Recommend the book as a very good novel. - Ron Taylor (FEPOW-Community)



Under the Heel of Bushido-tnUnder the Heel of Bushido


Martin Sugarman


Hirohito’s Jewish Prisoners

The plight of prisoners of war of the Imperial Japanese forces during the Second World War is a notoriously familiar history - forced labor, starvation rations and ever-present malnutrition and hunger, degradation and maltreatment, brutality and physical abuse, atrocities, torture, death marches, and disease. The chances of a Western Allied serviceman dying in a Japanese POW camp were five times higher than those in a German one. British teacher, archivist and historian Martin Sugarman has chosen to focus attention on a particular group almost entirely overlooked in historical records, those Jews, military and civilian, held captive by the Japanese.

In Under the Heel of Bushido, Sugarman offers personal testimonies and mostly previously unpublished material gathered during a decade of interviews with more than 60 Jewish prison camp veterans of British and Commonwealth forces, along with Jewish Dutch Army POWs and civilian internees from the Dutch Indies, as well as rare archival photos. (The subtitle reminds that this generation of witnesses is rapidly passing away. It should also be noted that accounts of American Jewish POWs are outside the scope of this volume.)

The experiences of the 600 identified British and Commonwealth Jews in prison and internment camps stretching from Burma, Thailand and Singapore to the Dutch East Indies and Japan itself was in essence the same as those of their Gentile fellows. Anti-Semitism was largely absent; the concept - and the Nazis obsession with Jews - was puzzling to most Japanese, though there were incidents initiated by German liaison officers and Muslim propaganda, and, of course, cruel acts done simply out of spite toward the enemy. (Strangely, German Jews in Bangkok were for the most part unmolested because the Japanese saw them as German nationals, thus their allies!). What was unique was the character the responses of many of the Jews and their adaptations to the situation of their captivity; maintenance of their Jewish identity (often expressed through concern with ritual practices) provided an additional sense of community (sticking together and caring for each other) and proved a survival tool. Amid painful and horrific recollections are fascinating and inspiring stories of compassion and charity toward the sick and wounded (in at least one camp, 10% of rations were so donated), and of imaginative and innovative observances of Jewish holidays and festivals. In Changi Camp, Singapore, prisoners put up a small hut for use as a synagogue; named Ohel Yaacov (Jacob’s Tent), it was probably the only synagogue ever built in a World War II POW camp, and even for a time had a real rabbi leading the services, a Dutch Forces chaplain who had, ironically, been born near Auschwitz, Poland, and migrated to Java, where he had been captured.

In the absence of synagogues and rabbis, many of the Jewish POWs attempted and managed nonetheless to practice accommodated forms of Judaic rituals, including Friday night Sabbath services and, too often, funerals. In a Java camp, a Dutch POW carved a wooden Chanukah menorah candelabra and used coconut oil for its light. Hundreds of prisoners organized Passover Seders, with sago flour used for matzoh, the traditional unleavened bread, and mint leaves for the bitter herbs; the ritual meal held deeply special significance for the POWs, celebrating as it does release from captivity to freedom. As for fasting on the Day of Atonement, quipped the Scots Jew who became the Changi synagogue’s cantor, It was not difficult to fast on Yom Kippur - we had nothing to eat anyway!  Particularly noteworthy was the ‘Bar Mitzvah on the Kwai’ in September 1944, in which, with the permission of the skeptical camp commandant, an Australian signaler in Tarmarkan, Thailand, unable to attend his son’s ceremony in Melbourne celebrated it with a proxy service at a distance€ of thousands of miles.

The volume is, of course, neither confined to nor primarily focused on testimonials about Jewish POWs religious observances, and there are found accounts common to the POWs of all backgrounds, from morale-boosting pranks and evasions of guards to the nightmarish Thailand-Burma Railway known as the Death Railway.  In the midst of appalling conditions, one Canadian physician saved hundreds of lives, matching expertise with ingenuity (such as using broken bottles as funnels for blood transfusions; over 4,000 were carried out without one death), for which he was later awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire). Finally, there are two remarkable eyewitness reports on the atomic-bombing of Nagasaki from a POW camp only a mile and a half from the blast’s epicenter.

Sugarman’s main flaw is the book’s length.  In a quest to be definitive, at which he admirably succeeds, Sugarman is frequently repetitious, often including virtually identical accounts of the same occurrences. Still, it does fill in a gap in the war’s history and provide a representative picture, both broad and narrow, of one segment of Far East POWs.  And one hopes that the stories of the many American Jewish military personnel who were POWs of the Japanese will receive comparable treatment.

London: Vallentine Mitchell / Portland, OR: International Specialized Book Services

Hard Back Price $89.95/£50.00

ISBN: 9780853038771

Published 2014

Paperback at £20 plus p&p only available from Valentine Mitchell in London UK

To order:-

Telephone:- 0208 952 9526




Moon Over Malaya-tnMoon Over Malaya


Jonathan Moffatt and Audrey Holmes McCormick

This is a 4th edition rewrite, has just been published by the History Press.

What really happened in Singapore and Malaya during the dark days of December 1941 to February 1942? Britain’s worst military disaster is looked at here in a new light using firsthand accounts from the men on the ground. Their story is told for the first time and is conclusive proof that some British soldiers did fight the enemy and, in fact, held them back for long enough to enable many to escape from Singapore to fight another day. The accusation that British soldiers in Malaya did not fight is put in its proper context for the first time.

Thsi edition includes some new stories and 'characters' as well as information from documents released since the last edition was published

History Press

Price £12.99



Death Was Our BedmateDeath Was Our Bedmate


Agnes McEwan & Campbell Thomson

The book tells the story of a little known artillery regiment, the 155th (Lanarkshire Yeomanry) Field Regiment, RA which saw constant action during the ill-fated Malayan Campaign of 1941/42 and whose members later experienced the worst kind of hell as POWs of a cruel and bestial enemy.

Following the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the Regiment fought a brave and resolute rearguard action all the way down the Malayan Peninsular and onto the so called impregnable fortress of Singapore. Held in the highest respect by comrades and foe alike, this former territorial cavalry regiment fully deserved its Royal Artillery moto - Ubigue -  'everywhere'.

In the years that followed, the Gunners slaved, suffered and died on the infamous Burma Railway, in copper mines of Formosa and camps throughout the Far East. More men of the Regiment died as POWs than fell in action. They should not be forgotten.

Included is a full nominal roll which allows the reader to identify the camp/s where each individual Gunner was held. A Roll of Honour provides the date, place and cause of death and place of burial/commemoration of the Regiment's casualties.

Revue - This is a very good read, although concentrating on the 155th Field Regiment, it tells the story of the camps and holds ones interest till the last page. - Ron Taylor (FEPOW Community)

Published by Pen & Sword Military


208 pages ISBN:- 9781781591697

Published: 27 March 2013

Price £19.99




Emperors Irish Slaves 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.

 The History Press

The Mill, Brimscombe Port, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2QG

Tel +44 (0)1453 883300 Fax +44 (0)1453 883233


February 2012




198 x 124.5mm



16 b&w illustrations




Book Revue

6th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment-tn6th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment

Royal Artillery


Patrick Walker

Dunkirk, The Blitz, Singapore, Java, the Burma Railway and the Japanese ‘hell ships’ are names associated with some of the worst British experiences of the second World War. To have been engaged in one of these terrifying events would have been unlucky, but the 6th Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment endured them all. This is their extraordinary story.

  • 6th HAA Regiment rapidly mobilised in 1939 to join the BEF in France.
  • 6th HAA Regiment are among the lucky ones to get away from Dunkirk in June 1940 but have to destroy their own transport, equipment and guns.
  • After re-equipping and helping to defend the ports of Southampton, Bristol and Falmouth, they are moved to London during the Blitz.
  • Posted to Iraq in October 1941 but the Regiment is diverted en-route to Singapore. Arriving in Jan 1942, 3 Battery is detached to help defend the island while 12 and 15 Batteries go to Sumatra for airfield and oil terminal defence.
  • They are engaged in fighting against Japanese paratroop landings followed by an ignominious withdrawal to Java after destroying their guns.
  • Within 5 weeks the whole Regiment is captured and 3 Battery is lost when Singapore capitulates.
  • Used as slave labour by the Japanese for the Burma and Sumatra railways. Some are used on airfield construction on remote islands. They endure three and a half years of starvation, beatings, murder and abuse. Many succumb to disease.
  • Survivors are transported to Japan on the ‘hell ships’ where many die when these ships are torpedoed in error by US submarines. 6th HAA were finally rescued from this nightmare by the dropping of the Atom bombs.

ISBN 978-0-9562190-4-6

Published by Choir Press

Distrubuted through GP Walker

Can be contacted on Tel:- 01902-343458

or email:-

Price £14.00




Book Revue

The Conjuror on the KwaiCaptivity, Slavery and Survival as a Far East POW

The Conjuror on the Kwai


Peter Fyans

Subtitled 'The Conjurer on the Kwai' this is the incredibly moving story of Gus Anckorn, a British soldier who was captured by the Japanese and held for over three and a half years. Before the war, Gus was a magician and throughout the war, he entertained both fellow soldiers and Japanese guards with his tricks. Gus experienced terrible ordeals that no one should have to face. He should have been killed on four or five occasions, but remarkably survived due to quick thinking and good luck. He also reveals the heartache of leaving his fiancee behind and not knowing if he would ever see her again.

ISBN: 9781848846227

Published: 14 November 2011

By Pen and Sword Books



Book Revue

Forgotten Highlander NF 9-tnThe Forgotten Highlander


Alistair Urquhart

Alistair Urquhart was a soldier in the Gordon Highlanders captured by the Japanese in Singapore. He not only survived working on the notorious Bridge on the River Kwai , but he was subsequently taken on one of the Japanese ˜hellships which was torpedoed. Nearly everyone else on board died and Urquhart spent 5 days alone on a raft in the South China Sea before being rescued by a whaling ship. He was taken to Japan and then forced to work in a mine near Nagasaki. Two months later a nuclear bomb dropped just ten miles away .

This is the extraordinary story of a young man, conscripted at nineteen and whose father was a Somme Veteran, who survived not just one, but three very close separate encounters with death - encounters which killed nearly all his comrades.




Herald Scotland


Edinburgh News

Yorkshire Evening Post

Daily Record

Having put Alistair’s story together with him for ‘Far Eastern Heroes’ a few years ago, I got to know him very well, a real gentleman. For all he does for the FEPOW cause he deserves success with his book - Ron Taylor (FEPOW-Community)

Publisher:- Little Brown Book Group (UNITED KINGDOM)

Published:- 04/03/2010

ISBN:- 9781408702116

HARDBACK - 320 Pages



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